He awoke with a start, a sharp pain on his neck below his left ear.
"YOU BIT ME!!!!!" His voice sounded full of pain and shock.
Little Egypt winked at Stanley, "Just a tiny bite, you looked so delicious I just couldn't help myself." (Well at least she was trying to sound apologetic!)
"I MIGHT DIE!!!!" Dizzy and hot, voice shaking, his eyes were wide with fear, and sweat beads erupted all over his forehead.
"No, No, No, --- No way! I used a condom!" Her voice, as always, completely self-assured, and confident, but a little louder and more confrontational than usual.
"But, but, they don't make spider condoms!" His mind raced to find the percentage of likelihood that he might be wrong about this, but he came up with nothing. His head started to pound, and his legs were cramping and aching at the same time, but he still involuntarily thought about the 5.2% (or was it 5.8%?) chance of dying within the next few minutes.
"You sure?" she cooed sweetly with her menacing fang smile showing, then web trampolined back to her closet, knowing full well that Stanley had never been sure about anything.
Unable to cope with the shock of Little Egypt biting him, and suffering from pain and nausea, Stanley passed out on the floor, his massive body trembling. When he awoke hours later, he felt an odd tingling coming from his rib cage. Lifting his shirt, he noticed four small, black appendages growing from his ribs, and that his lower abdomen had distended, giving him a righteously round and firm beer belly. That he could not locate his penis didn't seem to matter. He called out for Little Egypt, but she was gone, or in hiding, and he did the only thing he could-- he put on a loose fitting shirt and went to work. Probably a bad choice...
While Stanley did his best to concentrate on the fresh batch of blonde wigs, the manager noticed his employee acting and looking peculiar. Stanley's skin had grown quite dark and he seemed to be coated with fine black fuzz. This was okay, but his fingers got snagged on everything, and the ladies felt grossed out by his bad breath. Even weirder--- his eyes bugged out of his head in an unusual way. The manager assumed Stanley must be sick, and sent home to get some bed rest.
Stanley's only reality is unreality now...
% ! % ! % ! % ! % ! % ! % !
The painful transformation from human to the phylum Arthropoda was complete by next morning. He hid under his bed hoping that no one would see him, and that he would change back when Little Egypt's venom wore off. She never answered his pleas for help. He felt dreadful, but looked frighteningly beautiful, and far more socially acceptable than Kafka's trash-sucking cockroach.
His shiny black abdomen and glowing red hourglass kept flashing words like a Magic 8-Ball gone insane. Twisting his head so he could see the letters right side up, they glowed ," Be careful what you pretend to be, because you are what you pretend to be . "1 This sentence faded out and was soon replaced by another one that he couldn't read. But he did feel the change, which hurt like a million hot needles stabbing his used-to-be stomach.
Stanley started to hyperventilate because he had no facts or figures to explain away his transformation, other than feeling 100% confused. His abdomen started to flash again and he hit his head on the bedsprings trying to see what it would say next." The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest ."2 This had a calming effect because he reasoned that he could count on his big black belly to tell him what to do in the absence of Little Egypt.
1 Kurt Vonnegut, paraphrased from " Mother Night " 1962
2 Kilgore Trout, " Venus on the Half-Shell " 1974. (Phillip Jose Farmer or Kurt Vonnegut)