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"Stings in the Night" by Paula Rawlings

There's a craze during October. Spiders, scorpions, rounded millipedes, flatter centipedes, and other bugs adorn desks, lawns, and school billboards. Still, there's a reason for that, not only because of Halloween.

Several years ago, my husband, Bill, and I were fast asleep. The kids were all asleep, and I had just barely entered dreamland myself when I felt the first sting of the night, I knew exactly what it was, and without wanting to disturb my husband, who had worked 16 hours that day, I pressed my leg firmly into the bed and swished it around. That should have either killed it or made it crawl away. The pain subsided, and I fell back asleep quickly. I had to get up to work the next day, but I didn't even get back to dreaming whatever twisted dream I was probably having.

I rolled over at some point, felt that wasp-like sting in my leg again, and let out a little growl of frustration. My husband rolled over, and I hoped he wouldn't get stung either. This time I quietly exited the bed leaving my side of it uncovered, took a discarded piece of clothing from off the floor, and wiped the sheets. Not wanting to miss the creature, I lifted the covers at the foot of the bed to continue wiping away at the sheets as if there were crumbs.

"What's the matter," Bill asked.

"Nothing. Go back to sleep." He began gently snoring almost immediately. What an obedient husband.

I crawled back into bed, and my husband's arm flopped heavily over my ribcage. Great. Now I won't be able to fall asleep. I wouldn't be able to fold my arms mummy style. But that was okay because I immediately got stung again.

"That's it!" I sat up, turned the lamp on, grabbed all the covers, and flung them off the foot of the bed.

"What?" Bill's eyes blinked as he sat up.

"There's two," I growled.

"What?" Bill slowly sat up.

"Right there," and before they moved, I grabbed a book from off the night sand and killed the two of them. I was so angry I was shaking.


"I can't believe it."


"They were making babies…in our bed."

"What?" My husband is more eloquent than this.

Stating the obvious, I blurted, "Scorpions."


To know more about scorpions found in California, visit The University of California's Intergrated Pest Management informational page!

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