After dinner

we walked back to our room

taking in the fresh mountain air  

admiring the sounds of night crickets 

When we reached the cabin door

we found 

that we had left the outdoor light    on

Hundreds of winged bugs 

frantically flying fluttering

by the doorway 

on the doorstep was    a huge pile of wings

As we pushed open the door

I was telling him 

about how terrible I felt 

that we had left the light    on 

that we had caused 

so many innocent bugs to go to    their demise

When we stepped in

all we saw were 

huge shadows of wings    on walls

It looked like a circus of fairies had invaded the room—

we were immediately bombarded by 

hundreds of flying creatures 

as we tried to cover ourselves but 

couldn’t escape 

so we jumped under 

the mosquito netting covering the bed 

And that is when we discovered 

I had left the bathroom light    on    

We were feeling trapped

so I made my way through the 

rowdy drunken bug convention 

ran up to get the manager

She came down 

and all she said was 

that we would have to    wait 

wait for them to leave 

and    that these kinds of bugs were 

a delicious delicacy in Laos

So we sucked it up    (not the bugs)

we crawled back in bed 

pulled the sheets    over our heads

We stayed under the mosquito netting 

all night nervously 

twitching and itching

He eventually started snoring

over and over and over

I kept mentally retracing    my footsteps 

trying to remember 

if I was the one who left the lights    on 

or if it was light or dark out when we left for dinner

Then I had a spine-chilling realization…

we were sleeping in 

the phi (ghost) inhabited Phou Pha Mah Forest

I laid wide-eyed    for  hours

anticipating the lights to suddenly    click    on

startled by every 

creak and rustle

but somehow    I fell asleep

In the morning

the sun came up 

and the room was    silent

it was like 

nothing had ever happened

except for hundreds of wings    

s c a t t e r e d 

like dried leaves 

all over the floor—

By KM Sharp