This was one of the first stories I wrote, inspired by a conversation that happened at my parents’
house in 2015. I started drafting it in my mind as I tossed and turned on an uncomfortable
couch, booted out of the guest room by my 1-year-old baby. And by guest room, I mean death
trap, where fraying extension cords could at any moment explode into sparks and the rickety
card table set up for changing diapers could collapse.
I read this story at two open mics, and then submitted this story to a number of venues and it
was rejected by all!
“We have a cricket!” Edna called out to Louise and Ron, as they made their way up the
front steps burdened with suitcases, a baby seat, and bags of all shapes and sizes hanging
from their arms like Christmas tree ornaments. Edna was 82 and lived in this house with her
husband Arthur, 86. Their daughter Louise and her husband Ron, both in their 30s, were
visiting Louise’s childhood home in Massachusetts with their daughter, who was almost 2.
Three generations in one house, and, evidently, a cricket.
Resignation lined Edna’s voice. As if the cricket had some kind of real estate rights, had
moved in unannounced but with the proper paperwork. “He’s been there for weeks,” Edna went
on, speaking above the confusion of transporting items from the car to the house and
determining what went where. After unpacking, the cricket’s chirping took centerstage. Louise
heard it in all corners of the house. “CHIRP!” The 40th chirp of what was sure to be a long
“Do you hear the cricket?”, she hissed to Ron, upstairs, a full two floors higher than the
basement, the cricket’s new quarters. She wondered about the likelihood of any sleep…
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