Roaches and Horrors

I've hated cockroaches for a long time.

I think I was twelve years old when we visited our cousins in Las Vegas. They had a huge backyard with a pool, garden, and a three story wooden fort. We were playing in the fort and pulled a roll of carpet from under a table. The thing swarmed with roaches, and those white ones, the ones which had just shed their skin looked like cockroach ghosts. I had see nothing scarier in my few short years of life.

Eight years later I was a missionary in South Africa, specifically, in Durban. Hot, humid, subtropical and loaded with bugs. The boarding we stayed in  was in a large room below the main house and would get so stuffy during the day that we left doors open on both sides of the room at night, to let the air blow through.

The cockroaches flew. We would hear them fly over our beds at hit the walls, I could barely stand it.

I didn't want to let these six legged demons take over my life, so I took the offensive. In the evening when we would come back to the boarding, I would grab my fly swatter and position myself in the middle of the room and give the word to turn on the lights. I would chase the little beasts around the room until, after a few weeks, there were no more waiting for me inside the boarding.

I hunted them down outside. I would hang around drain pipes and gutters with my fly swatter and flash light swatting my retribution on any unfortunate enough to get within reach.

I no longer fear them. Three years in Hawaii eased me of my last few 'willies'.

I now know more about them and their behavior than ever before. Not form up close and personal contact, but because I wrote a short story where my two main characters are cockroaches. That story is done, at about 5200 words and has been submitted to an anthology. We'll see where that goes.

Right now, before I begin my major rework of 'Fly Paper Boy', I am rewriting an old horror story I wrote for the Great Hites podcast, about four years ago. It's for the 100th episode of The Horror Addicts Podcast 100th episode. Emz has asked those of us who have participated in various ways to do a five minute recording of the scariest thing we could think of.

"The 23rd Horror" gave me the willies back when I first wrote it. I'm editing it down to just five minutes and changing the POV to First Person Past. This way the narrative move must faster than the original story and we get a stronger emotional response from the main character. You'll be able to find it at when their 100 episode is released. There you'll hear my voice and benefit from vocal emphasis that I feel when I'm writing but am unable to put into the story carry completely with written words.

Anyway, a few weeks later, I'll post the story here.