Paranoia Strikes Hard At Night
I jolted upright in total darkness!
At first I couldn’t remember where I was. Fighting through that half state between dreamland and reality I realized I was in a small travelers hostel in China and that something or someone was in the room with me.
I didn’t know where the intruder was but I could hear some shuffling in the corner opposite the bed. I had my monopod near the side of my bed because I often sleep that way after having an unwanted intruder visit my hotel room in Chicago years ago. I reached down to the floor and picked up the heavy gitzo monopod and then move like lightning to the light switch.
The room was flooded with light and I immediately found the perpetrator or in this case perpetrators. One was hunched on the desk just under the window. It was the biggest rat I had ever seen. It was as large as an enormous Persian cat and as I approached it seemed to curl a lip back as a warning. I swung the monopod as if imitating Babe Ruth and the huge furry intruder was launched across the room on contact. It hit the wall with a thud but, slid to the floor and was running before I could strike again.
The other two rats began to dart for a missing pane of glass in the window and were gone before I could draw back to swing. However the injured behemoth was now in the middle of the room seeming to dare me to come at him. I took one step in his direction and he leaped directly into my bed. I drove the monopod down with force anticipating his direction of flight but, I mis-calculated. He leaped straight into the air pivoting toward the broken window as he began to come back to earth.
Before I could draw back to swing again, the giant intruder was headed across the desktop. I was not surprised anymore but angry. In fact, I was irate. I decided that this mutant rat was not going to leave the room alive. I drew back the monopod and swung full force just as half the rats body entered the broken window pane. The sound of the breaking glass and crushing wood of the window seemed deafening. I was even startled at the din. I stood in disbelief in the middle of the room waiting for the angry knock on the door. It never came. An hour later I went back to bed. The rest of the night was a continuous exercise in hearing other intruders who never materialized. Counting rats never puts one to sleep.