Becky woke up with a stuffy nose and a slight headache. She didn't think much of it; with the change in temperature and the way the plants were reacting to the recent rain, her allergies had been acting up for the last week. Besides, she didn't have to get to work for another three hours, and she didn't have any deadlines looming for her classes.
She made herself a cup of tea, and ate a blueberry muffin for breakfast. She could still feel the pressure behind her eyes, so she took a couple of painkillers and some decongestant, and drew herself a hot bath. She found a book and settled in, hoping the heat and the steam would help loosen things up.
Half an hour later, Becky's headache suddenly worsened. She sat up in the bath, and unexpected sneezed. For a brief moment, the pressure eased - and some of the pain went with it. She was reaching for something to wipe her nose with when she felt something pull itself back up into her nostrils. The pain was back, and worse than ever: she felt something crack inside her head.
Her boyfriend found her in the bathtub when he came home from class an hour later. She was still breathing, but only barely; the EMTs said things like "deep shock" and "blood loss" and "trauma" and studiously avoided noticing the way her face had been broken outward from the inside.
Weeks passed. Enormous amounts of time and money and effort went into reparative surgeries. Counselors and law enforcement officials, family and friends: everyone wanted to know what had happened to Becky. But Becky almost never spoke again, and when she did it was only to say, over and over: "It hatched. It hatched. It hatched."