Upson Pratt

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Upson Pratt

Upson Pratt was the president of Pratt International and a ruthless and unscrupulous businessman. As a boy, he had grown up in the slums, and as a result developed severed germaphobia as well as a fear of insects, in particular cockroaches. He lived alone in a germ-proof penthouse apartment in New York City, interacting with his various employees via the telephone. One night he received news from George Gendron that Pratt International had successfully taken over its rival corporation Pacific Aerodyne, at the cost of Norman Castonmeyer's life, who had committed suicide upon realizing there was no way to stop the takeover.

In addition to a sudden influx of cockroaches from an unknown origin infesting the apartment, Pratt received several phone calls from Norman's widow, Lenora Castonmeyer, wishing him a horrible death. His efforts to get either the police or exterminators to his apartment to assist him with the roach infestation proved fruitless, as no one took his fears seriously. The roach invasion reached its zenith during a blackout and, to escape from the insects, Pratt locked himself in his airtight sleeping chamber, boasting that the roaches would never get in, and that when the blackout was over, they would all pay.

The phone (on an emergency power circuit) at his bedside rang, and it was Mrs. Castonmeyer again. Even as Pratt was asking her what she wanted, he noticed something bulging beneath his bedsheets. Pulling the sheets back, he was horrified to behold literally thousands upon thousands of cockroaches, which swarmed towards him as Mrs. Castonmeyer, on the speakerphone, once again wished her husband's former formentor a horrible death. Covered in roaches, Pratt suffered a fatal heart attack and collapsed.

Later, the blackout ended, and Pratt's employee Mr. White came to check on him, but couldn't get him to answer the front door. He humorously asked his boss, "What's the matter, Mr. Pratt? Bugs got your tongue?" Meanwhile Pratt was lying dead on his bed, with no roaches in sight. Suddenly roaches began crawling from his mouth and ultimately exploded from his chest, and soon the corpse, nay, the entire bedroom, was filled to overflowing with roaches as the insects feasted on Pratt's remains.


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