Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Flatmates: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Kill 'Em

I live in a huge, dilapidated house with a bunch of flatmates..

They think I live here just for the cheap rent but actually I was put here to monitor the active rift that sits just under the thin bitumen crust on the road outside. They also think I like taking out the bins every night but I've found it's the only discreet way of taking daily readings.

I usually creep out quite late with a PKE Meter hidden in my dressing gown. Most nights the readings are next to nothing and I find myself wishing for a bit of action, or even a faint ectoplasmic trail. There's been nothing for a while which makes me think we're overdue for something really diabolical.

My flatties however are completely oblivious. They drive over the rift when they back out of the driveway every morning and barely register that we have more road works in our street than the whole state combined.

They have their own disasters to cope with inside the house though. Steaks are sometimes left on the stove until they catch on fire, ancient electrical wiring tries to burn us to death in our sleep and my personal favourite, the bath that overflows through the floor and into the bottom storey apartment (thankfully not mine!).

The latest trouble however has to do with a plant.. and it's all their fault.

A couple of months ago I picked up a plant from a market stall thinking it was just a regular Dionaea Muscipula (Venus Fly Trap). I should have known however not to buy anything from a market situated near an area of high paranormal activity.

I came home from a late night meeting to discover that my flatmates had thought it funny to feed my plant pieces of marinated lamb kebab. What the frak? I was sure it was going to die. It's supposed to eat fat juicy flys not marinated lamb.

So the following day I took it into the office to keep it away from my silly flatmates and feed it some proper food. I grabbed a freshly swatted fly with tweasers and gently pushed it into one of its traps when suddenly it did something strange. It spat it out.

A faulty reflex I thought. I tried another. It spat it out again. I started to get seriously weirded out. I picked up the fly with tweasers and began to approach the plant again when I heard a tiny squeeky voice. "We like the lamb."

I looked around the office to see if I was alone. "Helloooo?", I called gingerly. It wouldn't be the first time a practical joke was played but how would any of my colleagues know about the lamb? Joke or not, I also couldn't have anyone seeing me talking to a plant.

I bent down closer to the plant to study it. Nothing abnormal that I could see. Then one of the traps began to move and the squeeky little voice was there again, but impatient this time. "Yesssssss?"

Frak. I own a talking plant.. with attitude.

"Ugh.. you.... talk?", I whispered in amazement.

The talking trap twisted a little, as if smiling wryly. "Hey, we've got a genius here guys." All the other traps laughed in unison sounding like a crowd of kids on helium.

I leaned back in my chair in stunned silence for a moment as the cackling died down.

Another of the traps spoke up, "You got any more of that lamb? Tastes way better than flys."

Smart-Arse Trap spoke up again, "Yeah I'll have mine medium rare!" Another piped up over the fresh eruption of laughter, "And I'll have a Jacob's Creek Merlot. Vintage 1999!"

And so the heckling continues each morning, as does the cooking of lamb kebabs. Despite the jibes, we (the traps and me) have some good witty banter and I've come to know each of them for their quirks. One likes to quote Space Core Directives out of context, one likes Shakespeare and the three traps at the back can sing some wicked harmonies.

Even the Smart-Arse has toned down his routine a little, at least until after I feed him..

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