B.S. Lewis presents: The King

Published on 20 May 2024 at 23:05

Dedicated to the memory of Moop, Boop, Lily, Doinkie, Freckles, Ratalya ‘Rattie’ Neidhart, Wednesday, Morticia, & Bonnie.

Those looking for a loving and intelligent pet, consider saving a rat from becoming food.

- B.S.

 

 

 

 

 

The thing I hate most is the rats. They’re the smartest, see, so they’re the most elusive. The most cunning. In other words, the biggest pain in my ass possible for the same stupid flat price. Company policy. Stupid as hell is what it is, but that’s work for you.

 

I work for a company called BugBusters, which was a name as stupid as the flat hourly rate they charged. Aside from being stupid, the name is also inaccurate. As a pest control company we deal with a lot more than just bugs. There’s also insects, like fleas and termites and roaches. And there’s also rodents. Moles, mice, shrews. And, as I may have mentioned already, rats. Stupid smart rats that love to evade traps and avoid detection. That’s what I was dealing with today. Rats.

 

We got a call for a job waaaaay down south. Emerson and Strouss, those luck sons of bitches, they were already off on a big but easy local job spraying down a motel for bedbugs. So who do you think they sent? I’ll give you three guesses, hotshot.

 

Anywho, so I’m sent out to the boonies for this job. Some rich rat-bastard in a mansion has the problem that he’s rich with bastard rats. So next thing I know, I’m jumping onto the freaking train like its the 1880s or the wild west or something. All because Strouss, that moron, backed up over some kids bike at his last job and blew out the suspension and a tire so we were down to one work van.

 

So I lug all my work crap onto the train and ride the rails all the way down to a town called Black Stump, which I had never heard of before today. It’s one of those podunk towns that has one gas station and one bank and one big faceless evil factory to work at. This guy who called about the job must have been a higher up at that company, for his house was stinking HUGE. I immediately hated the guy.

 

The owner came out looking like a pudgy middle-aged man who can afford a mansion but won’t buy a polo that fits him. He had a real punchable face too. He started bitching and moaning about his pest problems, probably unaware that other people have real problems. The kinds that you don’t find in a big fancy mansion. He says there’s been scratching and rustling sounds in his walls and in the ceiling. He’s pretty sure it’s raccoons, which told me right away that it could be anything except for a bunch of raccoons, as he was clearly an idiot.

 

Whenever he wrapped up his blathering, he showed me into the house. I smelled it immediately. Rats. This moron had rats. I inhaled their familiar stench. The stink of urine and balls and disrespect. I exhaled an explosive sigh that could scarcely represent my annoyance.

 

“You’ve got rats, pal. I can smell them from here.” He asked me if I was sure. Like I wasn’t the expert that he had called or anything. I told him yes, I was sure of the thing that I just said that pertained to my profession. I could tell he wasn’t accustomed to the hired help being sarcastic with him but he didn’t comment and just extended an arm outward, inviting me to explore and do my thing. I searched this snobs whole place, which took an obscene amount of time by the way, and then set up all the snap traps and poisons and glue traps that I had. This guy had a full on infestation. I heard this can happen to rich a-holes. That the money they start to horde gets eaten by rats. If so, I’m glad there was at least one reason for rats to exist.

 

I told the joker I’d be back in three days to check the progress. He asked me why so long. I told him it was because that’s how long it takes to get here from actual civilization and that I hadn’t seen my family in a week just getting here in the first place. He wanted to have words with me, I could tell by the way that he bit his lower lip. But, as it is with all rich guys, he was soft and decided to say nothing, although I’m sure my boss would get an earful on Yelp.

 

I headed straight for the train station and couldn’t wait to leave this nowhere wasteland behind be for a few days. I decided that my boss could deal with it and I upgraded to a first class coach. Now, this wasn’t real first class of course. They said I may have to share my car with up to three people and the food is little more than upgraded slop. I added that second part of course, they didn’t come out and say that, but it was still horribly true. Still, this was an upgrade from the hobo-crate they had us riding in on the way up here.

 

I got to car number six and made my way in. I crossed my fingers and tapped my foot impatiently, wishing I could mentally will the train to leave now; to leave while I still had a private car. My life sucks, however, so of course I had one person join me right at the buzzer. And, of course, they seemed like Grade-A weirdo too.

 

The woman who stumbled her way into my car was either drunk early or mentally ill permanently, I wasn’t sure which one at first glance. Underneath a cream colored cloche that looked like an ancient church bell, the woman had a face that looked like latex. Her makeup was applied heavily, almost clown like. Her ugly coarse hair was twisted into odd little braids which disappeared into a large tan trench coat which was cinched tightly shut. Thank god for that, I thought to myself, eying how lumpy and upsetting her figure appeared beneath the cotton gabardine of her coat. She didn’t ask if the seat across from me was taken, she just sort of collapsed into it. Moments later the hat, which was already pulled low, bent even lower, the brim of it touching the lapel of her coat. A ragged heavy breathing came from the pile of laundry across from me, signaling that she was just sleeping, not dead or melting.

