August 25

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Hating On Japanese Bugs

San Francisco does not have bugs. Japan has bugs. No, make that Bugs – You Know The Difference. I HATE bugs. Especially: see above. Here they’re called gokiburi, but a cockroach is a cockroach, YUCK.

This monster suddenly appeared MID-SHOWER last week, feel the horror. There I was in a tiny enclosed space that I couldn’t escape because 1) wet and 2) no clothes, and this 2.5″ monster appears from the drain. I am hopping from one leg to the other making involuntary “iya! iya!” squeaks without a weapon in sight, until I thought of the hand-held shower head. I trained the entire force of Tokyo water pressure on the beast and managed to herd it back under the drain cover, but even though I doused it mercilessly and any smarter creature would have given up and gone back from whence it came, this thing relentlessly poked its feelers out as soon as I turned off the water. Finally, after about ten minutes of drowning, I was sure it was dead. The next day, rubber gloved to the elbows, I cautiously lifted the drain cover to retrieve the dead body and do a fierce victory dance over my enemy. It was…GONE.

Nooooo! Still alive! Still in the apartment SOMEWHERE.

Three nights later, it was back. But this time I had a plan. After chronicling it’s size (see above) because I was sure nobody would believe the magnitude of dragon I slayed, I armed myself with a rubber rainboot and chased it all over the apartment. Up and down the hall, back into the bathroom, where I smashed it down to its molecular components.

Finally, a good night’s sleep. Until the next day, when I saw its evil twin on the stairs outside. This time I discovered…they can FLY. I’d have died happy NOT KNOWING THIS.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, now out for the first time in paperback

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something

A young woman is found dead in an abandoned car, with a pair of strangers old enough to be her parents. Their suicide note apologizes for a disaster that hasn’t yet happened. And someone is stalking the…read more

…or watch the book trailer (0:52)