So there was a crayfish/crawdad/effed up lobstrosity (whatever you want to call it) trundling its way across my parking lot like it aint no thang. I saw it, and my mind couldn’t even make sense of what I was seeing at first. It was just a blur of slimy grayness, movement and unspeakable horror. Felt like I’d stumbled into some sort of Lovecraftian nightmare. Then I slowly realized that what I was seeing was most likely a crawdad and not the spawn of a hideous shambler from the stars. Still, it doesn’t matter–crawdads are messed up looking.
And then, just when I thought I was safe, it turned toward me, its chitinous legs tapping over the pavement like the macabre fingernails of a disembodied yet somehow sentient hand!
I made sound of disgusted terror. “Eeurrgh!” is what it sounded like. I leaped backwards out of its insidious path and contemplated my options. Should I run? Is its vision based on movement? Does it smell fear? Can I step on it? I quickly nixed that last option–I was wearing thin canvas shoes and its pincers may be powerful enough to shear through the material should I fail to crush it the first time. Plus, if I crushed it, it would crunch, and crunch loudly. And just that sound would be enough to drive me to madness, let alone the fact that as it crunched and squished and crackled, that mess would be all up on my shoe. And then it would probably soak through to my foot. And then I would have to cut that foot off and soak the stump in bleach and purify it with fire and salt. That seemed like a bit too much to endure, and plus it seemed kind of mean to kill something just because it is ugly and terrifying and a blight upon the laws of Nature.
Finally, I realized the crawdad was not headed for me, but for the yard. I let it go on its merry way, but I kept a wary eye on it as I headed for my car, just in case its behavior was just a ruse to fool an unwitting human. I got in the car and locked the door. Yes, I locked the door to keep out a crawdad. How was I supposed to know what it would do if, say it was startled by the sound of my car starting? Mightn’t it fly, enraged, over to my car door, wrench it open and drag me out of my seat, intent upon devouring my still screaming face? I have no frame of reference for what an enraged crawdad might or mightn’t do.
“But crawdads don’t have wings,” you might say, pedantically pushing your glasses up on your nose. “So how could it ‘fly’ over to your car?” It could have had wings. It could have been mutated. You don’t know what it did or didn’t have–you weren’t there. So shut your face hole, Smuggy McGee.
I’m sorry about that. It was just a traumatizing experience, that’s all.
Then, when I got home, I scoured the parking lot and yard for any sign of the crawdad. I didn’t see it, but that don’t mean nothin’. It could be hiding. It could be creepin’ in the stairwell, waiting to lunge out and sever my Achilles’ tendons with its claws as I pass so it can feast at its leisure. It could be lurking at the threshold of my apartment. Or worse yet, I could make it into my apartment just fine and then think “Whew, everything’s fine I guess.” And then I’ll be chillin’ on the couch, updating my blog and then the phone will ring, and then a tentacle of trepidation will wrap around my heart. I’ll answer the phone: “Hello?” No answer. “Hello?” I say again, my voice shaking. And then, just as I’m about to hang up, I’ll hear heavy breathing. Then whatever sound a crawdad makes. “Cthulhu fthagn,” I assume. And then I’ll hang up and call the police and have them trace the call that I just got and the police phone operator will be like “Gurl, yu best be gettin outta there cuz da call be comin’ frum INSIDDA DA HOWSE! (police phone operator will be played by a LOLcat.) And I’ll hear that chitinous scrabbling sound from down at the end of the hallway and I’ll slowly turn, eyes widening in terror as I see the crawdad waiting for me underneath the hall light, holding a cell phone and chuckling evilly to itself. It’ll start skittering down the hallway, impossibly fast and I’ll scream as it reaches the end of the hallway and launches itself at my face, diabolical claws flailing about, and then the screen will jump to black and roll credits. You have just finished watching “The Crawdad Chaos: Cray-Crayfish”, starring me.