 

A foul odor hit the air. I sniffed at it sourly. I scowled. It smelled like rats in here. That lousy rich slob, building a house that’s too big for him to keep from falling apart. He dragged me all the way out here and then stunk me up. What if an attractive woman had come into my car? I’d be good and screwed then. I guess this lumpy weirdo was actually a small blessing then. No need to feel embarrassed about myself, not in this car.

 

Silence, aside from the raspy breaths coming from my travel companion,  reigned supreme. Inwardly I was stewing about losing the next three and a half hours of my life to this train ride. Only a minute or so later, however, I learned that the commute was going to be the least of my problems.

 

Inside of my pants, I felt a stirring.

 

Not the fun kind, not the kind that would have happened if an attractive woman had stumbled in. No, it was more of a scurrying. A tunneling. I shivered and froze, my skin prickling with disgust as I felt a tuft of matted fur brush against the outside of my calf. It was then that I became vividly aware that I wasn’t alone. I was not alone with this uggo in the car. I wasn’t even alone inside of my own clothes. I felt the itchy-scritch of tiny nails on the meat of my left thigh.

 

It was a rat.

 

My stomach twisted into sour knots. I couldn’t believe this. A rat! One of those disgusting, stinking, rich rats; it must have hitched a ride with me when I left. I felt it moving again, climbing up the inside leg of my overalls.

 

I pat furiously at the moving bulge on my leg. I stamped my foot, pinched at slapped at the fabric. I leaned to the side and lifted my leg, shaking it as harshly as I could. Nothing worked. This rat clung to me like a moron in a cowboy hat clings to a bucking bronco. For the first time ever I sympathized with the bulls at the rodeo. I knew this couldn’t go on much longer. I couldn’t take this, not for over three hours!

 

Now, I am by no means any sort of gentleman. Yet I also felt hesitant to undress in public in the presence of a woman, even if she was a rough one. She was sleeping to boot. What if she woke up to the sight of me half naked with my hand down my pants? That would be a tough one to explain to her, let alone the police. No, I just grit my teeth and I kept trying to shake my space invader loose. I wasn’t going to be bested by any kind of pest, especially not a rat. I hated those little bastards. I couldn’t wait to catch this one and send it to hell like all its relatives back at Rat Mansion.

 

Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t shake it. This thing was quick, agitated and wily. It crept and crawled with astonishing speed. At times it would lose its grip on the fabric or on my hairs, and it would tumble back down an inch or two. In those moments it would bite and claw from of fright and fight for a foothold. I prayed I wouldn’t get rabies from this furry bastard.

 

The woman’s hat didn’t lift. Her lumpy coat shifted unevenly with her breathing. If all my stamping didn’t wake her, I guess I had no choice. I was going to have to go for it. I hemmed and hawed as long as I could but as soon as I felt the fuzzy menace creep towards my testicles, the decision was made for me.

 

With all the silence and stealth that I could muster, I jumped up from my seat and unbuckled my straps. I threw the overalls down to my ankles but the detestable rat leapt up and grabbed the fabric of my shirt, which I quickly tried to ditch as the rat clambered up towards my chin. Despite my experience in my profession, I screamed.

 

My sweaty shirt hit the metal floor with a heavy thud. The lump inside of it twisted, rolled over and scurried away, taking my shirt with it. The drooping cloche snapped skyward. That plastic face emerged from the neck of the trench coat like a turtle from its shell. I expected her to scream. Even in her drunken and deranged state, she had to be shocked to wake up and find a shirtless man breathing hard with his pants around his ankles.

 

To my surprise, the woman didn’t scream. To my horror, her plastic face dissolved in front of me. Bite by ravenous bite, the plastic mask disappeared, mashed and shredded between hundreds of pointed teeth. The braids whipped around wildly, flinging the ugly hat away, revealing the writhing mass beneath it. The braids, I saw with an overwhelming terror, were not braids at all. They were tails. Dozens upon dozens of round, beige and splotchy skinned tails. They twisted and slithered and stuck to each other like a gummy worms piled in a microwave. The trench coat burst open, revealing a horde of bright red and obsidian eyes that blinked at me with malice and hunger. The tan belt of the coat flapped around as the coat deflated, like a balloon released before it was tied off. The furry horde spilled forth.

 

The rat king had come for me at last.

 

 

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Comments

Brandy
2 months ago

Good story. Rats are awesome

Bonnie
2 months ago

Good story. Rats are super sweet irl

Bruce
a month ago

All hail the king!

Jermaine
a month ago

good story

Kilgore
25 days ago

Another good one BS!

Rebecca
25 days ago

Good series so far