I couldn’t sleep, it’s the stress of it all I suppose.
and I’m hot, hot for late March.
I could hear The Sound. It was the only sound
a light clicking
or a flapping of small wings
Over and over again. It was quiet, but loud enough. All night. I didn’t sleep, of course I didn’t. I blamed The Sound.
Like something caught between my teeth and I was picking at it with the tip of my tongue.
As the light appeared, my fear of The Sound faded and I slept for some hours.
That day, I thought the Sound was coming from a box under my bed.
He taped it up and carried it downstairs and into the porch and left it there, locking the door behind him.
I could no longer hear The Sound.
I slept better that night.
The next day I went through the box, full of old books and drawings and papers. I expected a moth to fly out, an explanation.
He found a small beetle at the bottom of the cardboard box, under a flap.
He trapped it between two pieces of clear tape and held it up to the spring light. It was ugly and very small.
I supposed this was the answer.
The larvae of the Deathwatch Beetle bore into the timber, feeding for up to ten years before pupating, and later emerging from the wood as adult beetles. They then die within a few weeks.
To attract mates, the adult insects create a tapping or ticking sound that can sometimes be heard in the rafters of old buildings on summer nights.
To locate females, males will walk a short distance, stop and tap, orient themselves towards a female’s response and repeat.
I suppose there’s always got to be a way to find one another.