Frank was snoring. Carla might have prodded him to stop, but she knew she would not be falling back to sleep anyway. Their son’s nervousness about starting school was too distracting. He had been apprehensive all summer. Not a very social child, the argument that he might make new friends had little effect on him.

Carla got out of bed and went to the bedroom window. She opened the blinds a bit, just in time to see red-orange globes starting their dance across the night sky. They pointed beams of the same colored light down at Manhattan, striking cars on the street and shining through windows of office and apartment buildings.

One beam hit Carla directly. She was blinded for a moment, then felt comfortably warm with a pleasurable tingling all over her body.

Carla had done well in Manhattan. Working as a realtor, she had found apartments and condos for many wealthy clients. She wondered how many of them were awake at this hour, too, standing at windows bathed in the curious red-orange light.

Ten minutes into standing there, she could not recall her profession. After twenty minutes, she struggled to know she was living mid-Manhattan. At thirty minutes, it was all she could do to keep focused on the fact that she was Carla and the man in the bed was her husband, Frank. The tingling slowly subsided.

Even through the closed window she heard the sirens of emergency vehicles, police cars and fire trucks, at first in the distance but getting closer.

She shut the blinds and made her way through the darkened room, back to bed and Frank. She gave him a not so gentle push.


“You slept through it all, Frank. There’s been a change. Something’s happened.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It’s odd the mix of things I remember and don’t remember. How many arms do I have?”

“Two! What the hell’s wrong with you?”

“How many children?”

“One son, Billy.”

“What do I eat?”

“You’re scaring me now. I’m turning on the light.”

“Humor me, Frank. What do I eat?”

“You’re a vegetarian, damn it!”

“That accounts for this new craving. I’m famished.”

Frank turned toward the lamp, but with several arms Carla held him back. Her incisors were prominent and her molars large and strong, strong enough to grind bone. She finished as much of him as she found tasty.

Had there been a light in the room, their bed would seem something out of a slaughterhouse.

Carla slid to the floor and on several legs pivoted toward the door. She went to the hallway, beginning a search for Billy’s room. She was mildly curious to know if he had slept through it all like Frank, or if he had made the change as she did. Either way, though, it was not too important.

There are species that do eat their young, if mothers are hungry enough.