A man juggles being possessed, having oddball creatures as roommates, and making the rent.
"Wekk up. I meck coffee."
I was pretty sure if I tried hard enough, the voice might go away. I remembered the futility of this tactic during my teenage years, and felt a tingle of irritability that even now, years later, that this maneuver was yielding the same results.
"Wekk up. Eez gud coffee. You weel like it, yais." There was a brief pause. "You haff beeg day. Wekk up."
I opened my eyes, grimacing at the sight. Standing beside me on the bed was a little humanoid that had a face that appeared to be a cross between a pug and a turtle. His mouth was beaklike, though a fine little row of teeth lurked beneath the surface. He was barrel-chested with four thick arms. He was also bandy-legged, with a bobbing, curlicued tail. He held a steaming mug, offering it toward me.
This creature was the sort of thing that would have sent the average person into a panic, screaming and grabbing for the first heavy object to heave in its direction. For me, he was simply an irritant that firmly believed in the platitude "Early to bed, early to rise". He was also, currently, one of my roommates.
I glanced at the clock on the wall. It was 5:45. "Brax," I groaned. "I still had fifteen minutes before the alarm was going to go off. Why are you waking me up now?"
"You haff whole day ahead to see," he replied, eyes gleaming. His broken English was a vast improvement to the garbled speech that he'd first spoken upon our meeting. It was better that he sounded like a Russian diplomat as opposed to a record being played backwards. But for the life of me, his accent left me fighting the temptation to ask him to say "Moose and Squirrel."
"No, Brax, I have work ahead of me, which is not something that I am excted about," I replied. I threw my sheets back, grumpy. I couldn't help my mood now. I was very fond of sleep. It was one of the few things in my life that actually brought me some joy.
"Haff coffee," Brax said cheerfully. "Eez gud."
I took the mug and gave it a dubious stare. It was dark and hot, and that was the only thing that I could ascertain. "Um, is this my blend or yours?"
I replied with a nervous cough. Depending on the blend, that could mean it was either a 'pick-me-up' or a 'pick-me-up-and-hurl-me-across-the-room-and-out-the-window'. "Mine or yours, Brax?" I repeated, emphasizing precisely what I thought of his blend.
"Eez yors, of gorse," he said with a merry laugh. "You haff weak constitution. I know theez."
I offered him a sour look and took a cautious sip. It was my coffee. Perhaps lacking a bit of cream, but otherwise in good shape. I placed the mug down and offered him a little nod.
"Abner eez makink you breakfast," Brax informed me as he clambered down from the bed. He gave me an indulgent smile as he noticed the blood drain from my face. "Eez okay, Frank. We haff brought fire extinguisher into keetchen jost een cayze."
"Great," I grumbled, and shuffled into the bathroom.
The shower was cold. I was used to these inconveniences because I lived in a two bedroom apartment with three otherworldly freaks that had no concept of the idea that the hot water will eventually stop being hot. That wasn't the only everyday concept that they struggled to grasp, and after a time, I had simply come to ignore their little flaws.
I stood at the sink, naked, and I shaved. My face was long overdue for a little grooming, but my lack of a social life had only made the neglect seem less important. I cringed with each stroke of the razor. After all, the only thing worse than a cold shower is shaving with cold water.
I was getting ready to mow down the last column of shaving cream when I felt a strange, swirling sensation in my head, and I felt the world around me go hazy. It was a strange feeling, as I said, but not an unfamiliar one. I stifled a curse in my mouth and simply let the moment take control. As I watched my reflection in the mirror, I noticed my eyes, normally dark brown, take on a silver hue.
I said I live in an apartment with freaks. I failed to mention that I was one of them.
'Hello, Jahaziel,' came the words from my mind, but they never left my lips. The angel that possessed my body had taken over and was simply allowing me to watch. The expression on my face was serene, and I felt a bit jealous. After all, serenity was a state of mind I'd never managed to achieve on my own.
"Greetings, Frank Garland. Be not afraid." It was my voice - the angel was hijacking my vocal chords, after all - yet there was a disturbing calmness in the voice as well. "I come bearing grave tidings."
'Glad tidings,' I thought quickly and anxiously. ' I know you said GRAVE but I'm sure you actually meant to say GLAD...right?'
There was a gentle smile on my face, but the eyes looked troubled. "Your sense of humor and anxiety are welcome, Frank Garland, yet I fear there is no joy in what is to come."