I know that some of you are interested in hearing an end to the Moth Man Chronicles.
To those not in the know, we had a moth problem here at Castle Wringham, which led to trousers falling and eyeballs being attacked as well as just a ticklish feeling of being outnumbered. I once opened an umbrella only to have a moth flutter out of it. And on another occasion, a moth flew out of my wallet as I went to pay for some drinks, prompting the bartender to say not “hey big spender” like you might imagine but rather “I’ve never seen that happen in real life before.”
In the end, we did the only thing we could. We moved house.
Without us being there to constantly squish them, the old place must be triumphant with moths now and they probably think they won. Which I suppose they did. It’s probably VM Day back there now, the air alive with the beating of wings and a million tiny larvae rejoicing (“hooray! hooray!”) between dusty floorboards. If you walk past there at night, I bet you can hear this music playing.
As we unpacked our things in the new place, I remained vigilant. After barely escaping with our sanity, it wouldn’t do to have brought the fuckers with us. But more than anything, I was being vigilant purely because I have become vigilant. The war (yes, the war) has turned me into a flinching flibbertigibbet forever ready to strike. People talking to me are probably aware that one of my eyes forever roves like that of a chameleon, searching the room for silk-munching bastards.
As each of our possessions came out of its box, I checked it over thoroughly and sometimes actually found a moth. A lethargic one had hitched a ride in the tread of a shoe and another, improbably, was inside my satchel. We placed as many woolen items as possible in the freezer for a couple of weeks to destroy any eggs, right there next to the calippos.
Three months later, my eye no longer roves but we have still seen the very occasional moth. We have seen perhaps fifteen moths in this time, but in the old place we used to see fifteen a day. Even so, it’s troubling to spot even one of their number because, while it may just be that they are native to our town generally, the thought that we might have brought them with us from the old place like something from an Alien sequel, essentially taking us from modest horror story to an unending and unasked-for saga, gives me a shudder.
Will my teddy bear ever be able to take off his hazmat suit? Will I ever be able, truly, to relax and no longer to feel as if I have moths tickling the underside of my eyelids or running up and down my spinal cord to the sound of a xylophone?
Today, I found a likely source of the few moths we had seen. One of the sealed storage bags in which we keep spare bed linen had been breached. It was as maggotty as the People’s Princess.
Without unsealing it, I dumped the atrocity into a neighbour’s wheelie bin faster than an unexpected father’s day card. I then pored over the remaining bed linens for further mothy evidence. There was none. I carefully vacuumed the shelves of the storage closet with the attentiveness of a serial killer whose name we’ll never learn, emptying the dust bag a mile from home, returning only to sanctify the area with enough essence-of-cloves to crumble a vampire who just happened to be passing by and minding his own business. Folks… I think we might be good.
It makes sense that the maggotty bag was the source of the occasional moth we had seen. So, say it quietly, the saga is over. I no longer feel like I’m subletting from Buffalo Bill.
What, you think there should be one final “jump scare” with a winged monster bursting out of my rib cage? Grow up.