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Mia Bonds and Alexandria Knight, Editorial Assistants


The thing sleeping next to me is not my husband. It looks just like him. The same black [18 across] [3 down] with grey, the same moles forming [6 across] on its face. It sounds like him too, mostly. Voice low and rough like gravel, though it sounds rougher to me lately. My [7 down] grows. I see it in the slightest [9 down] of its demeanor, the monster that has replaced my [8 across] husband.

I noticed it first in the way it said, “I love you”. Not with adoration, but like it was [22 across], trying to make sure I don’t dig too deep. It steps out late at night, returning early in the morning. It comes home to me [17 down] and [15 across]-white, its [23 down] twitchy, its breath [21 down]. It has a [12 across] cough that it refuses to address. Not like my husband. My husband used to call the doctor for [24 across]. Now it dismisses my concerns with a wave of its hand and a handkerchief tight over its mouth.

It’s losing weight now too. Whatever demon has taken over his body is turning him into skin and [1 down]. I [14 down] the day it takes him from me fully, this [2 down]. That day seems to be coming soon. In moments of weakness, I’ve tried to touch it, feel my husband’s skin again. It stops me every time, blames it on feeling [11 down]. But I see the real reason, the [16 down] ulcers leaking under his shirt. Some days I want to grab it and shake it, scream at the demon to go somewhere else, find another [25 across] to suck the life from.

It has taken to the spare room. Now my [5 across] feels [4 across]. This [13 across] figure constantly out of my eyeline. A violent impulse [26 across] If he’s still in there, trapped in his own body by a [19 across] monster, is it not my responsibility to free him? And if he’s not, if my husband is truly gone, am I to allow it to use him forever? I feel the knife [10 down] from my side, squeezed taught by the waistline of my dress. I knock. I knock again. I [20 down] nothing when it opens the door, presenting to it a warm smile, and hot plate of food.


Mia Bonds is an undergraduate at McNeese University in the Bachelor of English program, with a concentration in creative writing. She is serving as an editorial assistant for McNeese’s Boudin and as the editor of McNeese’s The Arena. She is dedicated to honing her writing skills so that she can entertain audiences with unique and inspiring Christian fiction stories after she graduates.

Alexandria Knight is a student at McNeese State University where she is pursuing a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing. Outside of her studies, she can be found tending to her pet goldfish, Seymour, or playing the piano.


To learn more about submitting your work to Boudin or applying to McNeese State University’s Creative Writing MFA program, please visit Submissions for details.

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