I first noticed it three weeks ago. I’d been playing video games with my friends, and when I went to talk into the mic, it was there. I coughed a bit, and then swallowed hard, trying to force the hair in my throat up or wash it down, but it didn’t budge. I got up from my game and took a long drink of water from the sink, but it didn’t go away. Ultimately I decided I’d just wait for it to pass, as these things always did with time, and returned to my game.
But it didn’t pass. Every morning I’d wake up coughing, my body trying to force it out. Every afternoon I’d have to stop mid-call (I’m a customer support guy for a local phone company) and clear my throat a few times. Every night I’d find some thick pasta or dense soup to try and dislodge it when I ate dinner. It didn’t get rid of the hair, but eating did make it feel a little better, like the food would press it down, make it stick up less or something.
After the first week passed and the hair was still there, I got a little angry. Maybe I was acting unreasonable, even childish, but you don’t know how frustrating it was. Every conversation, every peaceful night’s sleep, interrupted by this damned hair causing me to cough. I started to eat much more than before just to make the feeling go away a little. I was constantly eating, and after two weeks I had started to put on weight, even more than I thought I should have. My stomach didn’t swell much, but when I looked in the mirror I saw my neck was fat and swollen. I thought about going to the doctor, but I didn’t have good insurance, and I figured they would just laugh at my complaint. A hair in my throat? What did I want them to do, pull it out with tweezers?
When that thought crossed my mind, I practically raced out to my car, driving 25 above the speed limit to the closest Walgreens to buy some tweezers, the really long kind. I stood in front of my mirror at home, tweezers in my shaking hand, and stared at my own reflection. I was afraid of what might happen, what if I missed and cut myself? What if I yanked on something important? I almost backed out, but then the thought of this all being over, of that damn hair being gone, it drove me forward.
I shoved my hand into my mouth, carefully feeling around with the tweezers as they got lower and deeper into my throat. I was surprised I hadn’t gagged yet, they were so deep it made my stomach turn, but I had to go farther still. I pushed my hand further into my mouth, trying to reach where I knew the hair was, when suddenly, the tweezers must have slipped from my fingers. It felt more like they were yanked from my hand, but that was impossible, right?
Regardless of how it happened, the tweezers tumbled down into my throat, and…nothing. I expected to feel some sharp pain, feel them jab somewhere they shouldn’t have, but it was like they had vanished. I was really scared after that, I thought about how those tweezers would have to leave my body and resigned myself to paying for a trip to the doctor.
It was the next day, they let me in asap when they heard what I’d swallowed, making sure I only drank clear fluids, and ate no solid food. When I finally sat face to face with my doctor and told him everything that had happened, he nodded and wrote down on his pad, his face calm, but his skin growing a little pale. He said I would have to go through “endoscopy”. Basically, he was going to shove a tube down my throat with a camera on it and pull the tweezers out. He had me change into a gown and lie down on a bed. A few other nurses gathered around to help with the procedure, and they gave me a light sedative to help me relax.
I woke up choking and gasping. I was laying in a hospital bed, lights flickering, and an endoscope lodged in the back of my throat. I reached up and started to pull it out, holding back vomit as I did. It hurt, it wasn’t supposed to hurt! When I finally yanked it free, I got up off the bed. My legs were shaking and I needed to lean on the bed frame for support as I looked around. The room was empty, no nurse, no doctor, the whole room trashed with bits of furniture and tools strewn around. I saw little speckles on the wall, small glinting dots, and touched one with my finger. They were drops of blood, little pin-pricks all over the wall, but no large smears or splatters.
My head was spinning as I looked around, my heart throbbing as I thought about what could have happened, and where the doctor had gone. I staggered out of the room, calling for help, trying to find anyone around, but as I went from room to room, legs growing stronger and faster again, I found no one. The entire building was empty and trashed, every desk, chair, and table knocked over, and more pinpricks of blood on the walls. I returned to the procedure room, planning on grabbing my things and calling the police, but I saw a monitor blinking next to the bed I had woken up on, a pause button at its center. Hesitantly, I pressed it, seeing a video from the endoscope as it began to slide down my throat. It was gross, seeing the light pink walls of my innards contracting and releasing around the camera as it pressed deeper, moving down a wrinkled tube of flesh.
There was no sound, just the endoscope moving deeper into my body. I felt relieved for a moment when they found the hair, and then…confused. It was hardly a hair, more like a thin claw; a thick, black, pointy talon sticking out of a swollen mound in my flesh. It wriggled, tapping on the side of my throat a few times, and as the doctor moved the endoscope closer, I saw that below it, my throat opened up into a pure black chamber, so big that the light on the endoscope was unable to see anything other than a long thin cord of flesh attached to the swollen mound where the hair was, the cord leading off somewhere deeper into the chamber.
The doctor seemed to hesitate here, slowly turning the scope around and trying to figure out what the chamber was, unable to see the walls or bottom, before slowly pushing it further inside as he followed the cord of flesh. For about 60 seconds, there was nothing. Blackness as far as the camera could detect, but I started to see movement. It looked like dancing shadows at first, little flickers of movement that I passed off as my mind creating images in the dark, but as they became more frequent, the doctor seemed to react to them as well, the endoscope jerking a little whenever one would appear, or trying to follow it. Sometimes they would flick close to the light, just enough to make out a slight shape and color. They were a dark red, almost black, with just enough color to stand out in the dark a little, and they seemed long, like the body of a snake, moving up towards the endoscope almost curiously, before darting away again.
For a moment, I forgot this was footage taken inside of my body, and not some deep space documentary. I rested my hand on my stomach, feeling for any sign of movement to prove that this was real, but getting none. I turned my head to look at the endoscope lying on the floor, seeing just how…how long it was. It was longer than me, longer than me and the doctor if we stood on each other’s shoulders. How far had he sent that thing into this pit inside of me without reaching the end or another chamber?
My attention was drawn back to the screen when I saw movement from the corner of my eye. More of those shapes were coming near, and they seemed much bolder. They pushed past the endoscope, coating it in a thick slime as they coiled around it, moving up beyond where it could see, and for a while, all the camera caught was thrashing tubes of red flesh as it was wedged between them. I watched for a while, waiting for anything else to happen, and the last thing I saw before the footage ended has my world spinning. I don’t…understand it, how it could have happened, how he could have got there. It doesn’t make any sense. I’ve thought about taking the footage to the police, but I’m afraid of what will happen to me if I do. What if they arrest me, say I did that somehow? Or worse, what if they put me in a lab and dissect me. But I’m almost more afraid of what’s going to happen to me next if I don’t get help, because the very last thing I saw before the footage ended…
Was the doctor, being dragged into the depths of that pit.
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