Waking Up To A Living Nightmare: A True Story

This story is not for the faint of heart.  But enough time has passed that I feel I can talk about it.  What follows is a true story, not embellished for either humor’s sake…or horror’s sake.  It is a tale of primal fear.  It is a tale of crushing fear.  It is a tale of waking before work to find yourself wrapped in your worst possible nightmare come to life.  But it’s also a story of survival (which, uh, is kinda obvious because I’m writing this).  Are you ready?  Then let’s go…

On the morning of April 19, 2018 I was sitting on my couch just having finished my breakfast.  I was texting with Hannah as we were discussing our plans to write the final exam for the Catholic Traditions course we both teach…when MY WORST FEAR CAME TO LIFE.  Be aware, this piece has some language in it.  But I wanted to honestly preserve the fear.

Even now, over a month later, I’m not sure I can even begin to describe that morning but I’m going to try.  I know they say home invasions are scary, but I never imagined it would be this bad.  I was sitting on my couch, eating breakfast, texting with Hannah, and reading WHEN A FUCKING MOUSE DARTED OUT FROM BEHIND MY COUCH, LOOKED AT ME WITH ITS TERRIBLE, SOULLESS, EVIL EYES AND THEN DARTED BACK BEHIND THE COUCH.  Are you fucking kidding me?!?  What the hell?!?  THERE WAS A MOUSE IN MY HOUSE.  I figured the best way to tell the story is to just give you the text message transcripts from that morning.  Little asides will be tossed in for clarification and there will be some editing for narrative flow.  However, the editing is minor and you will experience the full range of emotions, as they happened to me.  Note, the texts contain my actual feelings on the matter.  At no point was I exaggerating for humor’s sake.  This was how I felt in the moment.

Hannah and I were talking about the final exam when:

Me – FUCK!!!!

Me – There’s a FUCKING MOUSE IN MY HOUSE!!!

Me – I’m FUCKING MOVING!

Hannah – Mine too.

Me – FUCK THIS!!!!!

Me – I can’t do this shit!!!

Hannah – Where is it?

Me – RIGHT IN MY FUCKING LIVING ROOM BEHIND MY FUCKING COUCH AND I HATE THIS AND I WANT IT TO DIE AND I THINK I HAVE TO MOVE AND THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT AND I WANT TO BURN IT AND THIS HOUSE AND ITS WHOLE FUCKING MOUSE FAMILY TO THE GROUND FOREVER.

Me – I HAVE NEVER WANTED SOMETHING DEAD WITH SUCH A PURE BURNING PASSION.

Hannah – Calm down!

Me – FUCK THIS GODFORSAKEN RODENT.

Me – I AM AT THE ONLY APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF CALM FOR THIS SITUATION!!!

Hannah – It’s a mouse

Me – I know!  I can’t sleep here tonight.  I’ll have to go back to my parents.  I can stay there this weekend…or forever.

Hannah – Call David.

Hannah – He’ll save you.

Me – I called Dad to come kill it but until I see it’s body I can’t be here.

Hannah – Michael!

Hannah – You’re a grown man!

Me – I’m literally standing on my couch now and have been since the first text.

Hannah – Sometimes…

Hannah – Want me to come over and get it?

Hannah – I’ll let it go outside.

Me – You’re welcome to try.  But I doubt we have time before work…

Me – And I hope it’s dead and broken by the end of the work day.

Hannah – True.

Me – Or, again, I won’t be here tonight.  I can’t sleep with this fucking monster in the house.

Hannah – It’s one of God’s creatures.

Me – No, mice and rats aren’t.

Me – BLACK PLAGUE!  THEY DECIMATED OVER A THIRD OF EUROPE’S POPULATION!!!

Hannah – I had a pet rat.

Me – Well you are welcome to come over and befriend this monstrosity.

Me – I have no idea how I’ll get to work as I can’t get off the couch.

Me – FUCK!  IT IS IN MY HOUSE!  I’LL NEVER FEEL SAFE HERE AGAIN.

Hannah – Oh sweet fuck.

