“Expect the unexpected, especially around here. Monsters lurk around here.”
“Here, though, really?”
They both looked around at the quaint little soap shop, full of handmade, package-free products of so many competing scents that in the end, it was dominated by lavender and what Vanessa could only describe as soap bubble tang.
Tom shrugged. “Well, yeah. Listen, I warned you, and on your own head be it if you don’t choose to believe me.”
So saying, he want back to front-facing the shampoo bars. It was not the most customer-friendly attitude she’d encountered, but he wasn’t rude either, so whatever. Honestly he probably didn’t get paid enough to warrant the manic sort of helpful-cheerfulness retail managers demanded of their employees, and Vanessa had always thought the forced smiles to be creepy more than anything.
With a shake of her head, Vanessa made for the neat pyramids of bath bombs. Ever since moving to a place with an actual tub, she’d been dreaming of the things, and had finally saved up enough disposable income to not feel guilty about stockpiling a stash.
This shop was like a dream come true: right around the corner, holding semi-frequent sales, and with everything organized both whimsically and sensibly.
She picked up one bath-bomb shaped like the Loch Ness Monster from the ‘cryptids’ section and sniffed it—it smelled vaguely like a pond, with undercurrents of petrichor and heather. Not altogether bad smelling, but not that perfume-y either. It was green, and looked to have flecks of dried lichen or moss in it.
Vanessa could see herself lounging in her bath like a bog witch, and decided she was definitely getting it. Twenty minutes later, seventy-five dollars poorer, and three re-usable little bags heavier, she left the shop and made for home with a spring in her step. She was going to give herself a thorough pampering.
…That had been the plan, anyway. She’d lit candles, filled the tub with water just cooler than scalding (exactly the way she liked it), put on an instrumental playlist, was enrobed in her fluffiest bath robe, and had just dropped Nessie the bath-bomb into the water. It bubbled and fizzed and frothed.
Vanessa squinted at the green-grey water, now redolent with flecks of moss and tiny little sticks of some kind of patchouli, and saw a shadow pass through the bath water.
A shadow? Or was that the candles playing with the still foaming water?
The shadow deepened, darkened, grew. And then--fwoosh!
Vanessa toppled off the covered toilet with a shriek as what she could only describe as a mini-dinosaur’s head emerged from her bath, followed swiftly by a long neck that carried the head right up to her ceiling. Water splished and splashed and splattered everywhere. Vanessa gaped wordlessly. The monster, for it was a monster, albeit a cute-sort of amphibian lizard-monster, cooed down at her.
“What—” she croaked, and then there was a plop, like a very large bubble popping, and Nessie (it had to be Nessie!) vanished with a wave of heathery scent.
Vanessa rubbed her eyes, feeling not unlike a cartoon character, but her bathroom and bathtub and bathwater was now monster-free.
Expect the unexpected, she thought half-sourly, half-wonderingly, and got into her bath after ensuring nothing else was funny about it…
prompt via witterprompts
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