Jacob ran outside and looked toward the brightly lit night sky. An asteroid flew above, igniting the atmosphere and burning treetops as it descended. “Holy shit!” Jacob felt the earth rumble upon impact. Bracing himself, he watched as the cornfield took the giant rock. “Oh, fuuuuck!”
Diving behind the side of his small, single-story, single-bedroom house, Jacob saw tree branches, twigs, and debris fly past him. “No way! This is fucking insane!” He shouted to nobody but himself as the rumbling slowly ended. Coughing, Jacob covered his mouth and rushed inside, quickly closing the door behind him.
“Ugh,” Jacob groaned, feeling something in his eyes. Running to the bathroom, he washed his eyeballs with water for a few minutes. “Jesus,” he said, finally getting some relief. Looking across his shirt, Jacob saw tiny spores. He picked one off and looked at it closer – green, the size of a pin-head, and covered with hairy spines that came off when touched.
Jacob stripped off his college t-shirt and revealed his body. Spines covered his body from head to toe. “Fuck.” He stepped into the shower and turned the water on. Suddenly the spores ballooned. Each grew to the size of a softball upon touching the liquid and continued at a slower pace. “God damnit!” Jacob cursed, turning up the heat as hot as he could take.
The spores fell to the shower floor, deflated to the size of a pea, then rolled down the drain. “Thank god,” Jacob said, putting his head back in the hot water and rinsing his hair. Soaping himself off, he ensured every part of his body felt clean. Taking a deep breath, he stepped out of the shower.
Jacob took a little time to himself every year away from work. Leaving his phone in the car several miles from home, he liked to fully seclude himself from society. It was his way of taking a break from everything. “Well, fuck me,” he said to himself in the mirror. “What the hell is going on?” The room appeared to change color and swirl in dizzying circles. Sitting on the toilet, he held his head and wondered if the spores had gotten into his brain somehow.
“I need help,” he stated. The words sounded foreign to him. He’d never had to ask for help. “God dammit, help me.” He rubbed his temples and waited, but there seemed to be no response. “Come on, where is somebody?” Jacob said aloud. “Anybody? Anyone at all?”
Just as he was about to resign to the idea that he was alone, Jacob took notice of a single, tiny, green, unassuming spore on the floor in front of the toilet. “Wait a minute …what’s going on?” He watched as the spore seemed to pulsate. It was as if it had a heartbeat. It grew in size slowly. “Jesus, what the hell?”