Me – I can’t breathe.  The more I think about it the less I can breathe…

Me – I’m going to have some sort of panic attack and then I’ll die here and the mouse will eat my fucking corpse and that’s what it wants.

At this point, Hannah jumps into a group message with her, Matthew, and myself:

Hannah – Matthew…go save Michael.

Matthew – Huh?

Hannah – There’s a mouse in his house.

Me – [not wanting to retype in my fear, I modified a bit and copy and pasted] THERE IS A MOUSE RIGHT IN MY FUCKING LIVING ROOM BEHIND MY FUCKING COUCH AND I HATE THIS AND I WANT IT TO DIE AND I THINK I HAVE TO MOVE AND THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT AND I WANT TO BURN IT AND THIS HOUSE AND ITS WHOLE FUCKING MOUSE FAMILY TO THE GROUND FOREVER.

Hannah – There it is…

[Author’s note:  At this point (and others) horrifying gifs were sent…so as to spare the reader the horror of having to look at them (and spare ME the horror of having to see them again) I’ll just describe them…same with emojis.]

Matthew – *sends a horrible mouse gif with the little fucker waving at me*

Me – NOT HELPING MATTHEW!

Me – If I had a big book closer, my initial reaction was to smash its spine and watch it die.  But, as I was defenseless and it ran too quickly, the rage was replaced with the more reasonable panic and now I’ve accepted I have to move.

Matthew – *sends and even worse gif with a mouse staring at me from behind a Coke with the caption “SOON”*

Me – Seriously, someone’s going to have to open my homeroom because I’m still standing on the couch in my pajamas and I don’t know when I’ll be able to come in.

Me – I wish I taught at McDowell, then I’d have a bat to protect myself.  [A local high school, my alma madder, made national news by giving the teachers tiny, “symbolic” bats to help counter gun violence because…um…reasons.]

Me – I’d also take a sword or a flame-thrower.

Me – I’ve never wanted anything dead with such intensity in my whole life.

Me – THIS NEEDS TO DIE.

Hannah – I can’t stop laughing.  I’m sorry, Michael.

Matthew – *sends gif with TWO MICE kissing inside wine glasses*

Matthew – You sure there’s only one?

Me – NOT HELPING!  I’M A PRISONER IN MY OWN HOME NOW!

Hannah – Maybe he just wants to cuddle.

Me – It would make breaking its spine easier.  But seriously, I can’t move from the couch.

Matthew – *sends gif of mouse working out in mouse trap, benching the killing clamp bar thing like weights*

Matthew – Be careful with mouse traps.  They could just make the mouse stronger.

Me – THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER AND THIS NEEDS TO DIE.

Me – I seriously can’t get off the couch.  I’ve tried for ten minutes now, it’s not happening.

At this point (and it turns out, ten minutes was a WILD underestimate…checking the time I’d been standing on the couch for over half an hour) I realized homeroom would be a problem.  I wasn’t getting off the couch and I wasn’t getting to work on time.  So I switched to a larger group message with several other friends.  I had to share the horror that had me so trapped in my home and, more practically, find someone to open and cover my homeroom for me.  I had first mod off so, with homeroom covered, I had almost two hours to figure out how I was going to get off my couch with this hell-beast stalking me in my home:

Me – So, someone’s going to have to open my homeroom, please and thank you.  I don’t know when I’ll get in.

Me – [resorting to copy and pasting once again]  THERE IS A MOUSE RIGHT IN MY FUCKING LIVING ROOM BEHIND MY FUCKING COUCH AND I HATE THIS AND I WANT IT TO DIE AND I THINK I HAVE TO MOVE AND THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT AND I WANT TO BURN IT AND THIS HOUSE AND ITS WHOLE FUCKING MOUSE FAMILY TO THE GROUND FOREVER.

Me – I AM A PRISONER IN MY OWN HOME.

