I twisted the ponytail into a bun and looked at my reflection in the mirror. “You can do this,” I told myself, noting cynically that my eyes seemed a bit apprehensive. I snapped on the rubber gloves and felt the familiar lurch in my tummy. Nerves.
I managed a smile at my colleague and together we strode into the well-lighted room. She stood at one end, and I positioned myself opposite her.
We wiped the area clean first, meticulously and saw no sign of the disease. Then we made the opening carefully and that was when we smelt it, the subtle smell of decay, and we saw the little dots that patterned the inside lining, tell tale signs that we had the right diagnosis.
“Are you ready to rumble?” she asked me with that quirky sense of humour of hers and I gave her the thumbs up. I was as ready as I would ever be.
Then we set to work.
We held ourselves in awkward positions, standing, bending over, squatting and squinting. Perspiration ran down our faces in rivulets. We gently moved the insides, sometimes removing whole complexes and just letting the cleaning solution run through. We made sure the amount of cleaning fluid was just right and dabbed up the excess quickly.
Then we found the focus of infection.
I am not sure how she felt, but I wanted to get the hell out of there. But to do so would have been a waste of our efforts and I hunched up my shoulders, reached for the roll of toilet tissue and started squashing the six-legged vermin.
They were small and fast but we were faster and meaner.
Both of us brought out our A-game and we murdered a good twenty roaches in under thirty minutes.
Then came the gross part. We had to collect their mutilated carcasses and scrub out their eggs and droppings. Our jaws set, we moved our hands mechanically, gripping the soap riddled sponges as though our very lives depended on it.
Satisfied, we dried the area with a clean towel, replaced the planks and arranged back the containers we had removed earlier.
She made one last survey and gave me a grim nod. “Good work,” she said and her voice sounded as disgusted as I felt.
I shut the door on the food cupboard.
We removed the gloves and scrubbed out, weary to the bone.
We had managed to contain the infection for another month, but there would have to be a follow up procedure soon for those buggers multiply damn fast.
* twenty or so roaches were brutally murdered to inspire this story, and every bit of the story’s true. Almost ;)