Thursday, November 15, 2012

Masked marauders seek mighty moth mouthfuls

The night was warm, moonless, and hundreds of moths were engaged in their nightly ritual of trying to penetrate solid panes of glass to reach the bright fluorescent lights inside the lab. Their M.O. is to walk vertically up the window panes until they reach the upper wooden casing, then fly back to the bottom and begin their walking ascent up the glass again. They repeat this sequence over and over and over: walking, flying, walking, flying, on and on throughout the night. It's a fool's errand and illustrates the pinnacle of futility and hopelessness. But who am I to judge? I spend 30 minutes on a treadmill every other morning---going absolutely nowhere---and consider that time well spent.

On this particular night, I only gave the moths a passing glance as I walked into the lab about 9 pm to fix a cup of coffee. The Smith Building was predictably quiet, exactly the way I like it at this time of night.  Just me and the moths.

Or so I thought.

From the corner of my eye, to the right, behind the microwave, I caught sight of a faint shadow . Then  the panes of glass in the window behind it begin to move ever so slightly, distorting the reflection of the lab's interior as they flexed in and out. There was a muffled sound, too, a dull pressure like a thickly-gloved hand probing for a weak point in the glass. The bulk of the window was blocked by the microwave, but there was no doubt that something---or someone---was trying to get inside. I had no way to defend myself, so I did what anyone would do in this situation: I pulled out my cell phone, and began to shoot what might be my very last video.  

I inched closer and the sound intensified, as if multiple hands were now pushing against the glass. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stiffen, but continued to move forward, the  red recording light of the cell phone rhythmically blinking in front of me. I was just a step away now, close enough to see the shadow begin to take shape. It was a bulbous and pulsating corporal form that lashed repeatedly against the outside of the glass. I could now make out two dark eyes strangely framed in even darker black; the eyes never met mine nor did they avoid them, but I couldn't look away. Then, from out of the darkness, I discovered an even more shocking truth.

There was more than one.

Click HERE for the video, if you dare.

Kim Stone