Me – I’m still standing on the couch in my pajamas and have been since I saw it.  Dad’s coming to kill it later [I, naturally, had called Mom and Dad to save me…thirty-five or not, there are still some things you need to tag your parents in on and pure, unbridled, abject terror is one of them.] but I don’t know if I can leave as I can’t get off the couch while it still lives.

Ashley – *laughing so hard you’re crying emoji* I bet it’s cute.  If you can catch it, I’ll keep it as a class pet.

Ashley – Don’t kill the poor thing *mouse emoji*

Me – Dad’s here and we’re setting traps to kill it now.  Seriously, can you ask Theresa to do my homeroom attendance?

Me – I don’t know when I’ll get in.

Me – Also, fuck making it a pet.  I WANT IT DEAD.

Me – I HAVE NEVER WANTED ANYTHING DEAD WITH SUCH A BURNING INTENSITY.

Ashley – Ya I will 🙂

Me – Thanks!

Me – Also, if I don’t survive this, I love you all.

Okay, so Dad shows up and I manage to get off the couch and let him in.  I was still near-frozen with panic but I was no longer alone.  We could do this!  He and I set eight or ten traps around the living room and kitchen.  There was peanut butter in my hair from the work.  I was okay with it.  I was just happy to have backup.  Returning to the group message:

Me – Okay, traps are set everywhere.  So I’m off the couch for the first time since I saw this fucking bastard.  I’m gonna try and get dressed and come in.

Me – I know it wants me to die of a panic attack so it can feast on my corpse as all mice do.  BUT I WILL NOT GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT YOU FUCKING GODFORSAKEN MONSTER OF DARKNESS.

Me – KNOW THIS MOUSE, WE ARE SWORN ENEMIES AND I WILL SEE YOU DEAD OR DO THE ONLY SANE AND REASONABLE THING AND SELL MY HOUSE AND MOVE BACK IN WITH MY PARENTS.

Me – It will be this mouse or me. There can be only one.

Sarah – *sends the same stupid mouse waving gif Matthew did*

Me – NOT HELPING SARAH.

Sarah – *sends the same stupid mouse working out gif Matthew did*

Sarah – Maybe you’ll come home to find him like this!  *two laughing so hard you’re crying emojis*

Hannah – Haha

Me – I thought it had me, hence my morning of paralyzed panic on the couch with fear.  It was at an advantage, coming in without my knowledge with all its fur and fangs and claws and cold, cold, soulless, evil little eyes.  BUT NOW I TOO AM ARMED.

Theresa – I will cover your homeroom.

Me – Thank you!  I appreciate it.  I hope to survive long enough to get to work.  But I know it wants me dead too…

Theresa – There is a production on stage today…perhaps your drama could be put to good use.

Theresa – Now I guess the drama is rubbing off.

Sarah – *sends gif of that dude with the white beard people use for everything saying “YOU GOT THIS” and pointing at me*

Me – IF ANYTHING I AM BEING TOO CALM.

Me – THERE IS A MONSTER NOT OF GOD’S CREATION IN MY VERY HOME.

Theresa – Would you like to borrow my cat?

Me – They make me sneeze but if I don’t come home to a broken body in a trap then maybe, thanks.

Me – Also, you can let my homeroom kids know I love them and I hope to see them again.

Well, I got dressed and got into work.  I saw Theresa just as I came in and she couldn’t help chuckling.  She said, “I told your homeroom I have this vision of you on your kitchen table, clutching a lightsaber in one hand and Mjölnir in the other.”  I told her if it was the real Mjölnir then it would have helped but my plastic toy one wasn’t hefty or deadly enough for the job I faced.  Matthew, always being helpful, had gotten the science department’s dead-mouse-floating-in-a-jar specimen to greet me with.  However, it didn’t have the effect he wanted.  Having stared the living monster in the face this morning, the dead one was no longer frightening.  When I saw Hannah she told me, “I was laughing so hard I was crying.  I couldn’t put my makeup on!  I tried but my mascara kept running since I couldn’t stop laughing at your texts.  So I finally just gave up and came in with no makeup.”  I came in with no makeup too, but it wasn’t after giving up.  It was after surviving the fight of my life.  A horrid living nightmare rose to life in my living room and tried to take me to the grave in the grip of unrelenting fear.  But I didn’t let it stop me (well, after Dad showed up I didn’t).  I did make it to work that day.  I forgot my wallet and I still had peanut butter in my hair…but I was alive (for now).

