I had just moved into my new place, one of those old style Japanese houses where the rooms had tatami mats and sliding wooden doors just like in the movies. All my boxes and furniture were sitting in a pile in the middle of the floor and I was starting to unpack. All was well with the world, I had that feeling of excitement that those who've just moved into a new place will understand.
While busy moving things about in the room, humming to myself, a bird flew in my open door. That was my immediate thought, except in my state of wonder I neglected to remember that birds don't buzz like bees. The bird landed on my wall and turned into a large cockroach the size of my fist. I was horrified! Now I don't really have anything against bugs, in fact I happen to like some insects, especially useful ones like dragonflies and spiders. But this glistening, evil, black thing sat on my wall looking at me malevolently. All the optimistic feelings I had a minute before shattered around my feet and then blew away like dust in the wind. I pondered what to do while my stomach twisted into a hard gray knot. Now I'd studied kendo a bit and my shinai (bamboo sword) was sitting with the rest of my unpacked things. I reached for it while the cockroach climbed higher up my wall, and then went inside my air-conditioner. Cursing, I wondered how the hell I was supposed to get at it now, but luckily it crawled out the other side. I had to have a strategy. I knew that one blow wouldn't kill it large as it was, but would only serve to madden it, and perhaps let it escape. Keeping my shinai in my right hand, I picked up the garbage can with my left. I quick blow knocked it into the container where as I had predicted, it proceeded to thrash around madly. It was a truly sickening sight but I raised my sword and proceeded to smash it into pieces. It was several smashes and several pieces later when it finally stopped moving but its foul miasma still permeated the air and my stomach refused to unclench at the thought of it. I turned depressed thoughts back to my mound of boxes and luggage. I was wondering mostly if I could cancel the contract I had made without too much hassle, but knowing that I couldn't, and also that I wouldn't be sleeping much tonight. As I stood contemplating, some higher sense of awareness distracted me. I can't remember if I actually heard something or if it was truly precognition, but I went over to my closet where I had already hung some of my clothes. I raised my arm and swung a hard backhand to the clothes hanging there and out fell another cockroach, out of my clothes dammit!! This one wasn't as big as the other one, but if I hadn't just met his brother, this one would have been the biggest one I'd ever seen. I was too stunned to react and the cockroach managed to scuttle under the door that I had closed to try preventing the first one from escaping. I opened the door thinking that I'd never find it among all the cracks and crannies of the old kitchen. However I glimpsed him just before he hid himself in my one of my shoes. I didn't have time then to reflect on what kind of horror I would have experienced if I'd put my foot into that shoe the next day. Knowing where it was, I dumped out my shoe and proceeded to smash the cockroach flat. This time, perhaps due to my state of panic and adrenaline, one blow was all I needed. Needless to say, I slept very badly that night, and it took much longer for my sense of unease about my new room to diminish.
The next day the first thing I did was go to the store and buy a bunch of cockroach traps, poison and bug spray and proceeded to set them up around my room. However, even though I stayed there for 8 months, I never saw another cockroach in my room after that. Perhaps they took a hint?
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