The spine opens, splitting down its length, sweet slime oozing from the opening. The pointed end of a chitinous limb pokes through and works its way slowly out. More emerge along the length of the gash as the first extends, revealing one joint, then another, then another.
More limbs escape before the first completes its journey. Soon there are over a dozen, with the first now stretching to a length significantly greater than a human height. More limbs emerge than should have ever fit inside the body, even more than seem physically able to connect.
Spindly limbs bend at their too-many joints and touch the ground, gradually supporting more of the body’s weight until it hangs suspended, limp, and immobile in the center of dozens of chitinous supports.
In the hollow space surrounded by spider-like legs the air shimmers, boils, bends, distorts, and finally opens an eye. It locks onto me immediately.
I close The Book. My girlfriend’s metamorphosis is complete. As she approaches, I smile wide and greet her with open arms.