by Jaye Wells
I should've turned around and left the minute I saw the kitchen. The penicillin growing on the plates could only mean one thing.
I glanced at the wall calendar next to the phone. Dammit. That time of the month again.
I cupped my balls as I walked into the den—just in case. Meredith lay on the couch with an arm covering her eyes. I tiptoed through the room, my silent feet dodging dirty clothes and empty dog treat boxes. Maybe she'd just ignore me.
"You're late," she barked. "Did you get the steak?"
I winced and turned slowly. No sudden movements, I reminded myself.
"I’ll go now."
Her eyes glowed in the dim room, a predator's stare.
"Don't bother.” She swiped a furry hand through the air. “I'll eat out tonight."
I felt the blood leave my face in a rush. "But, honey, last time—“
My words died as she hunched over, grabbing her belly. Sympathy and terror struggled for dominance in my own gut. She got on all fours and let loose an unholy growl.
I sealed myself behind the basement door just before her body slammed into it. Her claws decimated the fresh coat of semi-gloss I’d applied a month earlier.
Finally, the snarling stopped —the thrill of the chase gone. Toenails clicked on the linoleum, followed by the sound of breaking glass and splintering wood.
A mournful howl split the night.
One of these days I really needed to install a doggie door.