There are no bats in this story.
Well you sure look like one! [Other young men giggle or twitch their hands.]
Go on. Feed the flower, child.
He doesn't wanna do it! [The young man stands up. There are no longer feet on the coffee table.] Give me that coin!
The young man, a solid bio-engineering grad school candidate, tries to get up from the filthy sofa, but he is knocked back down as if by a sonic boom.
Suddenly, there is disco.
Reptily's hackles rise atop her head to full height, translucent like tough, thin slabs of bacon shocked with blue.
The faces of Jan's daughter Jan and her boyfriend Lloyd can be seen peeking through the outside window to the chamber of the Mthyuh First House. Behind them, the ankles and three-clawed feet of Mrs. Jansdaad have stopped, steaming in the dust, and the music, except for the highest and most soulful of the voices, has faded completely.
The young men may or may not not have believed in the Monster Poinsettia, but they all know what a K looks, sounds and smells like, even from miles away. Now there is one that appears to be waiting patiently outside their door.
Take me, Chama. I am your slave. I pray that Mthyuh eats me first.
One by one, the young men fall to their knees around the Spanish-revival coffee table, repeating the chant, holding tight to the rings of black wrought iron letting their tears, snot, and drool rest on its glass top now instead of their shoes.
Soon the five young men can be seen obediently following the Chama's five fleke slaves up into the jungle and this way and that in a line along the switchback trail that crosses the hill to Mthyuh Chank. The one on the end has been tasked with carrying the poinsettia, which he holds at arms length and with great exertion as far away as he can from his face.
Greetings of welcome my travelers, fresh through The Crack. Welcome to Mthyuh First House. Your moment of arrival couldn't have been more auspicious. I would invite you in, but... [Chama steps further outside, cranes her neck back and blinks awkwardly to parse Mrs. Jansdaad's hideous face from a blinding sky of bright, silvery clouds.]