What a shitty day.
It was roasting hot outside, I was sweating, and my bike had gotten a flat tire en route home from work. And before that, I’d had to stop some stupid assholes from harassing the houseless guy that panhandled in front of the game store. People being jerks seemed to be on the rise.
Plus, I was hangry.
Ignoring my growling stomach, I pushed my way into the bathroom down the hall. The house felt empty. Housemates were all still at work. That was good. I could use a little quiet.
I splashed cold water on my face in the cracked white basin, and reached, half blindly, for the bright orange towel.
It moved. I swore it did.
Don’t be a doofus, Candy.
I grabbed the towel and mopped at my face then spluttered.
My lips were stuck with…fur?
“Gross! What the hell?”
I blinked, and scraped my hands across my face, trying to clear the disgusting whatever-it-was from my mouth and cheeks. Fur, like hair, sticks to wet things. I needed a towel. My towel.
“Sorry about that,” said a small, raspy voice. “Poor timing on my part. But I really needed to talk to you.”
My heart pounded and sweat broke out on the back of my neck. Whipping my head around, I scanned the room one-eyed, the other eye shut against what was likely one thin strand of fur, but felt like a whole sweater.
I looked down, and leapt back, crashing into the shower door. “Ouch!”
There was a fox in the bathroom. A big fox. All orange and bristly, with black paws, a black nose, and a damn white tip on its bushy tail.
“What the hell?”
“You’re repeating yourself, so I will, too. I apologize for my poor timing.” The fox had started speaking slowly, as if to a small child whom it really needed to understand. Its black tipped snout moved, though I had no idea how it was forming human words. “I..need…to…speak…with…”
“Oh cut it out! I hear you. Just…go to the kitchen! I’ve got to wash my face again. That is, if you’ve left me any clean towels!”
“Oh, that towel is quite clean, I assure you. Or as clean as it was when I arrived. You may wish to change it out though. It smells as if you’ve been using it for at least a week, and towels are bacteria breeding grounds…”
I pointed to the door. “Out.”
The fox dipped its head, and then trotted past me on dainty black feet. I shoved the door closed and looked down at the towel. No fur. I sniffed it. The fox was right. The towel needed changing. But I could deal with that later.
Hanging the towel back on the rack, I turned the water back on and bent to wash my face. I used soap this time.