No, I don’t know how they got there. I haven’t asked them. The only question I am asking is, “Why me?”
If you have never seen an Esuohite, they are ugly little gnome-like creatures with big pointed ears and big noses, and they dress like Eastern European peasants. This is not surprising, because they originally came from the countryside of Slovakia. They were kicked out of Slovakia in 1805, charged with the crime of driving people insane. Since then, they roam all the countries of the world, wrecking their peculiar brand of havoc.
According to Esuohite custom and law, any space that is not occupied may be settled and taken over as a home. It’s their version of the Homestead Act. In their case, it isn’t limited to the western part of the United States, however; it embraces the entire world, including the crawl space under my porch.
Also according to the Esuohite Code, if anyone moves onto your property and takes over unoccupied space, you are responsible for feeding him until he decides to move. Esuohites love to eat. Nobody can stuff a face like they can, and they eat huge portions of almost everything. Many of them have won big international eating contests. My Esuohite family consists of two adults and 5 growing children, and the wife is pregnant. My grocery bills are staggering.
I first noticed the presence of my uninvited non-paying tenants when the male of the family knocked on my door one day at 2:00 in the afternoon and demanded that I stop making noise so he and his family could sleep. I was home from work that week, using up some vacation time, and was doing a little touch-up renovation around the house. You see, Esuohites are nocturnal creatures. They sleep during the day and get up at night. I didn’t know this. Up until that moment, I didn’t even realize I had Esuohites, or what they were. I googled them, of course, and found out, among other things, that they are so obnoxious that people in many primitive societies think they are demons. Parents scare their kids by telling them the Esuohites will get them if they do anything naughty.
When evening came, and they all got up, I went down to the crawl space, introduced myself as their new landlady and politely requested that they go away and not return. “The guy in the green house on the next block has a much bigger crawl space, and he’s never home,” I told them. They weren’t interested, and they told me politely that they were going to stay and there was nothing I could do about it. They gave me a grocery list.
So here I am, six months later, supporting a whole group of tiny moochers who keep me awake at night, destroy my front porch making renovations on their dwelling place and eat all my food. They consume sumptuous meals every day while I, out of economic necessity, am reduced to eating celery and oatmeal. There are no exterminators and no animal control professionals who deal with Esuohites and the local Mafia won’t touch them and won’t explain why, even when I fall on my knees, cry and beg them to put out a contract on those little buggers. I can’t sell my house because every time potential buyers come to look at it all the little freeloaders get out of bed, come outside and stare at them.
I can only sit, stare at the sunset and wait for Fate to get me.
Inspired by a writing prompt posted by Karen Klinger on Facebook on January 5, 2019:
“The crawl space under my front porch is some kind of weird portal.”