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When I was just a student in a medical university, my teacher once told me," Being a doctor is like sailing on a boundless sea, you can never know what you might encounter." This word of his had always been my motto.

My teacher's words were always proved to be right. From a young and inexperienced intern twenty-three years ago to the associate dean I am now, my career has assuredly broadened my horizons. I've seen so many pathetic souls, twisted by that nightmare crawling beneath their skin. But among countless patients, I swear to god, there's no other disease that could be more unsettling than that one. I didn't know what's the aetiological agent, I couldn't find any other cases. That poor little girl, she was the only patient.

I couldn't forget that morning when she arrived. Her face was pale, covered in sweat. Her body was gaunt, trembling in a coma. For a girl at this age, it was nothing but torture.

Her parents told us that their daughter had already been suffered from some serious headache for a few weeks now, it started with an itch on her head, but it soon developed into a horrible pain drilling through her skull. They had taken her to every other hospital they could find, seeking treatment, but all they could get in return were just "Diagnosis cannot be confirmed, no treatment can be provided rashly." Witnessing their beloved daughter going weaker and weaker every day, they could only count on us.

Her mother burst into tears, begging for our help.

We took an x-ray picture of the head. Thinking about it now, the face I had when I looked at that picture must be the same as all the other doctors.

Her brain seemed to be out of shape, it looked like something was stuck in it. There wasn't any tumor in there, however. We couldn't find anything, we couldn't find out what caused her symptoms, like all the other doctors. Without any practical discovery, the only things we could come up with were just some nonsense theories. Just like my teacher once said, I'd encounter the trickiest vortex on this boundless sea.

We couldn't get any result, not before the girl's death. On the third night after her arrival, within pain and suffering, she closed her eyes forever.

We suspected that this might be the only case of a rare disease that had never before been found. To get a better understanding of the real murderer who took away their only daughter, her parent allowed us to perform the final craniotomy.

The surgery was not difficult, the sharp bone saw sliced through her shaved head with ease, the skull trembled in a trilling noise. Suddenly, my heart was filled by a sick emotion, it's the excitement that a kid would have when he's ripping off the package of a new toy. I shook this blasphemous thought off my mind, it was just a complete disrespect.

Putting down the bone saw, I gently put my fingers on the piece of bone laying feebly on the brain. "This is it," I told myself, "all that's hidden will be revealed now."

I was prepared for anything I might see in there. Grim tumor, foreign matters, even squirming maggot.

That piece of skull was oddly heavy, I had to lift so hard in order to pick it up. But when I finally took a peek into the mess hidden beneath, everything snapped into place. In fear, I almost threw that piece of bone away, with the nightmare attached to it.

The image I saw still haunted me now— it's like a figment of the Elder Gods, driving me into madness —and I am afraid of seeing myself turning into the alike.

I didn't know what caused these terrible things to grew inward, breaking through the hard bone brutally until they reached the other side. This couldn't be a disease, this was a curse, an incubus left over from the dark age. The girl's body was soon cremated, burnt into ashes, along with that damned existence lurking inside her. I had hoped to prompt a strong reaction throughout the medical community by discovering a new lethal disease, but all I want now is to forget all these nightmares.

I can never ever forget it, though…this ghost will never let me escape.

Countless black threads grew on the inner surface of the skull, penetrated the soft brain tissue, tangled with the pink flesh beneath. They're like some disgusting nematode, lustily piercing through her head.

Like a web built by the spider— or something else from the depths of the abyss —her brain was embraced within this deadly trap.

That's hair.


And there's more of them.

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