Thursday, December 18, 2014

Monologue Mania Day #309 by Janet S. Tiger The End of the Moth Wars Dec. 18, 2014

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Monologue Mania Day #309 by Janet S. Tiger  The End of the Moth Wars   Dec. 18, 2014 
            From a piece originally started Sept. 30, 2011, revised and changed, hopefully improved!

                       The End of the Moth Wars
                                       ©Janet S. Tiger all rights reserved

                   (A woman of definite middle age enters, she is dressed simply, with an apron that has pockets.)

It was the Russian winter that ultimately defeated the moth army hordes that had invaded our house.  Well, maybe it was a cooler than usual Southern California autumn that did it.  Or...perhaps the fact that, at 3 am, when I went to the bathroom, I swatted them diligently.

Whether it was the horrifying image of a 53-yr-old woman who loves chocolate with no clothes or the reality of being squashed by the swatter - they were gone.

Oh, occasionally I would see the lone straggler - but they too would be quickly eradicated with either my fingers -I'd gotten very nimble -  or a flying piece of underwear -sometimes even clean!

But they were - for all intents and purposes - gone.

And had started so simply. 

A simple moth, flying around, annoying me.  Did I kill it?  No.  Why not?  Had I no idea what would happen?  Did I secretly want the excitement of armed conflict?  Armed with a fly swatter on my part - they are armed with eggs, tiny little eggs that can be planted anywhere, eggs that will hatch into larvae that will crawl through anything, even sealed packages and jars....even into my ears while I sleep...No wait, that was Khan on Star Trek with the earwigs....

Should I have done things differently?  it's always easy to look back and try to change the past.  But the fact is, I let it live. My first mistake. And then suddenly, I noticed a few I started taking a swipe at them, half-heartedly with a kitchen towel that was to be washed.  If I missed, so what?  What could they possibly do to me?   My second mistake.

(Her face changes, becomes darkened.)  Then the blitzkreig happened!  It was because of a blackout...the lights were out all night, then went on just as I was about to go to sleep.  The dark had masked the moths - they must have felt safe.  They could fly under the radar...but then I turned on the lights and Horrors!  It was like a scene from a horror movie - only it was in my kitchen!  The ceilings and walls were covered with millions of the moths (well, maybe thousands....or a few dozen, you get the idea- it was awful!)

I grabbed my trusty swatter...

       (She takes a swatter out of her pocket).

.. and went to work -  the battle was terrifying -

       (She illustrates as if she were fighting) 

 ...(getting more agitated)........they attacked me in droves, in squads of killer airplanes coming at me in the darkest night!......(calms a little) .....okay, maybe they sat on the wall until I swatted them, and some of them slipped through the swatter's slits, but it was scary how many there were.  Where were they coming from?  I got as many as I could, losing count at 100.....I fell into bed exhausted.  Not knowing what the daylight would bring.

I awoke to a gentle breeze - it was daylight, and when I went into the kitchen, there were moths, but the dead bodies outnumbered the living.  I cleaned up the mess -no funerals or graves, just down the sink- and proceeded to the delightful task of cleaning out every closet in the kitchen, employing my children even though they thought I was getting a tiny bit obsessed about the entire affair.  But they could see the moths everywhere in the closets, the dark wings hiding, the lacy larvae in every corner of every cranny.  Well, that might be an exaggeration, too, but you get the idea.

(Starts to sound a little nutty...well, a lot nutty)  Until I (She is almost shuddering now.)  It was in a box of bread crumbs purchased awhile back.  How far back?  Far enough that there were no expiration dates on it.  Far enough that no one could remember when the crumbs had last been used....Far enough that no one could remember why it had ever been purchased...a long time.

(She re-lives the moment, getting more frantic throughout)  I opened the top....(she jumps back as if she is seeing it again)....just like when they find the alien pods growing in the basement, the revulsion was immediate.  You could not see breadcrumbs because the inside of the box was filled with........ gray!  Gray alien moth webs...Gray netting that the moths had made into their den of fear.....I shrieked and my son came to look.  This is the same son who picked up a dead rat filled with maggots and was not afraid .    My son called it....THE HIVE.  

And I shuddered when I found it.....this was a little like the -thank God- successful landing on the beaches at Normandy.  The war was not over, but it was the beginning of the end.

We kept cleaning, and day by day, night by night, the battle continued. 

         (She takes the swatter and comes into the audience, swatting under chairs, around people.)  

Sometimes there were many of them at 3 in the morning - I imagine they hatched in clusters.  But day by day the dead started to diminish.  It got cooler.....the moths even started flying slower and slower, until one day, I woke up, went into the kitchen for my morning coffee and realized that my flyswatter was gathering dust.  It had been a few days since the last moth sighting, and maybe, just maybe.....the end of the war of the moths had come.  I heaved a sigh of relief.  No more cleaning the walls and ceiling of moth detritus. No more wondering if it would ever be over.  And best of all - no more  3 am battles!

And yet, the sad fact was..... I had grown to hate killing them, as life is precious - even for those miserable flying pieces of dirt which is what they were.

Could I dare say it?

Yes...I missed them.  Hard to believe it after all the horror they had brought.  But they gave my life purpose, direction, maybe not a raisin d'etre - more like a prune, but MY prune.....(going back in time)    I think of them often,  the morning screams, the nightly battles.

(Horrified)  I wonder, too...if, like the earwigs....they -I hate to think it, let alone say the words lest I call it into being-  could they have...laid eggs?

That was mistake number three - telling my family about the eggs and... 3 a.m. battles.....

           (She sighs, puts away the swatter) 

But everyone is very nice here, and it's very clean.  No moths. No more moths. 

          (She looks around as if double-checking this fact.)

And the medication seems to be helping, too.  (Happy) They told me I might be able to go home very soon. Hey, it's almost lunchtime.  Can you stay?  They let me go into the visitor lunchroom now, you could join me.....

           (She turns to leave, then stops, her eyes transfixed, then following something)

But wait.....maybe....did I see something flying?  Gotta go!

           (She whips out the flyswatter and chases after her 'moth'.)

The end, but unfortunately - not the end of moths!


Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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