The Scientific Indian


The large insect – almost two feet in length – was hiding in the loft. It looked like an enlarged scorpion with the legs and head of a cockroach. I could see it hiding because the antennae were visible and rubbing the walls. I stood transfixed at the door, my body shivering with excitement and terror. I am going to kill it I said, my voice hoarse with animal rage. My chins hurt. I was grinding my teeth hard. My ears must have lost their hearing. I could not hear any sound. My right hand clenched the large sword; the sword quivered. A vague perception wedged itself into my mind – the sword’s blade was black. I noticed the oddity but could not understand it. The insect crawled on the door I held. I screamed in rage and sliced the insect again and again. I felt the sword pass through the hard shell of the insect making sharp crunches. Yellow fluid dripped on the floor. The insect did not move.

I inched into the room. The antennae were gone. I saw the insect sliding along the shadow where the wall met the floor. It was running. The insect was afraid! I chased it over the window. It disappeared through the gap in the window. Someone had kept the window open. I could have killed it I thought angrily.*

*Nightmares. We all have them. I had one. Some nights when we sleep the animal inside is wide awake – hunting and surviving in a world full of dreadful things. Perhaps one day I may have sublime dreams.**

**I did not intend to post this in the blog. “It’s no big deal. Just post it”, said the wife. Often, reality is much simpler than one assumes.