WARNING: The following story is extremely gory. I am NOT kidding.
I was lying in bed around 9 pm, about to fall asleep, when my wife barged into the room and exclaimed, "You have to get up! There is a possum in the laundry room!"
She informed me he was behind the dryer, with his tail sticking out of the wall, where the dryer's vent goes.
So I went downstairs and cautiously approached our laundry room, where the door was ominously closed. With my wife cowering behind me, I quietly opened the door, prepared for anything which might come out. Nothing happened.
As I slowly entered the room, I saw it: A full-sized, fat, adult possum, sitting in a hole in the wall, it's long, thick tail hanging down to the floor. It had apparently knocked the dryer vent out of the wall, as it sat comfortably in what was a good 6 inch round hole.
I did not realize it then, but the area behind the hole was hollow, and there was a lot more of the possum stuffed in there. But from what I could see, I knew this was not going to be easy.
My first thought was to call the SPCA. Unfortunately, they would not be open this time of night. Even if they were, they would probably not send someone out until the next day. This would mean leaving a rather large marsupial running free in my house with who knows what diseases.
Next, I considered throwing something like a blanket over it, picking it up, and taking it outside. Considering the possum's head was in the hole, whatever I threw over him would still leave his head exposed, able to bite at me. Again, the disease consideration entered my mind.
I realized my only alternative was to kill it. But with what? I don't own a gun. I thought about using a large knife, but then I would have to get too close to it.
Then it dawned on me: I own a sword! A decorative silver sword, which I bought at DragonCon a few years ago (yes, I am a geek).
So I got my sword and some thick gardening gloves, in case I had to grab the possum for whatever reason.
When I returned, the possum had not moved from his spot. I suspect it was trying not to be noticed, living up to its name.
I pulled the long sword from its sheath, and moved in for the kill. I stabbed the sword deep into the middle of the beast, completely missing any vital organs that might have killed it instantly.
When I felt the sword tip hit the wood underneath the possum, I stopped and watched, waiting for the possum to go into its death throes. While the possum struggled a little, clearly not pleased with its situation, nothing happened. The possum could not move much, stuck on the sword. At the same time, it was not looking to be dying any time soon either.
At this point, I realized I had missed any vital organs, so I thought I would have to stab the beast again. As I start to pull the sword from it, the possum starts wiggling like he was going to do something as soon as it was free. Since I know I cannot let it go, I sank the sword back into the possum, avoiding any vital organs once again, but holding the beast firmly in place.
Then my mind flashed to an image of hari-kari I had once seen, where once the blade was inserted, it was moved around by the person committing suicide, in order to get all the vital organs. So I tried it on the possum. Unfortunately, I learned it was not easy to move a sword once it was in a body.
Since that did not work, I tried twisting the blade within the possum's body. That worked a little better, but still no vital organs.
Of course, the possum was objecting to all the blade movements in a way one might expect from a small mammal stuck on a sword: a lot of wiggling around as it bared its teeth at me.
As my wife was watching these events unfold, she commented, "You're enjoying this."
I had to agree that it did appeal to me on an instinctive level. Man against beast.
But I had to admit, I was at a loss as to what to do at this point. The possum was not losing much blood from the sword wound. Maybe I could get it to bleed to death, or at least to go into shock from blood loss?
I got my wife to hold the sword in the possum as I went to the garage to get my long-handled branch cutter.
As I looked over the possum, I figured the best way to get it to bleed to death, from its current position, would be to cut off its thick tail.
I brought the branch cutter to the middle of the beast's tail, and snipped. The possum objected in its usual way, but also moved the remainder of his tail around, proceeding to squirt blood on the wall, the floor, and the back of the washing machine.
I could see the possum was not dying from this, so I think maybe if I cut the tail off entirely. The tail was thicker closer to the possum's body, so I assumed it would bleed more from there.
After I cut off the remainder of the tail, I realized my assumption was correct, as more blood proceeded to squirt into the aforementioned wall, floor, and washing machine. But the mighty possum was just fine, albeit more than a little upset at his predicament.
My wife made me hold the sword in the possum for a minute, being completely grossed out by the scene unfolding in front of her. It was during this time I came up with the next part of my strategy.
I figured I would not be able to kill it this way, but how about incapacitating the possum permanently?
Once I got my wife reluctantly back on the sword, I took my branch cutter and cut off the furry beast's right rear leg. I then proceeded to do the same to the possum's right front leg. It was at this point I realized my plan's failing: I could not get at the possum's left legs, which were on the other side of his body in the hole.
Watching the possum pursuing its normal wiggling and baring of teeth gave me another idea: What if I cut off its head?
Unfortunately, the placement of the possum left me unable to get a good angle on its neck. As I reached with the cutter for its neck, the vicious beast got its mouth firmly on the tip of the branch cutter. Feeling sadistically frustrated, I snipped.
With the bottom half of its jaw hanging from a piece of skin, I felt safe assuming the possum would not be biting anyone. With two legs gone, I also figured it was not going very far either.
I pulled the sword slowly from the possum, ready to plunge it back in at the first sign of movement. The beast did not move, laying there, waiting to die.
I placed a board in front of the hole, so the possum could not go anywhere.
My wife and I left it, closing the door to the laundry room, expecting to collect the possum's body the next day.
When I got up the next morning, I went downstairs to check on it. I slowly pulled the board from the hole, but I could not see it. Figuring the bloody beast had moved deeper behind the wall, I decided to wait until I got home from work to try and find it.
My wife called me at work, saying she thought the possum was dead because she could smell it, but she could not find it. She was afraid it had died somewhere behind our wall.
When I got home, I knew it was dead by the smell. I checked the hole thoroughly, even expanding it a little in order to get a better look. No possum.
As I walked from the laundry room, I noticed something on the floor of the basement: A faint blood trail.
Apparently, after we left it, the possum had climbed up behind the wall, and gone over to the other side of the wall, leaping or climbing or falling onto the basement floor, where it proceeded to run all around, leaving blood everywhere.
I followed the blood trail until I found the possum behind an old dresser on the floor. The beast was dead.
If you think that story is gross, you do not want to know about the cleanup afterwards.