“When Sheets Attack! Part Two: The Cricket Conundrum”

let the silliness continue just in time to celebrate my 30th on the 27th: the second {unedited} installment of “When Sheets Attack!” Enjoy, but don’t forget to read Part One first.

I flipped. I flopped. I yelled. I even tried holding very still, flinging up the switch, and pouncing where I last heard it. All I succeeded in doing was stubbing the third toe of my left foot badly and encouraging Pepper in what I am quite sure is the belief that the human who sleeps in the big bed is batty.

Crickets. Every August as my birthday approaches, crickets celebrate with a chirping chorus. This year, instead of an occasional chirping that sent me on search and destroy missions, they heralded neither the dawn nor twilight, but some typically quiet hour between midnight and four.

Oh, they still chirp here and there throughout the day. I’ll see a tiny baby one hopping in the sink. Pepper thinks the big ones are little guests. Sometimes I see him, lying down on the floor, his head cocked to the side, following the little black hopping creature with his eyes as it dances between his paws.

I quite enjoy light chirping, outside my window. It serves as an excellent reminder of the stark boring nature of our cold, dead winters. Summer means I only close my window when it rains. Summer means lush greens and filled branches. And, louder, and louder, and louder, incessantly, this summer means crickets.

For why it never occurs to me to kill them or spray some sort of insect poison, I blame my mother. She had a hundred little superstitions. “Its bad luck to kill a spider in the house.” “Don’t put new shoes on the table.” “You spilled salt. Throw some over your left shoulder with your right hand.”

We all rolled our eyes, me especially skilled at doing so even at four, but did her bidding. Not only was it easier, but I soon absorbed a number of those little rules. Never ever did I open an umbrella inside. I handled mirrors with extreme care.

I tried to pounce. There! I could just see the tiny movement. “I’ll catch you, my pretties,” I thought with a feigned evil chuckle. Too little sleep rendered me sillier than usual. The cricket got away. I heaved myself back into my bed, choosing to ignore the sheets’ warnings from weeks ago that his annoyance stemmed from my bruising assault on his stretched out form.

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“When Sheets Attack! – a ridiculous short story

brand spanking new, and unedited “When Sheets Attack!” was supposed to be a horror story and turned into a fairy tale, and I heard it in my head in a British accent.

I struggled to consciousness while fighting a slithering presence. “Not again,” I grumbled. The fitted sheet had unhooked from opposite corners of my glorious new mattress. I sat up, looking for a way out of the tangle, but fell back. As I slept, the elastic had crept over my forehead and locked me into place.

I batted the mess away and looked to Pepper. He, too, had crawled over me from his own bed as I slept. “Some guard dog you are, mister.” He cracked a single eye and burrowed back into the extra pillows, ignoring me and my silliness until I woke him with the rare scent of cooking bacon. Twice in the past week I’d woken this way, and it seemed like the invisible attacker was moving up my body.

First, it was the extra blanket tucked against my feet. I thought nothing of the comforting presence. Next, the fitted sheet wormed its way around my calves and knees, making movement impossible. Today, the fitted sheet joined the party with that fashionable headband.

“I’ve got to make my bed better. That’s all there is to it, eh, puppy?” My mother always warned me as a little girl that if I didn’t make my bed each morning, making sure to keep the bedclothes neat and happy, one day they’d retaliate. Pepper refused to get out from under the covers, and gave me a glare when I chivvied him along to start sorting out the sheets.

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