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Vacancy at the Food Court & Other Short Stories is a Scary Reads for Halloween pick #halloween #ku

Title: Vacancy at the Food Court & Other Short Stories

Author: Catina Noble

Genre: Fiction (Short-Stories)

Book Blurb:

“Like Alice Munro, Catina Noble has developed an entire epic complexity that one would expect in a novel in a few short pages of a short story … Her stories are subtle, seemingly trivial, but pure and, at times, rather abstract. An intense read.” Award-winning author Emily-Jane Hills Orford, author of Gerlinda

Excerpt from the short story - Take a Bite, Leave a Bite:

It slowly half limbs and half swims out of the drain in my bathtub. Its body glistens, with small green stripes and it is ugly. Just like something from a scary movie. The best way to describe it: it resembles a garden snake. Except it’s a smidge shorter with at least a couple dozen legs or more. It’s the size of my hand. I’d count the number of legs but I’m too busy in my own world thinking about Olivia.

I stretch out my right leg to shave it smooth for Olivia. I turn my head in search of the shaving cream. Suddenly I scream and jump up. I see it! There are several of them. They are on the side of the tub, floating in the water, or climbing over the tiles. But what the heck are they? Ugly! As I stand in shock, they start moving around the tiles and bathtub like they have consumed a week’s worth of latte’s all at once. This has to be a bad joke.

I quickly pick up the heaviest bottle of shampoo within my reach, and throw it as hard as I can at the ugly things. The bottle makes a loud thud as it crashes against the tiles. I completely miss. My angry assassination attempt is futile. I never did have good aim. Zero damage.

This can’t be happening! Oh my. What if they get out of the bathroom and take over the house? I can’t let that happen. For sure they would attack Piper, my big fluffy calico-cat. Once they had her down on the ground there would be no way for her to get back up. Come to think of it, maybe now would be a good time to put her on a diet. Something I should ask the vet about at the next appointment.

Unsure of what my options are, I decided the quickest fix is to pull the plug and watch them all go back down the drain. Simple enough. Later I’ll call someone to come and find out what the hell was going on. This isn’t normal; it seems more like something out of one of those crime scene TV shows. I quietly count to three and pull the plug. For a brief moment all I can hear is the sound of water slowly going down the drain but it seems to be moving at an exceptionally slow speed. Actually, now that I remember it, this drain issue was apparent last time I soaked in a bubble bath. I forgot to followup and see what was clogging it. This time I won’t forget.

Pitter-Patter. Pitter-Patter. Pitter-Patter.

The ugly buggers are still coming out of the drain. A few dozen have. Taken over what was supposed to be my peaceful retreat. It can’t be but my eyes are wide open and I am witness to this horrific event. The ugly buggers spot me. The scurry toward me.

A few of them leap from the ledge of the tub. Frack, they can fly! I scream when at least half a dozen of them land on my naked body. Others fall on the floor and slide underneath the door. Now the ugly things are everywhere. There will be no way of finding every single one of them.

This has to be a nightmare. I will have to stay in a hotel for a few days until I find another place. Everything I own will have to stay right here. I am not taking any chances.

They touch me. It’s so gross. I want them off! They feel slimy. I scream as they skitter all over my body.

“Hellllllllp!” I yell as the ugly buggers bite into my naked, vanilla scented body. Seriously, now is the time to wake up. This has to be over. The water is completely drained from the tub. I shake and kick my feet, still screaming. I want these things off me! The uglies continue biting me. I’ve lost count of them. They bite hard enough to draw blood. I’m scared and in pain. I think I am going to faint.

I can’t stand it anymore and fall over. As I lie on the floor, uglies continue crawling and jumping out of the tub. I sob and try crying out for help again. I am at their mercy and no one can hear my pathetic voice. Several dozen uglies patrol my body. Each of them seems to be in for an ounce of flesh. I’m soon running out of tears. Tiny streaks of blood stain my body, the tub and the egg-white tiles.

Suddenly my eyes burst open. I watch in agonizing fear as they climb inside my mouth. It’s slimy. I start to gag. I’m going to retch for sure. I scratch and claw at my face trying to pull them out of my mouth. I can’t tell how many of them are trying to suffocate me. I swear a few of them are whistling some sort of happy tune. Or maybe I’m imagining it.

My eyes grow wider. All I’ve managed to do is scratch up my face. There’s blood on my fingers, a couple of broken nails and yet the flies are relentless. It feels like I have a huge, slimy jaw-breaker inside my mouth and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe. I try to spit them out but this only seems to aggravate them. Surely, this isn’t really happening.

Slowly, my oxygen depletes. My body starts convulsing. Thump. Thump. thump. For a moment my mind briefly fills with memories of Olivia. Silence.

Buy Links:

What makes your featured book a must-read?

A real page turner. Includes a variety of stories.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally.

Runs October 25 – October 31, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on November 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

Catina Noble is a Canadian writer. She has kept a journal since she was in her early teens. Her writing is diverse and has something for everyone. Noble’s work expands over a variety of genres including: Sci-Fi, YA, Non-Fiction, Fiction, Short Stories and Poetry. Her work has appeared in several publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Woman’s World Magazine, Y Travel Blog, Perceptive Travel, Bywords Magazine, Phafours Press, Crowe Creations, Canadian Newcomer Magazine, The Mindful Word and many others. At this point in time, she has four chapbooks of poetry, a full length poetry book and a total of twelve books published. To date, four of her books: Vacancy at the Food Court & Other Short Stories, I’m Glad I Didn’t Kill Myself , Everest Base Camp: Close Call , Finding Evie won the Reader’s Favourite seal of approval. She has a B.A in Psychology from Carleton University and a Social Services Worker Diploma from Algonquin College. She currently works full-time in her field and is enrolled in the Addictions & Mental Health program at Algonquin College. When she is not busy working, she enjoys travelling and volunteering. Catina’s favourite place to work on her writing is at a local coffee shop. Sometimes, her dog Aspen and her cat, PJ help supervise her creative writing through the entire process. Catina’s books can be found online and are available at Singing Pebble Books (Ottawa,ON) & Novel Idea Bookstore (Kingston, ON).

Social Media Links:

Instagram: @cncreate

2 comentarios

31 oct 2023

Reese’s has always been my fave candy!

Me gusta

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
30 oct 2023

Thank you, Catina, for sharing your book in our Scary Reads for Halloween!

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