During the day (and sometimes in the evening) all of us at ChemTec have a primary goal of protecting the people and property that are important to our customers. And, as with every family, each of us in the ChemTec Family has our special interests, hobbies, and activities that make us a healthy, well-rounded, tight-knit group. We have basketball and soccer coaches, gardeners and anglers, train and rock enthusiasts, gamers, hikers, campers, beach-lovers and for some reason, an overabundance of dedicated hockey fans (which creates a very intense office rivalry).

Typically the quiet introspective person in our group is Issac, whose passion is writing. Creative Syfy writing to be exact. So what happens when a creative mind exterminates bugs and in this case bed bugs for a living? Isaac shared this short story with us and has allowed us to share this short story with you.

 

Charlie
By: Issac Rojas

It was morning again. Today was going to be an especially long day. Not only does Charlie have a full day of bed bug work but he also has to deal with the fact that, today, his mother will be visiting. He can hear the sound of her voice, vibrating through his ear canal. “what’s wrong with you, everyone’s getting married but you,” she’ll yell. “no one wants me, mom,” he would reply as affable as possible.

The real answer wasn’t as funny. Recently Charlie’s been withdrawn from activities. He’s constantly tired and lays in bed, all day on his off days. “So bored,” he muttered as he tried to peel himself out of his bed. “Well time for work,” he made an effort to rise, but he couldn’t. He was stuck or paralyzed. “why is the room spinning?” he stared up at the ceiling then down again. It was too much like vertigo.

“Mommmm!!!!” No answer. “I need your help, I’ll start dating again I promise!” no answer. ‘Could she have gone deaf? Could she have fainted? She doesn’t have any friends to visit in my town or knows anyone for that matter,’ Charlie thought to himself. “So where is she?”

‘I’ll swing my legs for momentum enough to stand’. But as Charlie attempted this, he found himself wriggling for his life. After 15 minutes of self-resistance, and a feeling of muscle paralysis Charlie finally concedes. “What’s going on this morning?” frustrated Charlie started to cry but felt no tears.

He shut his eyes for a second, took several deep breaths to relax himself. Then with all his effort, spontaneously, he jumped and flailed his arms and legs about, trying, sweating, with all his grit, to do what he’s been doing since five, which is to stand on his own! “Oh, I give up, I’ll just lay here for the rest of my life.

“Charlie! Your gonna be late!” his mom announced. Hope! He thought. Oh, how he loved his mother for visiting this week. “Mom! I need your help!” Charlie waited for a useless response but his mom was not replying.

Suddenly he felt a heap of wind strike him as his mother entered the room in a panic. “Charlie? Hmm maybe he left, let’s start with his bed, what a mess!” Charlie’s mom reached for his sheets and pulled them off. Charlie could not see his mom anywhere in the room.

Suddenly, Charlie felt as if he’s been hurdled into a tornado. The room spun, flipped and went its own course. Finally, he landed and could see the world that was his room, still spinning like vertigo. “everything’s big?!”  He stared in wonderment at his mother.

‘What is she doing? Why is she rummaging through my belongings? I’m right here,’ Charlie stared in amazement. At first, he thought she went blind but couldn’t be because she’s maneuvering around his room with accuracy.

Then he thought maybe she’s gone ill, or mad. The last thing his mother needed was another reason to be pitied for. He took another look at her and noticed once more, “why are you so big mother?” But she ignored any exclamation. Until she turned and looked at the floor. “ahhhhh!!!, no no no, please not a bed bug.”

“where!” charlie turned around erratically. He noticed that his mobility has quickened. Next was his mother removing her shoes and charlie realized he had shrunk. The shadow cast by the sneaker moving over his head was a perfect solar eclipse. Pushing and squirming he tried to get his legs to move but he could not manage to maneuver with six legs. So he veered left as his mom let down her shoe. Thankfully she missed. Charlie scrambled and manage to reach a cave that may have been a crevice under his base board.

Instead, he ran towards a bright gleam that blinded half of charlie’s sight. Finally, when he got close he could see his reflection and everything made sense. Skin of wax, reddish to brown color and the feeling of sharp needle-like teeth in his mouth. “I’m a bed bug?”