Grimnebulin

I shamelessly stole the name of the monster in this story from China Mieville’s main character in Perdido Street Station. Sorry about that, China — and thanks. ‘Grimnebulin’ is just a really kick-ass word.

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Greg set his tray on the table and took a seat across from his friends. The expression on his face was one of pure misery.

Tom inclined his chin at the sickly creature clinging to Greg’s back. “Still carrying that little bugger around, eh?”

“Of course he is,” Mike replied. “He still hasn’t gotten the nerve up to go see the old lady.”

Tom waved his fork at the creature’s fingers, which were wrapped around his friend’s throat. “Y’know, Greg, it looks like it’s dug those claws a little deeper into your voicebox today. If you ever hope to speak again, you’re gonna have to go see her.”

Mike snorted and elbowed Tom. “He doesn’t like owing the old lady a favor.” He looked at Greg. “Suck it up, old buddy. None of us like it, but we all have to do it eventually.”

“Seriously, Greg,” Tom added, “once she gets it off, you can’t ever get infected again. And, besides, her favors aren’t… unpleasant.” He looked away. “Well, mostly not.”

Greg just nodded and kept eating. A problem delayed was a problem denied.

[Originally posted at Ficly.]

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