Alice watched the beetle hop around her linoleum floor with mild disdain. It must have broken an appendage at some point, or something was wrong with one of it’s hard shelled sections she couldn’t name. It’s hopping was a furious attempt at trying to get back on its many feet to escape the Colonial style two story, but every time it would right itself, it would fall right back down again, clacking loudly on the tiles each time.
That’s what caught Alice’s attention in the first place. She was chopping onions on her pristine white counter, next to her mint color Frigidaire that matched the cupboards, when she heard what she thought was a neighbor calling their dog, or someone snapping their fingers in the den. The sound made her jump out of her skin and after a couple minutes of searching, she finally saw the long, blackish insect, struggling for life near the sliding door that lead to the neatly clipped backyard.
When she saw the squirming thing in her charming kitchen, she walked over and crouched down, careful not to let her full skirt fall to the floor near it. She stared as it desperately writhed on the floor, its legs trying to gain traction on anything, but the effort was useless. Without taking her eyes off of the thing, she stripped off her polished pump, and in one swift motion, slammed the sole of her shoe down with a slap that crushed the suffering creature.
She let out a breath in a huff, the sound whistling between her straight crimson lips. She lifted the small pink heel to see the destroyed carcass of something that was once alive. She grimaced at the sight but she would never admit to her husband, kids, or even her best girlfriend, Pauline, that killing a beetle on the kitchen floor was the most excitement she felt in a long time.
After staring at it for another few seconds, Alice scrubbed the beetle off of her shoe, put it back on her stockinged foot, cleaned the little mess left on the floor and went back to cutting onions.
In another 20 minutes her two boys would barrel into her kitchen only to drop their school books at the table, and run back outside to play with their friends. In another hour her husband would come home from the office, waiting for his hot meal and can of Bud. Alice had no more time to think about the insect, and she never really did again.
Photo courtesy of jill111 on Canva.