Starfish

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“Alright, losers, guess what we got!” Daniel shouted as he kicked the door in, startling me and making Scarlet jump out of her seat. Nathan looked up from his game for a second and raised an eyebrow and the massive fish tank Daniel and Vaughn were hauling into the room.
“What in the name of Lo are you morons doing?” Scarlet hissed. Daniel shushed her and placed the tank right next to the stove.
“I found what we’ll be having for dinner tonight!” Daniel said excitedly. A feverish glimmer danced in his eyes, one that worried me considerably. I got up and walked over to the tank, my curiosity overpowering the sense of dread that was creeping down my spine. As I got closer to the tank, I noticed there was no movement in the water, which confused me even more than I was before. A ripple on the sand of the tank alerted me to something in the sand. I inched closer to see several shaped half buried in the sand. There were about twelve small shapes in the sand, all of them various colors. Five little points came from each of the centers of the shapes.
Starfish.
The hair on the back of my neck and arms shot up as my vision tunneled. I backed away from the tank, out of the kitchen and into the living room. I hit the couch, rolled over Lilyla and Alyce and crouched down behind them.
“Jeol, what the Hell are you do-” Lilyla tried, but I shushed her and shakily turned my head to Daniel and Vaughn, who were still in the kitchen, giving me a weird look.
“D-daniel, V-v-v-vaughn, why did y-you guys buy a t-tank full of sta-sta-sta-”
“Oh my gods!” Scarlet jumped from where she was on the couch and came right up next to me, cutting into my personal space.
“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of starfish?” She mockingly laughed.
“Sh-shut up!” I hissed. “They’re demonic things from the watery pits of Hell! Worse than spiders or snakes or anything of the sort. Have you seen how they look like on the bottom? They’re repulsive! Do you know how they eat? They pump their stomachs outside of their bodies and dissolve the food right there. It’s so gross! Plus they  have eyes on their arms, and have dozens of little feet, and don’t even have brains, and can regrow a limb to the point it becomes another starfish, and, and, and,” I started rambling, but was cut off by Scarlet’s manic laughter.
“Starfish! Are you serious, Ra’an? Starfish? Why the hell are Starfish your phobia?” Scarlet said in between laughs. I felt my face get hot. The tips of my ears started to burn.
“S-s-so what? Everyone has a fear,” I spat back at her.
“Oh please. No one has a fear li-” Scarlet started.
“Cats,” Nathan said from his spot on the couch. We all turned to look at him.
“I can’t go near a cat. The way their faces are shaped creep me out to no end. Have you see how their mouths open when they yawn? It’s like looking into a gateway to Hell,” Nathan continued.
“Wha- babe!” Scarlet’s voiced cracked.
“Why? It’s only fair that I share my fear with him. We are partners, after all,” Nathan said. Scarlet huffed.
“Well, I hope you don’t expect me to reveal what I fear simply because of a teammate,” Scarlet stopped crouching next to me and away from the living room.
“Scarlet is afraid of mice. Like, to the point of paralysis,” Alyce piped up. I snorted unconsciously at the thought that this proud and vain girl was afraid of rodents. Scarlet spun on her heel and shot me a look of embarrassment masked with anger.
“Oh? You have something to say, do you?” Scarlet barked.
“What? No, I just-” I tried to explain myself, but stopped short when I saw Scarlet stomping towards the tank. She dunked her hand into the water and pulled out a white starfish with yellow dots. I jumped away from the living room and ran towards the stairs. I could hear Scarlet stomping behind me with a malicious fury in her step. I skipped steps to get to the top faster. I cold sweat sweat poured down my forehead and into my eyes when I heard Scarlet howl my name in anger. I sprinted down the hall of the third level and barreled into my room, slamming the door shut behind me. I locked the door just as it bent over the force of Scarlet hitting it.
“Ra’an, the moment you open this door, I swear to the gods you’re dead,” Scarlet seethed from beyond my door. I sat on my bed, realizing how hard my heart was pounding.
“Heh. I’d like to see you try it, Scar,” I laughed, a flood of relief washing over me as I realized that I had escaped the five-armed danger for now.






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