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Constance, TN, USA

In downtown New York, at a somewhat trashy apartment, there lived a man named Howard. He was a young man, in his mid-twenties, and had a terrible fear of cockroaches. Well if you’ve been to New York, and maybe live or stayed in a rundown hotel, you know how many cockroaches there are. Too many to count!

Howie had just come home from work and was looking for a bit of relaxation. All he wanted to do was get a bowl of ice cream, sit down and read the newspaper. He started raiding the messy cabinets and sink to look for a bowl and a spoon. He found the bowl, got out the ice cream and opened a drawer to get the spoon when, Surprise!! Out jumps a big juicy cockroach. After jumping twenty feet in the air and grabbing a spoon out of the drawer, he sat down to calm himself. "God forsaken roaches!" he yelled, while slowing his heartbeat, just as another cockroach crawled between his feet. " There’s got to be something I can do to get rid of them." Just then, as he was getting his ice cream and reading ads in the paper, one specific ad caught his eye. "Got Roaches? We have a solution! Come down to Sam’s Pet Club today and get yourself the natural predator of the roaches, a Gecko!"

"What in the world?" Howard thought. He read on: "That’s right! A gecko! Follow the directions below to get your very own live cockroach eliminator! Then ask our friendly staff how to care for and what to do to get rid of your cockroaches." "Ya right. That gecko will probably eat me while I sleep." he said as yet another roach scuttled across the floor. He felt sick. He thought it was worth a try, so the very next day he followed the directions on the ad to the pet store.

He asked about the geckos and the staff told him what to do with a gecko and how much they were and, soon enough, he was driving home with his very own gecko. "Great," he thought "yet another little critter that is going to be loitering around in my house."

He got home and did just as the woman at the store told him to do, and let the gecko go. He saw the gecko run under the refrigerator after the nearest cockroach it saw. "Well, at least he is doing his job." he said after he heard the loud "GECKO, GECKO," sound that geckos make when they swallow.

Days went by, and Howard saw fewer and fewer roaches. He didn’t like the gecko running around his house all the time, but what’s one gecko to a thousand roaches? He shrugged it off, and tried to suck it up. One thing he did do, however, was close the door before he went to bed. But no matter what he did, somehow the lizard always got into his room.

One day after work, he was getting some dinner when he saw the gecko chase one of the last cockroaches on the house under the refrigerator. He saw the cockroach scurry under it with the gecko far behind struggling to go under. That’s when Harold realized. It was getting bigger. That night he did everything he could to keep the Gecko out of his room. He fell into a deep sleep.

All the police found the next morning was a small stain on the bed that looked like blood. They searched everywhere in the house for Harold after a worried neighbor herd a slight scream and a haunting "GECKO, GECKO," that morning, but no one could find anything. No Harold, No Gecko, No cockroaches, nothing. They left that house confused and wondering, never to see Harold again. The only place they didn’t check was under the bed, where the gecko was - big as ever, and full at last.

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