Thursday, 16 July 2009

Rude awakening

4.30am: An acid stab of pain in my right side jolts me awake.

I leap out of bed like a scalded cat, snap on the light, and inspect the sore spot just above where my ribcage ends.

A red patch and a pool of white fire pain are spreading rapidly from two neat little puncture holes.

Damn! Something has snuck into the bed and stung or bitten me as I snoozed. And I was having SUCH a lovely dream. Better find the culprit before it decides to take another piece of me, or turn on my Other Half who is snoring softly next to me, totally oblivious to my wee hours adventure.

A quick flip of the top sheet reveals a surprise. Not a wasp or even a red ant as I expected, but the shiny, slinky, armour-plated body of a centipede. I didn't even know they could bite! (I suppose I should be thankful that it was my side it went for, and not my face or other tender sensitive parts).

The shock of discovery makes me cry out, waking the Other Half.

My attacker takes fright and shoots away under the mattress - with us in hot pursuit. Sheets and pillows go flying and mattresses are upturned as we hunt the little bugger down, determined that he is not going to get another piece of me - at least not tonight.

I'm not sure what any passers-by might have thought if they spotted us, bare-arsed in the hot Greek night, leaping around like maniacs, throwing bedclothes around and hunting down an offending bug with a murderous glint in our eyes.
Fortunately, there are not many passers-by down our way at that time of night.

With a cry of triumph, OH catches the offender, and I take a good look at my univited bed mate and night-time attacker. I'm not usually bothered by bugs. Instead of fear or repulsion, I tend to find their alienesque anatomy rather beautiful and fascinating in a David Attenborough kind of way. This one, however, gets no such admiration and analysis. Instead of adopting a my usual zen live-and-let-live stance, I look him straight in the mandibles and say "Die, you bastard!" before OH takes him outside to do the dirty deed.

I guess I'll never reach Nirvana now...


  1. Ohhhh, how AWFUL. That sounded extremely painful. Was it a centipede? (They're flat and bite) I hope you're feeling better!!


  2. Yes, it must have been a centipede. It was flat and definitely DID bite! Painful, but as I haven't keeled over or swollen up, nothing serious. Like a bee sting, I suppose.

    Shame, in other circumstances, I would admire the little devil.