“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.“
— Stephen King Night Shift
As both an avid reader and moviegoer, she was a big fan of Stephen King and the horror genre in general. The problem was that she was very tall. Not tall by a woman’s standard, tall by any standard. Discounting giraffes of course. Thus there were times that she did not have the luxury of not allowing her feet to hang over the bed.
Sure, there were nights where she tried to stay all curled up, especially after particularly scary book or film, but eventually she needed to stretch out to get to sleep. As she tried to drift off, her feet hung there over the abyss waiting to feel the icy embrace of some demonic creature.
It became clear there was only one course of action. Iguanas, when cornered by predators, will detach their tail in an effort to distract their pursuer. The tail will flop around drawing the attention of whatever is trying to eat the iguana while they scamper off to safety. Something along these lines was in order.
To that end, although she was a very health-conscious person, she avoided any exercises that strengthened her ankles. She avoided any vitamins that supported healthy connective tissue. She even went so far as to avoid sunlight as it would sneak a little Vitamin D to her tendons.
Then one night as she was falling asleep, her feet hanging over the bed, she did indeed feel the grip of some unearthly creature. Terrified she screamed and her feet popped off and began to wriggle around the floor. That’s when she realized the flaw in the iguana strategy. Without a tail, they still have four feet to run away with.
She had stumps. Not ideal.
In the end she was lucky that the demon was so freaked out by seeing her feet come off that it beat a hasty retreat back to the shadows that had spawned it.
“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”
— Nicholas Sparks The Notebook
As both an avid reader and moviegoer, she was a big fan of Nicholas Sparks and the romance genre in general. The problem was that she no longer had feet. While this solved her initial issue with them hanging over the bed, they now sat neatly underneath the bed like a pair of slippers, it made finding a suitable partner, an already treacherous endeavor, that much more difficult.
It became clear there was only one course of action. As a child she played a game called Operation in which the objective is to remove various body parts without setting off the buzzer. It was a game that required eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills, much like romance itself, except in the case of love rarely does anyone’s nose light up.
To that end she joined a number of dating apps and began to communicate with men from around the world. She was always very honest about not having any feet.
Then one night as she was sitting in bed chatting with one of these men she became aware that she was developing real feelings for him. That’s when she realized the flaw in the Operation Operation strategy. She was unable to remove her heart for safekeeping. This terrified her, but eventually she was comfortable enough with this man to show him what she kept under her bed.
He was so freaked out that he beat a hasty retreat to the shadows that had spawned him.
Her nose lit up.