The Bedtime Story

Once upon a time, there was a princess who lived in a castle. She went out every day to play by the fountain in the garden, but she always had to play by herself, because she wasn’t allowed to play with the servants, and there weren’t any other princesses her age.

One day she wanted to go outside, but the queen forbid it because of a lightning storm. Finally the storm ended, and the princess ran outside. A beautiful rainbow arced over the castle, and the raindrops glistened in the leaves of the apple trees like diamonds in the bright sunlight.

The princess sat on the side of the fountain and peered over to look for the goldfish she loved to feed pieces of bread. She saw only one, lazily flipping its tail as it swam in circles nearby. She pulled a smuggled piece of bread from her pocket and began to tear it into tiny pieces, dropping them into the water one at a time.

Suddenly, she heard a plop. The princess looked around on the surface of the water until she was where the ripples were coming from, but that was all she saw. Then a turtle popped into view from under the lily pads right in front of her, next to the fish.

She tore some larger pieces of bread for the turtle, and he took them gently from her fingers before disappearing into the depths of the fountain.

“And then what happened?” the little girl asked, sleepily, bundled up in her covers.

“You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. Goodnight, sweetie.”

Cubing the Stories #15


The Horror

Last night I was the first one to hop into bed. I got on my side and threw Ian’s cover back toward his side from where it ended up during Abby’s jump fest that afternoon.

You know how when you’re at the beach, and you’re packing up, and you pick up towels and they’re crunchy from all the sand? That’s what the bed felt like, and the comforter when I grabbed it and launched it across my body.

The crunchies? Those were ants. Definitely hundreds, for sure thousands, goodness-only-knows-how-many sugar and fire ants.

I jumped up, ever so thankful that Ian hadn’t laid down yet, screaming at him ‘out, out, OUT!!’ I know I scared him, but omg I had to get to the shower. He got out of my way, and I turned the water on and rubbed myself down like crazy.

Holy crap, that was a lot of ants.

I came out without bothering to towel off, and Ian was bundling everything up in the bottom sheet. I grabbed the bundle and told him to stop before I threw it all in the washer.

Ian is really, really allergic to ants. If he’d gotten the hundred-plus bites I got last night, he probably wouldn’t have made it to the hospital. So yeah, I didn’t want him touching any of that.

We filled up two 55 gallon trashbags of pillows, bedding, and clothes that I took outside and put in the empty kiddie pool. Gonna have a good ole time at the laundromat this afternoon after naptime.

Ian found a small hole under the carpet in the closet that they probably came from that he filled with rubber cement, because hey, that’s what we had.

When we thought they were all dead or captured and outside, we took a break and Ian counted my stings. He estimated 85, but it was hard to get an exact count with all the swelling. Around 60 are on my left butt cheek, so driving around delivering my papers this morning was not enjoyable. I have another 14 on my right hand, but at least I’m lefthanded. The rest are distributed everywhere else, like my neck, boobs, legs, and one on the bottom of my left foot. Now that they’re blistering, it seems he underestimated. I’ve got three and four in many spots that we only counted as two.

We were going to sleep on the couch and love seat, but after two hours, there were no more creepy crawlies under the bed, on my side, on his side, under the carpet in the closet, or in the water heater closet.

We decided to chance it. I snuck into Abby’s room for a fresh sheet, and Ian slept under camouflage while I had Sailor Moon. I joked that it smelled like we were at a hotel, because the covers had been in a chest for so long, and there was still a faint lingering odor of lemon-scented ant spray.

So today, the cleanup begins. But nap first.