She looked into its eyes, and it looked right back at her.

Some minutes earlier, Mary had gone into the kitchen hoping to eat the wrap of semolina she left over from the night before. She was hungry as hell. The wrap of semolina was sitting atop the kitchen slab. Mary knew something was not right about everything. She picked up the wrap and inspected it with trepidation. Her doubt had been ascertained, the dubious rat had visited the kitchen overnight and done what it was best known for, eating. Mary hated the way the rat ate into the wrap of semolina.

“If they can’t eat everything, then why even try!” she yelled in anger.

She was so hungry. She looked at the wrap and though, ‘Can I at least salvage some part of this food?’ but she knew better than to eat what had been tasted by a rat, lassa fever among her fears. That hollow space of missing semovita kept poking at her, infuriating her the more.

“I must kill this rat today,” she said.

But she wanted to do it in a way that won’t wake mum and dad, because today the rat must die. Enough of the eatings, enough of trespassing the line between the world of rodents and humans. It had to die.

She picked up a broom, which was the closest thing she could grab in anger.

“Where are you, bloody thing? You must die today,” she uttered once more.

Angrily but silently, she started shifting kitchen items away from the wall to give her room to fish the stubborn rat out. Once in a while, something cranked, but not enough to wake sleeping mum and dad.

She saw it. Something moved, so fast, but she saw it.

“Time to die, you’re running, but time to eat you won’t run. Today is the day,” she gasped.

She could ear it clamber against the cartons of electrical appliances that were on the floor. She knew she was close to it. It had little or no space to run or hide.

As soon as she heard it leave the kitchen, she ran out and bolted the door. The sitting room was a cozy area with exposed corners. This was her turf, the rat would have to face its impending doom here, she was sure of it.

Just as she thought, the rat indeed had no place to hide. It scuttled to the center of the sitting room and stood there, confused, as Mary jerked left and right to reduce its options.

“Now you have no place to hide. Why fight it? Death is inevitable,” she smirked.

With her broom held high, she looked into its eyes, and it looked right back at her. They held gazes for awkward seconds. And as she stepped closer to strike the rat, it jumped at her, scurrying up her dress with it’s pincer-ly claws. Mary started making unrestrained movements, beating her hands allover her body in a bid to get the rat off her. She didn’t want to shout, but she made a squeak when the rat boldly jumped at her, a squeak she hoped didn’t wake mum and dad.

The rat made to her ear, poked its nose as if trying to get into her skull. She slapped, but she missed, and instead heard ringing bells in her brain.

“Get off me,” she harshed.

She felt the rat at her back, and flung one had hoping to get a piece of it. And she did. But just as she hit the rat, it plunged its molars into her back. She yelped.

“Mummy! Da–”

Before she could say Daddy the rat had made its way into her mouth and down her throat into her belly. Mum and dad sprung up from the bed and into the sitting room. They could see her writhing uncontrollably and hiting her stomach.

“What’s wrong with her?” dad uttered.

“I don’t know,” mum replied, “Honey what’s wrong?” mum asked.

“My stomach, it’s in my stomach,” Mary managed to utter.

“What’s in your stomach?” dad quizzed.

And just as dad asked that question, he noticed some movements inside her dress.

“Honey, something is moving inside her,” dad uttered to mum.

“Do something!” mum cried.

Dad lurched forward and gave Mary’s stomach a thunderous slap. Mary shouted, and as her mouth was wide open, the rat showed its bloody face. Mum fainted. Dad retched. The rat hurried back into her stomach.

“Honey, wake up!” dad shook mum.

Mum sat up, and as they both looked at Mary they noticed something. The hair on her body were growing longer. Her nose became a round pink ball. Long and rigid strands of hair began growing from her nose like whiskers. Her head began wobbling shapes. Her bones cracked. Her neck stiffled. Her back potted. Her teeth tapered. Her fingers clawed. Her eyes darkened. She squeaked.

Mum and dad ran, It followed.


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