Doug pulled back the thin carpet, beneath it was a wooden floor with a perfectly circular hole in it, about three inches in diameter. He took a slice of ham and rolled it up, then he carefully dropped it into the hole, he dropped in another three slices then he carefully put the carpet back. As he was gathering everything he could hear a skittering sound below him, he gently patted at the carpet, “enjoy buddy.” He carried everything to the kitchen and put it away, then he returned to his room. He sat on the floor, near where the hole was and just waited. The creature had talked to him before, surely it would again. Ok, it hadn’t been much to go on, basic sentences only. It wanted food, protection, help. It promised great rewards to Doug and Doug knew a good deal when he saw it. He hadn’t seen the creature yet, but he knew it was special, maybe he could go on tours with it, his magical talking bug, well, assuming it was an insect, it sounded like one the way its footsteps sounded on the wood, fast, staccato clicks. So far all it wanted was meat and the ham seemed to be doing the job. It was strange, normally he hated bugs of any kind and the knowledge of there being one in his room would have prevented him from sleeping, but there was something different about this one. He knew from the moment it spoke to him that he had to protect it, care for it. It could be the only one of its kind in existence, it needed to be treasured for the miracle it truly was. He lay down, putting his ear to the floor, he could just about hear it shuffling around beneath the floorboards. The sound of it was starting to become soothing, reassuring.
Doug woke the next morning and went straight to the kitchen, there he grabbed the packet of ham from the fridge and went straight back to his room. Normally he needed a cup of coffee before he was ready for anything in the morning, but now he had someone else depending on him. The creature needed food and the creatures needs came before his, after all it was only a small thing, it could die if it went too long without food, the poor thing could starve to death if he wasn’t careful. Doug pulled back the carpet, had the hole gotten bigger? It seemed like it but he wasn’t sure, he rolled up the ham and dropped the slice into the hole, yes, it was definitely bigger. “Did you do that?” the only sound was that of the creature eating the ham, a wet, juicy sound. Doug sighed, it was the creatures home too so he had to allow some leeway, besides the creature did say it would grow and it needed room to do so. It couldn’t spend the rest of its life living under his floorboards, could it?
The routine was simple, every morning Doug would wake and feed the creature, he had begun to politely ignore the slowly expanding hole. It wasn’t his business really and it was fine once it wasn’t interfering with his life. At lunch time he would come home from work and give the creature some more food, over time the creature had moved on from ham, asking for chunks of chicken or beef, sometimes cooked, sometimes raw, depending on the creatures mood. Then at night Doug would feed it one final time before going to sleep himself. Their conversations had gotten longer as well, at least they seemed to. Doug would spend hours listening to it, lying on the floor with his ear pressed against the carpet, though he knew they had conversations, he could never really remember what exactly they had talked about. Not that it mattered, each conversation with the creature was quite illuminating, he knew that much for sure. Each time he went to bed he felt fulfilled and energised, like everything in the world was coming together just for him, good things were coming, he just knew it.
Doug woke and went to the kitchen, there he grabbed out the cooked chicken he had bought the night before, the creature was getting hungrier by the day, there were two more chickens in the fridge for later. He carried the chicken into his room and pulled back the carpet, he sat down beside the hole and dropped the chicken in. The hole had gotten much bigger, it was easily two feet across. Doug liked looking into it, even though he should have been able to see something beneath the floorboards it was just endless black. There was something alluring about it, simple, easy. Every now and then he would wonder what would happen if he went down the hole, if his feet would hit something after a few inches or if it would just keep going forever. There was something comforting about that thought, the idea of floating forever, cocooned in the warmth of the dark. His phone was ringing on his bed, he ignored it, it wasn’t important. It was hours later when he was startled from his trance like state. A simple sentence that filled him with joy, “Would you like to join me?” He stared down the hole, his heart beating heavily, drowning out the noise of everything else. Slowly Doug stood and then before he could reconsider he took a step forward. As he fell through the hole his mind started to scream, he needed to stop himself, he needed to get out. His fingers grasped at the edge of the hole but he couldn’t grab on. He was falling, falling so far and so fast. Thin limbs reached out of the hole, they started to caress the edge of it, slowly and in a circular motion, as they moved the circle became smaller until only one thin limb could fit through it. It stretched through the hole until it touched the edge of the carpet, with one swift movement it jerked its limb back through the hole, the carpet falling over it again, hiding any evidence that anything had been there at all.