Trauma Llama – Why crickets frighten Gena K. Mantz

When I heard tough-as-nails author Author Gena K. Mantz was afraid of crickets, I knew there had to be a juicy story behind that. She kindly wrote up the tale and agreed to let me post it. Check out the blurb for her story One Too Many below and then scroll for her Trauma Llama story 🙂

Jenn’s allegiances are constantly called into question because she lives on the edge of two werewolf territories. Can she really be loyal to her Alpha, stay neutral to the local pack leader, and remain faithful to her husband?



Get One Too Many here!

Here’s Gena’s Trauma Llama tale:

It was an awesome summer. I was about 4 or 5 and we were on vacation. My parents rarely took a vacation and for us to actually go out of state and stay in a motel was unheard of in the mid-1970’s.

I think it was in July, if I remember. My birthday was coming up, but not until after we got home. We had to find a motel with air-conditioning, because our car, an International Harvester TravelAll, didn’t have an air conditioner. We were near Tyler, Texas, and found somewhere my parents could afford, and each room had its own window air unit.

I got out of the bathtub, and my father was fussing with the air conditioner. There just wasn’t enough cold air coming out; that room was HOT. Being an inquisitive child, I wanted to know how things worked. I went over to sit on the floor near my dad.

“The filter must be plugged,” he said, pulling the knobs loose on the unit. He lifted off the plastic cover to expose the filter.

That was when the bowels of HELL opened up. I swear there were a thousand huge, black crickets that came flying out and landed all over ME, on my pretty little calico cotton nightgown with the eyelet trim, in my long, strawberry blond hair, and in my lap. (OK my mom says there were about ten crickets and maybe a handful landed on me.) To this day, when I see a cricket, I can still feel their sticky legs all over my face and crawling in my hair.

Spiders- no problem. I just see whether friend or foe and dispatch if necessary. Snakes, same procedure. Mice-will be caught and fed to the chickens. Rats- give me a baseball bat and I will play whack-a-rat.

A few weeks ago at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival there was a loathsome cricket on one of the tables where I was putting out merchandise for a friend. I actually asked a MAN to move it and kill it for me. I had caught a spider and set her free outside the tent not half an hour before, but shuddered and squealed at the cricket. Anyone who knows me, knows I do not ask a man for assistance unless necessary. Yes, a lowly cricket can make independent and capable me act like a GIRL. If any of you have any ideas about dropping a cricket in my lap at Halloween, I have a nasty right hook and won’t hesitate to use it. Just ask my husband.


LOL! Thanks so much, Gena!
Do you have a Trauma Llama story you’d like to share? Prod me on Twitter (@AnyaBreton) or e-mail me anya at 🙂

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