Before I split with Avel and went to work for Mr. Oulara, there was about a year when things were good. Great, even. I mean, I wasn't treated like a princess or anything, but he didn't run off when the police were coming and stuff like that.
The weather was strangely rainy that summer. I should have taken that as a clue that everything else would be strange, too. But, no. I maintained a positive outlook. Silly me.
So it was a Tuesday, and we didn't have a con going, which was even stranger that the rain wildly pattering on the windows and roof. Avel was reading a book about Nikola Tesla, and I was trying to think of something sweet and clever to write in my sister's birthday card.
"What was that?" Avel shut his book quickly and sat up straight, head cocked to the side in prime listening mode.
"I didn't hear anything," I said, the end of my pen clenched between my teeth.
"It came from the back," he said.
I grunted. His house was large, and we were in the den near the front of the house. I have no idea how he'd heard anything. But Avel stood up and dropped his book on the couch. "I'll be back. I'm gonna go check on things."
"Uh-huh," I said, writing You're freaking AWESOME very carefully in the center of the blank space of my sister's card.
Avel stepped over me and I tried to playfully grab his foot as he did, but he just ignored me. I labeled the envelope, stuck the card in, and licked the nasty adhesive. I was pinching it all together to make sure it stuck when I heard Avel scream.
I was on my feet and halfway to the back door before he could call my name again. I was moving so fast I almost forgot to slide the glass door open before I barged through it.
Avel was writhing on the grass, sopping wet. His hands were clawing at something on his left hip, and he was still screaming.
I blinked in the rain and almost face-planted on the slipperyness of the ground. "What's wrong? What is it?" I had to yell over Avel's screams. I landed on my knees next to him and tried to keep him from writhing. I couldn't see anything in that dang rain, and he just wouldn't stop moving.
"It's on me! God! Shit! It's on me!"
"What?" I reached and rolled him over, half sitting on him so he couldn't twist away. I could feel something hot and fuzzy stuck on him, just underneath his ribcage on his left side. "Stop moving!"
Avel shuddered and held his arms aloft, struggling not to move. The fuzzy thing squeaked when I poked it.
I breathed deeply, flinging soaked hair out of my eyes. The fuzzy thing was literally attached to Avel. I carefully lifted the fur on the sides and saw that it had tentacles...tentacles that had burned through Avel's t-shirt and were now sinking into his skin.
"Oh, shhhh...oot," I said, trying to not sound too freaked out.
"Get it off!" Avel yelled.
I stuck my fingers under the green fur and pulled. Avel screamed, and the thing screeched. The tentacles stretched to their limit but didn't come free. The thing shivered and pulled itself back down, landing with a THWOP against Avel's ribs.
"I...uh, I don't think it's going to come off."
So I stood up, got on the same side as the thing, and grabbed it. And pulled. And yanked. And twisted. But that little booger had a death grip on my boyfriend. I gave it one last pull, a pull which was so hard and ill-planned that I ended up on my butt on the ground, thunder and lightning overhead, icy rain pelting my freezing skin.
Avel stopped writhing and screaming long enough to yank me up and drag me inside, where we would hopefully have better luck detaching the fuzzy green parasite.