After a long, grueling day at work, you get home and set down the bag of soft drinks you picked up from the gas station on your way. You’re tired, you’re thirsty, and suddenly, you’re struck motionless, petrified with fear over the horror now crawling out of the sack and onto your kitchen counter. Apparently you picked up a hitchhiker from the gas station and he’s decided to make your place his new home.
Slowly, patiently, you move a quiet hand past your peripheral vision, searching for a spray bottle, only to find none. The creature doesn’t seem to notice your blind efforts, but scurries along, anyway, in search of a quick meal. Your patience, being a thinly veiled facade, begins to unravel as you search desperately in the air for some liquid you can pour over it. Just then, you find a bottle of hot sauce—and a very hot one it is!—perhaps this will set the pest ablaze as it has your own taste buds countless times over?
Take that! And you miss. And that! A long, crimson streak now eats into the skin of your countertop, threatening your deposit. The crepuscular creature slips over the edge, and you race to beat it to the other side. Just then, you find the spray bottle you were looking for, but the six-legged nightmare has vanished into a crevice, where the counter ought to have been flush with the frame—the hallmark of a shoddy carpenter.
Desperately, you spray all around the gap, pulling the trigger as hard and as fast as you can. You change the dial from spray to stream, but there is no indication that your efforts have been effective in drowning or poisoning this intruder.
But this isn’t your first rodeo. You break out the dust—that magic dust that makes all creepy crawlies disappear—and throw measuring cups full of it all along the edges of the floor and countertop. Then, like a hysterical spaz, you sprinkle it all over the floor, in every room. Complimenting this methodical madness, you go around the apartment and turn on each and every light, burning down the darkness to mere slivers beneath the feet of your furniture, for you know that these kinds of creatures abhor the light as much as you abhor them.
Finally, with a can of Raid in hand, you walk into your bedroom and sit there and wait, and wait. As the hours pass, you occasionally sharpen your arithmetic skills, as you humor the fantasy of sleep, and attempt to calculate just how much rest you might get if you dozed off right now. But who has time for sleep when the terror threat level is now a pulsating red?
Meanwhile, your ears have been perked up all along, and for the most part you have been staring out into nothing; just listening for anything. What was that? Was that the building creaking? Or that? Perhaps it was just the air coming on, blowing over some papers.
Nothing. You’re too easily spooked by small noises. But then, Pop! And you’re frozen. Glass has just shattered all over your kitchen floor. Pop! And now your living room, too. Pop! And you realize that the lights in your apartment are now systematically going out; one-by-one. Pop! Pop! Pop! And then there was only one. Alone in your room, the light of your lamp has never felt so dim. Silence swallows your apartment unit, and you dare not break it, lest you lose the last few remnants of your sanity in the process. And then you see it.
Its silhouette creeps along the wall, quietly growing in size: the manifestation of every ounce of dread you’ve been fighting to restrain all this time. It’s on your one and only light source, perched atop the lamp shade, and all it does is stare out at your from its beady, hollow eyes. Its antennae waving—it mocks you, knowing there is nothing you can do. It’s cornered you here, in your own room, and you have no where to go. And then, beyond yourself, your hind brain takes over, and forces out a blood-curdling scream—a primordial cry for help.
You scream yourself into shock as this inhuman voice violently courses through your vocal cords, straining the muscles, stealing the wind from your lungs; and for the life of you, you can’t even make it stop. The experience cements the terror that has arrested your body, preventing you from fleeing from this nightmare. And just before your remaining breaths burn away, as you descend into the dizzying balm of unconsciousness, He appears!
His gargantuan paw seems larger than life as it comes crashing down onto the shadow of your tormentor! But, as it does, so, too goes with it the last glimmer of hope, as the light of the lamp comes crashing down with it. Crack! And darkness engulfs you all. But from the sound of the fray, it’s clear that this ordeal is not yet over.
Your nocturnal companion and guardian takes on Hell, itself, as it fights for your honor, and for all of feline-kind, as it tries, valiantly, to vanquish this voracious vermin violator; and all, seemingly, in vain: for his distressed shrieks, hisses, and thumps indicate that even He is outmatched.
You fumble about in the darkness, searching for that emergency flashlight you were always sure you’d never need. And, of course, it doesn’t have a charge and you need to crank it for about a minute; but for you, that might as well be an eternity in purgatory. As you wind it around and around, frantically, you’re convinced that your cat is dying, and needs your help, but you dare not leave the safety of your blanket.
A minute later, silence falls once again upon your domicile. Your flashlight should be charged by now, and you clumsily fool around with it, desperately searching for the switch. Foolishly, you blind yourself, momentarily, but regain your sight quickly enough to react to the scene before you:
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar is nibbling on the carcass of the dead cockroach. He’s not even hungry, he’s just playing with it; sadistically pulling it to pieces. You breathe a sigh of relief which breaks out into a sore laugh. You have haven’t laughed this hard in a while—and after tonight, you really need it. You call Sir Digby over to you and stroke him in silence. A silence which is only broken by the pitter-patter of six, tiny legs scurrying along your bathroom floor.