I woke in the middle of the night because my right eye itched and twitched terribly and for several stressful moments, though I tried, I couldn’t get it open. Clumsily, I stumbled from the bedroom, finding my way with the bleary vision from my left.

Entering the bathroom and switching on the light, I gazed at myself in the mirror. What was this shit in my eye!? Was it crystalized? Could it be? Not pink eye! Golly-gee I hoped it wasn’t. I hated that. With my vision blurred in early wakefulness, I couldn’t see much to know for sure. I couldn’t see the state of my right eye yet but in my mind, I just knew the sight of one clear bright white, while the other scanned and blinked a bright itchy mass of red…well that was enough to clear a room. When you had pink eye, people tended to back away like you had the plague, no matter how often you used hand sanitizer in front of their faces so they could see.

I hoped upon hope that it wasn’t a case of conjunctivitis. I wasn’t sure how I might have contracted such an awful infection but it would surely explain why I couldn’t stop rubbing at my itchy socket. And yet, as my cloudy vision began to fade, replaced by clarity, I gazed at myself in the harsh bright of 100 watt bulbs at what my good eye could see. In the mirror I didn’t see the dried gummy mucus I expected there to be. It wasn’t the green or yellow but something strange. Something that I knew I knew but couldn’t place had sealed the lid shut. When I looked into the glass, the color and texture was wrong: a stringy semi-translucence of white fibrous adhesive, dried and hard matted my eyelashes together.

I knew this gunk. It was familiar.

Oh God, how? How and why? Why in my eye? Sticky white, gummy adhesive that I knew and could now identify.

I tried and tried to wipe the messy goop away but the more I wiped and bothered my eye, the worse that it became. Soap and hot rags didn’t work. Neither did submerging my face directly into the sink, all the while feeling my heart slowly faltering and falling it’s way down deep inside of me, down into my feet. Something moved and twitched beneath the lid and I felt the falling hope that accompanies the sensation of something small and wriggling beneath your skin.

I gulped and picked up a pair of tweezers. It took more time than I’d presumed it should to pull each and every last gummy lash away and peel the sheen of what remained from my face.

It came away in stringy clumps, threaded white strands of the silken mess slowly pulled away…but how?

How could this be on my face?

Wait, no! What did you think this was? You’re sick. I did not awaken with a face full of jizz. Not on my face, and never in my eye! I like a good time, but I’m not that kind of guy.

Finally I pulled the rest of the web away and opened wide and cringed. I wanted to cry. My eye! My beautiful eye had been liquefied. As the mucus mixed with tears and began to run down my face like curdled cream, I could see the black spindly legs and the spinnerets as they gleamed as though wet. She began to weave a new web across the opening.

She stared back at me as she worked to seal the opened hole closed once more and before the spider vanished behind her veil of silky webbed white, I could have sworn she waved and winked several of her compound eyes as she smiled with delight.