I sat at my desk, stretched my fingers to warm them up and pulled open my current WIP. The older four kids are tucked in bed and I had just laid my infant down in the crib. It was time to get some serious writing time in. I had a nice, tense battle scene to plow through—lots of action and drama to keep the muse engaged.

Finally I could flip on some up-beat, dramatic music (you know, the stuff that so does not put infants to sleep) and dive in. My fingers flew over those keys and I relished the sense of freedom of having both hands to type. A rare treat indeed.

Soon I was deep in the head and anguish of my heroes.

A low rustle made me pause and I stood to peer over my desk into the dinning room. Sometimes my two year old will sneak down and raid the kitchen. No one was there.

I launched back into my writing.

A little while longer I glanced up at the ceiling. A small dark form crept across the textured surface, heading my way. A 2.5 inch long cockroach.

Apparently it’s the season. A few days before my Husband had killed four of them in a three room area and the span of a two hour show. Earlier in that day I had killed two more.

But this time, my Husband was asleep and I was alone. It didn’t take much of an imagination to envisioning it falling or fluttering down on top of me. I got up and slowly backed away from my computer.

What to do. A can of spray sat in the kitchen, on the other side of the dining room. I could get a broom to knock it down, but my desk was a mass of papers and books, complete with hundreds of hiding places, maybe a thousand.

Still the critter advanced. I had the overhead light on and I tried exaggerated movements. I mean, aren’t they supposed to head away from that sort of stuff? Why did it always seem like the stupid things head right for the danger? It could have the entire kitchen area if it’d just leave me in peace! I just wanted to write.

Yet my computer sat abandoned on the battlefield, mid sentence and the courser blinked mockingly. Surely I wasn’t going to let a bug get the better of me. Surely not.

But I didn’t have any shoes on. I hate the crunch (cringe, ew) and it takes like half a can of spray to kill one, chasing and spraying for a solid 5 min flurry, leaving behind not only the buggy mess (assuming that I managed to kill it instead of the more likely event of losing it at or around my desk), but also bathing my desk and papers in poison… so not appealing.

I tried to will the thing to head back. I glared at it, studying it’s every movement, every hesitation. Like a deer caught in the road, it paused, veered aside, paused, headed back, circled around and crept closer.

Then it stilled, perched directly above my desk. Minutes ticked by. It shifted a little this way and that, but seemed content in its general perch.

My heart plummeted. Come on!

The muse was willing, but the flesh was definitely weak.

I swallowed and crept to the side of my computer. While constantly glancing up, I slid the little white arrow over the start button and sent my computer into blissful hibernation.

I plodded to the light switch, glared at the creepy invader clinging to the ceiling of the abandoned battleground, then flipped the switch and fled up stairs.

So hate cockroaches.

However,  though I retreated, I keep a pen and stash of paper in the bathroom… I shall never be defeated!

About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

7 comments on “Invasion

  1. Ren! You’re making me laugh! I’m quite sure I heard Star Wars theme music (a la Darth Vader) every time a roach marched across my bedroom floor in college! Since this deeply offended me, I killed those roaches with dispatch! 😀

    For NEXT time, why not keep a jar handy? It’s easy to scoop the latest invader up, slap the lid on and later run your latest specimen outdoors, where you can decant it and let it go well away from the house, or smack it thoroughly with a flat, treadless shoe (also kept handy by the door for such things).

    Also if you’re getting a lot of these invaders, have you considered lining the inside ledges of cupboards, chests of drawers, and closets with boric acid? We used that all the time in Indonesia. It’s poisonous to roaches, and fairly harmless to humans, and will discourage them from getting too at home among your foodstuffs in your pantry, or your linens and bedding.

    And, there are “roach motels” and roach traps that might also work hard so that you don’t have to–

    I feel quite certain that Terminix would be happy to come out and diagnose where this infestation is incubating, and how it’s getting into your house; and give you a plan for stopping it. Usually, if there’s roaches, they’re nesting somewhere that you don’t want them.

