From SPORE, early draft, changes certain.
Sean staggered to the bathroom to relieve
his inconvenient bladder. As he rubbed his face and stumbled back toward bed,
movement in the mirror caught his eye.
He glanced over without thinking, his
sex-and-sleep-hazed brain expecting to glimpse the familiar reflection of
himself, but instead a towering Minotaur glared at him from within the shower,
one horn distorted by a crack across the mirror's corner.
Sean yelped, scrambling to face the
beast, his spine and buttocks crushed against the vanity, but the shower stood
empty except for the bottle of store-brand shampoo, a washcloth, and a bar of
What the hell? He leaned toward the shower without leaving the
steady assurance of the vanity, and yanked the curtain aside. Empty.
"Babe?" Mare asked from the
bedroom, their bed creaking as she moved. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." He sagged and rubbed
his eyes. He pulled his hand away and braved another glance into the shower
then let out a sigh of relief. Same old boring fiberglass stall as always.
"Just thought I saw something."
He heard Mare flump back upon the bed.
"Maybe you need another one of those pills so we both can get some
"Maybe." He peered around the
narrow accordion of curtain but saw nothing but shower. Nothing in the linen
cabinet or near the toilet, either. Sighing and cursing his overly creative
imagination, he turned around to open the medicine cabinet, then swallowed a
The Minotaur loomed where he had been
before, grinning, his head tilted forward to make room for his horns while a
slow dribble of drool leaked from his horrid jaws. "Missed you," the
beast grumbled, its thick, pointed tongue licking blood from bovine lips.
"I'd almost forgotten how tasty children are."
"It's not real," Sean
whispered, opening the cabinet and snatching the bottle of pills off the shelf.
He heard the Minotaur's bellowing breath
and smelled his vile animal stink. Despite the tremor in his hands, Sean
managed to shake out a single pill. He dry swallowed it and put the bottle back
into the cabinet. Then he slammed the door and jumped.
"Still here, Sean," the
Minotaur's reflection assured him. His horns had gouged wounds into the shower
ceiling until bright plaster salted the shaggy mess of his topknot and
Sean met the beast's fiery gaze.
"I'm not afraid of my imagination," he said, hands balling on the
The Minotaur chuckled, the movement
dusting fresh plaster flecks upon him. He reached out and Sean froze, too
terrified to move, as the Minotaur caressed the back of his head then dragged
one hard claw down his spine to the cleft between his buttocks. "I think
you're lying to me, Sean. Last time you lied to me, I fed pieces of your belly
to my Lulu." He gripped Sean's buttock, much like Mare had minutes
earlier. "Maybe this time I'll give her different meat."
"You're a dream," Sean said,
skittering toward the toilet and away from the cold bite of nails on his ass.
"A filthy, fucked up dream. No one cut open my belly, no dog ate my feet.
Ever. Get out of my head. You're just a goddamn dream."
"Sean?" Mare eased the door
open. "Everything all right?"
The shower was empty, as it should
have been, and he nodded. "Yeah. I'm okay," he said, closing his eyes
as he brushed past her. He dare not glance in the mirror.