One day in my teenage years, my stepdad decided that we should go on hike near one of our favorite parks. We had a lovely time traveling along the grassy boulevard, and we headed home after an hour or so, emerald-leafed bowers prominent in our hearts.
Later that evening, I was reading when I noticed a small, ebony insect crawl across the yellowing page. I realized it was a tick and slammed the book shut, hoping that it would slay the blood-sucker. Heart pounding with adrenaline, I fled to the other side of the living room, clinging to a brass lamp while I pondered if I had truly conquered the tick. I decided to retreat to my bedroom and call it a night.
The next morning, I stumbled downstairs to eat breakfast. I rubbed at my eyes in an effort to dislodge the crust which had formed while I slumbered. As I ate, I continued to absentmindedly worry away at the persistent coating on my left eyelid. Suddenly, a repulsive thought popped into my mind. I walked shakily into the bathroom and examined the mirror, confirming my horrifying suspicions.
There was a tick latched onto my eyelid.
Distress robbed my lungs of oxygen as I stared incredulously at this appalling reality forcibly holding itself on one of the most fragile parts of my body. I fell against the toothpaste-stained porcelain sink as my knees gave way. After a brief moment of self-pity, I girded my loins.
Merely brushing at the tick proved fruitless; more radical measures were required. I woke my mother and requested her assistance. She dithered about uselessly, unable to rise to the occasion and eliminate the vampiric freeloader. She whimpered softly as her quivering hand approached my face, tweezers agape.
“Give me those damn things.” I snapped at her, snatching the tweezers from her trembling grasp. I would vanquish this parasitic demon spawn, even if I had to do it myself. Peering into the mirror, I closed my left eye and concentrated on the task at hand.
“Oh god, there’s a tick on her eyelid, oh my god.” My mother moaned in the background, an annoyingly constant litany of fears and exclamations. She continued to wring her hands worriedly as she babbled.
I ignored her. The tick was hanging on with all of its legs and pincers, but it had not buried its head. I knew time was of the essence if I wanted to prevent a loss of vision or permanent damage. Angered by the uselessness of my mother and the distress of the situation, I analyzed the state of affairs in greater detail.
I was frustrated by the position of the tick; I could only see it properly if I kept my left eye closed, reducing my depth perception. The required utilization of the mirror further complicated the issue. The cool metal of the tweezers nipped my skin accidentally, slipping off the tick’s smooth exterior. I swore quietly. After a few tries I was able to securely grasps the blood-sucking lucifer.
The prying instrument flashed silver in the reflected light of the mirror. With one commanding yank, I plucked the obsidian vampire from my face. The parasite refused to relinquish its hold without a fight; it wrenched a chunk of my flesh off as it was unceremoniously removed from the delicate skin of my eyelid. I flushed it down the toilet, my laughter a bit unstable as I reveled in my victory over this unholy adversary.
I steadied myself once more and sponged rubbing alcohol onto the torn skin, clenching my teeth as the sting of the disinfectant touched my open wound. My mother stumbled back into her bedroom without another word. Afterward, I continued with my daily preparations feeling more like a badass than ever.