the earwig

The “Earwig”

(reading time approx. 7 minutes)

Banana Baron, Carlos Mendoza lay on his chaise lounge overlooking his vast mountain home, with his noontime rum drink and a big black Havana cigar. Here, he took a daily nap in the bamboo room of his tropical banana plantation mansion.  It was in the jungles, about 150 air miles from the Honduran capital.  The only way in or out was by a freight line fruit train or a small 3000-foot airport for light planes.

Carlos was a supplier to a New York Fruit Company, a corrupted organization of banana Barons.  They were connected around the world in the underworld that controlled such enterprises. Who would believe that a banana plantation could produce millions of dollars to pass through hands almost every day?

Carlos claimed possession of very beautiful young lady, Nina. She was his totally controlled, prized possession.  A shapely, obedient, subservient 19-year-old jewel of female pulchritude for display before his other “connected” friends and associates.  Nina was his woman. She was force trained to please Carlos and entertain his friends. She came from a poor mountain family where Carlos discovered her as a 14-year-old girl in a banana jungle village.  He took her away from her widowed mother in the jungle village, with promises to transform her into a goddess. Carlos groomed, educated and quaffed Nina as his own “Fair Lady” for his personal pride and pleasures.  He entertained his business cartel friends almost daily, to close banana import and export dealings.

Nina was a great attraction for his buyers and visitors.  After being educated and transformed, she was well trained in all aspects of entertainment. One such type performance was singing and dancing to jungle music, lightly clad in nearly transparent flowing gowns. She was forced to succumb to Carlos’ every wish.  He controlled her very existence with an iron hand, even to the point of physical punishment if she resisted.  Carlos was rich and she was a poor jungle child. At 17 she blossomed into what he made her, with his training.  Carlos controlled her family’s existence and all the natives from the village where he found her, as his banana-harvesting workers.

A fruit company buyer, who was a foreign dignitary, came to visit from New York. He brought his family with him for a vacation in the tropics of Honduras. The buyer’s son, Walter, was enchanted by Nina’s beauty, skills and her entertaining performances. Walter was young, unmarried, handsome and captivated by Nina’s beauty.

In her hours alone, Nina would sit in a peaceful garden by a fountain in the plantation mansion.  Here she would look at the stars and dream of the days she would be able to flee from the domination and captivity of Carlos’ dictatorial, cruel and carnal controls.

While walking through the garden one evening, the visiting Walter, found Nina sitting by the fountain pool. He innocently joined her for what would become a dangerous liaison.

The inevitable events followed. Walter and Nina became a little too friendly.  Nina never met anyone as young, handsome and cultured as Walter. They almost immediately fell deeply in love. Walter was a kind gentle man. Their love progressed and engendered all of the feelings one might expect, but Nina was trapped and couldn’t escape from Carlos alive.

Nina and Walter went to see her mother and told her of their love.   Surely Carlos would brutally kill them both and the mother too if he knew of their affair. In his capacity as the Banana Baron, he could do anything with no restraint, judgment or penalty.

Nina’s bewildered mother prevailed upon the village witch doctor, who outlined a diabolical plan. “Place an Ear Wig on Carlos’ pillow and wait”, she said.  They followed the witch doctor’s plan. Nina crept into Carlos’ bedroom and placed the earwig on the pillow next to his ear for three nights. In the middle of the third night, they heard Carlos’ chilling scream, wild with pain.  The earwig, looking for a nesting cave, found an entrance.  It crawled into Carlos’ brain through his ear, as they are known to do. An ear wig, once in the ear canal, cannot back up because of it’s pincers at the rear of it’s body.  The only exit is to eat forward looking for a way out as it does.  It must burrow through whatever is ahead.  In this case, it was live brain matter.  It started eating away to the canal of Carlos’ other ear to get out. Carlos was delirious, screaming non-stop for days.

A local doctor for the natives was called to make an examination and discovered the problem.  He identified the back end of the insect, trying to work it’s way into Carlos’ brain with no way out except by eating the flesh in Carlos’ head on it’s way to an exit on the other side of his head. The doctor was able to kill the earwig, and pick out the remains.  When Carlos was awakened after the surgery, the doctor was beside him to give the good news and the bad news.  Yes, the ear wig had been removed and was dead, however, the surgeon had to inform Carlos that:  It was discovered that while the insect was in his ear canal, as all earwigs do in such dark places and plants, it laid its eggs.  They were now circulating in the blood supply to the brain.  Carlos was not a happy camper.

Soon after the incubation period, thousands of little ear wigs began feasting in his brain, Carlos, died screaming in excruciating pain that exceed the numbing effects of the administered morphine. The Baron Carlos was now dead. Nina and Walter were free to leave the jungles of Honduras to live their own new lives in the United States, just as the storybooks tell, happily ever after.

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As a footnote to this story, check the plants around the outside of your house, particularly up next to the building walls, for crawling earwigs.  They can pinch with the pincers or forceps on the rear of their little 1 to 1 ½ inch long black bodies, (longer in the tropics). They look nasty and will pinch, but are otherwise usually harmless. But they do make a good storyJust don’t let one get on your pillow.