My Worst Nightmare

Regardless of size, I'm terrified of spiders. Not rational, I can control this fear about as well as preventing a driver from cutting me off during rush hour. At any rate, I thought it might be interesting to create a flash piece about my frenzied phobia.

      Ragged breaths seeped from my lungs as I forced my eyes open. As if caressed by the depths of the ocean, a cool darkness enveloped me. But no water slicked against my skin. Instead, my fingers stabbed at a silken cage, not just above and below, but also side-to-side. The first edge of panic clawed its way into my mind. Trapped.

      I jammed a hand upward, plowing through padded satin only to crush knuckles against a surface as hard as the giant redwoods. A lump of dread clogged my throat. I lay in a coffin. How had this happened? Was I buried alive? I racked my brain for answers, but none came. Without tools and with a limited air supply, escape seemed doubtful. Defeat settled into my bones, giving me an artificial calm. I closed my eyes, willing myself to sleep. Running out of oxygen seemed much more palatable that way.

      A feather's touch wisped over my forearm, giving rise to a sea of chill bumps. Instinctively, I brushed my arm against the side of the coffin. My skin began to crawl. Soon, an army of insects inched toward my shoulders.

      Suddenly, a light brightened the coffin, blinding me like a phosphorescent flash. A voice reverberated in the enclosed space. "Look down," it said.

            As insects edged up my body, a compulsion to open my eyes washed over me, compelling me to obey the voice. With one eye, I peeked long enough to see a wave of spiders creeping toward my face. A motor kicked on, and a breeze, starting from my feet, swirled up my pant legs, aiming for my head. Trying to escape the whirlwind, the spiders rushed up my neck and over my face. I screamed, but the arachnids filled my mouth, swarming down my throat. I choked and spat. As shock set in, I wondered who belonged to the mysterious voice. Blackness edged my vision, eventually drowning out the light. I guess I would never know.