By Ben H. Winters
FOR hire: most sensible flooring of fantastically renovated brownstone, 1300 sq. ft., 2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker’s fee.Susan and Alex Wendt have came across their dream apartment.Sure, the landlady is a bit eccentric. And the aged handyman drops a few cryptic comments concerning the basement. however the lease is so low, it’s too solid to cross up.Big mistake. Susan quickly discovers that her new house is crawling with bedbugs . . . or is it? She awakens each morning with clean bites, yet neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a unmarried welt. An exterminator searches the valuables and turns up not anything. The landlady insists her construction is fresh. Susan fears she’s going mad—until a extra sinister clarification offers itself: she may possibly actually be confronting the bedbug challenge from Hell.
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Extra resources for Bedbugs
His tone was light, unoffended, and Susan exhaled. “I own a small company called GemFlex. ” “Really? ” “Ah. That’s where you’re wrong,” said Alex, giving Andrea an easy lopsided grin. ” Back outside on the stoop, they all shook hands. Andrea knelt with some effort to give Emma a hug, which the girl surprisingly accepted. “Thank you so much for showing the apartment to us,” said Susan. ” “Take your time, take your time,” said Andrea, and coughed. “But I’ve got a good feeling about you people. ” They had Emma all buckled in when Alex turned back and called, “Oh, hey, Andrea?
Hey,” Tony said all of a sudden, and looked up from his squat before the entertainment center. ” Susan asked. “Dat. Ping. Ping. ” She narrowed her eyes and listened. It was very low, barely audible, but the cable guy was right: there was a light ping, every ten or fifteen seconds, coming from … somewhere. She walked a slow circle around the room, then up and down the hallway, but couldn’t figure it out. “Weird,” she said. “Yeah,” said the cable man. “Anyway, dat’s it. Finished. ” When Tony from TimeWarner was gone, Susan grabbed the dustpan and handbroom from under the kitchen sink and swept a tidy circle around the entertainment center, gathering up the little bits of clipped wire he’d left in his wake.
But if there are, I don’t know, problems, with the heat or the toilet or whatever—” Andrea interrupted with her high, throaty, barking laugh. “Oh, good heavens! No. ” She held up thin, knotty fingers. “There’s a nice gentleman, an old friend, who is very handy and takes care of all that sort of thing for me. He can handle anything. ” “Oh,” said Alex, seeming mollified. ” That’s my girl, thought Susan, and beamed up at Andrea, who waved. “All right, folks. ” * It was three or four blocks down Cranberry Street to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, where Emma hopped out of the stroller for some much-needed running around.