They know I've killed their kind. Murdered, coldly. Flush them them, grind them under my heel. I'll wipe their guts all over and not think twice.
I was asleep. Dreaming, deeply. I was in a shantytown and the walls were crumbling and the holes revealed maggots and grubs. The people even had bugs crawling out of their hair, long since given up trying to kill them. They live with them. I ended up in a pit where bareknuckle fighters--
Something landed on my face.
At some level, I knew it wasn't part of the dream. Something landed on my real face, in the flesh. And I knew what it was.
Not completely awake, I lay still, sensing the dark the room. I couldn't let it escape or there'd be no sleeping the rest of the night, not with it in the room. Nor would my wife. In a black room, eyes closed, the ceiling fan blowing, I snatched at my pillow only a few inches from my head.
Halfway to the bathroom, I wondered if this was real life. Did I just dream this? Is there really something in my hand? Did I just do that?
I threw the contents in the toilet. There, swimming freely, wings splayed, was a fully grown cockroach. I flushed him from the world. He could haunt the sewer system, but not our bedroom.
I didn't tell my wife. She'd never sleep again.