Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

Greg set his tray on the table and took a seat across from his friends. The expression on his face was one of pure misery.

Tom inclined his chin at the sickly creature clinging to Greg’s back. “Still carrying that little bugger around, eh?”

“Of course he is,” Mike replied. “He still hasn’t gotten the nerve up to go see the old lady.”

Tom waved his fork at the creature’s fingers, which were wrapped around his friend’s throat. “Y’know, Greg, it looks like it’s dug those claws a little deeper into your voicebox today. If you ever hope to speak again, you’re gonna have to go see her.”

Mike snorted and elbowed Tom. “He doesn’t like owing the old lady a favor.” He looked at Greg. “Suck it up, old buddy. None of us like it, but we all have to do it eventually.”

“Seriously, Greg,” Tom added, “once she gets it off, you can’t ever get infected again. And, besides, her favors aren’t… unpleasant.” He looked away. “Well, mostly not.”

Greg just nodded and kept eating. A problem delayed was a problem denied.

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Comments (7 so far!)

  1. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Many thanks to China Mieville for the wicked cool name (in Perdido Street Station).

  2. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    I want to know more about the gremlin thingy, what it means, and what the deal is with the old lady. Intrigued.

  3. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Well, I am thinking about expanding this one, but as always, I welcome prequel/sequels from other people, too. :)

  4. Avatar Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    I think you should expand… I don’t see how it quite fills the challenge, though I do see the links.
    That aside, I love where this is going. I should love to know more about this woman and what she does to these poor men.

  5. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    It’s probably more of a loose interpretation of the challenge, I admit, but it was the mental image that came to me when I read the description. :)

  6. Avatar Tad Winslow

    I imagined this stubborn little evil thing held back at a laughable distance only because its threat is not immediate or all that powerful. Haha. Cool story.

  7. Avatar Tad Winslow

    I think the only thing holding this back is that the idea is not all that creative. I mean, it’s a cliche to say something like, “he’s got a monkey on his back.” so the story itself seems a bit cliched. But it has potential, and of course it exhibits excellent writing. that’s my bit of constructive criticism. I felt I had to make up for my last lack-luster comment— I re-read it and thought—duuuuuuhhhhhh, haha.

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