Pounding, twinging, aching sinuses. I’d be 100% certain it’s allergies except my stomach is off too, although that could also be a result of having had that third coffee / second café mocha this afternoon.
I stood in a hot shower for a bit, hoping the steam and my nasal saline would help. Noticed that my shower drain is clogged, probably from rinsing out the cricket container. The drain is full of dead crickets.
Made me think of a haunted house that I’ve heard students talk about, over on Poplar St. It sits on top of a boulder, an outcropping of Canadian Shield that bulges up and slightly over the road. A few straggly trees have grown up stubbornly between the house and the road, clinging to cracks and fissures with snarling roots.
Teens have broken into the house over the years since it was abandoned. The most popular story they tell is of the dolls: a circle of old, broken dolls positioned on the wooden floor in what used to be the living room. They say that if you leave the room to check out the rest of the empty house, when you go back in to see the creepy dolls again, they’ve moved.
Not sure how I linked dead crickets in my drain with possessed dolls in a haunted house, but there it is. The suggestion of a story, a germ of an idea. Imagine a family buying the structure because it’s all they can afford, planning to fix it up, but every time they move the dolls or throw them away, they come back… Peering out with their dead glass eyes from the bushes by the garbage bins… Lying in a semi-circle around the back door… Every day, pushing a little closer and a little closer, trying to get back to their domain…
And then one day, the mother is consumed with a need to know the truth. She goes to pick up the plastic baby doll, creased with dirt in its joints and dimples, but as soon as her fingers close around its fake pudgy belly, a hoard of insects pours out of the crack under its smiling mouth: brown crickets, black spiders, white millipedes, red ants…
Not sure how the story might end. It’s a mystery.