This morning I discovered a tiny manuscript on the windowsill behind the draperies in our master bedroom. Beside it, the rigid body of a stinkbug.
By Maryland law, all unattended deaths of stinkbugs must be reported to the police and are subject to a post-mortem-poking by Dr. Fanoo Lanoo, the state’s Dead Stinkbug Poker.
Police cordoned off the scene and began questioning me, the missus, a dozen neighbors, the UPS guy delivering my weekly case of banjo strings, and a stinkbug caught running (actually crawling) out the back door. They issued an All Points Bulletin for a second stinkbug, describing him as “an insect of interest.”
Police forgot their chalk, so they borrowed my green Sharpie to draw an outline around the dead stinkbug. Not only indelible, the green clashed with the draperies, sending the missus on an emergency run to JCPenney.
Here are some excerpts from the manuscript, titled simply “I, Stinkbug.”
June 17: Started crawling up the screen door. Got halfway and stopped to assess my life.
June 18: Crawled up the screen door some more. Very discouraged. My accomplishments to date: non-existent. Future looks like one long, boring climb. I need a plan. Clearly defined, reachable goals. I need patience. I don’t have to climb up the screen door in one day. Live the moment. Drink in the beauty.
June 19: Guy inside house flicked the screen. Knocked me about 20 feet (7 miles in Stinkbug distance) onto a lawn chair. Tried to be patient. Recited my mantra. Focused on my goals. But I want to kill that flicker guy. Spent rest of day thinking about how to get my feets on a gun.
June 23: Climbed down the chair. Very moody. My heart trying to follow my bliss, my mind on vengeance.
June 25: Started crawling up the screen door again. Hey, it’s a living.
June 26: Bumped into Archie, a stinkbug I met on the lawn chair. Warned him about the flicker guy inside. He laughed. Said I was paranoid.
June 27: Worked my way over to edge of door. Guy inside house flicked the screen and knocked Archie into a rain puddle. Can see him floating. Belly up. No sound of laughter.
July 29, 4:33 a.m. I’m in their bedroom now. Pitch dark. Flicker and Mrs. Flicker both snoring. I start climbing the drapes.
July 29, 4:39 a.m. I check the safety on the 9mm semi-auto I took from a table downstairs. Just lying there, fully loaded. What bozos. But, lighter than I expected.
July 29, 5:17 a.m. At top of drapes. A perfect view of the Flickers. I disengage the safety and aim the Nine at Flicker the Dicker. The angle is perfect. No wind to speak of. A very basic shot. This one’s for Archie. Squeeeeze
September 5: This is it. Too depressed to go any further. No food in 6 weeks. Never thought I’d end up like my entire family, found dead behind a drapery. Can’t help dwelling on my mistakes. I let emotions get the best of me. I strayed from my goals. I thought I knew everything. But, for the sake of future generations, let me state the main lesson as bluntly as possible. Boys and girls, never bring a Nerf gun to an assassination.
Note: The stinkbug’s last wish was to be buried at sea. Since I get seasick, I did the next best thing: After mumbling some appropriate words, I flushed him down the upstairs toilet. The cops were not happy but let me off with a warning.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2014, all rights reserved.