by J. C. Eickelberg
“I can’t stand this cold,” Beth said, sounding as miserable as she felt.
“You’ll get over it fast,” Isabel said. “You always do.” Her roommate said this, dressed for a night out. Beth watched her finish getting ready for a fun night.
“You look amazing. I wish I could join you.” Beth sat wearing old sweats and a headband holding back messed up hair. “I’m not going to give anyone this cold.”
“I’ve seen you go before with a cold.”
“Not like this one. I can barely hear. Can’t smell anything. Szechuan chicken didn’t even touch this congestion.” She blew her nose, filling a tissue.
Isabel wished her the best and left.
“God. I want this cold to be done,” Beth grumbled. “My heads gonna burst.”
“No, it’s not,” a little voice said.
She passed it off. Five nights of less than adequate sleep was making her loopy. This was as much from lack of sleep as all the meds she’d consumed.
“Drink more water,” the voice said.
She didn’t want to drink more water. If she did she’d have to pee more often. At this point she was just too tired to get off the couch. Constant sniffling kept tissue boxes present wherever she went in her apartment. Sudden sneezing made for a strong need for her current closest friend, a box of tissues. Sneezing receded, but the tissues remained ready. She took a deep breath. She released a great load of snot. The pressure was suddenly gone. Relief washed over her.
Reaching for a trashcan, she felt something unusual. Beth was disgusted enough by the amount of snot she produced. This current load felt a lot more dense than others.
“Yuck,” she declared at the mass in the tissue.
“You think it was pleasant in there?” came a response. Beth looked at her hand. In the tissue was a greenish yellow slug looking back at her. “I’ve seen nicer places than your nose.”
She screamed and threw the gelatinous mess in the trash. She nearly gagged running to wash her hands.
J.C. works and lives in Wisconsin. He has a beautiful wife and two active boys. He enjoys spending time with family, reading, and, time permitting, writing. Haunted and spooky places have always intrigued him.