Monday, 12 December 2011

The rat

I should have remembered to tell you about the rat.

This is my reward for choosing to live on an island with snakes and frogs and things that live. The creeping jumping slithering scurrying things lived here first.

The experience was all horrible. I may have forgot because there are things I don't want to remember.

About 2am, rat scrabbled a way into my bedroom and that was THAT. I spent the rest of the night on the sofa in terror, fully dressed and sitting mostly bolt upright, clutching a plank of wood. Apart from the two hours I lost when my eyes closed down, I was ready. Me or rat. No way was it going to gnaw through me without a fight.

When morning came, I never had seen rat. Not tail, whisker, nor brown shape slipping between table and door. But I was no better in my mind. The problem was, I never saw rat leave. By daylight, I hunted all over, and there was no rat to be found. Only a small broken grill on the laundry room floor. Nevertheless, the following night I tried again to stay awake with all the lights ablaze, stationed on RAT GUARD DUTY.

The rat has not come back. Apart from the horror left marked on my soul, its only lingering impact is on Dig, like he has the final laugh, because when I grip someone by the arm and, a little hysterical and wild-eyed, tell them This story is true! Once I slept with a RAT! he smiles, and looks rather pleased.