Pesticide

I’d been reading an awful lot of Russell Edson and Barry Yourgrau when I wrote this, and it shows, especially if you’ve ever read them. If you haven’t, they’re well worth checking out. They certainly do this far better than I do.

Pesticide

The heavy rain has not let up for three days with flooding in low-lying areas, tornado warnings issued for surrounding counties. My wife and I settle into our nightly routine of television and awkward silence but are interrupted by a waterbug skittering across the floor (it’s said that during the rainy season, they follow drain pipes into otherwise well meaning middle-class homes). I leap to my feet searching for the perfect implement of destruction. My sledgehammer is all the way in the garage. The only thing at hand is my daughter’s dollhouse. I send it crashing onto the insect’s back. Small chairs, couches, tables, a doll-sized toilet scatter to the floor. The thing twitches under the corner of the house and dies unceremoniously. There is sudden giggling. Bands of tiny people crawl out from under the couch, television set, bookshelf. They gather around the dollhouse cheering, “Hurrah! She’s dead! He’s killed her!” and begin to dance. I stoop to inspect my handiwork and find bug-sized ruby slippers on the creature’s feet. As I try to take them off, my wife dashes in from the kitchen wielding a can of ant and roach spray. “Oh my god,” she hisses, “look at them all!” and sprays angrily at the floor, stomping at the figures fleeing her chemical wrath. Frozen with shock, I watch the carnage unfold. When the sun rises, there will be a lovely rainbow.

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