The Furry Visitor

His furry friend—well not really a friend, came with the room. He came out only after dark, as Jim lay sleeping—drifting hopefully toward an unremarkable but good night’s sleep. Rest, I must have rest, Jim moaned. But if the nocturnal demand from an impatient bladder came as it often did, the ball of fur made its presence known. A bare foot touched what might have been a comfy slipper on a cold floor, but it was not a slipper. An extended leg, a hand draped over the side of the bed could bring an instant startle at the furry feel.  Soft yet unyielding. Warm but never hot. Soundless, still it echoed through his brain much as the tap of a tiny foot on a wooden floor. Once startled, sleep became elusive. No matter where he pointed the high intensity LED flashlight, no sight of the creature could be had. No holes in the walls. No droppings on the floor. No evidence left behind in daylight. A figment of imagination or an invisible visitor? Perhaps a tarantula, that left no trace and declined to bite the guests. Or a side effect of the tropical disease preventive drugs he took. If they ever send me back to that town for another story on environmental scandals, I will stay elsewhere. The return visit came sooner than Jim expected, with no vacancies in another building. Not that it would have mattered anyway. But he didn’t know that then.

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