"Wake up, Gregor, you’ll be late for work!" That was how the worst morning of my life started.
Mother knocked on my bedroom door for the third time that morning, but I just wanted to curl up under the covers. I tried to pull them over my head, but couldn’t seem to get a good grip. So, grudgingly, I lifted my head off the pillow.
Or tried to. I yowled in pain as my left cheek suddenly felt as if something were trying to tear it off my face. Or several somethings, pulling themselves out from under my left arm. I jerked it back; there was a tearing sound.
More pounding on the door. "Gregor! What in God’s name are you doing in there!"
I opened my eyes, but the sunlight streaming through the curtains was blindingly bright. I tried to sit up, managing only to roll over on my back, dumping the covers on the floor at the same time. Finally opening my eyes, I noticed that my outstretched arm was covered with yellow-orange fur.
"What the FUCK??" I tried to yell, but it came out as "rrrRRrRrrRROWR!"
Eventually, I collected my senses and rolled back over. Gingerly, I extended my left leg over the side of the bed until it touched the floor. Then the right. I pushed my body off the bed and tried to stand up, but started to fall. I barely got my arms out in front of me.
On all fours, I managed to make it over into the bathroom. Over in a corner of the bathroom there was an upside-down pallet my Dad had fixed up for me. Did my business and cleaned myself up. I walked back through the bedroom and out through the flap Dad had cut in the door for me. Nobody was waiting there for me, of course. In the old days, Mom would be standing there, pick me up, and calling me her "little Gregor-wegor", carry me down the stairs. I’d long since learned to climb down the stairs myself.
A wonderful smell came out of the kitchen as I padded in. There was some of yesterdays' fish in my dish. That was a change; they were being extra nice to me today.
I heard footsteps behind me, but the fish was too tasty to ignore. "There you are. Come on." A hand reached down and picked me up by the neck. The hand turned me around to look into it’s owner’s face. Not a cheerful Mom dangling a mouse on a string, but my father, looking drawn and rather worn-out. I followed him out into the driveway, he held the car door open for me to jump up. He started up the motor and pulled out.
It wasn't until I climbed up on the rear dashboard that I realized we weren't driving to the small printing firm where I was HR director. I emitted a small "rrorwr?"
"Gregor, we’ve tried to be patient. You can’t keep on being so dependent on us. Your poor Mother’s an emotional wreck after having to clean out your box every day. And God knows we gave you several months to try to find your own place.
"That was the fourth mattress you’ve torn apart this week, and it was the last straw. And so, instead of taking you to work, I’m going to drop you off at the shelter."
Apologies to Franz Kafka, or possibly Scott Adams. But not both.