This is a little snippet from ‘The Boyfriend From Hell’, the story I have in ‘Shapeshifters’ from Fox Spirit. It’s a totally tongue-in-cheek romp involving aliens, tentacles and locked bathroom doors, and if you want to see more then check out how to get your hands (or tentacles) on the book here.
The one thing I didn’t know about Stef was his bathroom habits. I’m for letting it all hang out, but not Stef. For a guy he was surprisingly reserved. The minute he got inside that room the door would slam shut and the bolt would snick, and that would be that. I thought it was women who were supposed to hog the bath, but Stef would stay in there for hours. He didn’t even turn into a prune – just emerged looking pink and newly-scrubbed. I assumed he had a thing about cleanliness and left him to it, and kept my nagging for things that mattered, like birthdays and taking out the trash.
Until one particular morning after the night before. We’d been celebrating his birthday. I didn’t know which one because he was coy about his age, but I’d baked a cake and stuck a token candle on the top, and I’d bought him a brand new waterproof watch.
“Thought it might come in handy,” I said. “For all the time you spend soaking in the bath.”
He smiled, and put the watch on straight away, and gave me a thank-you hug which turned into other things. Things involving mouths and arms, and a bottle and far too much to drink. I don’t indulge as a rule – the people I work for take a dim view of that. Just this once, I thought. Once can’t hurt. Shows how wrong you can be. I woke up next morning with a head that was playing drum solos and a violent urge to be sick. But when I staggered to the bathroom I found the door was already shut and locked.