“Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty pig!” it screams.
Pig? Man, thinks Stephan, I really didn’t make a good impression last night.
He begins to explain, to excuse the behaviour he doesn’t even remember, but the sound of his voice is drowned out by the squeals of a pig. No, not drowned out – replaced.
He runs his fingers over his belly again. This is not my skin, he thinks. This is coarse and hairy, rough.
The creature speaks more softly now.
“Will you take an orange?” it asks.
It has the face of a rat, but hairless. Stephan, despite himself, takes one of the oranges. The rat creature takes the other.
“Drink deep,” it says, biting down hard on the fruit.