Not Quite Kafka – A Different Sort of Metamorphosis

First draft of a story I’m working on. Feedback would be appreciated.

– Jason


(presently untitled)

Roger only wanted to wash the dishes quickly and move on to find some more amusing diversion. His quiet cube of an apartment, with sickly yellow walls and cracked off-white tiles, was depressing him on this unremarkable afternoon. The towers on each side of the sink – constructed from a sticky jumble of dishes, silverware, coffee mugs – loomed menacingly high in the room’s pale blue light.

Roger approached the sink slowly, but without hesitation. He stopped only when his eyes spotted something moving at the back of the kitchen counter. Roger looked closer and fixed his gaze upon the intruder, a brown insect of unsure origin. He tried to analyze the situation carefully as the insect began moving along the counter. Something had to be done.

The insect was about one inch long, probably a quarter inch wide. It seemed to be composed of various parts, all connected but each unmistakably distinct. The creature moved on six tiny legs, taking a few quick steps and then pausing for a short while before going again. It seemed to wander back and forth rather aimlessly, as if it were either exploring the strange territory or bored with the familiarity of the place.

Roger considered ignoring the strange bug and washing the dishes as if he had seen nothing. He knew that plan wouldn’t work. The fear came, much as he had expected, and he knew for sure that this insect was different from all the others he had ever seen. Roger had never liked bugs, but there really was something unsettling about this particular invader.

Roger had to kill the enemy lurking upon his kitchen counter.

He found a long knife in a drawer, perfect for stabbing from a distance. Roger took a step away from the counter, just in case the insect decided to leap at him. His first stab was a miss as the insect scurried away, taking shelter behind the stack of dirty dishes.

Roger walked around to the side of the counter and tried attacking from a new angle. The serrated blade came down upon the insect’s back, but it did not cut the creature in half. The victim seemed to crunch beneath the knife, but its body continued to wriggle excitedly. Roger watched the insect make it’s way out from beneath the teeth of the knife.

Fearing that the thing might try to crawl along the blade and up onto his arm, Roger flung the knife into the sink and leapt away. He tried to spot the enemy from his new vantage point, but the insect seemed to be gone. Roger approached hesitantly, inspecting the area around the sink from several angles. The insect was nowhere.

Roger backed away helplessly from the sink and found himself in the middle of the kitchen, spinning in slow circles with wide eyes. He was watching everything, inspecting each inch of space for any trace of the insect invader. The room was full of ominous signs: the intricate spider webs growing on the ceiling, the unbearable and unrecognizable stench of the trash can, the mysterious new mess that the had cat vomited up on the floor – everything was evidence of the insect’s presence; an omen that it would return again; cause, effect, and coincidence all at the same time.

He could imagine the insect in the black waters of his coffee mug, hidden from view. Roger could feel the thing writhing in his throat with each sip that he took. The hairs on his arms stood up, and he knew that the insect was now crawling upon his flesh. Every spot on the ceiling and stain on the wall became a new mutation of the creature, a new model designed solely for Roger’s destruction.

Roger abandoned all his paranoid fantasies when he saw the real insect come crawling back into view.

The creature emerged from a crack in the spot where counter and wall intersect. Roger watched tiny pieces of the wall crumble away, the hole widening as the insect crawled through. The thing was several times larger than the insect Roger had originally done battle with, but he knew that this was unmistakably the same enemy.

Aside from its size, the insect was almost identical to its earlier incarnation. Roger was backing out of the kitchen, but he felt drawn to remain. He watched from across the room, trying to figure out what else about the creature had changed. He noticed the two flaps pressed flat against the creature’s back only moments before they spread out into great webbed wings.

Roger ran from the kitchen. He fell to the floor in the middle of his living room when the insect descended upon his back. Roger felt a great weight spread out from shoulder to shoulder. The insect had grown in the few short seconds it had taken the thing to fly from one room to another. It was growing larger still.

Roger batted at the wings as they closed around his head, enveloping him in a cloud of confused restraint. He could still breath, but it took a long time to fill his lungs, sucking wearily through the thick web of sticky wing stuff. Roger looked around the room as if he were staring through tinted glasses. Everything appeared gray and silver, shimmering with an unnatural light.

The insect was spreading out across Robert’s back. The wings became tighter around his head. Breathing was more difficult and his vision started to fade. The insect was quivering now, pulsating with a frenzy that only increased as the creature grew to swallow Roger’s body inside of its own.

When the insect had wrapped itself entirely around Roger’s mortal machinery, he was in a state of complete sensory deprivation. He no longer felt anything. His mind was racing too fast for him to grasp on to any one thought. Then he was vaguely aware of something happening far away, in the physical world. A shrinking in someplace entirely disconnected from the infinite void in his head. Something called Roger that no longer mattered to this particle floating in the vast network of space.

The insect sat in the middle of Roger’s living room, a fat, pulsating mass of liquid tissue and fine silvery webs. The wings wrapped around the exposed insect-flesh of the body, creating a wiry coat. Then the strands began to tighten. The insect’s body shrank slowly, compressing itself into increasingly smaller and more complex incarnations.

The bug which remained on the floor was only about an inch long, maybe a quarter inch thick. It scurried away, disappearing into a crack in the wall. Within the dark cavity, the insect continued to shrink further and further until it was nothing more than a particle of dust. The ghost of some ancient breeze carried the speck far away, deep into the infinitesimal mazes inside the wall, deep into the most distant corners of outer space.

By The Evil Cheezman

Purveyor of sacred truths and purloined letters; literary acrobat; spiritual godson of Edgar Allan Poe, P.T. Barnum, and Ed Wood; WAYNE MILLER is the head architect of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, serving up the finest in entertainment and edification for the stage, the page, and the twain screens, silver and computer. He is the axe-murderer who once met Andy Griffith.


  1. wow…thats a really bizarre, cool story….i like it…it’s one of those stories which makes you nervouse for the rest of the day about bugs and dust particles…*shudder*…

  2. that totally creeped me out since i hate bugs and all. its a good story tho.

  3. it reminds me of roaches …they discust me and make me feel faint..the only bugs that make me feel that way…they trully scare me …anyway your story was beautifully written i cant wait to read more ..even though it kinda creeped me out…you made me feel bugs crawling on me lol i kept brushing my legs and arms off 🙂 nicely done ….Summer

  4. Absolutely excellent. Your descriptions sent chills up my spine. If this is going to be a longer story, however, you may need to cut out some descriptions and details. But overall, it was a gripping, fascinating, terrifying story, one which I personally really enjoyed reading.

Comments are closed.