Carlos threw aside the sheets, as his arm touched the still-warm half of the queen-sized bed. His feet touched the floor as he lurched up to sit, one hand moving up to his sweaty brow. The throbbing migraine that plagued his temple surged in fierce pangs, causing his dim surroundings to swim. He checked the bedside clock. It was almost 4 in the morning. Early to bed, early to rise, he thought grudgingly.
"Alexa, honey you there?"
Carlos stumbled out of the bedroom, making a beeline for the kitchen. He opened the fridge door and squinted in the dazzling yellow light. It took him several seconds before he found the milk carton.
As he closed the door, he heard a faint sizzling sound. His senses heightened, and he listened for the sound again. They seemed to come from the living room.
Taking a swig of the milk, Carlos made his way to the next room, flicking on the light switch as soon as he entered. The sudden light blinded him for a split second, and his headache pushed him off-balance. Wrong move, he thought as he steadied himself on the back of a couch.
As he recovered, he saw the origin of the sizzling sound. Standing beside the mahogany low table in the middle of the living room, was the lower half of a human body. The feet, clad in white bunny slippers, were firmly planted in the crimson carpet. They swept up to shapely, pearly-white legs that soon hid in the lower-half of a pink bathrobe. The hems of the robe swayed ever so slightly below the knee, as if responding to motion from elsewhere.
The apparition was cut off at the waist. In place of an upper body were countless tendrils, their grayish lengths lashing about endlessly at the air around them. As they did, they made sizzling sounds like that of electricity arcing through the air. Some of them grew and disappeared almost immediately, while others tore through the air at great length, many of them missing Carlos by inches as he approached to have a better look.
"What the hell... Alexa?!", Carlos took another swig of the milk and looked around. "At this hour, really?"
As if in response, a loud pop echoed through the living room, followed by an intense crackle. The air grew denser for a split second, as if something just imploded.
"Sorry, dear! You were shivering in bed and I realized we ran out of medicines."
Where once the dismembered torso was, now stood a woman in a pink bathrobe. She held in her hand a small brown paper bag, stamped with a pharmacy's logo.
"Aww, you didn't have to," Carlos said as he leaned in for a good morning kiss. "But really, you risked people seeing you, going out like that?", he frowned.
"I was careful, I swear." Alexa's melodic voice was music to Carlos' ears. He wanted to say some strong words about his wife's recklessness, but they all dissolved in a mushy puddle. Instead, he settled for:
"How can 'careful' hide the fact that a half-woman with bat wings was floating around buying aspirin?!"
"I chose a drug store where only my upper half can be seen above the counter," she replied with a cat-like grin.
"And anyone passing by the street?"
"Aw, you'd know that by the blood stains on my robe."
The milk carton stopped halfway to Carlos' lips. A few years earlier, he would have shuddered in fear at those words. But now, he just breathed a sigh, and took the paper bag from his wife's hand. "Thanks, and I'm not saying it out of fear that you're hungry and I'm on the menu."
"Oh, you're not," Alexa smiled and made her way to the kitchen. "Offal for breakfast?"
"Are you serious?!"
"They make for good pancakes, trust me!"
Carlos sighed again. Great start for a long day...