Screams filled the hallway. The shrieks of small children in a panic interrupted the final once-over I was attempting on my manuscript before sending it in to a publisher in yet another desperate attempt to get noticed.
“No, it’s just a spider.”
“Well, kill it then,” I said. The kids get a nickel for killing spiders and crickets that venture into the house.
If crickets swarmed and made trails across my floor, marching two-by-two and scurrying around in a tizzy, I’d move out. Crickets are worse than ants, any day of the week.
But ants are harder to get rid of. And I can’t afford the number of nickels it would take to kill them all.
I pulled out my trusty ant annihilator. Known to some as the common vacuum, this trusty machine has seen me through many an ant invasion. You can’t just vacuum them up–they keep coming, forever and ever–but you can thin the herd long enough to sweep the crackers out from under the dresser that they’re chowing on and mop up the sticky places on the floor and spray the poison at their point of entry.
The point of entry turned out to be the closet in my daughter’s room. A black hole from which no mortal being has ever emerged alive, yet somehow the ant army managed to claw its way forth, their horrid little bodies with all their little legs racing across the floor. Hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of them darting to and fro, a trail leading from the closet to the dresser across the room to the hallway beyond. No matter how many the Ant Annihilator sucked up, no matter how much debris I cleaned out, still they came.
Driven by the overpowering need to consume.
Much like my children do on a daily basis, but with more legs.
It was time for the poison.
I murdered as many of them as I could with the Ant Annihilator, then sprayed the can of foul-smelling chemicals at their base of operations. The troops that were still amassed on my side of the border swarmed, determined not to go down without a fight. They attacked, mercilessly nibbling my feet and legs in a kamikaze attempt to bring me down with them.
But I was too powerful. My Ant Annihilator and my mop proved victorious in the end.
The invasion was halted.
Victory was mine.