Benny and the cockroach.

Benny got the box of cornflakes out of the cupboard and poured the last of its contents into his cereal bowl. He stared stupefied as a large cockroach dropped out as well. He shrieked involuntarily in a most unmanly high pitched voice. He hated cockroaches! Thoughts ran riot through his head. The box was now empty. He had been eating cockroach-infested cornflakes for God knows how long! What had that done to his insides? Totally irrational, he thought vaguely, but it didn’t change anything. He almost gagged as he looked at it sitting placidly in the bowl. What was he going to do now? Kill it of course, but how? He didn’t have a sprayer powerful enough, just a generic brand flying insect one. He needed to make sure it didn’t escape. He scrabbled in the crockery cupboard, found a saucer and placed it carefully on top of the cereal bowl. He checked all around the bowl. It was secure. There was no way the damned thing could get out.

Now, however, what was he going to have for breakfast? He was a creature of habit. He liked his cornflakes. He needed to go get some more. Well, Cockie the cockroach wasn’t going anywhere. He had plenty of time to go out and get some. And maybe a cockroach sprayer. That would fix him. And he’d gotten over the whole ‘what’s it done to my insides’ thing. His stomach acid would have taken care of that, he told himself.

A short while later, after a shower, he was backing his car out of the garage and heading for the nearby supermarket. He was quite chuffed to find his favourite brand of cornflakes was on special, so he bought three packets. Then he went hunting for a cockroach sprayer. They were a damn sight more expensive than ordinary sprayers. Not worth it, he decided. I’ll just work out how to kill this one. Maybe flush it down the toilet, or something, cornflakes and all. He bought some milk as well and headed home.

As he pulled into his garage and got out of his car, he saw a large glass jar he’d put on a shelf. It had contained coffee. He’d bought it when it had been cheap a year ago and kept the jar in case it came in handy. A thought struck him. Cockroaches were the hardiest creatures in the world, he’d read somewhere. He’d put It and the cornflakes in the jar, put holes in the top, because presumably it needed to breathe, and see how long it lived. He picked up the jar, took it inside and placed it on the kitchen bench, next to the cereal bowl.

He slowly removed the saucer. The cockroach was still there. He picked up the bowl and carefully emptied its contents into the jar. He watched as the cockroach fell in, scrabbled around for a minute, then burrowed into the cornflakes. He punctured holes in the lid with a fork, screwed it back on. He found a black marker and scrawled the date on the label on the front, then placed the jar on top of the fridge. He put the cereal bowl in the sink and ran hot water into it. Then he got another one out of the cupboard, opened one of his newly bought boxes of cornflakes, and was soon enjoying his usual breakfast. A ritual that would continue, only now, in the company of Cockie the cockroach.


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