Blog Challenge Day 4: Deepest Darkest

Happy Independence Day to my American friends! May we never forget the victory of the human will (Smith, and also Jeff Goldblum) over alien forces. That’s it, right? I may have learned American history from movies… 😉

blog challenge

Hoo, boy.

What am I afraid of? Lots of things. Failure. Success. Regret.

But more than anything, I fear… THIS:

If you are, at this moment, screaming and trying to gouge your own eyes out and wondering what I just showed you, count yourself lucky, as this means you’ve never encountered the BASEMENT CENTIPEDE.

Hang on, I need to put some space between myself and that picture before I type any more.






*shudder more*

There we go.  Hang on…


OK, it’s gone. Anyway, that’s it. It’s completely irrational. I’ve never been harmed by one of these reclusive creatures, and I’m told they’re beneficial. How? I don’t know, because any time someone tries to tell me, I plug my ears and sing “la la la la la” until whoever is talking just gives me The Look and backs away.

I don’t mind spiders. Beetles sometimes startle me in the garden, but I actually think they’re pretty cool. I can catch a mouse or a snake if I have to and relocate it.

But basement centipedes (or gazillipedes, as they’re known in my brain)… just no. Nothing should have that many skinny little legs. Seriously, the first time I saw one it was in a bathtub, and it looked like a drain clog had come to life, fueled by my own nightmares.

Did I mention that these things move at a speed that can be measured in feet per second, and their legs move in waves?


Not cool.

PS: I also have a horrible fear of using the telephone, but I don’t want to talk about it right now.


About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

18 responses to “Blog Challenge Day 4: Deepest Darkest

  • Jade Reyner

    Horrible! Made my skin crawl! 🙂

  • Gloria Weber

    I have, in fact, seen one (actually 3) and yes, in my basement. And they scare the ever living f— out of me. They eat house destroying pests. Anyways, I’m with you on they are scary and the picture doesn’t do it justice.

    PS- All those other things you’re not scared of… I am. Well, except beetles. I like beetles.

    • Kate Sparkes

      Confession: we once lived in a basement apartment where we had to go up through the garage. One day there was a gazillipede at the top of the stairs, and I had to make AJ get rid of it before I could go to work.

  • beingcollins

    Bleh…. I hate anything that ends with “pede”. But I’m excited about you’re last sentence! I always thought I was crazy, but this is now two people besides me that I know who are terrified to use the phone! I will if I have to… and at times it’s not soooo bad. But I’m usually sitting there for ever with it in my hand and adrenaline in my veins before I hit send. I still have my mom call people for me sometimes 🙂

  • ontyrepassages

    Pretty creepy, and I wouldn’t want one on me, but I can look at it so it’s still spiders for me. A picture of a spider, even a cartoonish drawing of one at Halloween, is enough to make me breakout in a cold sweat that leads to violent shaking. Saw one as big as my hand in Florida once. I’ll never live where it doesn’t snow again. If you feel that way about “pedes” then I applaud your bravery posting the picture.

  • Ricarda

    At the moment, I’m alternating between living in a basement and living in an attic; I’m used to scary crap sitting in the corners. Although I totally get it – your centipede is my harvestman. Ew. Just… gah, ewewEW!

    Pro tip: I got rid of my fear of speaking on the phone by calling two-hundred and twenty media agencies and publishing houses in two days upon request of my then-boss, who insisted I call them and gave them a minuscule piece of information personally instead of simply sending a mass email. After that, calling a shop to ask if they have a specific item in stock or my landlord to ask for a plumber was a piece of cake 😀

    • Kate Sparkes

      Just reading that gave me a little panic attack.

      • Ricarda

        What got me through this was basically only my fear of breaking down in public. At least no-one could see me shake from the other end of a phone line :S

        All right, so lets throw out the telephones, then, and only communicate via emails and texts and the occasional smoke signal 😀
        Words spelled out with gummy bears are also fine, but I don’t think those would last long enough to read them…

  • Emily Witt

    My work computer, on which the only browser is Internet Explorer, has decided I shouldn’t see this picture and has instead given me the box with the red X in it. As someone who feels there is a limit to the number of legs any creature should have, I think I for once appreciate my computer doing this.

  • L. Marie

    Wow. I go away for a day or so and I see that I missed several posts, one of which has an EWWWWWWW factor of ten. I have seen the basement centipede. They can move quickly!!

    I had a lovely Independence Day. Beautiful fireworks.

  • Gloria Weber

    Hunted down this post because, Kate… I just saw one! It was hiding behind my Downton Abbey calendar, which is on my bulletin board, which is right next to my chair I’m sitting in/writing area! It went scurrying from there to behind my filing cabinet.

    Gah! Nah! EW! Help?

    • Kate Sparkes


      And pardon my language, but FAAAAAAAAAACK!!!


      OK, what you need to do is scream. That’s what I’d do. Then, you have a few options: you can block off that memory and never think of it again, but then you still have THAT THING in your house, and probably in your nightmares. You can try to catch it and release it, which is probably the right thing to do, but ARE YOU INSANE. You can call for reinforcements, or you can move the filing cabinet and channel your fear into smacking things with a shoe. You’ll probably kill a few dust-bunnies in the process, but you might slay the demon thing.

      Sorry I can’t be more help. I have to go hide under my bed, now.

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