I decide to submit a story that I had already written. I had to cut it down to 450 words. You’ll be the first to know if I hear anything back.
I’d Like To Check You For Ticks
by Erin Cooper Reed
Flea and tick season is officially upon us and reports claim that this is going to be the worst year ever.
That’s bad news for pet owners and anyone who loves the outdoors.
This is also extremely bad for me.
Somehow, I have managed to raise three boys who played with worms and snakes, yet are deathly afraid of ticks.
Last night, Marc let out a blood curdling scream.
I rose from a deep sleep fearing for the worst, almost running head on into Rocky and Kevin in the hallway.
Marc was standing on his bed wearing nothing but his underwear.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Mom! There’s a tick!” Marc screamed.
Kevin and Rocky were right behind me.
“A TICK? Where?” Kevin yelled.
Rocky replied, “If we don’t find it, I am NOT sleeping here.”
“Good idea!” Marc said, “Let’s go to a hotel!”
“EVERYONE CALM DOWN!” I yelled.
“Okay, where was the last place that you saw it?” I asked.
Marc replied, “Near the bathroom.”
We all began to search for the tiny insect that was standing between us and a good night’s sleep.
“I don’t see any tick. Let’s all just go to bed.” I instructed.
“Are you kidding me?” Kevin bellowed.
Rocky chimed in, “This is totally gross!”
“Mom!” Marc cried, “We could all get Lyme Disease!”
I was longing for my pillow and dreading what seemed to be the beginning of a ludicrous all-nighter.
Suddenly, I blurted out the first thing that came into my mind.
“Okay, we’ll all sleep in the living room. I think I have some spray for ticks.”
My boys were a flurry of commotion… blankets, pillows and slamming bedroom doors.
I grabbed a bottle of Febreze from under the kitchen sink.
“Are you sure that kills ticks, Mom?” Marc asked.
“Positive.” I replied, (okay, I’m reaching here, but I like my sleep.) I vigorously doused every room in the house with Febreze.
We all settled in on the living room floor.
After much talk about the dreaded ticks, all three of my boys were fast asleep and I somehow managed to fall asleep myself.
Freezing and uncomfortable, I awoke to the overpowering smell of Febreze and the windows covered in condensation.
Kevin stirred and asked, “Mom, what are you doing?”
“Why is the air conditioning set for 40 degrees?” I inquired, as I turned it off completely.
“I was trying to kill the tick,” Kevin replied.
Still shivering and achy from the few hours of sleep that I managed to get on the living room floor, I prepared my morning coffee.
Better make it extra strong, this is going to be a long tick season… and I better stock up on more Febreze.