's 2014 Horror Write-off:

"† Metamorphosis "

Submitted by Timmeh Taylor


*sound of papers being moved*

This is session 4 with patient xxxxx xxxxxxxx. He has agreed to recall the first time that he had a hallucination due to his mental condition. It may assist with the patient's rehabilitation to recall the experience.

Ok, xxxxx are you ready now?


Now, can you tell me the date of your first hallucination?

June of 1986.

And was this before or after your wife left you?


So you were alone with your old was she?


You donít seem as talkative as usual, why is that?

I just don't really feel like talking.

Ok, that is understandable.
*scratching of a pencil on paper*
Is it ok if we continue?


Tell me if you need to stop.

Now, can you describe where you were when this happened?

I was in our cabin in the Appalachians.
It was kinda small, but we didn't need much space since Katherine left.
It was on the top of a hill, there was a forest around it, it was nice.
Just us two, no-one else for miles around.
We got to know each other a lot better then.

Thatís nice to hear, can you tell me about how the hallucinations started?

Yeah, I can try.
I started to notice a tic in my eyelids a few weeks before she got sick...

Your daughter fell ill?
Do you want me to stop talking?

N-no. Please continue.

Anyway, my eyes began to twitch frequently after I fell in the forest.
I was doing my daily walk, and I fell over onto a rock when a...
...when a cicada flew in my face. It hit me like a bullet.
I hadn't seen a cicada in a decade or so, so I didn't immediately recognize it.
But then it made that horrible noise,
that shrill, piercing shriek that would plague the forest for the next month. seem to have strong opinions on cicadas...

I'm sick of this.

*sound of a chair scraping on metal*



This is session 5 with xxxxx xxxxxxx, he has again agreed to share his experience with us after another week. We are hoping to get more information today.

Are you ready to begin?

What do you want to hear about now?
*panicked laughter*

Well...uhm. I'm sorry if I have offended you at all, xxxxx.

What do you want to hear about?

I...I'd like to hear about the hallucination itself.

*2 minutes of silence*

But only if you shut your judgmental mouth.

I'll try my best.

At the time that I started seeing things, my daughter was ill.
She had what I believe to be bronchitis and some skin disease.
I don't know exactly what it was, but it was probably from a plant or something.
Callouses covered her body and she swelled up, all while coughing viciously.
There were no doctors around; the closest was in Frostburg and that was miles away.
I couldn't have left her alone when she was so fragile, and I didn't know what she had!
Eventually, the callouses caused her lips to be immobile.
She couldn't speak, and could only eat with help from me, and even that barely worked.
When I began to notice that she was losing weight, I panicked.
In my desperation, I removed a small tube from our makeshift plumbing to feed her with.
I cleaned it out, instructed her to lay down with her head on a pillow.
Then I pried her mouth open just enough for the tip of the tube to fit in, and let go.
The thin, rigid pipe protruded from her mouth like a haustellum, and it disgusted me.
But I knew that if I removed it, she would starve.
I would fasten a water bottle to the end of the pipe each day so she could drink
And 3 times a day I would replace it with chicken broth to eat.
I felt so bad for her, but looking at her...disgusted me
She looked like she had an exoskeleton with all of those callouses
And she looked like she had a proboscis with the tube
Her mouth looked almost fused now
And her eyes were always closed.
But I could still hear her shrill, piercing breathing as confirmation that she was alive
She had to breath through her nose because her mouth was immobile
But her nostrils were swollen, only letting air escape through 2 small holes
I couldn't believe she was still alive
And I was ecstatic that she was still with me
But I hated seeing her
She looked only vaguely human, and once her hair fell out she was almost unidentifiable
After I would feed her each day, I would go outside to relax
I would sit and gaze out over the beautiful rolling hills
and the majestic forests
But within a week relaxation was impossible
Not only was she always on my mind, but the forests were swarming with periodical cicadas
Their raspy, rattling calls reminded me too much of her breathing
I think that was when I cracked
I was insane

Reminders of my dying daughter were everywhere, literally calling to me
I needed to leave
But I wouldnít let her die
That night I woke up to a thump in my kitchen
I rose cautiously, thinking it to be some animal
As I walked towards the kitchen I passed the window
As I walked by it my ears were filled with the sound of the cicadas screaming at each other
I opened the door, and...


I thought I saw my daughter
I thought I saw her climbing on the ceiling
feeding through her tube
messily slurping up any liquid she could find
I threw up on the floor at the sight of it
and then she was perfectly still
clinging to the ceiling
and she shed her dead skin and out flew a fleshy cicada
I screamed and ran into my room
The next day, I left
I had to
Ill never forgive myself for it either
I looked in her bedroom to see if she was still there
She was
I replaced her water with broth
And I grabbed my blanket
and the food from the kitchen
and left
and I walked
looking for help
for medicine
for a person to talk to
I needed someone to talk to
So badly
It was so goddamned quiet in that house
everything except the shrieking cicadas
and her rattling breaths
I made it to Frostburg in 3 days
Met with the doctor
told him what was wrong
I left out the part about her climbing
he grabbed his bag of supplies
and we got on his ATV
and we drove home
when we got there...
*heavy breathing*
when we got there the house was covered
with the shed skin of cicadas
along with the trees around the house
was covered
and the screaming was louder than ever
I didn't go in the house
none of us did
we turned around and left
She was dead
it was obvious
I had killed her