The Battle Against the Demon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story that I wrote about my experiences with bugs at my apartment in South Roxana, IL.

Submitted: March 01, 2010

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Submitted: March 01, 2010

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When Taylar applied to Southern, let’s just say it was a tad late in the year. In fact, they had already assigned housing…all of it. She had always wondered what it would be like to live on her own, and now her dream was going to become a reality. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a very big budget, and finding a place was difficult. It was looking like she would have to spend yet another semester at home. There was only one place that would work for her modest budget, and so she decided to check it out. She had decided that if it wasn’t infested with bugs, she’d take it. As a young girl, she had never had many encounters with bugs. Her houses were always bug -free, for the most part. When she was in second grade, her family moved into an old Victorian house built in 1898. One would assume being that the house was so old, it would have many problems. But other than the incredibly creaky floors (making sneaking out virtually impossible) there weren’t any problems. Still, many nights while she was sleeping, she used to dream that her room became completely infested with bugs. All kinds of bugs, you name em’, they were there. In her dreams, she’d wake up and her room, her bed, and her body were covered. There wasn’t a glimpse of anything but bugs. At that point during the dream she’d wake up terrified and scream for her mom, while at the same time checking herself to make sure none of the “dream bugs” had made it through her dreams and into reality. So ever since, she’s had this horrible fear of them. She always knew having this fear would haunt her throughout her life, after all there’s no way to avoid bugs forever, but she never could have guessed the events of the days to come.

The place looked fairly clean of bugs when she visited, so despite it smelling like an ashtray, she signed the contract, only to find out a week later that Southern did have a space open for her. Of course by that time she had already gotten herself a cat and signed a contract, so taking the space was out of the question. She had gotten the cat just in case there were any bug problems. She figured it’s a cat, so it must like to eat bugs. She decided to call her Kitty until she’d find a more suitable name, although she never did, and the cat remains Kitty to this day. Her family and her boyfriend came down from their home town of Geneseo (about four hours away) to help her move into her new place. The place smelled a lot better this time, instead of smelling like straight cigarettes, it now smelled like paint with a hint of cigarettes. There was also a strange stench that she’d never smelled before, and no one could seem to figure out this odd new odor. It wasn’t a good smell, but it was livable, kind of like a hospital. Her mom stayed the first week to help her get settled. They had noticed a few roaches, although her mom assured her it would be alright. She said, “In any case you have a cat and they eat bugs.”

Untrue. Apparently this depends on the cat, Taylar’s seemed to have absolutely no interest in chasing bugs or anything of the sort, but give her a brand new curtain, and she’ll go to town. But just in case, she ran down to the dollar store and bought some Raid. When her mom left, things increasingly got worse. For one thing, more bugs were appearing, but also, she didn’t have anyone to kill them for her anymore. Roaches for some reason didn’t bother her, it was seeing a bug she’d never seen before that really freaked her out. One night she saw one crawling across the ceiling. It had the body of a cockroach mixed with an ant, and long antennas that seemed to be reaching out at her. When she turned on the light it started flying around. She got him with the fly swatter but she wasn’t taking any more chances. She couldn’t have pulled out the can of raid faster if someone had said draw. The entire house was instantaneously drenched with bug spray. She managed to drain the three bottles within seconds between two of the five rooms. The smell wasn’t very good, actually it was an odor she’d recently smelled. Then it hit her. It was that strange new aroma she’d smelt the day she moved in. The landlord must’ve known there were bugs. Terrific! She was out and there was still ground yet to be covered. The next day she went to Wal-Mart and nearly bought them out.

A couple of days later she woke up in the middle of the night, only to find another strange bug. This one was huge! It was about as big around as a donut hole, only nowhere near as tasty or comforting. It looked like some kind of spider. It had a huge round abdomen, but it was the texture and brownish color of a cockroach. There were long bendy legs that first seemed to go up and then down to the ground. She was terrified! She ran to grab her bottle of raid and came back. He was still there, starring at her. As she started to spray, it jumped. Yes, it jumped. Turns out it was some creepy variety of cricket. But he didn’t jump like normal crickets, no, that would be too nice. He jumped half way to the ceiling! She continued to spray while her heart was beating almost through her chest. Suddenly he jumped directly at her. She let out a huge scream as she spastically jumped back and ran into the other room. She relentlessly came back out shortly thereafter and began spraying again. Her useless cat had finally caught wind of the monster and now wanted to play with it. Of course the fact that Kitty wanted to kill it now after Taylar had sprayed the bug spray on it was completely pointless, in fact Taylar needed to keep Kitty away because the spray could harm her. So there she stood, flyswatter in her left hand trying to bat her cat away from the bug. Spray in the other hand trying to douse the demon with as much fluid as physically possible. It finally just sat. No movement, this was good. But now how could she get it out? It just so happened that he had died directly under where her head was supposed to be sleeping. There was no way she could go to sleep with it just lying there. It was out of the question to pick it up with paper towels because she would be able to feel it squish in between her fingers. But she also couldn't use the flyswatter because then she would have to get close enough to actually see it, up close and personal. So she was stuck.

She then proceeded to call her boyfriend at 3:15 in the morning. She was hysterically crying to him, retelling the story. She just kept sobbing into the phone, “What if there’s more? What if they’re just lurking around in my walls waiting till I go to sleep to attack? And now they’ll be mad because I killed their friend! What if Kitty dies because she inhaled the toxic spray? What am I gonna do? I just killed my cat!” He didn’t really say much, partly because he didn’t know what to say, and partly because it was 3:15 in the morning and he was still half asleep. Taylar just sat there curled up in a ball on top of her cat’s house (made of wood and carpet, and about two feet off the ground) in the middle of the room. She was horrified! She kept twitching her head around looking for bugs. She was just expecting them to come out by the hundreds. As she sat there at 3:30 in the morning, sobbing on the phone, she didn’t realize how pathetic this was. She’s a 19 year old girl and she was this frightened because she woke up and had to kill a cricket, and then she couldn’t get rid of it. An hour later she managed to throw him in the trash by covering it up with paper towels and then using the fly swatter to gently scoop it up and place it in the trash.


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