The Flying Creature from Hell
A light-hearted short story. This all happened although I admit to a little exaggeration in the telling
The Flying Creature from Hell
I remember that morning very well. I was calmly going about the business of flossing my teeth when I heard the first blood-curdling scream. In my shock, I sliced deep into my gum with the mint flavored waxed floss and then had to gingerly extract the now shredded green 'string' with shaky hands, all the while trying to imagine what might have induced such an extreme reaction from my kids. It was not unusual in a house occupied by three teenage girls (my own two girls and a foster daughter) to hear loud shrill noises on occasion but when one lives in a country as dangerous as South Africa, the ghastly possibilities are endless. After the dental floss extraction exercise, I rapidly descended the stairs in the general direction of the commotion, trying to calm my shattered nerves. I found the three girls huddled together in a doorway, shivering like a trio of Chihuahuas in the face of a crazed rotweiler and demanded to know what on earth was going on. They mumbled incoherently and pointed in the direction of the kitchen. I made out the words 'giant bat' among the unintelligible babble and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I'd deal with the problem. What harm could a little bat do? I chuckled to myself as I thought about how such a small creature had aroused such abject terror in the same three girls who avidly devoured movies about vampires that sucked human blood and worse. Oh the irony!
On entering the kitchen, my bravado evaporated instantaneously. The creature was not in fact a ‘bat’ as my girls had claimed but appeared to be some kind of unidentifiable flying creature from the darkest pits of hell. The Godzilla-sized creature would have made Rosanne Barr in her prime look positively dainty by comparison. It was pitch black with huge glowing red eyes and it was darting frantically around the kitchen. I swiftly crossed, or rather more accurately rapidly minced across, the kitchen floor to get to the scullery to fetch a broom so that I could shoo the hapless beast out of the back door. My progress was abruptly halted when the creature launched a lethal kamikaze swoop at me at which point it became entangled in my hair. I emitted a piercing scream that would have put all three of the girls to shame and began dancing wildly around the kitchen in grand imitation of high-kicking Irish folk dancers. At this point my son entered the room with an assortment of carefully selected weapons (If you’ve read my other short stories, you’ll know that David fancies himself as an insect / reptile / rodent Rambo of sorts). He pointed a lethal looking popgun at my head and was intent on firing off a shot when I managed to regain my sensibilities enough to tell him to hold fire. Rather, more precisely, I shouted, “Pull that trigger and I’ll break your neck!”
In a manner of seconds, I’d considered two emergency options. I could dash down the passage with the creature still entangled in my hair and place my head in the toilet bowl and drown it …OR…..I could ask David to cut it out of my hair with the kitchen scissors. The first option seemed a rather unpleasant one and since I wasn’t sure if the toilets had been cleaned yet that morning, not very hygienic either. I wasn’t going to risk it. The second option terrified me even more. David, my eight-year-old son, with another lethal weapon? …Perish the thought! I also didn’t particularly relish the loss of my long locks. I was quite assuredly in a quandary. As the creature wriggled about in my hair, another option briefly came to mind. I could rush at the nearest wall; head lowered like an enraged bull and flatten it between my scalp and the plaster. This would have much the same effect as a fly swatter on a fly. I dismissed the idea at once. I could not begin to imagine what kind of awful substance would burst from the flattened creature and I was sure to suffer a dreadful hangover after that head-butting ploy. Please consider if you will, my abject misery at that moment. Girl people traditionally do not take very kindly to creepy crawly creatures. We are genetically programmed to squeal and run at the first sight of any unfamiliar insect or rodent. Conversely, boy people are genetically programmed to come charging to our rescue. David was only doing what he was programmed to do but the problem was that I didn’t trust him with this particular mission.
Thankfully, the problem was resolved for me. The creature managed to extricate itself from my hair without any assistance from me. This was just as well because at this point I had been reduced to the state of a retarded paralytic and was incapable of co-ordinated movement, never mind any rational thought. As it launched itself out of my hair, I was galvanized into action, grabbed the broomstick, and with a move that could easily have been effectively employed in a Matrix movie, dispensed of the evil creature in matter of seconds. I later rather sheepishly conceded that my actions could be considered ‘overkill’ when it was revealed that the demoniacal creature was in fact just a giant butterfly with rather unusual markings.
We did at least give the poor creature a decent send off down the loo.