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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: The Bed-bug Phobia
By Shanta Richard


Lucy was bursting with energy and enthusiasm as she prepared for her grand- daughter, Cynthia’s visit. Living alone Lucy rarely had any visitors and it was a special joy to babysit her grand daughter.

Lucy was scared of bed-bugs and it was rumored that the building she lived in had stray cases of the infestation. She protected her apartment with the powerful pesticide sprays. But she was careful not to use any today because Cynthia was allergic to chemicals.

It was a cool day. Lucy pulled up the blinds and dusted the glass window panes. And then she saw ‘IT’ -a tiny red bug, the size of a grape seed with little legs crawling on the glass. For a minute she stood transfixed with fear. Then gathering all her courage and praying for strength she gently covered the insect with a tissue and deposited it in a pill box and sealing it in a plastic bag placed it on the shelf. She did not want to use the pesticide and she was frightened to squash it. She decided to deal with it after Cynthia left.

The visit with Cynthia was a great success. They played games, sang songs, made and ate cookies and watched TV. Time seemed to fly and too soon Cynthia’s mother was at the door to pick her up. Amidst laughter, hugs and kisses, the mother and daughter left and Lucy was all alone again. Tired and exhausted, Lucy went to bed early.

The next morning as she opened the window to let the sun shine in, Lucy remembered the bug. She took the plastic bag and the pesticide spray and went into the balcony and put them on the table. At that point she got scared. What if the horrible creature escaped, hid in a crack in the table or just disappeared? No. She could not do it alone, she needed help. So she phoned her next door neighbor, Dorothy, to please come over.

“What is the matter, Lucy?’ Dorothy asked as she walked through the door, “You sounded very upset”.

“Yes, I am,” Lucy said, “it is that bedbug. I found it crawling on the glass window.”

“Oh,” said Dorothy giving Lucy a funny look. “Well, I think it would be a good idea to cover the table with a white sheet so that it will be easy to watch it move around.”

Lucy got the sheet and covered the table. She gave the spray can to Dorothy and removing the pillbox from the plastic bag she opened it. The little bug tumbled out. Lucy gasped in horror as she saw the bug – it had spots all over. Did the bug have small pox or Scarlet fever? Was it infectious? Just then the bug opened its wings and started to fly.

“Quick, quick, Dorothy spray it or it will get away,” cried Lucy. But Dorothy broke out into peels of laughter.

“It is not a bed-bug, Lucy. It is a harmless Ladybird. Don’t you know, my dear that bedbugs don’t crawl on glass, they don’t have spots and they don’t fly?”

“Now I remember,” said a shame faced Lucy “How could I forget.”

“It is just that you were terribly afraid of bed-bugs. Fear, my friend, can blind reason and destroy your trust and faith. That is why the Bible warns us time and again not to fear. Every time God says “Fear not,” He adds “I am with you. I will never leave you alone.” I believe that fear is one of the powerful weapons of Satan. So take God at His promise and don’t let Satan frighten you” advised Dorothy.

Thus it was that on that sunny morning God used a humble Ladybird to teach Lucy a lesson in fear and faith.

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/25/11
Good story with a happy ending for that lady bug.

And yes, "God did not create a spirit of fear..." If we all could keep that in mind and know He is with us always. God Bless~
Brenda Rice 08/26/11
I'm with Lucy when it comes to bedbugs. Good story with a happy ending. Thanks for sharing.
Mildred Sheldon08/26/11
Thank you for a story about fear. It can cripple us and blind us to facts. I loved how the story ended. Thank you for sharing a real phobia.
Lillian Rhoades 08/26/11
Great story, with lots of nice details. A few commas are missing in action.:-)You might consider using contractions to improve the flow of the story. For ex: "It's that bed bug." rather than, "It is that bed bug." Loved the devotional take-away at the end.