The Appointment by Karl Lykken


“I wasn’t expecting you back so soon,” Dr. Dunkelheit says, showing a brief look of genuine concern before his usual stoicism reclaims him. “It’s only been six weeks, yes?”

“That’s right,” I confirm. “I’m not here about my stomach pains this time, though. I’m here about this.” I lift up my shirt and show him the purplish growth on the side of my gut. Not that the shirt did a great job of concealing it anyway. “Frankly I wish it was just more stomach pains.”

“When did you notice this growth?” Dunkelheit says, bending down to examine it.

“Yesterday. I got bit by a spider. At first I thought the bite was just swelling up a bit, but then it got so hard and just kept growing. I mean, you could fit a tennis ball in there! That can’t just be a normal spider bite, right?”    

“No, but I’ve seen this before,” Dunkelheit says, pulling on a pair of gloves. “It’s nothing you need to worry about, but I need to move quickly. We don’t have time to schedule an operation, so I’ll just remove it myself.”

“Wait, what?” Panic sweeps through me. “Why is it so urgent? Shouldn’t I get a scan or something first?”

“Try to relax,” Dunkelheit says, motioning for me to lie back on the bed. “You’re just having a reaction to the bite. This is a simple procedure, but it’s important that I start draining the fluid right away. Otherwise it may burst.”


“Don’t worry; I won’t let that happen. And on the bright side, since I’m performing the operation you won’t have to pay for a surgeon.” He gives me a smile that I know is meant to be comforting.

“It’s not my wallet that I’m worried about right now, Doc.”

“You don’t need to be worried about anything. I’ve done this many times before.” His voice is calm, but his eyes are not. God, what kind of bite is this?

He moves toward the counter and readies a pair of hypodermic needles. “I’m going to give you an amnesiac,” he says, bringing over one of the syringes and rubbing an alcohol swab over my arm.

“Jesus, Doc, this has got to be nasty if you don’t want me to remember it. What is this thing?”

“It’s nothing. The amnesiac is just because I prefer to operate in the nude, and I don’t want to give you nightmares,” he says with a smirk. I would chuckle if I wasn’t so terrified. He gives me the injection and then picks up the other syringe. “Now I’m going to give you a local anesthetic.”

I feel a small prick as he sticks in the second needle, then soon nothing at all around my stomach. “That amnesiac should already be kicking in,” he continues. “So we can go ahead and get started.”

I angle my head so that I can see the growth. The doctor brings over a small surgical tray and picks up a scalpel. He makes a small incision along the top of the bite, and a foul odor issues out from it. I wonder if he’s cutting into my bowels. I see him set down the scalpel on the tray and then reach into the growth. He pulls out–what is that? What the hell is that? He sets the thing down on the tray, its wings and pincers limp and lifeless.

“Damn. Spider bites can induce early birth, but six weeks was far too premature for him to survive,” Dunkelheit says. “I’m afraid we’ll have to try again.” His mouth opens wide, his cheeks forced apart by two long pincers, and a stinger snakes its way out from his throat. I want to recoil, but I’m paralyzed from either the drugs or my fright. He bends down and lets the stinger plunge deep into the middle of the deflated growth. I try to scream but nothing comes out.

Dunkelheit stands up straight, the pincers and stinger sliding back into  his throat. He rotates his head, cracking his neck joints. “Now then, hopefully it will be a good eight weeks before you need to come for your next appointment.”     


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Deadman’s Tome Book of Horrors Anthology

Deadman’s Tome is a growing horror zine that publishes short stories and flash fiction whether it’s ghost stories, zombie invasions, bigfoot sightings, slasher sprees, bizarre fiction, classic horror literature, lovecraftian literature, or erotica. The darker the tale the better. take The Appointment for example, a story of body horror, spiders, and wicked doctors. If you’re thinking where to submit horror short stories then consider Deadman’s Tome. If you enjoyed the story, or even if you didn’t, leave a comment below as it helps the authors.



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