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Mar 03 2012

Floor Monster

This short piece was inspired by today’s io9 writing prompt, and I’m really pleased with it, so I thought I would share it here too.

Concept Art Writing Prompt: Me and My Carpet Monster

Angela’s house slippers made a whooshing sound as she crossed the linoleum kitchen floor with the tray of finger sandwiches. Her new friend Lois sat on the far side of the counter, the living room side, swirling a glass of cabernet in her hand.

“Watch the carpet,” Angela said as she set the tray on the counter. Lois nodded absently and stuck her nose in to inspect the bouquet of the wine.

Lois considered the fragrance carefully. “Smells like…” She looked at her hostess. “Smells like you spent $6.99 at Safeway.” And she let out a cackle.

“You’ve had enough,” said Angela coldly. “Have some sandwiches.”

There was a rustling underneath them. Lois froze. “What was that?”

Angela tried to look innocent. “I didn’t hear anything. I would certainly never–”

“I think there’s mice in your floorboards, Angela.” Lois tossed her hair back and raised her glass into a swift pose of haughtiness, but the wine in that glass wasn’t prepared for the gesture, its fluid dynamics combining the energy of the motion into a single wave which rose in a spiral around the rim of the glass to spill over.

“Watch the carpet!” Angela shrieked, but it was too late. The red droplets had already landed in the tan shag carpet. Angela sprinted to the fridge for club soda. She ran to her pantry for the carpet cleaner she kept in rich supply, her slippers now slapping the hard floor with every step.

Lois stayed on her stool. She looked down at the mark she had made without concern, but then the rustling noise started again, louder this time, and it seemed to be coming towards her. “Angela–”

The stool jostled underneath her, and Lois’s hands moved reflexively now to steady the wine glass rather than herself. She stood up and looked at the living room floor as a whole. She watched it ripple and twist with a shape she could now almost make out. It seemed to move underneath the floor, but it also somehow was the floor.

When she saw the eyes, she put her glass on the counter and took a cucumber sandwich.

Angela came back with an armful of cleaning supplies. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she kept muttering, but she wasn’t talking to her terrified friend. She was talking to the carpet.

The shape moved across the room, a wave headed for Angela and her Resolve. The eyes faced her, with a tiny set of pink horns trailing behind them where they would be on the forehead of a creature which was not made of carpet. Angela’s voice became soothing.

“Did she surprise you?” she cooed to the floor monster. “I should have warned you I was having company.”

Lois backed away, stuffing the tiny sandwich into her mouth.

There was a noise from the floor, almost like a purr. Angela rubbed the floor between the eyes and turned with a tender smile to her friend. “I’m sorry. I should introduce you. This is my husband, Matt.”