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Leeches & Maggots[]

   She stepped into the small bathroom after a long day of work; being a mortician is taxing on one's mental health but for her? It's more taxing on her back than anything. As she undressed, she thought about her day. 

She had to clean her leech tank out, and she had found out Noodle, one of her most beloved leeches, had passed. She didn't need leeches; she had them as companions when the days were slow. Once finding out Noodle had passed on, she began preserving her as a wet specimen who would sit on her desk. Hot water spewed from the faucet; she added enough bubbles to recreate the Park Central Square Bubble prank of 2022. Sighing as she slid into the bubbly forest, she closed her eyes and leaned back against the wall. Her nose sat just above the water, just above the bubbles. The hot water soothed her joints. Her intern wasn't present that day and wouldn't be present until Monday the following week due to a dental appointment, meaning she had no help lifting corpses (or moving the supplies out of the storage closet after spilling formaldehyde on the floor).

As she moved her foot to the end of the tub, something brushed against it, startling her. Oh! It must have been the loofa; it probably fell off the hook again. She moved her foot to hook the loofa with her toe only to realize it wasn't the loofa. Leeches, corpses, and maggots; she can handle pretty much anything gross. She could endure awful things so well that she frequently got hungry while embalming the dead (or watching a good Rob Zombie movie). But spiders are where she drew the line. Spiders were her intern's job. She screamed as the eight-legged creature grabbed hold of her foot. If only she bought an actual house instead of renting a shitty apartment. But then, something peculiar happened. The spider pulled her under. It dragged her beneath the water as if she was in an ocean. Her screams became a storm of bubbles. No matter where she turned, there was nothing. Just an abyss of the vast dark ocean as far as the eye could see.

And yet her lungs never filled with water despite her feeling like drowning.

Instead, leeches, maggots, and black sludge filled her mouth. She could feel them sliding down her throat and filling her lungs and stomach. No matter how many of them she pushed and clawed out of her mouth, they kept coming. She could feel them eating her from the inside out; her body felt like TV static. It didn't make sense; she had no dead flesh. Maggots only eat dead meat, right? Clawing at the inside of her mouth, digging at the leeches and maggots, did nothing. She tried coughing but couldn't. Her body wouldn't let her. And, just as soon as it started (she thought), it was over. She violently sat up in the tub and pulled herself out, accidentally pulling the shower curtain down on top of her as she fell to the bathroom floor. She would need to mop up the floor eventually. Just as she thought the hellish nightmare was over, she coughed violently and threw up. Her eyes darted toward the vomit on the floor, and she let out a strained and not-entirely-there scream. Sitting in her black sludge vomit were leeches and maggots.

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