‘There’s an odd smell in the kitchen,’ my son said, before heading out for the day.
‘Can’t smell a thing,’ I replied. ‘Bye hon, have a good day.’
I went out in the garden, picked a few home grown delicious beetroot, stood over the sink and cleaned them up.
And then something tickled my toes.
I looked down.
A thousand little worms wiggling around.
Maybe a million.
I screamed. I screamed so loud that my dogs ran away. I grabbed the bottle of JIK. Threw it over them. Grabbed the other bottles of everything. Drowned them in dishwashing liquid, tile cleaner, oven cleaner, Windolene, Stay Soft, Vanish, Skip, Handy Andy, Battery Acid.
I got the mop, I tried to mop them, they just kept coming, they were in the kitchen, the living room, one made it’s way to my bedroom, UP MY FUCKING LEGS, oh god, help me, I sent out a panicked message to my street WhatsApp group.
THIS IS A CRY FOR HELP, I typed. 10000000 MAGGOTS. I need DOOM. Anybody, somebody. Please help me.
Nobody replied. Seriously. Nobody replied. I’m the one who is always supportive. Shame sweetie you have a spider, ugh how awful, let me help you find your cat, a missing dog, sure hon, I’ll help you, oh you can’t sleep, here’s a little white pill…
(Except my real neighbours and dear Hannah but they were out for the day.)
I jumped in the shower. I scrubbed. I screamed. I scrubbed. I put on boots. I saw another one. It was wiggling its way through all the foam. Wiggling. Then another. I jumped in the car, made it to the supermarket, spent R 1000 on another three thousand cleaning products, wept at the counter, wept all the way home, called my girlfriends.
And they arrived.
Because that is what girlfriends do.
While somebody else was taking care of my maggots, I had my fourth shower of the day and went to get a coffee.
‘You’ll never believe what happened,’ I told the Barista.
He passed me a tissue, listened to my terrible tale, and so did the whole coffee shop.
It is a small coffee shop.
Ooooh, aaah, ew, disgusting. And everyone started talking at the same time.
They’re the worst! I’ve had maggots falling through the ceiling. I’ve had maggots in the deep freeze. Let me tell you about maggots in the fish.
Trauma stories, terrible stories. The worst kind of stories.
I felt semi-better.
I came home. I was assured everything was sparkling. I breathed in, swallowed a little white pill and sat down to work. One hand on my computer. One hand on the DOOM. Every now and again, a little white thing slunk past me. I zapped it so bad and so quickly, I’d become quite good at it.
It’s about eight hours later. It’s been quiet. No sign of anything.
And maybe I was a bit dramatic. And single handedly destroyed the planet.
But I still feel uneasy.
And that may be something white and wiggly over there.
I’m calling the guesthouse down the road. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a long time.
I think I’m going to stay forever.