Friday, November 14, 2008

This Happens About Ten Times a Day

The following is based on a true story. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

What Lurks Beneath

Terror grips me as I look around the kitchen. The counter is clean. The dishes are drying in the rack. The only thing out of place is the cooling pasta on the stove.

I step closer and peer into the pot, then let out a shaky breath. There's still enough left for another meal, a small lunch tomorrow or a snack after work.

I step away from the counter and drop my gaze to the cabinets near the floor. I don't want to do it. My heartbeat quickens as I glance at my husband in the living room. He's unaware of the danger lurking in front of me. To him, women's work is simple, a daily chore he doesn't need to bother with.

I look back at the cabinet and take a deep breath. I can't let the food go to waste.

I curl my fingers around the knob and pull. Ever so slowly I lower into a crouch until I can peer into the murky depths of the cabinet. Plastic bowls are stacked neatly on the shelf. They're what I came for, but I can't help myself. I look deeper.

A light scratching noise draws my attention to the lower shelf. Did I imagine it? Is something back there, or is my husband just heeding mother nature?

I lean back on my heels, unsure what to do next, when suddenly I see it. A dark body flashes through the gloom, its legs flying as it scurries to another hiding place.

I scream, then leap to my feet. I wrench open another cabinet, with only a slight pause as my fear is already aroused, and grab the orange can left at the edge of the shelf. I aim it at the villain, then with an evil laugh, I spray.

The creature leaps to my feet. It lands on its back, legs flailing, taunting my soft side with its misery. It wants me to let him go. We've done this charade before, and it knows I'll cave it I think it's suffering.

I hold the can closer and let loose another spray.

It writhes on the floor, spinning in circles, a desperate dance that will only lead to death.

Calmer now, I reach for the broom and with a viscous swipe, fling it onto the patio.

Suddenly, it's back on its feet. It runs in circles, panic driving it into the wall where it falls once more to its back.

I give it another push and it plunges off the balcony. I set down the broom and return to the kitchen. While I'm sliding the leftovers into the tupperware, my husband calls from the other room.

"Everything okay in there?"

I smile to myself. "Yes, dear." I've won, for now.


Is anyone else terrified every time they have to open the cupboard?


Geraldo Maia said...

Hello Melanie,
És un grande placer estar visitando tu agradable y interessante blog.
Saludos desde Brazil:

Melanie Avila said...

Gracias Geraldo, y bienvenidos!

Janna Qualman said...

ROFL! *snort* From the disclaimer at the beginning and all the way through, that was an AWESOME post!

I've definitely had that feeling before. I hate the critters that lurk. *shudders*

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Janna. I decided to share when I cringed for the millionth time when grabbing something from the cupboard.

Turkey Lurkey said...

I understand how you feel. Every time I hear the phone ring, I cringe... it might be my in-laws calling. (shiver)
Great post! I was right there with you. :)

colbymarshall said...

Mordthor is after you!

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, it's a terror that almost can't be described. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Colby, you're not kidding!

Penguin said...

Nope no fear of opening the cupboards.
Now going into a web infested area, that is something that will make me scream like a little girl.

Vile little eight legged creatures.

Jen said...

Cabinets are okay. Basements, not so much.

It's a bug playground down there! Ewww.

Nice job, Mel!

spyscribbler said...

Awww, Melanie, your post would make me laugh but I can only think of how awful that would be. You are very brave, and I am not kidding! I'd be terrified!

I am learning how lucky I am to live in snowland. We never get bugs. We don't even have to spray or anything. I don't know how I'd survive down South!

We do get a stray mouse now and then, but my cats take care of it.

Melanie Avila said...

Penguin, that's quite an image. ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Jen, I grew up terrified of spiders but now I think I'd rather have those.

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, you don't know how many times I think to myself (spray can in hand), "there's no place like home, there's no place like home." Home being someplace with snow and cold and no cockroaches unless you're really really unclean.

And I'm not exaggerating AT ALL with my post.

Travis Erwin said...

I wish my wife would dispose of them herself instead of dispatching me to do the dirty work.

Melanie Avila said...

Travis, if they actually DIE, I make him dispose of them. Especially if they're near the bathroom or bedroom. If they're squirming around in the kitchen, I fling them off the patio.

Dorkys Ramos said...

omg ewww I have this huge phobia of those mutant roaches that never seem to DIE!

At least I used to until I moved out and had no one to rescue me when I saw my first one here. I actually let out a scream when I did what I had to do. Gross!

Btw, am here from colby's blog and I just got back from Mexico two days ago :)

Melanie Avila said...

Hi Dorkys! I know who you are - I just replied to something you said on Colby's blog (about ginger ale. had to drink some yesterday for that very reason).

Where in Mexico were you?

I scream every time, which is why he eventually asks if I'm ok, lol. My first apartment on my own I had to face my spider fears. I knew it was a test, and I think I passed.

Anonymous said...

Gawd, do we not have the most hideous roaches in the history of ever here? I was sitting on the toilet the other day and one was suddenly crawling up my shirt. You can actually FEEL their feet moving on you. EEEEEEEK. I don't get them in the house very often anymore (thanks to the exterminador) but every once in a while I have to kill one and the sound, the squish, ICK!!!!


Melanie Avila said...

OhmyGodIjustgotchillsallover! BLECK!

Jes, I cannot step on them. I just can't. That's why I fling them off the deck. I'm sure the neighbors below love me for it, but I assume the cats that are always on the roof eat them.

I told you about when I changed the roll of toilet paper while sitting on the toilet and one crawled out of the roll, down my fingers and into my lap, right?

Zoe Winters said...

hahahaha, no, but a thousand angry feminists died just now when you used the phrase: "woman's work."


Melanie Avila said...

Silly Zoe, we're in Mexico. And it was a joke. ;)

Rachel Burton said...

Ick ick ugh. I'd be terrified as well! And at the thought they're crawling around on things I eat off of.

Melanie Avila said...

Rachel, I try not to think about that and just wash everything often.

Robin said...

Oh man! I'm so glad I read your post right before I went to bed! I am spraying the entire house now. If anything dares to crawl on my bed (besides Adam), it's dead!

Melanie, that was so friggin' funny. But I'm with Spy, in that I know how much it sucks, too. I once lived on the Fenway in Boston, and when I turned on the light in the bathroom, I'd close my eyes so I wouldn't see the cockroaches scurrying for cover. What you don't know, etc.

My roommate used to spray constantly and I'd yell at her. I'd say, "Look, Dumbalina - the cockroaches are fine, but the toxic fumes are gonna kill us!"

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, I often think that same thing when I'm spraying all over. Quite often I chase bees out of the house by spraying them and while I'm careful to move my cup of water, I'm sure I'm breathing in the fumes.

Zoe Winters said...

hehe I know it was a joke. That's why I did my "spitty face": :P

Nadine said...

*raises hand*

I, too, am afraid every time I open a cupboard. Unfortunately I also recently found some eggs casings and they were empty, so I know there will be more.

We bought some boric acid and some little traps, but they just crawl right over them... :(

Kreyfish said...

while my front brain was laughing from your awesome story telling, the back brain just couldn't let go some past memories of Zoomers and the infamous 'critters'... I'm way proud of you... You've come a long way. Oddly, SoCal has the same critters, just the size of small pets! I'm not even kidding. Our office building is especially cozy for their multiplying... Stay vigilant!

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, eggs? Ick.

Ick, ick, ick.

Melanie Avila said...

K, you know I never killed a single creepy-crawly at Zoom? I'm sure I killed a couple spiders, but never those weird millipede things.