Thankfully, the little monster was dead by the time I got home.  Dad, being the hero that he is, swung by in the afternoon to check the trapline (dear God…I was living in circumstances where I needed a trap line) and sent me a picture of it’s broken body.  I was euphoric in my relief.  It was a lone intruder.  How it got past me in the first place continues to haunt me.  I may’ve won the physical battle, but it continues to plague me beyond the grave with vile psychological warfare.

29 thoughts on “Waking Up To A Living Nightmare: A True Story

  1. I had a mouse in my apartment a couple months ago, around October. It would come out at night as soon as I turned the lights off and then munch extremely loudly on random stuff in the apartment. It was horrifying. Two foam stress balls and a mini pumpkin died in the night. Worse, however, it chewed a hole straight through the toes of my rain boots! I’m still mad. They were nice boots. At least I have “maintenance people” to deal with this stuff, living in an apartment, but they took their good time about it. I sympathize with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. October seems about right…as (according to Samhain) it’s the time of year when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, allowing demons and ghosts to enter our realm. I’m sure it was the advanced scout for the rest of it’s demonic hoard.

      Reading about how you could hear it munching in the dark literally made me shiver. It may haunt my dreams tonight. I would have FREAKED OUT on the maintenance staff until it was fixed and I saw it dead. Like, they would have had no rest as I would have been alternating between screaming and weeping at them. I’m impressed with your strength. I couldn’t have mustered it. I appreciate the sympathy and I’m happy you survived too! May the vicious vermin never again return to trouble you!

      Like

  2. Oh man. We’ve moved house last October. All was well until one morning my girlfriend called up the stairs, “there’s a mouse in the kitchen!”. I went and looked but couldn’t find it, and we decided it had come in through a gap around a pipe, filled it in and thought no more about it.

    A few weeks later, we saw another one. Then another. Then another. It got so bad, they were in the walls, under the floor, in the cupboards, eating our food, they were everywhere. I’d be sat in the living room playing PlayStation and one would run from under the TV unit, look around and run back.

    We rent, so called the agents who arranged poison to be put down, and we set our own traps. It got so bad downstairs, that around 7pm we’d get everything we needed for the evening and barricade ourselves in our bedroom. It was fucking awful. Some mornings there were dead mice in the traps.

    The poison seemed to work, and eventually we stopped seeing evidence of them. For now. We are constantly in fear they will come back though.

    😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh. Dear. GOD. I mean this, sincerely, from the very bottom of my heart – you and your girlfriend are infinitely braver than I am. I would have either a) died of fright or b) moved out of the house, town, country or maybe back in with my parents (or Grandma) forever, where they could console me as I endlessly shook in the catatonic state my fear left me in. I have NO IDEA how you survived. Now I might have a nightmares thinking about this! Your ordeal was so horrible! This isn’t even a living nightmare for me. This would be my LIVING HELL.

      I’m happy to hear you’re living in peace for now. Good luck and may the Force be with you in the future.

      Like

      1. Haha thanks. Believe me, it wasn’t nice, but I’m not morbidly afraid of mice. Now if it had been frogs, on the other hand… I’d genuinely probably be dead by now!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can’t fathom how this many mice didn’t leave you dead of fright in their own right but, for your sake, I’m happy it was (*shudder*…I can hardly write it…) mice as opposed to frogs.

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  3. That was a rollercoaster of emotions…

    My family thankfully have the pleasure of living with a cat. However, she likes to bring mice in to the house from outside so I’m not sure how helpful a cat would really be. I don’t want to discuss a particular instance in great detail but it was the most horrific crunching sound I’ve ever had to endure.

