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My Trap-Setting Floor-Demons

They can’t keep you up all night, can they?

One of my floor-demons (Ryder) and her mouse (My alarm clock). Photo by Me

Once upon a time not too long ago, my pre-sleep routine used to be: Read/Write until sleepy, brush my teeth, put a nose-strip on, turn the lights off, and head to bed as quietly as I can.

But, sleep’s pull turned out to be too fickle a creature for me to keep this routine up. By the time I crept into bed, so as not to wake my fiance, I was already awake again. I tried closing my eyes in hopes that I would eventually fall asleep. I tried slipping an earbud in to listen to sleep meditations. I tried breathing exercises. And lastly, I tried suppressing the growing anger at sleep’s elusive state, but all to no avail. After half an hour to an hour of this, I would find myself back on the couch immersed in the same book, or once again working on the same piece of writing.

It took me longer than I’d like to admit to figure out that I should get ready for bed first, and then start my reading/writing routine.

Having already brushed my teeth and applied my nose strip, all I had to do now was turn off the light and make it to my bed where I could fall asleep without any stops on the way. This new routine seemed to be working out wonderfully. I was falling asleep much quicker and was stressing about my prospects of sleep much less.

With the addition of one more element, this routine was sure to be perfect. You see, I share my home with two furry demons whose main purpose in life is to ensure that their mother and father are never able to attain enough sleep.

I’m speaking, of course, about my two *beautiful fur-daughters, aka my cats. Once I discovered my new sleep-inducing routine, they realized I would be getting just the right amount of sleep if they didn’t intervene, and this is precisely when they began plotting against me.

They started putting their toys out in the hallway like little landmines so when I found myself fumbling down the hallway, after extinguishing all the lights, I would either step on, or kick, their maliciously placed toys. The kicking of their playthings would then alert them of my intent to sleep, and it wouldn’t be long before I would hear the tromping of their kitty hooves across the floor.

The final addition to my would-be perfect routine consists of clearing the hallway of all cat toys after I did everything to get ready for bed, and before I began my final writing/reading sessions of the night.

This is never a surefire thing, however, in main part, because my *beautiful fur-daughters are very intelligent, and it is of my belief that they now wait until I have done all of these bed-readying steps before they set their little traps.

Upon hearing my feet fall into one of these traps, I imagine my *beautiful children’s ears perking up, right before they dash into our bedroom as a team. One of them will jump onto the bed to begin swatting at our feet, while the other is off in a dark corner of the room searching for the kicked toy that has been misplaced — no doubt trying to reset the trap that has been triggered.

If the stampede of kitten hooves and the swatting of our feet has failed to coerce one of us out of bed, they will resort to extreme measures. Before the demon on the floor resets the trap, she will jump onto the bed with the toy in her mouth and drop it on, or near my head to let me know what I’ve done.

My *wonderfully *considerate children have gotten into the habit of drowning their mice and placing them all over the house. Their mice are oddly good at retaining water, to the point that the fiance and I often have to squeeze them out so they don’t soak whatever surface they’ve been left on. The little demons know this, and if they aren’t able to wake one of us with a dry mouse, they will drop a mouse in their water, let it soak for a bit, then gently grab it with their mouths, bring it to our bedroom, jump on our bed, and then drop it on one of our necks or faces — somewhere close enough that the drowned mouse will take proper effect.

They understand that by doing this, in addition to having to clean ourselves once we are called to consciousness, we will also now have wet pillows, which we will have to take care of before reembarking on our slumbers. By the time everything is dried off, can you guess where I end up again? You got it, right back where this whole thing began, with me sitting on my couch either reading or writing. Under what circumstances do you think this piece came to be?

At this moment, in the wee hours of the night, I can hear my children setting traps for me in the hallway that will soon, once again, be consumed by darkness.

*If you aren’t my fiance reading this, substitute Hellish for all adjectives found after asterisks. **If you’re wondering about cases where two asterisks follow one another, then the phrase “Hellaciously Hellish” should be substituted.



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