The Mysterious Creature
On Wednesday night, we had a lightning storm -- one so wild and violent that it shook the entire house. It was so bright and constant that it was impossible to sleep.
On Thursday night, I was putting my son to bed, when some creature that had emerged from the depths of hell ran past where we sat on the floor reading stories. He was the shape of an egg, thick and ovular, and so pitch-black that at his breakneck pace, his features were not discernable. Perhaps he was a tailless mouse who had trudged through a tar pit. Perhaps he was a mole on performance-enhancing drugs. Before we could investigate, the creature barreled past us once more and escaped into the bathroom. This time, he seemed more arachnidan, like a tarantula that had been squished into an oblong shape. Either way, my son and I jumped on his bed, screaming.
On Friday morning, I called an exterminator.
When I was a kid, my dad would come into my room whenever there was a lightning storm. He would tell jokes related to the weather and make up conspiracy theories as to what actually caused the storms. My favorite theory was that the lightning was a transportation device and every time it struck down, an alien creature was transported to Earth. This was all in good fun, until lightning struck the house next door. I remember my parents running into the rain to check on their neighbors as I was left screaming and crying on the front porch. My dad quickly ran back to see what was wrong. I told him I was scared. He said, "Don't worry; lightning never strikes the same place twice."
Great. So seeing as it wouldn't hit my neighbors' house again, the bolt of electricity was coming straight for me. I wailed some more as I looked to the sky for alien spaceships hiding in the clouds.
The two children who lived next door -- one a year older than I, the other a year younger -- both slept through the entire ordeal. Through the lightning strike. Through the firetrucks. Through the thunder. I, on the other hand, thought I would never sleep again.
A thought that re-entered my mind as I searched for the pitch-black creature that had traipsed through my son's room.
Traipsed is the wrong term. Surged is more like it. Power-surged with clear intent. So much was indistinguishable about the unidentifiable creature, but two things were known: He ran at a lightning pace, and he was smart. He had run from the vent straight into my son's pile of clothes, immediately camouflaging himself. Then he had run across the room, gone directly through the slightly open door to the bathroom and disappeared -- presumably down the bathroom vent. There had been no skittering this way or that. He had known his point of entry, his goal location set. It had been as if he had walked this house before. It had been as if he had higher knowledge -- alien-esque knowledge.
Like any fool who goes on WebMD to look up a runny nose and discovers she has a brain tumor, I went to the local mommy group on Facebook to ask whether anyone could narrow down my scampering black egg of terror. The response was enough to make me consider taking up midnight flamethrowing classes and engage in all-night stress-eating with bourbon. (You're not a drunk if you're stress-eating, right?) The most common theory was that the creature had been a wolf spider in the genus Tigrosa. Yes, because one predator in the spider's name wasn't enough, they needed to make the genus sound like "tiger" just for kicks. On the plus side, these spiders are supposedly harmless. One mama even spoke of how she puts dishes of water down next to her and invites the wolf spiders to come "lap it up" on particularly hot days.
Yeah, we get some weirdos in the wild.
The downside is that the shape of the creature also led them to believe it had been a mama carrying her babies, and if she were to be accidentally stepped on, well, let's just say that would be a trauma that no amount of therapy could undo.
As we have not caught him yet, I'm starting to hope it is an alien that has been deposited into my home via lightning bolt.
Anyone know where a gal can buy a flamethrower?
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.