OK, kids, gather round the campfire because I’m about to tell you a horror story.  Forget what your parents always told you about there being no monsters under the bed or in the closet.  Because there ARE monsters, alright.  But they’re not under the bed or in the closet.  I know because…I SAW ONE ON MY STAIRS!!!

Seriously, though, this happened sometime in May or June, I think.  It was a beautiful warm day, not hot and humid yet.  The kind of day that makes you feel alive, and happy to be so.  The kind of day that you feel like nothing dangerous or evil exists; and if it does, then it’s certainly not going to bother YOU today.  But I would come to find out that that was so very wrong.  I left the apartment in the late afternoon on this fine Saturday, not a care in the world.  I had no sense of foreboding as I bounded down the steps of my apartment building.  But at the 4th step, movement by my foot caught my eye.  It’s amazing how quickly the mind works.  In just a split second, my brain went through the possibilities of what the movement may be: a mouse?  a cockroach?  a leaf? a dust bunny? an incredibly tiny and mute dog?   Then my brain registered that this wasn’t just any movement; this thing had snapped at me.  I skipped down the remaining few steps, turned, and was horrified to discover that the source of the snapping was…a giant Japanese clawed googly-eyed crayfish monster thing!  It was staring at me warily with one of  its eyes attached to the end of a stalk.  The other eye stalk was stretched out in a different direction, but I could tell me was giving me the stink-eye with that one, as well.  Anyone could see he was angry, just daring me to try and get back to the safety of my apartment.  He viciously snapped in my general direction with one of his jagged claws as if to say, “That’s right!  These are MY stairs, girlie!”  I was frozen with fear, rooted to my spot.  For a moment, I thought I’d actually gone insane and was having a schizophrenic hallucination, or something to that effect.  My mind reeled at the sight of the impossible creature.  And then I realized, I was in Japan, after all.  I mean, this is the home of Godzilla and Mothra, giant turtles and killer robots.  What’s a giant clawed googly-eyed crayfish monster thing compared to those?

Anyway, I quickly recovered my senses enough to escape, praying desperately that it wouldn’t follow me.  I dreaded coming home all evening, but it was all for naught.  It seemed the monster had better things to eat than me, and by 10:30 that night it had disappeared.  The truth is that as time passes, I wonder if I ever really saw it.  Was it just a figment of my imagination?  Had I eaten some bad sushi?  I only know that I never want to see it again.   I was so freaked out that I didn’t even have the presence of mind to take a picture of it with my camera phone, although it probably would have just wrenched the phone out of my hands and smashed it against the wall.  Anyway, I’ll post a picture of a creature that bears some resemblance, although please note that it lacks the same fury in its eyes:

This must be a much smaller and kinder cousin to the creature that I saw. Notice how he ISN'T snapping his claws menacingly.

I hope you all can sleep tonight…

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