It was a dark March morning. My alarm had already gone off twice and I was drifting into my post-snooze nap. I knew I would be up soon. There was too much to do before I made it to work. But I needed these sweet stolen minutes with my eyes still shut and the world standing still.
“Scratch” my eyes drifted open.
“Scratch” I turned over, it wasn’t quieter.
“Scratch” my mind that was blissfully vacant was now filled with images of claws against wood “Scratch!”
“Why” I mumbled loudly, hoping the sound of a human voice would disturb this creature, and then pushed myself deeper into my cocoon of blankets.
“Scratch, scratch, scra-” I opened my eyes in hope that it had stopped, maybe it grew a conscious “TCH!”
I knew the battle was lost. I could not possibly sleep now. There was no black void offering its soothing release. Instead, my mind raced with images of what was above me and what it could possibly be doing. Every scenario played out in my head as I brushed my teeth: a raccoon making a nest; a possum clawing at the posts; a skunk panicking at finding itself in the attic; a crow that had a bunch of mischievous babies; a mouse that recently moved in with all of its extended family.
I splashed my face and resolved not to think about it more. Surely it was a day’s annoyance. It cannot continue. It shouldn’t.
“Your aunt says a raccoon got into her garbage,” My mother told me as I stomped around the kitchen getting my coffee ready. I paused for a second and replied with an engaged “Oh?”
“Yep, the garbage was all over the lawn” she continued. She probably said more, but my mind was now racing to what kind of damage the attic was even now suffering.
I put the lid on my travel mug and looked up towards the ceiling as if I could see through it to my nemesis. I hoped that tomorrow would bring no scratching for its sake and mine.
As if the creature heard my challenge and rose to it, the next morning’s scratching started earlier and louder. This was war and I was determined to win.
For every “Scratch!” I responded with a thump to my walls and every “scratch, scratch!” was met with my very own war cry.
You might be wondering why I did not simply go up into the attic and investigate? You must understand, dear reader, at this point I had completely lost it. My imagination would not allow for my enemy to be just one little mouse. It was a whole family of possibly rabid rodents that may or may not have been exposed to Gama-rays. Harassing them through the safety of my walls was definitely the safer option. Surely as their actions slowly drove me to madness, my own would prove that the attic was undesirable real estate.
I was naive and I was wrong.
My family’s patience and tolerance of my antics proved shorter than my own. An exterminator was quickly called with the hopes that an outside force could bring peace.
As this is a chronicle, you know it can’t be that easy.