“A girl is a person who screams at the mouse and smiles at the wolf.” Shyam Kapoor
Let’s get a couple things straight here; I’ve never been a screamer. Maybe, it’s the tomboy in me, but I don’t ever remember letting out one of those high pitched wailing screams - A scream capable of sending a shudder dancing up someone’s spine and teeth chattering in grinding pulsation.
Since we’re trading personality traits, I'll readily admit I am a flinger. I’m 98% sure all humans are ingrained with the fling reflex on the off chance something offending, somehow finds its way into their hand.
All these things play a role in the following story. Beware what happens when a writer’s imagination gets away with her.
I turned off the light and snuggled down into clean sheets and up to Paul. My hand absently strokes against something rough, which tickles my palm (this isn’t that kind of story). I immediately felt along the length of my braid to the tail end, making sure my braid wasn’t the culprit. The realization that’s not me slams home with a shudder. Fingers outstretched, I explore the space beside my pillow once again. Oh holy mother…whatever it is, is now in my hand with legs, lots of legs. I fling it toward the end of the bed.
Now here’s where it gets stupid, really stupid. I should have known. A classic ‘don’t open that door’ moment from a horror movie. For one the working dog wonder did not run out of the room post haste with her tail tucked between her legs, and she’s deathly afraid of bugs.
Reluctant to turn on the light like a frightened little girl, I refused to be alarmed and curl back up under the covers, only to stare restless for hours at the end of the bed. Waiting. My eyes droop heavily, shuttering open and closed in a fitful fight against the sandman and sleep. Slumber wins in a welcome tired reprieve.
Mere minutes later, my eyes fly open. Something had scurried crablike over my wrist and off. A low moan, escapes my lips. Fingers curl inward and around the revolting crawling heap until goo leaks down over my knuckles, followed by a crackling pop. I react and fling the predatory nuisance over the edge of the bed. With a groan, I grab up a handful of tissues and scrub at my hand.
At this point you would think (at least the logical assumption would be), I’d turn on a light to see my nemesis. Instead, I push myself deep into the middle of the bed - shoving Paul to the edge and almost off the far side, and wrap the sheets and quilt around me tight, leaving my side of the bed bare. I sat vigil waiting, expecting something to come crawling over the edge with possible reinforcements this time.
Dare I peek? The way my night was going? Not a chance. At this rate, I’d find the boogey man hiding under the bed. Four AM – I finally fall into a fitful sleep.
The next morning emboldened by the light of day, I searched every square inch of my bedroom for the night creeper. Nothing – not one single insectile leg or denizen was to be found.
So now we’ve established three things: I’m not a screamer, I’m a flinger, and I’m a writer. If only I could stop psyching myself out and imagining a nauseating creature crawling off to lick her wounds and spawning more of her ilk for revenge.
Things of note:
*Paul would have gladly come to my rescue had I awoke him.
**No one was bitten by a repugnant bug during this reenactment.
***Writer’s tend to let their imaginations create dystopia realities, when confronted by alien like bugs.