From October 2008:

You may not have heard this story before but I’m sure if you look hard enough inside you, it will seem familiar. I knew it before it happened but I didn’t know I did, till it did.

What was it? A T.V? A silver metal box? A magical container?

I was having a shower in the fridge and when I came out and moved the fridge back, I noticed a small crack in the ground. Curious, I lifted the marble as though it were made of paper and out came a cockroach.

Now, I don’t like cockroaches very much. And this one was fatter and larger than the normal ones I’ve seen in this reality. So I quickly dressed and went out. My neighbour was smiling at me. He had given me the box just yesterday and I had accepted it because I had no clue what it was. It was interesting.

Life is busy. I went to work and came home in the afternoon. Or maybe it had been afternoon all day. I opened the kitchen to see around thirty cockroaches in four lines with the fat leader in front. They were marching carrying the corn to under the fridge.

My roommate has an old friend who lives a couple of streets away. She is a large woman with short, thick, black hair and a dimple on her left cheek when she smiles. She keeps a beautiful garden with pots hanging from the underside of her balcony. It isn’t very big but it’s teeming with grasses, shrubs, ornamental flowering plants, ponds and rock arrangements.

When I went home after my walk, my roommate was back and told me he had seen the cockroaches too.

‘Should we use pesticides? Or would that offend them?’ he asked.

‘It might but anyway don’t use it. I don’t want tumours and genetic disabilities for my children.’

‘Fair enough. Let’s ask them to move away.’

While he squatted and talked into the hole, I went to my room and checked the box. How can I open it? What’s inside? It was glowing a phosphorescent greenish white when I picked it up. And very cold.

Outside I caught my neighbour grinning at me again. ‘I came to ask you about the box. Why did you want to give it away?’ He didn’t reply but his grin had widened. ‘The cockroaches?’ I asked. He nodded. Then with a serious face he said, ‘It brings luck, the box. And the army of cockroaches will obey you if you feed them. They will protect you from everything.’ He lowered his voice and I leaned forward to hear him. ‘But I don’t like cockroaches.’

I went in to find out how the dialogues were going. ‘They will move to whichever place has enough food. They have an underground system of movement so we don’t need transportation.’

‘I found out what they do.’ I told him.

‘Well I agree with him. I don’t want luck or protection from cockroaches. Who can we give it to?’

When evening finally came, I took the box to his friend’s house. She was curious and looked happy to have it. It was glowing yellow with warmth.

A few weeks later, when on a walk, she thanked us for the box. She had placed it on a large arrangement of rocks and stones in the middle of her garden. The creepers were starting to grow over it.

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