After the Raid-bomb they disappeared for a while. For months I rested, content in the knowledge that I’d murdered every last one of the little fuckers — for good.
Then in February/March-ish, I noticed them coming back. Not in large quantities; only one or two at a time. They’d waited until I’d been lulled into a false sense of security, and then they’d returned. Even if only at half their previous strength.
Slowly, their numbers increased; I was squishing a few every day. I couldn’t find the source. I’d Raided the pantry and cleaned out the infected grains; everything was sealed in air-tight containers. Where were they coming from?
Over Easter weekend, when I was at Spring Mysteries Fest, my mom took it upon herself to Deal With The Bugs, Once and For All. In grand Dutch tradition she set to cleaning in the muggle fashion, and when I came home the pantry no longer smelled of Raid (well, I can still detect a slight odor of it because I have a wicked good sense of smell and her nose is almost entirely dead, but whatever) and was clean enough to store linens. And she’d gotten rid of the bugs.
Hoorah! Rejoicement! Bugs gone! House clean!
Stuff moved around oh gods where the fuck did my stuff go I can’t find anything
Or so I thought.
Within a week they were back. In even fewer numbers than the first time they came back, but still. I was killing one a week. When I came home on Sunday from my extended vacation at the Ogre’s house there were at least three just hanging out, like they were waiting for the tip of my cane to smush them into oblivion.
This morning I found an egg sack in my cereal.
Copious showering occurred. I thought about cleansing the apartment with fire, but again: frowned upon.
What could I do? The bugs never. die. They don’t. I kill them and they keep coming back, just like
badly written fiction that glorifies abuse and misogyny zombies. I totally meant zombies. Not that individual zombies never die or keep coming back; more that the horde of them is somewhat neverending. Shamble, shuffle, moan, headshot, shit there’s another one, face gone now and I join the horde yaaaaaay.
I sat and thought and racked my brain and tried to figure out a way to work a mead-making joke into this sentence, but failed at that last bit.
Finally it hit me.
If I can’t kill them…maybe I can make them so depressed they stop bugging me.
I can give them Crippling Self-Doubt.
As a long-time sufferer of CSD, I know what it can do to your life. You don’t write. You don’t cook. You don’t clean. You don’t interact with other carbon-based life forms. You don’t nest in the kitchens of long-suffering authors with a bug phobia, laying eggs in their hippy cereal and flying in their faces, I’m just saying, okay.
I needed to give the Zombie Bugs Crippling Self-Doubt. I needed them to doubt their ability to be zombie bugs. I needed them to become depressed.
In absence of a point-of-view gun and a depressed robot, I took to the next best thing: shouting at them. I started telling them all the ways they failed at being bugs.
“You call those wings? Those aren’t wings! Those are snot-rags from Queen Mab after she’s had the flu for a while!”
“You’re flying like a drunk monkey. Where did you learn to steer? GET OUT OF THE SKY DRUNKIE.”
“This is the worst egg sack I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t even fully squick me out or make me vomit. You suck at this.”
“You will never amount to anything more than a smear on my wall. Stop trying.”
“Even the grains you eat can’t stand you. They’re just pretending.”
“One of your antennae is shorter than the other. Did you cut yourself shaving this morning?”
It’s too early to tell if it’s working, but I have high hopes. Maybe by next week all the bugs will be too sad to continue to infest with such a vengeance, and then I’ll finally be rid of them.
In the meantime, I’m now the apartment building’s “person who screams at bugs”. Moving on up.
PS ok so this entire post was basically a not-that-subtle way of me saying I have done shit all this month because of CSD, so no, I haven’t started Jade Star edits or even finished the first draft of Winterborn, my Camp NaNo novel, or edited Stranger Skies or started From The Ashes, or outlined the next two books in the Bellica-series-thing. I have done no storybibling. I have done nothing I set out to do this month, basically. I have been a completely unproductive waste in any of my own creative projects (and a lot of projects that I need to work on for other reasons), because of Crippling Self-Doubt.
On the plus side I now have a lot of Civilization 5 achievements.
Here’s hoping May will be better.