The sunlight stings my eyes as it streams into the room. My body aches. I let out a tired sigh at the prospect of facing another day. I haven’t been feeling myself lately. I feel like I’ve been slowing down, my body grinding to a halt and my brain swamped with mud.
Today it feels much worse. Maybe I’ll sleep 5 more minutes.
I move to pull the duvet over my face, but something is wrong with my hand. I can’t move my fingers. I force my eyes to adjust to the light and examine my hand. I scream, but a huge bellowing sound fills the room.
What was that?! It sounded like a trumpet! Dismissing it, I return to the cause of my scream. My fingers have fallen off. I just have fingernails on a stump that must be my arm. Not only that, but my arm is huge. With leathery graphite skin.
I must be hallucinating. There must be a logical reason for me to be hallucinating.
I cast my mind back to last night. I came home, had dinner and went to bed exhausted. That was it. No alcohol, no medication. It doesn’t make sense.
Maybe it was the exhaustion. Maybe I’ve gone mad. Could burnout do this? I feel very odd.
I need help. Where’s Jack? He’ll know what to do.
I look to the left side of the bed to where Jack sleeps, but he’s not there. There’s no space on the left side of the bed. Or on the right. I’m filling the bed! Did we get a smaller bed? Panic adds to my feeling of heaviness.
I’m definitely in the same room, but everything feels smaller. I look for clues. The headboard is ours, as are the lights and the curtains. What is going on?
He must have gone to w- oh, what’s that? I can feel something moving underneath me. From somewhere under me, or perhaps inside me, I hear a muffled and distant ‘Argh!’.
It sounds like Jack. Is he downstairs? More movement. ‘Gerrofff!!’ Says the voice. Something pushes at my ribs. I try to hurl myself up and out of bed but I’m just too heavy. My limbs feel like lead, and my lungs ache from the exertion. I can’t tell if I’m making the noises I can hear or if they’re coming from somewhere else.
I roll from side to side to try and get some momentum. “Left!” I hear. I roll left and something lumpy extracts itself from my right side. As soon as its gone, my body grateful fills the void.
Something long keeps obscuring my field of vision. I can’t tell what it is, but it seems to sway, and keeps distracting me. Is seems attached to my face. Oh my god, it looks like a trun-
“LISA?!” says the thing that emerged from underneath me. I quickly turn my head towards it and see my husband Jack. As my face turns, its new appendage follows, and whips him on the side of the head, knocking him to the floor.
“Sorry!” I shout, but a strange noise comes out of me instead.
Jack retreats backwards, holding his throbbing head. His eyes tell of a fear I’ve never seen in him before. He cautiously steps backwards as if retreating away from a wild animal.