Panic

 

It nibbled tiny nibbles and skittered tiny scratches across her flesh.

She tried not to scratch at it anymore.  At least, not in the daytime.  Not when people were around.

They couldn’t see it, of course.  They coudl see the nibbles and the scratches but they coudln’t see it.  And they could see HER, bloodshot eyes and raggled nails, hands and fingers always moving over herself, touching, patting, searching.

But they could not se IT, so it must be her.  Of cousre it must be her.

So no scratching when the sun was up.

Night was different.

She was alone with it at nigh, and it was alone with her.

At night nibbles turned to bites and sratches turned to gouging slashes, but at night she would scratch at it.

Claw for claw, bite for bite, in the night she could fight back, always.

Usually.

Tonight was different.  Tonight it was playing a different game.

It didn’t bite, it didn’t nibble or skitter or scratch or gouge.

Tonight it burrowed.

Tonight she panicked.

Her own nails, bitten ragged down to the raw quick of them, could not go deep enough.  Her teeth, somewhat sharper, were still blunted and few.  She tried, oh she tried, but they could not go deep enough either.

Not to where it was.

What was it doing in there, doing to her insides?  She coudln’t see it, she coudln’t know without seeing and she needed to know.

Needed.

She keened as the searched the gutters, raising a few heads from the others who shared her streets with her, but they paid her little mind as she searched and searched until she found.

There, beneath the dumpster, a fork.  Glimmer, silver, Excalibur for her.

Inside it squirmed, it snuggled it nested.

Outside she raised her multi-tined fork and brought it down, took it inside to where it was.

Not once, not twice, but until she could see, until she could know.

The fork fell.  Her blood pooled around her knees where she knelt.

It skittered away, it’s young following around it.  Towards the camp they went and she knew.

Finally, soon, finally they would see it too.

No longer panicked, she slept.

Inspired by Panic
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