The creature gave a deafening shriek – so loud, I thought somebody might overhear and call the police, as late as it was – and its abdomen opened. It looked as though its body was being ripped apart, its mouth and teeth stretching to the breaking point, exposing a deep black cavern…
…And something was wriggling down inside it.
I screamed and scrambled away, overcome by fear as our guardian lay agonizing on the floor. My mother, however, reached inside its maw with both of her hands, pushing inside until she was elbow-deep in the creature.
“Mom, don’t!” I shouted, but it was too late.
My mother re-emerged, something small and black and slimy held in her arms.
“Cassie, get over here. Now.”
You know how scary my mom is? She was kneeling in front of a giant, heaving creature with a black ball of whatthehellisthat in her arms, and I scrambled to get back to her side because she was using her no-nonsense voice.
As soon as I got to her side, she handed the bundle to me, saying, “Put this on the cot and then get back here. There’s going to be more.”