Peter settled in for the night, his old bones cracking and popping as he heaved his ample bulk under the soft blanket. His customary glass of water was sitting atop the new wooden headboard so he wouldn’t have to get up to get a drink. Although Lord knows, he would have to pee in the middle of the night, hopefully only once.
At first he thought the scratching sound was part of his dream. He was bouncing around eating apples in an old-fashioned video game. With boundless energy he jumped and ate, jumped and ate. Such fun! Wait… he turned. A tiny soldier was stabbing him in the leg with a minute spear. Ow! He jumped away but the soldier was right there stinging and stabbing. He jumped and jumped but it kept on stabbing…
He came out of his dream in a hurry, something was stinging him! ‘Yiiiii….’ he jumped out of bed, pulled his trousers up and smacked at the insect munching on him. A tiny spot of blood appeared on his crumpled pyjamas. ‘Little bugger!’ he crushed it in his fist feeling satisfied that it wouldn’t snack on him again! Examining the body he saw a thick head which crowned an insignificant, transparent body showing a line of red blood. Evil trident pincers were razor-sharp and still moving. He rubbed his leg, the bump itchy and raised but no longer bleeding. It was getting light.
Peter showered and faced his endless day all but forgetting about the incident.
That night with a yawn and a fart he climbed into bed, something caught his eye and he jumped up. Lifting the covers, he found 3 more of the bugs wandering around.
‘Oh no! I am not your meal tonight.’ He swept them out, grabbed his shoe and sent them to heaven. Or to hell now that he thought about it. He would have to spray his apartment in the morning. The stinky bug killer always made him cough, but it was better than being bug fodder. Pulling his bed away from the walls, he was soon sound asleep.
His evening passed without incident and he awoke feeling refreshed and hungry. After strong coffee and loads of bran to keep him regular he was ready to tackle the bugs. Moving his bed now into the center of the room, he searched for signs. Nothing under the bed, except for a few dust bunnies and a tissue. Peter still wondering where they came from noticed a tiny hole next to the phone cable. His bones protested when he got down onto the carpet to see outside.
‘Yep. That’s where the buggers are coming in.’ Cracking and popping he stood slowly giving his bones time to catch up.
Struggling, Peter plugged the hole with silicon then sprayed it. He did a quick spray under the bed and a general sweep of the room. Coughing he left, closing the door satisfied that it was now a death zone to man-eating bugs! He went for a walk, stopping off for tea and cheesecake, his favorite. It was 2 hours since he had sprayed and Peter hoped that the smell was gone. He was tired from the walk and wanted to rest.
The bedroom was calm and Peter was delighted to see no bugs! He opened the window to let the last few dregs of spray dissipate and pushed his bed back against the wooden headboard, quickly dropping off.
At first he again thought his little soldier friend from the dream was back but this time he had 6 arms and 6 swords. It was so painful! Peter dropped out of his sleep instantly, sitting up and swiping at his arm. Fear washed over him, his bed was covered in tiny, biting monsters. They were everywhere. His walls, bed, feet and legs were a seething mass of them.
Peter screamed in terror realizing that those on him were all biting, biting, biting. The pain was beyond comprehension as each bite burned and bled. Blood started to spot through his trousers and smear his linen. Fear gave him wings and he jumped out of bed brushing them off. Unfortunately his old bones couldn’t take it and his ankle shattered, throwing him down onto his stomach. Muffled screaming would have alerted his neighbors if they were home but midday during the week, no-one heard.
Peter blacked out from the pain and horror of what was happening. Maybe if he hadn’t, he would have had a chance. He surfed back to consciousness on a tidal wave of pain. Taking a breath to scream he inhaled bugs or monsters as he came to think of them. They poured into his ears and mouth, even biting his eyeballs. He desperately tried to brush them out. It was pointless, there were too many.
Crawling blind and screaming he made it to the door. Turning the handle proved impossible as it was now made up of hundreds of monsters who poured down his arms and joined the feast. He couldn’t anymore. Mercifully his throat closed and he blacked out, missing the horrifying and excruciating end of his life.
It took the bugs 2 full days to make a meal of him and another week for his body to be discovered. It was a mystery what had happened and eventually the apartment was cleared out and rented to a student.
Her first night in the apartment was uneventful, apart from that dam scratching sound in her headboard.