Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Beast Beneath the Sheets

A month or so prior to the current moment, there was an incident involving a horrid creature as we were milliseconds away from being sucked into our pillows to be deposited in dreamland.  You are hearing about it now because over the weekend we found out what it was and the overall picture became thoroughly sinister.

*click*.  That's the sound of our lamp being switched off.  Peace reigns for a grand total of two minutes and thirty seven seconds until...*tickle tickle* That's the mobile sensation on my left leg beneath the brown sheets that are supposed to protect those who are under them.  The feeling occupies a fair bit of real estate down there, and suddenly the brain is fully awake.  It demands to know what is down there and implores the swift removal of whatever it happens to be.

The light goes back on, the sheets are ripped away, the heavy-eyed but lovely lady next to me enters the curiosity party.  The thing is red and it has a lot of legs..... it is 3 or more inches long and is now at the ankle, heading around the curve of the foot.  "What the hell is that thing??!" *kick kick* "T'isn't the tarantula or behemoth cockroach previously envisioned.  An unidentified jungle beast, it is flabbergasting and I know not how to react.  The wise thing would've been to reach for the camera and let it crawl all over me in order to get a successful Youtube video, but instead I flung my foot around like a maniac until it flew to the floor (the creature, not my foot), then I splattered it to a quivering paste with one of the Havaiana sandals near by.

After wiping up the goo with a tissue and stuffing it in the garbage, the next few hours were spent lying in the dark, wide awake, reenacting the scene and imagining that every single little cutaneous tingle was another one, even bigger, coming back to avenge it's brother/sister/cousin/child.  

Last weekend in Angra dos Reis with my splendid parents, the story was retold during a conversation on Brazilian critters.  Our gracious host, Paulo, was able to identify the bed invader as a LACRAIA....a Scolopendra (psycho centipede) that has a kind of venom which is used to paralyze it's prey.  It is not fatal to humans but can inflict serious pain, nausea, vomiting and fever....good times! (chunks of info also from my father's Blackberry)

Anyway, that's all.  It was on my leg but it is dead now.  There are some videos on Youtube, including one of a giant Lacraia killing a mouse.....go see for yourself as I refuse to taint the blog with it.

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