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The Devil's Hell Hound   —   Macabre Mind

I don't mind bugs all that much, I don't like them, but I don't cringe and run away from them screaming like a girl. I grew up in a house that sat snug amid acres of woods, cornfield, swamp, and lake. I'm familiar with rodents and snakes and spiders and bugs. I was never the little girl that went out capturing those things mind you, I gravitated more toward turtles and frogs, but faced with a creepy crawly I could hold my own, battling it out with a broom stick, fighting the good fight. It wasn't until later in my young adult life that I encountered a bug that chilled me to the bone. I don't know what it is about this bug in particular, but the mere sight of it makes me want to crawl out of my skin, leave it behind in a pile on the floor, and run screaming, my skinless body flailing in the wind. If the Devil has a hell hound, it would surely look like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:House_centipede.jpg

The very site of it makes my blood run cold. I'm held captive by my own fear as it stiffens my body and for a moment's time I completely shut down. The first one I ever saw, and killed, was when I lived in Washington, DC. I was sitting alone in the dark watching an underrated horror movie called Mimic. The movie is about gigantic bug-like creatures that resemble cockroaches and live in the sewers and subway system and of course they eat people. As I sat there watching this movie in the dark I see a shadow run across the hardwood floor in front of the television. I'd assumed it was just the movie getting to me but I still didn't want to take any chances on ignoring something that looked to be the size of a small mouse. So I went into the kitchen, grabbed a wooden spoon and a flashlight and made my way to where I'd assumed the creature had ran. I waited until the last minute to turn on my flashlight, not wanting to scare whatever it was away with a blast of light, and there it was, at the end of my beam, the largest god damned house centipede ever to live on this earth. To this day I swear the bitch reared up and made a freaky little scream at me right before I pummeled it to death with the end of a wooden spoon. And to this day I maintain my exuberance when killing these tiny creatures from hell. As if each one of them represents a pain and torment that I have suffered for centuries and the act of violence I rain down upon them is my only sense of vengeance. It's for the good of mankind you see. Clearly.

New York City is not without its fair share of house centipedes and although they do not appear in army-like quantity, they do occasionally pop up every now and again just to spite me. There was one morning that one of them ran past me while I was getting ready for work. And when I say ran, I mean, hauled ass. These suckers are fast. It disappeared under my desk and maybe a normal person would've probably thought, good riddance, but oh no, you leave one alive and then it's there, in your head, taunting you while you lay on the couch or sit on the floor or sleep in the bed. It could be anywhere. Hunting you. Using all of its bazillion legs to crawl on your innocent flesh. The only thing you can do to rest your mind is to kill every single one of them you see, no exception. So I got a flashlight and a wooden spoon (I needed length and really, it's a great instrument of destruction) and went on my hunt. Since the bastards are brown and my wooden floor is brown, those babies blend right in and they have a gift for keeping absolutely still. They know the game, they're not stupid. So I waited it out. I turned off the light and waited for movement. Finally, after like, ten minutes, a small piece of paper that had missed the trash can rustled. I plunged the handle of the wooden spoon onto the paper and mashed and mashed until I was certain death did taketh my enemy. When I lifted the paper sure enough, legs and guts galore. I was late for work that morning and you can be certain that my excuse was that I had to hunt a house centipede, and that takes time.

Last night I was laying on the bed playing with the cats when Commodore makes a sudden about-face toward the wall. I follow his intense gaze and what do I spy but one of the Devil's hell hounds hauling ass across the wall. Next to my side of the bed is a hope chest and on top of the hope chest is a large pile of open boxes and clothes and other items that have been gathered for purpose of sale. The hell spawn was running down the wall and in a moment it was going to disappear behind that large pile of stuff and then it would be lost forever. It was inches away and going there fast and there was no time to think and almost no time to react, almost none, but there was enough, just enough in fact, so I did what I had to do and left no room for thought. I killed it. With my hand.

The whole ordeal, from time of Commodore's discovery to the execution of the bastardy fuck was probably about two seconds. It happened so quickly and afterward I was horrified at what I had just done. I briskly turned from the wall without even glancing at the carnage and quickly went into the kitchen where, again without looking, washed my hand and then scrubbed my hand and then wiped it with a Clorox Bleach wipe. I then dampened a paper towel and returned to the bedroom where, again without looking, wiped the spot clean. Killing that ... that ... thing, with my hand, well, I admit it's not as impressive as wrestling an alligator or Indiana Jonesing it with snakes, but comparatively, it's still pretty hardcore in my book.

Though I still prefer a wooden spoon.

Posted 8.9.2006 12:15:43 PM

Botch wrote:
What's really, really interesting is that in the years we've lived in this apartment, Doll has seen nearly 10 house centipedes and I haven't seen one. Maybe I'm just not skittish enough.

Also interestingly, according to Wikipedia: "House centipedes feed on bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish and other household pests." Indeed! More: "Because they eat household pests, house centipedes are considered among the most beneficial creatures that inhabit human dwellings, but because of their alarming, frightening appearance and painful bite, few homeowners are willing to share a home with them."

Man, that's a tough choice.
Posted 8/9/2006 1:18:05 PM
Doll wrote:
I don't think it's because you're not skittish enough, I mean, these things don't exactly pop out at you like a jack-in-the-box. Part of it is probably being in the right place at the right time but another part of it is being observant. You my dear, are simply not a very observant individual. Half of the bugs I spot simply because the cats have spotted them first and I'm merely taking notice of their queer level of interest in a particular area of the floor or wall. Other times I notice a shadow or movement out of the corner of my eye. What can I say, it's my calling. Doll the Centipede Slayer.
Posted 8/9/2006 1:30:33 PM
Botch wrote:
Wait, what cats?
Posted 8/9/2006 5:30:53 PM
Sam wrote:
Doll the Centipede Slayer is a bad ass...seriously. Bare-handed bitch slap death is quite impressive.

And I've never seen one either.
Posted 8/15/2006 11:39:30 AM
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