Niles Reddick is the author of the novel Drifting Too Far From The Shore, two collections Reading the Coffee Grounds and Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in thirteen anthologies and in over three hundred publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, New Reader Magazine, and others.
A slug poked its head and top portion of its body out of the light switch. As he inched this way and that, he left a trail of mucus. His tentacles swayed left and right and back, like a lone slow dancer after many drinks. I wondered how he came to be behind the light switch, if perhaps he had found his way through the outside socket on the porch, inching up electrical cords.
I got a paper towel, reached for him, and he latched on, pulled my hand, then arm, lifted my body, and pulled me into the light switch. He went into the living room. I felt like Mike, the shrunken boy in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but more importantly, I couldn’t believe the slug’s strength. I didn’t know how my wife and kids would ever find me in the light switch, and I imagined the slug might take over my life, wear my flip flops and cover them in mucus, use my toothbrush, and enjoy my new Tempur-Pedic bed.
“Help,” I yelled. “Somebody!” I heard the crunch of mulch in my flower bed by the porch, slid down inside the wall, peeked through the straight blade of the receptacle and saw a toad, its tongue jetting out, hitting the outside of the electrical outlet leaving a wet, sticky residue. “HELP!”
I pulled my way back up the cord and felt a stabbing pain. I whipped my head around, and the wasp’s stinger had gone clear through my abdomen, like a sword in a medieval battle.
My wife poked me several times in the back. “Why do you keep making noises?”
“I was being stung by a wasp.”
“Don’t be a slug. Get up and get your coffee. You’re going to be late.”