The Last Vermin: a story for The Blood is the Life: A Frightful Halloween Quest

I went to take my two patties from the oven. Just shifting my stand a bit, I saw a flicker dart across the oven panel. Simply a change in the reflection, I thought. It corresponded neatly with my own motions. I opened the oven door and then the flicker started moving this way and that, faster and faster. It turned and snapped its course in meaningless directions, panic-stricken as would be an imbecile with dynamite strapped upon the back. Its shape, as I observed during its microsecond pauses, was low and base. A headless bird of primal stupidity, its crippled wings cocked back and tied under a chestnut shell, a locomotive imposter of a medicine pill.

Rage burned inside me as I realized the awful message that had emerged from the crevices of the kitchen. It would invade. It could dine on morsel and crumb, and drink from spill and stain. It would live in the dark, unseen recesses of the kitchen inaccessible to us, we who do not practice the evil witchery of the roaches. It would conquer. But conquer the less, for I had a mind to intervene. No sooner I punched the frightful nuisance with my oven mitt.

I reached for a paper towel to wipe the thing off my glove, examining my fresh kill with close speculation. Its spilled interior was a different colour from that of the last. This one was a pearly white. Three odd kills ago, the villian had inside a cold blue tint, looking more like metal adhesive than anything else. What do these things sustain themselves on?

Before I could rip the towel sheet from the roll, the wretch resumed its frantic motions as if it were a felled robot somehow righting its useless heap of ravaged components. Cringing in disgust, my adrenaline shot up as a spark of electricity flew from my hand and shot into the mitten, sending it tumbling to the floor. Anticipating its devious escape, I reached for my line of defense.

Its revolting presence writhing offensively on the tile floor like a wild creature with half a brain, I knelt down and grasped it with equal frantic intent. Closing its life using only Bounty, I squeezed and squeezed until it knew nothing of the three-dimensional universe it once enjoyed.

Note: this is a true story!

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