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The rain tapped against the bathroom window as Abby showered, getting ready for work. She was soaping her legs when she noticed a dark mark, like a swipe from a brown magic marker, on the tile wall. That’s weird, she thought, how did that get there? She leaned in through the steam to get a closer look.
“Oh crap,” she said to herself with a start. “There’s a baby slug in my shower.”
For some reason having the slug in her shower while she was naked made her feel vulnerable, as if somehow it could get her because she was without her clothes. As if clothes could protect me from a slug, she thought, and then stopped herself.
“What am I thinking? God, I’m afraid of a slug.”
It was tiny, the size of a matchstick. She assumed it was a baby because she was only used to seeing the big ones on sidewalks, but for all she knew it could be full-grown. She hadn’t thought much about slugs and didn’t know they came in all sorts of sizes. In fact, she knew very little about slugs. It had tiny antennae that searched the air in front of it as it climbed the tiles to get clear of the spray from the showerhead. Now that she was no longer startled, she wouldn’t say it was cute, but the way it moved was intriguing. Where did the slug come from? Maybe the recent days of downpours had driven it inside, or maybe it had come up from the shower drain. Ugh, she thought, I’m being invaded by slugs through my drain.
She started to worry the shower spray would wash it clear of the wall, and it would swirl down the drain to drown. She didn’t wish drowning on anything, even a gooey slug that caught her naked in the shower. She had a fear of drowning, that and house fires, and just thinking of them gave her chills. Maybe she’d been accused of being a witch in a past life and had failed the water and burn test. But what was she going to do with it? She didn’t want to touch it, and even if she did, she wasn’t going to give the fat man who lived behind her a show by running outside naked to find it a new home. So she did nothing. She directed the showerhead to minimize the spray in the slug’s direction, then finished her shower and stepped out of the stall to towel off. She left the shower curtain pulled to the side, thinking the stall would dry out and the slug would go in search of a damper climate. But she didn’t know what it liked or what it would do, so she put it out of her mind and got ready for work.
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