POP! Goes The—

There was another thud and a muffled grunt from the wall.

Cedric. Hopefully, I wouldn’t have to patch another hole in the wall.

The little weasel.

Correction: Giant weasel.

My name is Jenny, and my best friend is roughly 6’9”, rather furry, but good natured, and, if you don’t mind his inclination to shred the cushions to make himself a cozy burrow in the linen closet, he’s… nearly the perfect tenant. Minus the necessity for wall-patch kits.

Apparently, werewolves are the ones who get all the credit, but they aren’t the only branch of the family: Magna Mustela Sapiens are their cousins.

Wereferrets for short. Yes, I laughed, to Cedric’s mild hurt and chagrin.

They were less teen-angst, egotistical-alpha, and more…. make you a cup of tea, and tell you, from the living room sofa that the milk in your fridge was spoiled, after gossiping pleasantly about all of his (many) near relatives.

Cedric could smell the milk. From 20 feet away.

It made me rather self-conscious about my deodorant scent option, along with other various life choices.

I had decided, against my better judgement, to try something other than the usual ambiguous “fresh scent” I had been buying for the last 8 years, and try vanilla peach this time. Be brave. Go out of my comfort zone.

It was not a good choice.

But, I had reasoned, after many inner wrestlings with myself, (and staring gloomily at the little twist container for far longer than the decision should have taken), overly sugared, vanilla frosting, vodka-tinted fruit smell is better than B. O., right?

No. It’s not.

Cedric, like the gentleman he was, didn’t comment.

But every time I would pass, his whiskers would twitch, while he choked down a cough that sounded suspiciously like a chortle.

The brat.

I hadn’t known there was anything unusual about Cedric when he’d come as a potential applicant. He looked like your average, non-threatening, good-natured guy. He was fairly handsome, despite his slightly pointy nose, with dark hair, black-brown eyes, ringed by a thick fringe of eyelashes a girl could be jealous of.

The only noticeably different features, were his hair brushing the door jamb when he ducked through, and the thick, strangely symmetrical band of dark freckles across his nose and cheeks, and down either side of his neck.

He was funny, down-to earth, and his stable normalcy was like a life saver thrown to me while I was drowning in the midst of eel-infested waters.

You see, I’d had other applicants for my spare room.

The first interview had gone fairly well, until the girl (Frieda, if you were curious) asked me if I cared about the furniture, and would my freezer hold half of a 300 lb. frozen boar she had killed. She would need it to feed her wolves.


She had five of them waiting for her in the very beat-up Volkswagen idling down on the street.

Windows cracked, of course.

Calmly and politely, I told her no. I was very proud of my self-restraint.

The next several applicants were each more bizarre than the last, and I was getting fairly alarmed and discouraged. I really needed the rent to help with the bills, and the water heater needed repairs.

A girl’s gotta eat, and hot water is non-negotiable.

One memorable applicant had smelled like wet rust, wearing a long brown robe to match his long, filthy nails. The man never took off his hood, and only spoke blunt, monosyllabic sentences in harsh whispers.

That was a definite nope.

The next was a frog-like, and faintly luminous, green-tinted girl, with coiling, wet-looking hair. Every few minutes, during our entire conversation, the girl (Chloe, she said) would gasp and mist herself with a spray bottle, all the while beadily eyeing a fly in the windowsill.

Her main concern wasn’t the size of my freezer, but rather my bathtub.

I cheerfully informed her I only had a shower stall.

I looked for her gills as she stormed out, but couldn’t see past the faintly wriggling hair.

And then there was Cedric. Handsome, nice, and completely normal.


We hit it off immediately, and, everything arranged, I helped him move in the next day.

He was the perfect roommate. No killer pets, or serial-killer vibes, no gills.

He washed his dishes, good-naturedly picked up things I needed while on runs to the store, enjoyed the same ridiculously improbable action movies as I did.

He was considerately silent when I needed peaceful quiet after a hard day at work, or would offer witty, companionable conversation when I needed company. He went to bed early, and didn’t disturb me, aside from the occasional odd clunk from next door.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot.

The illusion of normalcy wasn’t shattered for three blissful months. And, man. Did. It. Shatter.

I can tell you, it’s a little disconcerting to shuffle groggily into the kitchen at two in the morning for a reading snack, and ram into something solid you weren’t expecting there.

Something solid, and tall, and rather hairy.

If you can imagine a quaint, properly upright, real-life Beatrix Potter-esque ferret in his dapper tweed suit, drinking tea in a gentelmanly manner while wearing a monocle, that’s the vibe Cedric put off.

Only he was wearing a white T-shirt and boxers.

Boxers with a blunt, bushy tail poking out of them.

And instead of a teacup and saucer, he was clutching a large cereal bowl to his chest, (the contents of which now adorned his shirt), looking at me with wide-eyed horror, mouth clamped tightly shut, frozen to his full, stiff height, ears pricked upright with alarm.

He looked even taller as a ferret.

The weird freckle markings suddenly made a lot more sense.

I screamed, at the exact moment he said, “Jen, I can explain!”

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