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Published: October 26th 2016
I was flat on my back, my head straight against the pillow, my laptop nestled up against bent knees. I was playing a computer game for an hour or so, willing myself to get sleepy. Eventually I put my laptop away, turned off my light and rolled over to my side. Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Nothing. Scratch, scratch, scratch.
“What the….?” I thought to myself. Again and again I heard this noise, but never felt anything moving under me or on the walls against the bed. My first thought was “mouse,” then “rat,” although I hadn’t seen either the entire two weeks I was staying in this little bungalow by the lake. I thought perhaps one or both of the little rodents could be under the bed, and then after some time listening to the repeated scratch, scratch, scratch, I started to wonder if it could be something in
the mattress. I had given up thinking it was something on
my bed, given the fact I could hear something but not feel anything crawling against my body. Again, the faint scratch, scratch, scratch.
I was puzzled, but sleep soon came over me.
I tossed and turned for three hours, waking
often to this sound, this feeling, this thing that just wouldn’t go away.
Finally, at 1:30 in the morning, I searched for and turned on my head torch. A tiny scorpion, maybe about an inch long was crawling on my pillow where my head had just lain. Goosebumps! A “tiny” scorpion is still a scorpion in my book. In all my middle of the night bleariness, I managed to carry my pillow across the room and flick the little sucker outside my door. I put the pillow back on my bed before stopping to think: That little guy couldn’t possibly have made all that racket these past three hours? With my head torch still on and my brain coming to consciousness, I slowly peeled back my pillow case, only to discover to my horror, one of the largest, blackest meanest looking scorpions I have ever seen. Yes, I ate one in Thailand years ago and that little sucker was pretty large – but it was dead, fried, seasoned – and this one was alive, tail poised and ON MY PILLOW! If ever there was a time to yell out
I didn't only have scorpions for roomies!
profanities, it was then.
The goose bumps came back ten-fold, my heart beating straight through my sleeping shirt. With shaky hands I managed to once again get the door open and with the aid of a random yogurt lid resting by the door, I flicked this monster into the nearby bushes, hoping he wouldn’t make a reappearance – this time possibly with a vengeance. I was still shaking when I did what I knew I had to do. I pulled the pillow case completely off and turned it inside out ever so carefully, but thankfully there were no more creatures of the night hiding inside. Next, I stripped my bed (one can’t be too careful, you know) and lo and behold, there was another damn scorpion! What the hell is going on, I thought to myself, thinking this must be a mad, crazy dream.
I stayed up for two more hours, reading and trying to calm my nerves. Thankfully, eventually, I managed three more hours of solid sleep before ringing in the new day.
How I never got stung I have no idea. How, with my arm under the
bottom part of my pillow and my head on the top, this arachnid never got me, I’ll never know. All I know is someone was looking after me that night.
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