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Another Close Call
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One of them got in the other night.

I smelled it before I saw it. An odor almost like newly cut grass. Almost. I started to shake. Newly cut grass doesn't smell quite the same and it doesn't come buzzing at your face like a cross between a bumblebee and a cockroach.

Sure, I'd lived through the others. But this one might be even bigger. It might be even more intent on my destruction. It might be behind me!

"What's the matter," Mary said. "What are you dancing around for?"

"Oh no. Oh my God," I explained.

"What's the cat looking at," Mary wondered. "Ah. I see it."

The horror scittered across the floorboards on spidery legs, preparing to heave its monstrous carapace into the air. Mary's foot came down.

I sat and tried to get my breath back. "Thank heavens I smelled it in time," I told her. "That was close. Where do they come from in the middle of the winter?"

A sudden thought started my heart racing again. "You don't think the attic is full of them, do you?"

Mary just gave me a funny look. She refused to answer. Which could only mean....

I went to Google as fast as my trembling hands would allow. It didn't take long to identify the invader as a Western Conifer Seed Bug.

Apparently they've been spreading east. The first one wasn't sighted in Pennsylvania until 1992. They knew I'd be arriving shortly.

The devilish things feed on pine seeds. Needless to say our house is surrounded by pines. The insects like to spend the winter inside where it's warm.

However, according to the experts, the bugs are harmless to humans and the environment. They don't sting. So even if the attic is full of them I have nothing to fear, except for having my reeling brain overwhelmed by the maddening, impossible Lovecraftian wrongness of the alien spawn.

Just kidding.

See. What's really scary is the unknown. I actually feel much better now. Yes I do. Yes I do.

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