Francesca lay on the floor picking at the seam in the carpet with fingernails gnawed to the quick. She wasn’t getting very far, but she had to keep going. Something was under there–or someone. She could hear him crying when the thunder rolled across the sky in the midst of lightning like a great electric eel.
A sudden thought struck her. She jumped to her feet and ran to her sewing box, dug around until she found the seam ripper, and flopped back down on the floor. For some reason, she knew that she couldn’t just take up the carpet all willy-nilly. It was a gut feeling she couldn’t shake.
Stitch by stitch, the carpet came apart, but it was still glued to the floor with decades of spilled juice and cat urine. Francesca was no gambler, but she would have laid bets that she wasn’t going to get to the source of the sound anytime soon. Her mind worked to find a solution to this problem of madness as it had never worked before.
A small tuft of carpet fuzz lodged itself beneath her collar, and she scratched absentmindedly at her neck. A welt began to rise in response to the bite inflicted by the spider who had been comfortably making his home in the corner. Comfortably, that is, until Francesca decided to pull up her carpet by hand, after years of not properly cleaning it.
She scratched again, more vigorously, but still oblivious to the spreading hives. Soon enough, she fell asleep, never to wake.