Vacancy at the Food Court by @CatinaNoble1 is a Trick or Treat Bonanza pick #shortstories #giveaway
Title: Vacancy at the Food Court & Other Short Stories
Author: Catina Noble
Genre: Short-Stories, Occult Fiction
“Catina Noble is an up and coming Canadian author on whom any serious reader of the strange, weird, romantic, and even the occult, should keep an eye. Her latest book, Vacancy at the Food Court: & Other Short Stories, is a prime example of the way Ms. Noble can weave a tale and take the reader to the most unexpected places. Her talent as prose writer and poet is going to take her far. This collection of stories is a fine example of how despair, romance and humor can be packaged in a way to get under your skin, in to your heart, and in to your brain. A read you won't soon forget.” - Phyllis Bohonis
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.
If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
I would like to dress up as Dorothy from the movie Wizard of Oz. This is one of my all-time favourite movies. She had so many different adventures and when I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was go on my own adventures and am still this way today.
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
This book is a great read because it has a little of everything. The entire collection is diverse. It has something for everyone. It has a treat for you, you and you!
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US or Canada) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have an active Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to be eligible.
Runs October 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on November 1.
Catina Noble is an Ottawa writer. 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, and many others. She currently has four chapbooks of poetry, a full length poetry book and a total of eleven books out. 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. For the latest updates you can follow on her website: catinanoble.wordpress.com
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