By Abigail Koerner
The light flickers on to reveal the creatures hiding in the dark. Our outfit choices day-to-night; their visibility night and day. Hair curled and cheeks pink, we ladies venture outward and onward. With itty bitty steps, they take our places. Click and clack our heels march away.
“Oops, I forgot to turn off the light!” she exclaims.
She turns around and opens the door and shuts it off. They whisper among themselves. Crunching and bunching and climbing everywhere, they exit. They exit the expanse of drywall where a nest was made. They sniff and search and prey on midnight snacks left for later.
If we were nocturnal we might just see their small, brown, shiny bodies. Scuttling along where bodies might go. The ceiling, the floor! Little legs and little bodies taking up space.
Girls out to party mingle, drink, and dance. Their bodies grinding and speaking softly to each other and to those unknown in the night. We dance and dance until we feel like falling over. And we do! With each step, risks are taken. With each gulp, a fall is near. Sparkly tops and sparkly makeup blind us from fear. And so we dance.
In the dark, fear is forbidden. Small, shiny, and impenetrable, they dance too. They dance on the furniture, in the pipes. They dance through our stash of chocolate. They drag it into the walls. Silently, fearlessly, they multiply.
When will they meet? Night: the time of true love. When lust in the eyes beats thoughts of the mind to a pulp and we long to never end up alone. At dawn we arrive home and drag our actions along. Pleasant thoughts of fleeting moments like the flush of a toilet bowl and water that swirls down and down. We are not alone and the bowl will fill. Tiny bodies with tiny legs will appear. If you see them, you are lucky. If you do not, you should live in fear.
Harvard’s hallowed halls are also hollow. Hollowed halls where dirty dwells.
The key turns in the lock. A girl enters her room. She screams, we scream! For there they are – our most esteemed classmates. Generations of cockroaches who are our forever companions – we are never alone.
Abigail Koerner ([email protected]) writes short fiction, but not always in the company of little bodies.