I Always Have to Dig My Way Out of Every Bad Relationship | by Kathryn McMahon

     At midnight, he invited me back for curry, and I am a sucker for shy excuses. He never turned on the lights. We never had curry. I heard the scratching then but ignored it. I was drunk and wanted his pants off.

     I screamed, waking at dawn. A clear plastic tunnel ran over my head, around the room, and through the walls. Looking down at me was a penis with sawed-off teeth.

     “Naked mole rats,” he said into the pillow. He’d brought home that many women.

     I foraged for my purse, accidentally kicked loose a few squeaks, and shook droppings off of my dress. “And my shoes?”

     Face still in the pillow, he pointed to the bookshelf.

     I grabbed my heels, ran into the hall, and flew by more tunnels of scrambling genital-rodents. Where was the front door? Behind each one I passed echoed more scratching. Larger claws. Wait, where was his bedroom?

     He yelled out from somewhere, “Coffee?”

     And that’s when I stopped biting my fingernails.



Kathryn McMahon’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Syntax and Salt, (b)OINK, Psychopomp, and Necessary Fiction, among others. Her work has been nominated for the 2017 Best of the Net Anthology and she is a prose reader for The Adroit Journal. On Twitter, she is @katoscope. Find more of her writing at darkandsparklystories.com.