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"Honestly, doctor, is there anything you can give me? Anything... to make the crawling stop?"
"No. What you're experiencing are mild hallucinations, probably from sleep deprivation. This feeling won't stop unless you get some sleep."
"Then give me some goddamn sedatives!" Harvey screamed. He started scratching at his arm vigorously, leaving long, red marks on his skin.
The doctor paused and started writing on his clipboard. Prone to random outbursts of rage, possibly violence.
Harvey continued scratching his arm and looking at the doctor's face. "Well... are you going to give me something or not?" he pleaded. The doctor ripped off a sheet of paper and handed it to Harvey. Excited at first, he thought it would be a prescription. Instead, he found seven numbers that were strung together in loose, curvy handwriting.
"What the fuck is this?"
"It's the number for a therapist. His name's Dr. Holmes. He's a good friend of mine, and I believe that he could teach you some exercises that will help you go to sleep."
"I don't need a fucking shrink. I'm sleeping fine, nine hours a night, in fact. I just need to get these - these FUCKING bugs off me!"
"Harvey, I can assure you that I found absolutely no insects, parasites, or ticks on you of any kind. It's all in your mind. If you can't get a grip and find some way to go to sleep, you're going to continue to have these feelings until you pass out from exhaustion."
Harvey grabbed his coat and started to walk out.
"You forgot the number," the doctor said, pointing at the crumpled piece of paper Harvey had left on the checkup table.
Harvey was about to say, "Fuck you and your shrink," when the crawling started again. He frantically started scratching his arms for the second time. The doctor kept his hand up, pointing to the little slip of paper. Sighing, Harvey walked over to the checkup table and snatched up the paper.
The drive home was rough. Harvey was so busy scratching his arms that he almost drove off of the interstate and into a ravine. He pulled into his driveway. Jingling his keys as he walked to front door, he could feel the bugs crawling through his veins like they were ant tunnels. He decided to stop scratching. Scratching only made it worse.
He unlocked his door with a little difficulty. Throwing his keys on the kitchen counter, he walked to his bedroom and fell into his bed.
The bugs were in his skin. Squirming.
There was a fire in his brain that urged him to scratch. He looked down at his arms. Some of the scratch marks had pierced the skin and his arms were bleeding. He looked at his cellphone and tried dialing the shrink's number. His hands were shaking too hard, and he dropped the phone into his lap. Frustrated, he pulled the covers over his head and tried going to sleep.
He woke up to burning. He screamed because his arms were on fire. Running to the bathroom, he turned on the light. There were gashes on his arms with yellow pus oozing out. Panicking, Harvey opened his medicine cabinet and rooted around for something to sterilize the wound.
But then it happened again. The crawling was back, only this time it was agonizing.
Falling onto the bathroom floor, Harvey began to scream as the bugs burst from his veins, crawled through the gashes on his arms, and up his body. He tried scratching, but there were too many. They held him down and forced him to watch as they crawled into his mouth, down his throat, and into his lungs. They stung his insides, creating welts so he lost the ability to breathe. They crawled into his brain and stung it, laying eggs and filling it with their venom.
He lay on the floor, dead from lack of oxygen.
After a few hours his spine began to twitch.
Jackson couldn't believe he had to work on a day like this. The sun was shining and it was a perfect summer day. The air conditioners in the office weren't working, so he filed a complaint and took off his jacket. He honestly thought about taking off his shirt, not that anyone would notice. The office was relatively empty today. The only people he had seen was the secretary and that weird guy, Harvey. Harvey was the one who never went with the rest of the guys to the bar after work. He always had "other things to do."
Jackson stopped in the break room around noon and read the paper whilst eating a sloppy corned beef sandwich. Interesting. Some scientists in Africa discovered a new species of airborne parasite that hides in the veins of its prey. Some of the scientists got infected and are now in quarantine. Researchers aren't exactly sure what kind of effect it has on the brain yet, but it sure as hell won't be pretty.
Jackson put down the paper when he saw that Harvey walked in the break room. Harvey sat down and started eating his own sandwich, which looked very uncooked.
"Man, you like your meat bloody, huh?"
Harvey looked up from his sandwich. He looked like he was about to speak, but decided to keep eating.
"So... uh... Do you want to go get a drink or something after this? On me."
Harvey continued to eat and ignore Jackson.
After a pause, Jackson said, "How can you stand wearing that long sleeved shirt? It's, like, 70 degrees in here."
Harvey wiped some blood off of the corner of his lip.
"I can stand the heat."
Harvey grinned and left the break room.
Written by Ameagle
This pasta has received a rating of 6/10 or higher and has moved on to the finals of the 2015 freestyle pasta challenge.