When Nathan Smith returned to his apartment late on a Friday night with a girl in a tight dress whose name he couldn't remember, he turned on the light to see his kitchen cupboards writhing with a thick layer of lime green aphids.
The girl retched, held one hand to her mouth while flailing the other, then ran quickly back down the hallway. Her high heels echoed loudly as she descended the stairs.
Nathan sighed and closed the door. He sauntered into the living room and sat heavily on his sofa, putting his feet up.
"I thought we talked about this," he said, staring at the cupboard doors. "I know you get afraid sometimes, but you have to stay in your box when I'm out. You can't just go wandering all over the apartment. Do you understand?"
Nathan's phone buzzed in his pocket. He took it out and glanced at the message.
'Its not fair.'
"I know it seems that way," said Nathan, ruffling his own hair, "but it's for your own safety. You're lucky that girl was a bit drunk, you know what I'm saying? Normal people don't take kindly to your sort."
'I hate humans.'
"I'm sure you do. There's nothing you can do about it. But you have to go back into the box."
'its tight in there. hot.'
"You have air holes and mesh. I don't see what you're complaining about."
"You need spellcheck."
Nathan stood, turned off his phone and threw it so it landed between the sofa cushions. He walked into the kitchen and picked up a small metal box from the counter. He looked inside to see that it was empty. He pulled a square of paper towel from its roll and wiped out the box, then held it under the nearest cupboard.
"C'mon, get in."
None of the aphids dropped in.
"Don't make me scrape you down. Don't make this harder than it needs to be."
The aphids swarmed up to the ceiling and off the cupboard. Nathan slammed the box down on the counter.
"I've had it!"
He reached under the sink and picked up a can of bugspray. He covered his eyes and aimed the can at the ceiling. He pressed down on the sprayhead and grimaced.
A thousand green, twitching little bodies pinged to the floor. When it was done, Nathan coughed, then swept up the mess and washed it down the sink. He washed his hands and then went to his laptop in the living room. To Twitter he posted:
'Self-aware, bluetooth enabled insect swarm: most useless pet ever. #buyersremorse'