Too Big To Kill
By Leah Griffith
My eyes were running over the pages of a good novel when I first noticed some movement in my peripheral vision. It was just a slight shadow, and then stillness. I ignored it, figuring it was just a stray lash that had been bugging me from an overindulgent application of Ultra Thick Lash Mascara I had purchased at the Rush & Shop on my way home from work last night. I’d been working double shifts at the Cranky Yankee, a small diner right outside of town, and last night was my first night out with the girls in two long weeks. Unfortunately, I ended up blowing half the money that I’d been saving on buying drinks for everyone, instead of piling it up for the big move out of my parent’s house to live on my own.
I laid my book down to straighten myself, searching for a more comfortable position, and started thinking about the weird guy I’d caught checking me out at the bar last night. He seemed to pop up everywhere that I went. I even hid in the ladies room for about twenty minutes, telling myself that it was all in my head. But sure enough, there he was waiting for me right outside the door when I finally came out.
He looked too old to be there. His coloring was pasty, like he was born in a wax museum, and he wore a quirky beige fedora, complete with feather, down low on his face, like he was trying to hide his identity. The guy was skinny and short, actually small would be a better word to describe him, and he had a sort of femininity to him when he moved, like he could have been a….she.
The bar was packed, so I had to squish past him to get by. When I did this his hand brushed my butt, so I turned and frowned at him, hoping he’d take the hint to get lost. Hint was NOT taken, because he replied by blowing me a kiss, which on the creep-o-meter measured about a zillion. I stayed close to my friends, Meg and Cheryl, for the rest of the night, but I didn’t mention Mr. Creepy to either of them.
I fluffed the too-hard pillow, trying to make it conform to the shape of my neck, and laid back down on the couch to read. Mom and Dad were out for the evening leaving their three-pound Chihuahua, Chica, and me on our own. I lifted Chica onto my lap, where she curled into a little doughnut and closed her eyes. The TV was set on low, creating a soft background noise, so that I wouldn’t feel alone. I couldn’t seem to get that weird guy from last night out of my head.
After reading a few more pages, I had the same strange sensation of movement from the corner of the room, so I looked up and nearly fainted! Waxy and cold looking, with long disgusting nails, he moved confidently through the room. My heart pounded against my ribs, choking off my breath. I knew that I was on my own and would have to save myself, but I felt pinned to the couch, unable to move.
He stood there, rubbing his hands together as though he had a diabolical plan in mind for me. I figured I only had one chance at attacking him. If I failed, I’d be at his mercy. I didn’t think that I could kill him, but I was determined to fight back, and if that included killing him, then so be it. It was him or me!
Jumping from the couch, I swung at the intruder with my shoe, a lame weapon, but the hit was hard, causing him to fall to the floor. Chica cautiously moved in sniffing and pushing at him with her delicate rosebud nose, and then bravely carted him off to her pillow bed in the corner of the room where she dismembered his lifeless body.
Relieved, and proud of myself, I picked up my shoe, snagged the Windex from under the kitchen sink, and sprayed at the disgusting brown smear on the wall, wiping with a paper towel until every bit of the invader’s gooey guts were gone.
I hate bugs.
Leah Griffith discovered the magic of words when she was very young. Her mother was a swooning romantic, so as soon as she and her two older sisters were able to hold pencils, their mother had them writing poems. Leah’s mom would start the poem and then pass it around so that each of them would contribute, resulting in a smattering of words somehow as synchronized as a galaxy.
Her first novel, Cosette’s Tribe, won first place in the Laine Cunningham 2011 New Novel Award, sponsored by The Blotter literary magazine. Her blog, Eating Life Raw, is a place of ruminations and revelations on the randomness of life. Imagine Erma Bombeck and Gandhi doing the tango. Leah is currently working on her next novel and running a home business.