Weaknesses at Bedtime II

“No! You can’t eat my—”

“Billy?” The bedroom door opened, and Billy snapped his mouth shut. His mother’s silhouette appeared in the doorway, holding a highball glass. Billy knew on some level that he shouldn’t know what a highball glass was. None of the other kids his age did.

“Mom! I—I thought you and Gordon were downstairs.”

His mother leaned against the door jamb with a sigh. “When are you going to start calling him Dad?”

“When I don’t have a real dad anymore.” He cringed as soon as he said it, and braced for the fallout.

But all she did was shake her head and mutter, “Your real dad. Guess that’s where you get that smart mouth of yours.” The ice cubes clinked in the glass as she sipped her drink. “What are you doing? I thought I heard voices in here.”

“I…I had the radio on.”

Beneath him, the bed began to shake. “Let me eat her! Let me eat her!” His eyes wide, Billy held on and tried to act normal.

“Stop jumping on the bed,” said his mother. “And turn off that damn radio. You should be asleep.”

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