    I’m glad you survived the experience!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GAH!!!!! “most horrific crunching sound I’ve ever heard” – I’m torn between this being super gross/terrifying and the sound of sweet salvation from those damnable monsters. Either way, it has to be nice to have a silent protector, a dark knight watching over you in the form of your cat!

      And thanks, I’m glad I survived too :). But it was clearly touch-and-go there for a little while!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. OMFG I’m dying!!!!! I thought you were going to say you were robbed or something! My husband feels the same way and I have ALWAYS been the one to deal with the souless demons. Doncha think they’re just a tiny bit cute? Mwah ha ha ha! In all seriousness, I relieved you survived this most terrifying of nightmares. LOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Does your husband realize how lucky he is to have a savior like you?!?!?!? I have no idea where you could ever find the courage to stare into the inky blackness of something embodying the very terror of hell itself coupled with a vileness on the grandest scale possible let along “deal with” it. Gah!!!! As to cuteness…Hannah and Ashley tried to make that claim in the group chat that morning. All I can say is I FIND NO CUTENESS IN EVIL INCARNATE ESPECIALLY WHEN IT HAS ENTERED MY HOME TO BRING DAMNATION DOWN UPON ME. But I can rest easier knowing there are people in the world like you, summoning courage unknowable to me to face the horrors I never could. Go you!

      Also, I’m glad my horror was as amusing as I intended it to be :). Now something good has come from the terror!

      Like

      1. Well I certainly don’t like it but if I didn’t do it… Well their evil would spread and those Hell beasts would win. There is so much nature around our new house, I’m wondering if we will have to deal with a furry invader when it starts to get cold 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thankfully you have the summer to prepare your home for the unrelenting onslaught of these monsters seeking to invade your life and devour your soul. I’m both proud of your ability to battle such demons and comforted by the fact that there are people like you in the world (to protect people like me).

        Like

    1. I’m glad you appreciated the intensity!
      My hope was that my pain, fear, and emotional duress could translate into some humor for the blog. Also, spiders have never really bothered me BUT if the way I react to mice is how you react to spiders then I can feel your pain! And may the Force be with you and keep you creepy, crawly, and cobweb free. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too with the spiders thing. Yesterday morning I was just getting in the shower when one dropped down slowly on it’s little silk thread to scare the living daylights out of me. My 16 year old son had to bravely fight the eight legged monstrosity with some toilet paper while I sat in a towel on the toilet seat rigid with fear. I get the whole phobia thing! (BTW, very funny post!!!)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. No thank you! I actually think mice are cute but from many feet away. And not in my house. I couldn’t sleep in a house that had a mouse padding around! This was hilarious and I love that you gave the story through text!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, if you can say they are “cute” even from “many feet away” you are a bazillion times braver than I am. I’m impressed! But I’m totally with you on the sleeping thing. Obviously, as the post says, I WAS NOT sleeping at my place if that MONSTER was still loose! BLAH.

      Thanks for the compliment on the post too. I was proud of the idea. It just sort of hit me it would be infinitely funnier if I just used the actual conversation. It maintained the primal fear too ;).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I laughed so hard I cried. I mean, um, sorry for your pain. 😝 The last time I saw a mouse, I made someone else deal with it. She trapped it in a shoebox while I helpfully called out directions from another room. I don’t know what she did with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, hopefully she sent it back to the bowels of hell from which it was spawned.
      And hahaha, I’m happy my emotional pain and torture was amusing. That was my hope here! Also, I’m impressed at your bravery with calling out directions from the other room. I (clearly) would’ve wanted to be of site until the demon was dealt with and its mortal body broken.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bwahahahahaha, what a brilliant story! “If you fuck with geese, they will bite you in the face” is now on my list of most important life advice. But I GET THAT FEAR.

      Thank you too – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece and I’m happy to know my terror has been entertaining :). At least something positive came from staring an unholy monster from hell in the face and waiting to see who blinked first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well your story also had all the elements of an epic and heroic battle; Forced retreat by a surprise attack – managed to hold the higher ground until reinforcement could arrive – fought to regain the lost land – monster slain. I’m sure someone has made that movie. But your version was a lot more fun 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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