"D-D-D-Double opened up! I can see inside Double!"
"I've done it, Kevin! I've successfully gene-spliced this chipmunk with a piece of provolone cheese!"
"Why are his eyes mouths?!"
"It was fascinating to watch those tentacles grow out of your eyes."
It started with stomach spasms that felt like writhing lamprey nests hatching in his belly. Then, Joe could hear the hag-fish singing in the crushing depths
, even when he pretended he could not, even when the Q-tips snapped in half in his bloody ears. Madness bubbled in his brain like the bends. Then pale flesh.
Then barnacle sores and wriggling growths and sea cucumber discharges. Now Joe feels the itch and burn as different species of coral battle for primacy of his chest, spitting up their digestive enzymes in time-lapse warfare. Something scuttles out of one body cavity, to be eaten by something hiding in another.