in the night, while I am sleeping, sneaky land crabs walk all over my apartment, searching for their nefarious prey: the equally sneaky overland worm.
both are evil.
i sleep, and do not realize the mortal combat happening all over the apartment floors and cupboards and furniture.
in the morning, i walk out to the strange bits of half-eaten worm on the floor. i assume it is something the cats hacked up. i see bits of shell, and assume it is some sort of fallen eggshell from the kitchen that the cats decided to play with and bat about.
what else was i supposed to think?
then, a few nights back, i set traps for insects – the ants have returned to plague my bathroom where they hunt out mouthwash and sweet toothpaste – and in the morning i found my first sneaky land crab.
Not particularly large beasts, a small ant trap was capable of catching one alive. it flailed its little claws menacingly at me, a half-eaten little worm in the little crab’s little mouth. it whistled at me like a tiny bird. it had fallen into my trap after the worm that had been trapped there first.
it took hours of careful scrutiny, under microscope, and the assistance of expert insecticians and anthropodiologists. together with these experts we laid careful traps to deduce the nature of the invasion.
sneaky above-ground worms emerge hunting for crumbs and bits of discarded cat food. sneaky land crabs emerge hunting the sneaky above-ground worms. their mortal combat has taken over my apartment.
when i sit on my couch, i sit on sneaky land-crab eggs. the worm burrows have replaced the glue of my furniture.
at night, when i dream, they crawl in and out of my orifices, and duel to the death in my ears, my mouth.
ants were only after mouthwash and toothpaste and sometimes spilled bits of sugar. these nefarious insects are after only their own mortal combat.
i can watch them in the night now, on my own skin, duelling over me like tiny giant monster beasts,grappling each other in their dance of death.
the insectologists and anthropodiologists agree that it is best just to go back to sleep. there’s nothing i can do with an infestation of this size and scope, and the worst that’ll happen is i might accidentally swallow them when they weave in and out of my mouth. they aren’t poisonous, nor particularly dangerous to human digestion. it might seem like, if i swallow quite a bit, that i have a bit of a sore throat from all the struggling and pinching they’ll give me on the way down, but that’s to be expected, and not the worst thing, really.