The is the second of 6installments of the Story Psychic Roach. In the first part a roach finds himself the only roach remaining of his tribe which has entered a box. He overcomes his attraction to the box by a feeling – a premonition – very foreign to his roach nature. A similar feeling prompts him to travel.
Psychic Roach Part Two
by Headley Hauser
For the first time in his life, Only Roach moved off the smooth ground – no, not ground… tile floor, and onto the high grass – no, not grass… carpet. It was harder walking on carpet than on tile, but he could climb it. He had plenty of legs, more than humans or dogs, not so many as centipedes, but these legs were good for climbing. He even liked climbing.
Then he saw something really worth climbing.
Several hills lay stacked on each other –
Not hills… stairs. He could climb up the wood part as long as it ran straight up, but each stair had a lip that blocked his way. Carefully he scaled the back and sides of the… carpet runner. If the light came on, he knew this was a place where humans step. It was a foolish risk, but everything he’d been doing seemed foolish. Was he any more foolish than the other roaches? After all, he was the only one left alive.
At the top of the stairs was an open area ringed with… doorways. The carpet had an old, musty scent. The smells spoke of the journeys of many roaches, but none from his tribe. Ahead loomed a small room with tile on the floor… a bathroom. All signs pointed to this room being the home of a mighty tribe. Even though he was afraid, he crossed the carpet to the cold floor beyond.
The bathroom had thousands of scents: some subtle, some strong. One scent, coming from a piece of plastic struck in the wall, was so strong and shrill it was difficult to appreciate the softer sweeter aromas.
He hadn’t been attacked. Even more surprising, all the tribe traces here in the bathroom were nearly as old as those in the carpet outside. Where were they?
There was the scent again, like an open can of peas, the same as in the kitchen. Following the scent was easy, almost as if it wanted to be followed. The box looked just the same, though it was at a different angle from the wall. The drawing power was strong. He wanted to go in the box. He knew it was death, yet the only thing he wanted was to go in the box.
The box must have killed this tribe just as the box downstairs had killed his own. Maybe there were no more roaches, only him. Why was he the one to survive? What was so special about him?
Maybe the tribe’s death was a mistake. Maybe his survival was the mistake. He wanted to know, but whom could he ask? Lately words popped into his head when he thought about places and objects, but the words didn’t answer questions. What would he do if there were no way to ask?
Asking wasn’t what was important; living was important.
Suddenly he felt powerful
A new sensation for him, and he liked it! He needed to leave traces in every room in the house. He was Only Roach, and leaving his trace mattered.
Finding cute roach-related video isn’t easy. Thank goodness for Pixar, and the movie Wall-e.