First Draft

Page 8


All four closet doors flew open at once, to the sound of another shriek – this one of repulsion and terror. Benjamin covered himself with his hands, spun around, and crouched below the window sill. Down from the dark space of the closet ceiling, a giant, reddish-pink tentacle unfurled in haste. Benjamin hobbled towards the closet, stepping over the motionless corpse of the stomping thing, and reached down for the towel that had fallen onto the floor beside it. But before he could get to it, the tentacle darted down and snatched it up. It whipped the damp towel back and hurled it at Ben’s unmentionables. He let out an “oomph” of pain as he caught it. From within the obscured space of the closet ceiling emanated a sound that was clearly meant to scold. “Whoob whoob-whoob, whoop whoob wub!” It was a high-pitched voice – which was somewhat unexpected, given the apparent size of the beast.

Four more gigantic tentacles unfolded down and out from within the closet ceiling, as Ben clutched the wadded towel at his lower torso. They all set to work with military-like speed and precision. One tentacle reached into Benjamin’s underwear bin, grabbed a pair of black and red boxer briefs, and then flung them at his face. Ben caught them, perturbed. And these were his favorite pair of underwear – why waste them on a crappy Tuesday? As four of the tentacles set to work rifling through his clothes – picking up pants, holding them up next to various styles and colors of shirts, putting the pants back, trying on other shirts – the fifth one picked up a pair of black and blue boxer briefs, and saucily flicked them onto the floor at Benjamin’s feet. Then, with equal attitude, it snatched the red pair from his hand, threw it back in the bin, and then set about flicking through his ties.

The poor creature let out an exasperated whine, clearly dissatisfied with the selection with which it was forced to work with. It certainly was taking its sweet time. Hurriedly, Ben pulled on his underwear and looked at the clock. He didn’t have time to mess around. A faint flicker of red light from the lifeless heart caught his eye. He looked down at the gelatinous bag, still lifeless on the floor. It’s foot twitched slightly, tapping the floor with a dull thud. No, there absolutely was no time for this.

Ben hurried to the closet, pushing his way around, through and under the acrobatic tentacles, which could hardly care less about his presence. That is, save for when he picked up a pair of pleated khakis. Without hesitation, one tentacle snatched the hanger from his hand and dumped the pants into the laundry basket. Again agitated, Ben picked up the next pair of pants that he could get ahold of, as well as a shirt and a pair of shoes. He gracefully bobbed and weaved his way out from the closet, past the flying tentacles, and under a pair of corduroys that were being held up next to a green button-down shirt.

Ben scurried to the opposite side of the bed, where he dressed himself with a general lack of concern for style or sheen. A red flicker caught his attention once more. His hands sped about himself, tucking in his collared t-shirt, pulling up his socks, buckling his belt. He was trying desperately to make up for lost time, and he felt that it was working.

The tentacled beast finally decided which shirt it preferred.

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