Of June Bugs and May Beetles

The tap-tap-tapping on the win­dow was keep­ing me awake. Most chil­dren that I know would be a lit­tle scared by this con­stant noise on their bed­room win­dow, but not me. One thing that I have learned in my rather short time is that, on the whole, and gen­er­ally with­out excep­tion, there is always an expla­na­tion for most things that sound like mon­sters creep­ing around your house in the mid­dle of the night. That creaky floor­board that sounds like some­one com­ing up the stairs long after every­one has gone to bed, well that’s just heat expan­sion. That bang­ing of the pipes that makes you think of some­one try­ing to break into the house, is just the sound of water stop­ping and start­ing through the old water sys­tem. And that ghost call­ing out to you in the mid­dle of the night, well that’s just your brother being annoy­ing, either that or your dad has had one too many beers!
This par­tic­u­lar tap­ping was the sound of June bugs throw­ing them­selves against the win­dow. I say June Bugs of course, but that’s the wrong name for them this month, because this month is May, which means of course that this month, the June Bugs are called May Bee­tles. Just so that you know, there are no July Bugs, or July Bee­tles, or July Annoy­ing insect that keeps throw­ing itself against the win­dow pane. This is because that by July the bee­tles have done their thing and skid-addled.
The fact that the May Bee­tles were com­mit­ting cer­tain sui­cide by try­ing to get into the house by the way of the closed win­dow, meant that some­one must have left the porch light on. And the only way that I was going to get to sleep, was to go down­stairs and turn off the light. The prob­lem with going to turn the light off, was that it meant leav­ing My House and enter­ing into The House.
I guess that I prob­a­bly need to explain that a lit­tle. My House is actu­ally a flat inside a con­verted estate house, and The House is an old 18th cen­tury house that has been carved up into flats. I say flat, but it’s not actu­ally flat, the way the builders split the house up means that most of the flats have two floors; so tech­ni­cally they are not flat. My dad once told me that it’s really a maisonette, but I don’t like that name, it seems cum­ber­some to say, and rather grandiose. Ok yes, grandiose is just as cum­ber­some as maisonette. Any­way, I actu­ally pre­fer to call it an apart­ment, but apart­ment is very Amer­i­can, and I’m not Amer­i­can, so I shouldn’t really call it that, after all, it’s bin not trash­can, and film not movie. But, I actu­ally pre­fer the sound of apart­ment, and it is my story, so from now on I shall call it an apart­ment, or more likely, I’ll just call it My House.
So, back to the May Bee­tles. The light at the front door was always left on, as it helped the res­i­dents to see where they were going when they came in through the main com­mu­nal entrance door. How­ever, toward the end of May and early June, there was an under­stand­ing that the light in the main hall­way would be turned off so that the bee­tles would stop throw­ing them­selves to cer­tain death. In order for me to turn the light off, I would need to head down­stairs, leave the apart­ment through our front door, walk across the hall­way, and flick the switch next to the front door.
This, on the whole would be fine, apart from, the return jour­ney would involve walk­ing past The Win­dow in the dark. Remem­ber every­thing that I said ear­lier about the expla­na­tion for sounds? Well, that doesn’t apply to The Win­dow, because that is about lis­ten­ing and The Win­dow is about look­ing. And when­ever you look out of The Win­dow when it’s dark, you tend to see things that are not there.
Ok, the obser­vant among you will see exactly where this par­tic­u­lar tale is going, to those not pay­ing atten­tion at the back, for the sake of brevity, I shall skip to the part where hav­ing switched the light off, and tried to make my way back to My House with­out look­ing out of The Win­dow, I acci­den­tally looked out of The Win­dow, and saw a shape-shifting water spirit.
Obvi­ously I didn’t know that it was a shape-shifting water spirit at the time, because at the time it looked like a rather large hedgehog.

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