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Amber McGlothlin | Naomi McLeod

Lori was panic-stricken, not knowing whether to move or not. The gaping maw inches from her face had sharp tendrils extending from its edges, and dripped with an unidentifiable substance. The creature to which it was attached hadn’t touched her yet, but she was terrified that it was going to.

She had been reluctant to move in with her boyfriend, Spencer, and this was their first night sharing the apartment. Before going to sleep, he’d said to her, almost as an afterthought, “Oh, don’t feed my friend under the bed.” Then he kissed her on the forehead and turned to face the wall.

She had laughed at the time.

It was around 2:30 a.m. when she awoke to the feeling of hot breath on her face, and thinking it was Spencer, casually brushed him away. But it wasn’t Spencer, and she opened her eyes to see what must be his “friend” poised next to her, its briery digits pointing into a mouth apparently begging for food. I guess he wasn’t joking, she thought.

Unsure of how much time had passed since then, Lori grew more trepidatious by the second, and made the decision to disregard Spencer’s advice. Being in the habit of keeping a granola bar in her purse, she reached down slowly to retrieve it. Unwrapping the food very quietly, she tossed it into the orifice in front of her, and immediately regretted doing so, as the monstrosity reared back and howled, spewing a giant mess all over the ceiling.

Spencer sat up, sighed, and tossed a shoe at the creature, which retreated under the bed with a whimper.

“I told you not to feed him,” he said, rolling back over. “You’re cleaning that up tomorrow.”

About Amber McGlothlin

Amber McGlothlin lives in the Northern Virginia suburbs near Washington D.C. with her husband and four of their combined five children. She is a contributing writer for The Haystack, a blog combining original content with links from around the web. In addition to writing short stories, Amber is currently working on the second draft of her first novel, and enjoys dabbling in poetry from time to time.

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