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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