We almost die. Pretty much.
There is two couches in the front room of my house. One brown, the other grey. You walk in and boom, two couches in your way. They seat three people each and they are very comfortable. So comfortable that we're (my family and I) are always on them. Always.
The ends of both couches have recliners on each side and the middle seat headrest comes down to make a small table with two cup holders and a few outlets to conveniently charge any electronics needed. We also like this feature very, very, much. With a family of nine, there is always something needed to be charged whether it's a phone or laptop.
And the bottom of the couch is No Mans Land. There are items under the couch that have been lost and no one dares to look under and find it.
It is known to hold a variety of crusty old food and spiders no one wants to deal with - most of all me.
We are not particularly a dirty family but again with a family of nine, we are bound to have dirty spots here and there. But know my mother is constantly on my siblings and me to clean up all day, every day. The washer is always running, someone is always sweeping the floors and altogether we groan with the never ending house chores. When we have to, when there is no choice but to, we clean No Mans Land.
However, it has been a hot second since someone has had the disastrous job of cleaning there. And we paid for it.
We haven't had a rodent problem in a while. Sure the occasional squirrels like to hide out in the attic when the rain decides to drown Dallas for a few days but for the most part, that's it. Or so we thought.
Picture this: I am playing around with Sister #3 and we're running from the den to the front room with the couches which is about ten steps as the house is very small. By the eighth step, we have made it close to the front door and I take the last two steps to push sister #3 against it. We're laughing and Sister #1 and #2 are goading me to tickle her and pinch her butt (an inside joke we have) when there is a scream. It's Sister #2 and she's pointing from across the brown couch to the gray couch and I get a glimpse of something small going under No Mans Land on the gray couch. I freeze for all of 0.005 seconds and then I am in motion, pushing Sister #3 to the side and I jump atop of sister #1 who is also on the brown couch and we scream together.
I then get pushed off and stupidly run to the grey couch and then there is more screaming because the small thing in No Mans Land has moved to behind the dresser that holds a TV, directly across from our (my sisters and I's) room.
"Get a broom!" I'm yelling at no one. "Open the front door! Call the police! Save us! Mooooooom!"
"No!" Mom is bellowing from the bathroom as if we weren't being attacked and close to death. "Leave me alone!"
At once my three sisters and I scream back, "IT'S THE RAT!"
Yes, we had dubbed what is probably a starving mouse - The Rat. Capital 'R'.
I am thrown a broom and in my terror, I don't catch it and it falls to the floor and someone is running, kicking it halfway under No Mans Land. I debate not getting it but I have to. I have to fight back. I have one of my sisters open the front door and send one to our room while the third in on the brown couch with another broom. We both are in a defensive-like stance with the brooms outstretched in front of us like shields. I begin to hit the side of the dresser in hopes The Rat will run out the other side and outside. Sister #1 is prepared with her broom in case it doesn't want to go outside so she can sweep it out if possible. We do this for five minutes thinking it's too scared to come out before Sister #2 is the brave one and looks behind the dresser and doesn't see anything.
"He's not there," she whispers. "The Rat didn't go behind the dresser."
As if it was planned, the four of us look to our room at the same time in horror.
To be continued ...