    • Great advice. We do use jars… it was jut too high in that spot and trying to climb on top of my messy desk probably isn’t a good idea. We have boric acid and I should disperse more of it. I’m pretty sure of where they’re getting in. The back door is old and doesn’t really seal well. That’s where I’m sure this one came from. The other spot is from the garage. Even outside of being the garage, our garage doors are very old and literally have holes in several spots where the wood has rotted through. The managers for the landlord have been talking about replacing them ever since we first moved in (three years ago). Last I heard the workers were supposed to come “any day now”. After a week of them not showing up she apparently gave them our contact info so that they could arrange it directly with us… but that was more than a month ago and we can’t seem to get ahold of either party now…

      I actually grew up in an area with cockroaches. Although I hate them, they are familiar. My poor Husband though… had never faced one until we moved down here. The first one totally freaked him out. Now he’s good with the shoes and jars (and nailing them with the solid bottom of containers). He hates them as much as I do.

      Thanks for the great advice, Krysti.

    • Krysti, I’m shocked, SHOCKED that you could make it sound so easy! Capture it in a jar?!?!?!?!? Do you know how close you’d have to get to it to capture it in a jar?!

      The boric acid is a good idea, though. I coated the floor of my coat closet with the stuff because that’s where the crickets were hanging out. Have I mentioned my feelings for crickets? (That’s rhetorical–I had a post, much like this one, about my encounter with a cricket, entitled “This Means War.”)

  2. Ren, I totally feel your pain. This would be an instance that would be worth waking my husband up for.

    • lol, thanks. Though I admit that crickets don’t bother me nearly as much. We had a couple of those pass through our kids’ room, nearly traumatizing my now 4-yr-old, but I can scoop them up into a container no prob. Now… I could do a couple spider posts, like the one my son found in the middle of our living room and thought was a toy until he touched it. Believe me, I dearly wanted it to be a toy when I saw it. Size is definitely a factor. Seriously, the little dots that are somehow related to cockroaches, but are small enough that I can smash them under a tissue… don’t kid yourself, that may have the potential to BECOME a cockroach, but it ain’t one yet. It’s just not the same thing. With them I have neither fear or mercy.

      Correction – It HAD the potential… before it met up with me.

      • You have to understand where I’m coming from, Avily, that I would suggest capture with jars. (shrugging) I COULD also suggest smartly grinding the blunt hard end of a broom against the ceiling, but as Ren pointed out, if she missed, it would have had ample opportunity to hide in her papers. While the surprise element of finding it again might weigh with her, the consideration that it might chew up something important to her weighs rather more heavily with me…

        I grew up in Indonesia. I hated cockroaches. There was this one incident early in my teen years where Mom handed me a map tube full of curtain rods and told me very specifically to take it out into the middle of the yard and remove the rods. I did not follow directions very well. I wasn’t even out of the wash house when I started tugging on rods. This was a very bad idea. Cockroaches “fountained” –can I say that? because I AM saying that!– out of that map tube by the dozens! I dropped the map tube and climbed the wash house wall in full cry. People came running, not least my mother, who was quite cross with me, because now all of those roaches were loose in her wash house!

        God has a sense of humor. When I went back to school, I somehow found myself volunteering or volunteered (I forget) for stage crew for an upcoming play. One of the first things we had to do was to remove heavy layers of professionally applied papier mache “rocks” from the stage props. Those rocks had been sitting there rotting since the musical Don Quixote the previous spring. It was now September, and not only was there mouse pee liberally applied throughout the rocks, but there were cockroaches. THOUSANDS of cockroaches. We lost count of how many we crushed by accident while we tried to scrape that junk off. It got so that we took off our flip flops and went barefoot, just so that we could step on the little blighters without getting them stuck between our flip flops and our feet.

        So you see, Avily, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to really, truly care about the shock and surprise of seeing a cockroach where it shouldn’t be ever again in my life…

  3. […] who’s read my post Invasion knows how I feel about cockroaches. I can take the living far away from family, the hot weather and […]

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