Oh Joyous Bug

Oh Joyous Bug

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It sat there, still and silent, watching them as they walked by. So many of them passed it, not a one pausing to look around. Never noticing it. So it sat there, undisturbed.

Watching. It liked to watch, sitting–sometimes clinging–to a tree. When it did move, it did so with careful, calculated moves. Movements were what usually gave it away to them, when they noticed . . . Once or twice this had happened so far, as far as it remembered. And it possessed a large memory for things.

There was a crunching noise coming from up ahead; it tensed at the sound, a familiar shuffling. One of them. The red one, to be exact; it always limped along, carrying a stick with it. It drew near, but then fell, its foot caught on a rock.

Quivering with excitement, it crawled down from its perch, all but racing to get to the red one. Oh, the months of watching had finally paid off. As it crawled over the screaming red one, it hastily stuck a long proboscis into its neck.

Oh, it was so happy to have a meal at last.

The Thing that Crawled Out from the Grate

The Thing that Crawled Out from the Grate

On the floor there was a grate which looked down into the basement. I hated the thing. It was big enough to fall through, and loose; it could be popped up with ease.

Something happened one night that I can’t quite explain. I awoke from an otherwise deep sleep to the sound of tapping.

Tap. Tap. Tappa. Tap.

The sound was quick, irregular. I popped an eye open. The room was dark, but I spied a light coming from the grate. I sat up and stood up on my bed, meaning over far enough to see into the basement. For a while I wasn’t sure what I was looking at–there was just the table covered in tools. When I finally saw it I fell onto my backside, silent and dazed.

Tap. Tappa. Tap. Tappa. Tap. Tappa. Tap.

My eyes wandered back to the grate. A large, elongated something darted its head out from under the grate, swayed into the air, and then snatched the apple I had left out on my computer desk.

“OI!” I yelled.

Startled, the thing darted back into the basement. I jumped up and covered the grate with the closest thing I could find. My heart was pounding in my chest.

The Thing which had crawled out from the grate in the floor . . . was a monstrous centipede.

I haven’t seen it since.