Thursday, 15 May 2014

On Things That Scare Me after Dark

I awoke to scuttling, scratching, gnawing sounds.  A mouse was in my room.  Immediately I thought defensively.  I tried to clap, to scare it away, but my hands were slow to move and the sound they produced was muffled by the covers.  The mouse continued his racket making.  The noise came from the foot of my bed.  I could only imagine that he was trying to make his way up there, turn into a monster mouse and attack me.  Or at least bite me and give me a deadly disease, rabies or something.  I started banging my feet against the bed, stomping, as it were, under the covers.  Surely that sound, and the movement  would frighten him away.  The mouse, however, continued unfazed. The monster mouse would be frightened by nothing.  I’ve never before been woken by a mouse, and yet the noise was vaguely familiar.  Since my best efforts to scare it away hadn’t worked, I stopped for a moment and listened.  Its scuttling was like fluttering, the scratching and gnawing like the taping of a trapped insect against glass, like a moth or a fly, exactly like a moth or a fly. And I, I have my roommate Charity to deal with problems like that.  I listened to the noise for less than a minute more, and then a reassuring quiet filled our room.  The creature lay caught in Charity’s web.

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