‘Oh no, another one! When will it end?’ Coralie sobbed.

Copyright - Douglas McIlroy

Copyright – Douglas M Macilroy

‘It’ll take a while to flush them out. They’ve got lots of dark cavities to hide in, but they have to come out to feed, and the exterminator’s laid the poison skilfully. He knows his job.’

‘I didn’t want to move here, Carl. I wanted a new house. “Potential,” you said!’

‘Come on Sweetie. Cheer up. Let’s go for lunch and when we get back it’ll have crawled outside to die.’

Carl and Coralie scuttled away, leaving the pale, fleshy, two-legged vermin squirming on the floor, fighting for breath.


This delightful picture is this week’s prompt for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly flash fiction event hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, where writers contribute 100 word stories in response to a photo. 

I’m wondering if I’ve done something to annoy the god of vermin recently, as the story I’ve come up with is my story, minus the role reversal. I really didn’t want to write about cockroaches right now. Having moved temporarily into a rental house, in between selling and buying, we’ve been conducting a cockroach offensive, and the battle has been heated. I think we’re winning, but it pays not to drop your guard.

The neighbours, and the real estate agent, tell us it’s environmental; that you’re alright as long as it’s the big black ones you’re fighting, and not the smaller lighter coloured ones. They’re really bad news, apparently. 

I’m not yet ready to adopt such a high tolerance approach to our big black squatters, and any qualms I might have felt about chemical methods of pest control have gone out the window. This is war.

22 thoughts on “Vermin

    • That picture was not welcome on my screen when I had my first look yesterday. I truly have been at war with the beasts, as I said in my post. However, it is a fascinating photo, once one overcomes the initial shudder. I’m sure there’ll be some varied responses to it. So thank you. And thank you for your nice comment.


  1. Very amusing twist! As soon as I reached the word “scuttled” I saw the twist coming, but until then you kept me cleverly in the dark.
    I always knew that one day bugs would rule the world 😦


    • ‘Scuttled’ was the first plant. Was it too soon? I suspect that bugs already do rule the world, they’re just very clever at keeping a low profile. I’m glad you found my story amusing. Thanks for reading and for your nice feedback.


  2. Oh, eek! What a disappointment to move into a new house and find vermin. I would probably want to pack up! So, we have a very sad scenario, and it’s made all the more real by your great descriptive voice. If I see anything that is pale, fleshy and squirming, I’m out of there. Well done, Margaret.


    • I’m glad you liked it. I wasn’t sure if it was clear just what the vermin is – it’s a bit of a juggle to get in enough to be meaningful within the 100 words. So I’m happy to read your comment. Thank you for your encouragement.


  3. Oh, I hate cockroaches! And people told me the same thing about the wasps in our yard, but after getting stung while mowing the yard I eventually had to declare war on them as well. There’s only so much you can tolerate!


    • My informants were trying to reassure me that the cockroaches weren’t a sign of bad housekeeping, but that they will fly in through any open door, and I know that’s true in the coastal area where I live. However I know I can never be so relaxed about them. We have the odd paper wasp nest too, so my campaign shares something with yours. Sorry to hear you got stung. Not pleasant, I imagine. Nice of you to drop by and read my story.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marg, Great twist at the end. I guess it depends how you look at it. 🙂 I know what you mean about chemical exterminations. We once lived near a corn field full of mice. It seemed all the homes had a problem. There comes a time when you have to get help. Happy Holidays to you and yours. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • Our prompt this week really got us all thinking about our creepy-crawly ‘friends’. Mice are a step up from cockroaches, though. I’ve only experienced a mouse plague once, when we lived in a farming area. I hope I never have to experience that again.Happy holidays to you also, and thanks for your feedback.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s