Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

the lizard in the wintertime

So, my circuits are still out. I have lights...in most rooms anyway...but very few outlets that work, and still no heat pump. Thank goodness for my husband's zombie preparedness or we wouldn't have the kerosine heaters to keep me from freezing to death. And blankets...lots and lots of blankets.

Which is why I was in the basement...in the dark, because apparently my life is a scary movie wherein I would need to go into the basement with the lights out after dark. Don't look at me like that...I need blankets. And socks. And damn it, clean underwear.

So, I grabbed my husband's head light. You know the ones you strap on your head with an elastic band so you look like a damn miner heading into the coal mines? And I grab the Maglight for good measure, because when you're going in to a dark scary basement, you can't take any chances.

Even though I do have stairs that lead to the basement from inside the house, I've been forbidden to use them. Yes, forbidden. If you know my track record for accidents, and you've seen the horror movie worthy staircase leading to my basement, you would completely understand what I mean when I say FORBIDDEN. My husband doesn't want to come home and find me dead at the bottom of the stairs, laundry basket over my head and clothes scattered in my wake. So yeah, I'm taking the stairs that run on the outside of the house.

And did I mention my lights are out? And it's been cold...and raining...and all the other ingredients for a slasher movie are present and accounted for as I pull on my boots and my head light (making everything look like I'm wandering through the Blair Witch Project) with my overflowing laundry basket. And since my hands were occupied with the wicker basket, I tossed the Maglight inside and the eerie glow coming out of the sheets just added to the creepy ambiance of scary shadows. 

The stairwell was filled with wet leaves making my heavy footfall sound like I was walking over potato chips, but I knew it was likely slippery and therefore precarious...for me.

When I reached the bottom and struggled with the key to open the ancient door, I noticed something moving by my feet, and screamed. Apparently, not only do I have ghosts, mice, and no electricity, but I also have Godzilla in my basement. The size of the lizard looking up at me from the doorway was startling. His long blackish green body (with bright yellow spots) looked almost artificial in the eerie glow of my head lamp but when I touched him with my toe, he moved.  I immediately looked for feet because for some reason, a lizard (still scary) is much less heart attack inducing than a snake. Don't ask me why. And what the hell is a lizard doing in my basement in the wintertime? Don't they hibernate?

Anyway...

When I finished my laundry and was safely back inside the empty house, I decided to take a shower. Because, yeah...scary basement, sticky webs, lizards...but when I opened my shower curtain, a giant black spider looked back at me.

This set me over the edge, because when it comes right down to it, giant lizards, possibly rabid mice, dark scary basements and ghosts in the attic have absolutely nothing on the big black spider in my shower.

Screaming through the house on a wicked tear, cursing my husband for not being home to kill it. Cursing the cold, and the old, and the damp...I'm sure my neighbors were certain the cast of the Jersey Shore had moved in, with the language I was spouting. I put a randy band of pirates, drunk on rum and women, to shame with that language.  And hey, I just can't find it in me to be ashamed. I had a rough day. And I haven't had much sleep. And you just didn't see the size of that spider.

Until the next time...I'll be calling the exterminator...the electrician...and the ghostbusters.


Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.