We are under siege.
I should have been more vigilant when I glimpsed the first of the reconnaissance scouts, but they seemed so harmless—just innocent visitors passing through. Or so I let myself believe. But before I knew it there was another, and then another, until finally there was no more denying it. This is war.
I have tried to fight. I clearly have the size advantage, but they are cagy. When I grab for them they slip through my fingers. I try to hit them, but they dodge my swing at the last minute and leave me bruising my fingers on the wall. I cannot find a weapon that is consistently effective.
There is no getting away from them. They perch atop the cupboards and mock me. They lurk in corners, behind the pot rack, beside the toaster. They creep inside the cupboards and jump out at me when I reach for a coffee cup or cereal bowl. I have actually caught the hardier ones lurking in the fridge. And they are growing bolder. They even dance around me when I sit to eat.
My daughter searches the internet for advice and comes across a host of suggestions for humanely removing the invaders. But I am in no mood for catch-and-release. I am out for blood, or whatever passes for blood in their alien bodies.
We try building a trap—our research having revealed the secret substance with claims of luring my attackers to their demise.
But they are smarter than they look. They communicate at a pitch I cannot hear, in a language I cannot understand; but they are clearly communicating. Their behaviour suggests their conversation is along these lines:
“Mmm. Something smells good over there.”
“Hold off—Ed went to check it out a while ago and he hasn’t returned yet.”
“I’m going in.”
“Fine, but exercise extreme caution.”
“There he is. Ed. Ed? ED, are you OK? Oh man it looks like he’s down. Sound an alert! Make sure everyone steers clear of that thing!”
And so they tease me by skirting the edges of the trap—by hovering just close enough that I can stare them down, but careful not to get too close to the real danger.
I am at my wits end. I am outnumbered, I don’t even know by how many, because they maintain a uniform appearance that makes them difficult to distinguish from one another. I can’t even tell which is their leader, so how can I know to whom I might surrender?
How do you get rid of fruit flies?