Shana was reaching for her keys when the voice slithered out of the darkness. “Hungry,” it groaned. She paused, hand on the knob, and tried to ignore the void in the corner of her eye. “Huuuungryyy.” 

She sighed. “I already fed you this morning.”  

A thin, boney limb reached out of the shadows, clawing vaguely in Shana’s direction. “Hungry,” the creature growled again, more insistently. She could see the glint of jagged teeth and six glowering eyes reflected out of the darkness. 

Shana folded her arms. “This is getting out of hand. I can’t keep going back and forth every time you want a snack.” 

She wasn’t sure if the sound that came next was a growl or a hiss, but it made her flinch in spite of herself. Perhaps the creature could sense fear, or perhaps it finally lost its temper. Either way, it began thrashing wildly, beating against the furniture and walls, shouting “Hungry! Hungry! Huuuungrrrrryyyyy!”  

But the fit was short-lived, soon replaced by a soft, pathetic whimper. Shana softened. “Wow. You really are hungry, aren’t you?” 

Fifteen minutes later, she pulled up to the drive through. “Yeah, I’m going to need a dozen pumpkin spice lattes please.” 

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox