No monsters. No demons. No evil.
Sometimes even I need to just write a tiny, funny story. I call it:
Well see, here was the problem. I didn’t want to tell her. I didn’t know how she’d take it. She was going to freak out.
She needed to know though. I would want to know if I was in her shoes.
“Don’t move,” I said.
So, of course, she moved a step across the kitchen floor. I followed her, sliding to her side, and continued to track with my eyes.
“Please don’t move.”
“What is it?” she said, the fear in her voice rising.
“Do not panic, it’s fine.”
“What’s fine, just tell me.”
I placed my hand on her shoulder. She stiffened at the touch, and my eyes darted to make sure I hadn’t lost the target.
“No, if I tell you you’ll flip out, and then it won’t work.”
“What won’t work!”
“I won’t be able to kill it.”
Color went out of her face, a tinge of red now white. “Kill it…” she muttered.
She moved her arms up an inch, and I held up both palms. She stopped moving again, but her eyes looked to the side. Her chin twitched, and I glared at her until she stopped.
“Don’t move. It will get away if you move.”
“What is it? Am I in danger?”
I sighed. “No, you’re fine.”
I reached past her and picked up a towel off the counter, a threadbare red thing. With one hand I bunched up the fabric and swirled it into a whip. I had one hit available before her nerves shattered.
My lips tightened with focus and I aimed the towel. The thing sat, its limbs clinging with a thousand tiny hairs, and its shell seeming to glow underneath the lights of the room.
I adjusted my hand, and the thing ran. Something in my head snapped, and so did the towel whip. At the feeling of motion on her back—even through her clothes—my mother jolted in a flail and the cockroach hit the ground, hard.
It seemed almost pathetic lying there. The tiny legs moving with a dragging motion. Each step labored, a small piece of its own organs lying on the ground where it landed.
Without hesitation, I rushed to the shoe rack and felt for a weapon. My new shoes–still shining from how expensive they were–went out as a choice, and I sifted through the others.
At the bottom of it all sat an old pair, worn and almost useless. One-half of the pair had such a massive hole that if I was dumb enough about things the bug would end up inside the shoe. So I took a precious second and checked to make sure it was the one that was still somewhat intact.
I looked back, expecting the cockroach well across the floor, but instead saw it crawling on the ground a few feet ahead. With one second to aim and another to judge how hard to hit, the shoe fell with a slap.
I pulled away the footwear, and looked and saw the cracked husk with yellow orange guts–sticking and spread from the impact. A disconnected leg, brown and twitching, was the only thing left with any semblance of life.
“I told you not to panic,” I said, looking at the bug with disgust running up my spine. “Damn palmettos. I guess it’s officially summer in Florida.”