i feel it first:

I feel it first at the tips of my fingers. Then it starts moving up my right arm.

I’m lying on my back in bed and I cannot move.

Whatever it is, it feels like it has a lot of legs. Maybe it’s a spider.

I can’t even turn my head. But I force my eyeballs to move, force them to turn down and to the right. I exhale – I’d been holding my breath without realizing it.

It is a spider. And it is huge, and it’s crawling up my forearm.

My jaw tightens and I swallow. Even if I could move I don’t know if I would dare. My eyes are closed again and I feel the spider travelling up my bare biceps.

My right leg starts to shake a little bit. My arms are pinned at my sides. I am immobile as the spider brushes through the small hairs of my arm.

The spider stops at my shoulder. For a few seconds, I can’t feel anything at all. I start to wonder if the spider has crawled off me onto the pillow.

Then the spider starts moving around on my neck. Both of my legs are shaking now.

The spider makes its way up my neck. I feel one of the spider’s legs stroke my chin.

Two of the spider’s legs stroke against the bristles of my chin.

Oh my god there is a huge spider crawling on my cheek.

I hardly dare to breathe. I squeeze my lips shut for fear that it may crawl into my mouth. I’m sweating now and praying, please get this spider off my face.

I wince when I feel the spider’s legs touch my lips. It walks across my mouth and stops. I feel the weight of the spider on my upper lip, distributed evenly across its eight legs.

The spider, creature of alien geometry, has stopped at the tip of my nose.

My eyes are closed so tightly that they start tearing up. I don’t dare to swallow, or to move, or to breathe.

The spider fiddles around; it waves two of its legs around at the opening to my right nostril.

Suddenly the spider starts to force itself into my nose. I gasp and then hold my breath again. The spider wriggles inside my nose-hole. It pauses to brace itself, then pushes straight up my nostril.

This is impossible. The spider is too big to fit up my nose. And yet it moves, with a fury of activity. The spider scrunches together all eight of its legs and labours to propel itself up my nose towards my brain.

I’m sweating and I can’t move. My body feels like it’s going to explode. Every super-sensitive hair in my nostril registers horror at the presence of the insect.

The spider continues to struggle upwards, through moisture and goo, before it emerges in a warm, wet place.

Now I’m breathing hard through my mouth. I’m going to hyperventilate. I’m going to pass out and die. There is a spider inside my nasal cavity. I can feel its legs open out slightly. I can feel the spider’s body as it drags itself through the mucus inside my head.

A tiny drop of snot rolls down to the tip of my nose. I can’t even move to wipe it away. There is a spider crawling around inside me. I feel its legs. They scrabble against the moist bones of my skull as the spider travels from the right side of my face to the left.

What is it doing…. It’s scratching me. The spider’s legs are probing the back of my left eye.

My breath catches and I stare straight ahead, straight upwards at the ceiling.

The spider is slowly drawing itself against the back of my eyeball.

The spider splays itself out against the back of my left eye. Eight tiny legs dig into my eye from the inside.

I look at the wall and the ceiling. The spider is seeing through my eyeball.

I can feel it inside my head. The spider moves, it swings back and forth with the rotation of the orb. For a minute, the spider sees exactly what I see.

And then it bites me.