It

I dreamed it, and now it’s mine…

The vile thing cries out from under the bed, demanding to be fed when I nurse Joey. I try to ignore it, but I’m its mother, and I can’t.

I can’t!

Lord knows I’ve tried.

Its wet screeching affects me every bit as much as Joey’s soft cries. I can’t deny it substance. So I gather its scaly body to my breast, hot pain piercing my nipple as its teeth sinks in, and it feeds, first on my milk, then my blood.

It’s growing faster than Joey, barely a month old and already crawling. How long before it walks? How long before it will be able to climb unaided into bed with me? How long before it can clamber up the side of Joey’s crib?

I have to kill it before I’m any weaker.

I can do this. I have the knife in my hand.

Freshly fed, stomach full of my milk and blood, it’s sleeping in its dark nest under the bed. Now is the time.

I hunker to my knees, raise the knife, and slowly lift the bedskirt.

There the evil thing is, lying on its side facing me, its long pink tail curled over its eyes like some obscene sleeping mask.

Joey whimpers.

I glance over my shoulder, lay a finger over my lips “shh”, then turn back to my other son—

And see a dark blur of movement, angry red eyes, and a huge, suckered mouth full of needle teeth. Then pain—oh god, the pain—and darkness as those teeth close over my face. And rip.

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