The Cricket Visitor (A la Noir)

Gryllus assimilis

17th of September

I should have known that something wasn’t quite right. The musty evening smell led to a still room. The darkness sliced by the neighboring streetlight shining through the vertical blinds. My sleeping quarters turned into a space of confinement.

The Cricket Visitor made its presence known sometime after 11:00pm. From the cold damp bathroom the high pitched screech emanated, like a siren's song to a ship. I approached, only for it to cease before I could turn the door knob. I don’t know if it was the sound of my size tens, or if it could sense my dark intent. Either way, the room grew still again. The Cricket Visitor would have to wait until tomorrow.

18th of September

The Sunday passed without fancy, and I found myself confined to the same room I started. This time I had the illumination of the floor lamp to greet my visitor. I was reading about the high speed chase on page A16, when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. The Cricket Visitor made itself known. Exposed, and naked in the lamplight it shuffled across the floor, intent on mischief.

“I was wondering who they would send, “ I said gruffly.

There was no response. No high pitch retort. No moment to lose.

I sprang towards the floor and began my assault. With each striking blow, the deadly force I applied to the cricket was negated by the throw pillow I was using. With each recoil of my weapon, the cricket sprang away in super cricket fashion. It was no longer a high pitch screech that I heard in my head, but mocking cricket laughter.

The Cricket Visitor found it escape under the darkest shadows of my dresser drawer.

Time: 11:07.

19th of September

My assistant arrived, late as usual. Never one for punctuality she arrives exactly on time. When she wants to. "More dusting?" she mocked me in a cricket-like pitch. I laughed at the irony, but cried for justice inside.

To my delight she began with the dresser. Her cleaning had always come with a welcomed “shimmy” to her body, like a flapper dancing for tips. Lost for just a moment, I barely noticed the cricket until my assistant's “shimmy”, turned into a “shammy.” Her body reacted like a rubber band, snapping back then returning to loose form. The cricket flew across the room and landed on the desk.

I started for the cricket only for my assistant to stop me.

With elegance I've never witnessed before, she knelt and cupped her hands around the cricket. Slowly she stood and headed towards the open window. With a gentle gesture she laid the cricket on the sill. It leaped out into the warm evening air never to return. Mesmerized, it was almost as though she and the Cricket Visitor shared a soul. A mind. An understanding.

"You don't kill crickets in your home. A cricket in your home is good luck. It brings happiness."

It all made sense now.

20th of September

I should have known something wasn't quite right. The musty evening smell led to a still room. But this time the room had no bars.

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