A zookeeper experiences the sudden onset of an unusual animal trait.
LOBSTER WOMAN OF BUBWATER KENTUCKY
Just because Kyle's wife, Ula, was a Maine Lobster didn't mean he loveed her any less. She still had her cheery personality. The thing he loved about her the most was her uncanny ability to be optimistic about everything.
But having a lobster as a wife wasn't easy. And keeping her alive was a full time job in itself.
The transformation took months. Not a quick exchange like a werewolf or not overnight like a vampire. Oh thank God it wasn't a vampire.
When it first started happening her skin began to dry out as if she'd spent months in the dessert. Getting all scaly and crusty. He should've known something was about to happen because she had this undying need to go swimming. She hated swimming and couldn't stand to be near the water. Now, all of a sudden she couldn't get enough of it.
Her left hand became swollen, five times it's original size as her her fingers began to mend together eventually forming itself into a crusher claw. A most painful experience for her to go through. Her hand hurt for days as those painful days slowly turned into weeks of nothing but searing pain. There wasn't enough Tylenol to keep the pain down.
Which later he learned he wasn't supposed to give her Tylenol. Fish, well, crustaceans, and over the counter medication don't mix well with their systems.
Instead he was slowly killing her.
Plain and simple. She had to endure the pain.
A lot of this happened at night. As he lied in bed he could hear her bones creaking, crackling as her skin began to change, becoming an exoskeleton.
A few weeks later he realized he had to get her in water.
So, he had a really large garden tub installed. One of those real big dudes you can get ten people in. It took up their entire living room. She would crawl around in that for the day and at night he'd put her in the tank to keep her secure.
His best friend became, Stan, the fish guy at Cadavers. Hooked him up with variety of shrimp, scallops and clams.
“I'm so sorry this happened to me,” she said while she was in her tub eating on the bucket of mussels.
“It's not your fault.”
“Still, you don't deserve this. I'm not human anymore.”
“You're still my wife. I love you.”
“Ahhhh. You say the sweetest things. I'm so lucky to have you.”
The thing was neither one of them knew how long she was going to be a lobster or even if she was ever going to change back.
“I'm here till the end. You're my little lobster woman from Bubwater Kentucky.” Hew gave her kiss on her scaly head. Her tail wiggled back and forth and curled.
One night he woke up to her screaming. He'd thought something was wrong. It wasn't uncommon for her to wake up in the middle of night in severe pain as her limbs transformed.
He walked in and saw her right hand forming into her pincer. Her body shrunk to less than have the size in length as she became more longitudinal than latitude.
The grossest part was when her mouth shifted to her belly, forming tiny teeth and she lost all ability to speak.
The time came he was forced to keep her in a large tank and only brought her out during feeding time and carried her around in a large plastic tote in a wagon when they wanted to go out on dates or see a movie.
He'd did some research on lobsters and learned that they could be out of the water for two days or so. But not much longer than that. They're known to be more hardy than he thought but he had to keep the gills moist otherwise they would dry out.
It was hard to get used to at first. At times when he hugged her her claws ended up scratching his back. Sometimes one of her antennas would poke him in the eye and he'd have to go to the doctor.
People looked at him weird when he placed her in the seat beside him in a tray of water when they went to see a movie.
At the grocery store he kept her in her own special tank in a shopping chart and pulled her along. He needed her there because she was picky about the freshness of her seafood and she was capable of doing a better job picking out the fresh than he was.
His mother -in-law didn't help much with things either. Ever since it happened she'd been snaking around trying to figure out what's going on. Ula begged Kyle not to say anything to mother. Even if he told her the truth she wouldn't believe him.
In fact, she didn't want anybody to know. So they made up this story about how she had this new job with an advertising agency and would be out of town for a while an that she would be back when they get things ironed out.
The mother-in-law stared at the tank asking why they got a pet lobster. He just told her that they like lobsters and that they are interesting creatures to have around.
She told him that he should boil that puppy up. Lobster is good eats. Ula's eyes wiggled back and forth, and her antennas went wild. Of course, she would know being from Louisiana and knew how to cook that stuff up right.
“Not this lobster,” he said. “This lobster is special.”
“Special? Like how?”
“Like really really special. It's our pet. There's no way Ula would do such a thing.”
She shook her head. “You kids these days. Treating your pets like humans with the way you dress'm up and all. Talk to'm like humans. Heck, you even give'm your food. She had this annoying habit of clicking her tongue on the roof of her mouth. Leaning in closer to the tank. “Yep, that one's got some meat on her.
It became a full time job keeping Mama away from Ula. She wanted to tear into that thing so bad she could taste it.
Licking her fat chops s at the fish tank, picturing Ula smothered in melted butter and placed beside a thick juicy steak.
He didn't have the heart to tell her that she was looking at her daughter. Many times he wanted to but Ula begged him.
He told her he would do the best he could. Marriage is till death do us part. He wasn't too sure what the rules were if your spouse turned into some creature from the sea.
Then one day after work his mother-in law was at the house. He was greeted with a mixture of spice, bell peppers and onions.
“Oh, Hi,” she said. She stood in front of a large pot on the stove stirring intensely“I know today is your birthday and since Ula is busy with business and all I decided to give you a surprise and made your favorite. Creole. A good creole takes time, got to have a good healthy roux. The flavor is all in the roux. A lot of people have a hard time making a good creole but that's cause they don't have a good roux.”
Really don't want to get her started on the whole roux thing,
“Thanks, Ma. That's nice of ya.” He loved his mother-in law's cookin'. One thing about those southern women is that they can sure whip you up a good meal.
“And I hope you don't mind. I went ahead and boiled that lobster in the tank. You know if you let them go too long their meat gets tough and hard to chew.”
Ula's tank was empty.