Things That Go Bump in the Night

It was 9:00 p.m. when I left the comfort of my bed and wandered into the kitchen to make a cup of herbal tea. When I turned on the light the peripheral view of a gray blur bouncing up and down set off an involuntary shriek that shot up from my toes. As my eyes focused I realized that it was a mouse, and he was desperately trying to jump out of my sink. The terror that reduced my legs to water, in no way interfered with the strength of my vocal cords which were emitting ear shattering obscenities I'd never heard flow from my lips before. After numerous valiant attempts, the three inch beast succeeded in making it to my counter top.

We found ourselves staring at each other -- neither of us moving. Instinctively, I believe we both knew that I was expected to do something -- but what? He certainly wasn't going to remain idle while I ran for a broom, and I was not about to do anything that could result in a messy countertop. Eventually he tired of waiting and scurried off to wherever mice are instructed to go during their psychological warfare training.

Not knowing where he'd gone was worse than actually seeing him, so I flew down the hall to my bedroom, faster than I ever imagined my arthritic legs could move. Once there, I slammed the door shut and stuffed a huge afghan under it so he could not possibly get to me. This comforting feeling lasted about 15 seconds until it occurred to me that Mickey had probably never entered a room through a doorway in his life.

I sat in my bed, legs curled under me, not daring to let them hang over the edge. And there I remained for an undetermined amount of time.

I never saw or heard from Mickey again, but the thought that he was sharing my home with me was more than unsettling.

**********

The next terrifying incident happened at my girlfriend's house, in her newly decorated basement.

"What's that?" Carol screamed and pointed to a menacing black object on the floor. As I got closer to it I could see it was some kind of huge, horrifying insect. To stomp on it would ruin her new beige carpet, and because her fear was slightly more than mine, it became my responsibility to make it disappear.

"Hurry. Get me a cup to put over it before it gets away," I instructed.

Carol ran in confused, panicky circles and came back with an antique china cup.

"He's not staying for tea," I reminded her, so she left and returned with a paper cup.

With my heart pounding in my ears, I prepared to slam the cup over the revolting object of our terror. But, as I lowered and slammed the cup over his disgusting black hairy body, I suddenly had a clear view of what had terrified us. It was a piece of knotted black yarn.

The next minutes were spent in convulsive laughter that found us competing to reach the bathroom.

*********

One dark and rainy night, I pulled my car into the garage and rather than enter the house from the basement I decided to walk around to the front door. As I exited the garage I felt something soft and squishy under my foot.

"This is not good," I thought, and I looked down to discover that I'd mutilated a frog. I was devastated. I had waited a lifetime for Prince Charming, and it seemed he'd finally arrived and was patiently waiting for me to return home. But, instead of kissing him I'd, sadly, killed him.

It's not easy being me.