Do you like tapioca?

Niyati Pancholi / Sputnik Photography
Bubble tea.

I’ve never been a fan, personally. Solids in my liquid? No thank you.  

I groaned internally when the barista handed me my drink, tapioca and all. I’m too shy to tell them they got the order wrong, so I just head out. 

As I get home, I somehow found a way to drink all the liquid without swallowing any tapioca.  

I put the cup down on my counter-top — I’d dispose of the tapioca later. Guess what I forgot to do that night. I woke up, seeing the cup still on my counter.  

The tapioca pearls looked a little different than what I had remembered. They looked almost… hard? Like they grew some sort of shell. I took one out of the cup, inspecting it in my hand. Weird. It almost looked like…crack.  

A small piece of the pearl breaks open.  


A long, slender leg pokes out.  


Some kind of spider-like creature stood in the center of my palm.  


I watched, frozen, as one by one, each of the tapioca pearls began to hatch. The last thing I saw was dozens of spiders crawling towards me at an impossibly fast speed as they scrambled inside my eyes, nose and ears. To this day, I can still feel them crawling around inside my brain. 

This story was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 7 on Thursday, March 7.

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