I got into a discussion over at Google+ with +Max Saunders about tarantulas. Anyone who knows me knows I’m an odd ball who loves the creepy crawlies! Max suggested I write some horror story about them and I commented that I guess I don’t because I don’t find them scary! However he noted that even if I don’t, clearly other people do, and I should give it a try. I remembered then that I wrote a short story a few years ago from the POV of a house spider. So here it is! My odd little ditty about a :
Drug House Spider
The patient day was done and the humans stirred from their rest. They always seem to rise with the setting sun, as cousin wolf spider does. I consume some web that was ruined by my last catch, preparing to spin new, as they stumble about resembling spiderlings just into their full legs. Their nest is full of discarded pieces of meals, randomly dropped after their manner of eating. I don’t know why they do not discard the refuse outside their nest, but the fly’s the smell brings in makes for fine meals.
The female causes the water to fall in the next room, and I move to the hole in the wall that makes my far border. Through the void comes a fine mist that settles on my webs. I clean the moisture off the webs for my drink. I am very glad the female, at least, desires to clean herself in the falling waters, else I would have to leave my safe home to search for it.
After I have had my fill, I clean my chelicerae, fangs and fore-feet. I know that if I allow them to dirty they will no longer serve me, and I will die. I would have cleaned my other feet, but the humans were moving around and I caught the scent of anger. The large male, strutting around like a cock sparrow, pushes a smaller male out the entrance. I scurry back to the deep web as he is inclined to stomp and throw things at the walls when angered.
Sparrows eat spiders with a relish; I have watched them when I lived last season in the outside. Cock sparrows strut and fight for the more docile females, making much noise for the notice of them. The females however, are the ones you must concern yourself with, for they do not worry themselves with show, but only with the feeding of the offspring. Pausing only briefly in their search for food to glance at the blustering males.
The human male changes in tone of voice and manner when some other females enter the house. I come out to see, and once again witness, a strange sort of mating dance the large male does when strange females come to the house. They make sounds to one another, posture in ways I assume they find attractive, touch one another, and exchange gifts. Then the females leave. I don’t understand why the females keep coming back to him, performing this odd ritual, and then leave without completing the mating. Perhaps he does something to displease them, but why then come back to an unsatisfactory male? Humans confuse me.
One of them slams the back entrance plug and my wall shutters from the impact. I freeze instinctively, my senses alert to danger. Why do they always make so much noise? Do they think they are so big that predators won’t come for them? I am glad I have a house, even occupied by humans; the outside is filled with dangers.
Near the darkest part of the night, there came such a noise that I had never heard before. The high pitched sound came through the walls of the house and vibrated my webs as if a large thing was caught in them. I rushed out to see what it was. The sound continued and the human’s were in a panic, the female making angry sounds at the men. The scent of fear filled the room, stronger than any prey I have caught. The large male shouted out the main entrance, and the female screamed. I could not see, but I felt a BOOM! then several more BOOM BOOM! The cock sparrow man fell down and the smell of fresh blood came to me.
The other humans called loudly to each other and ran in all directions as strange humans came running in from both entrances. Like hatchlings they swarmed all over the house, taking the house-humans with them. I hid in my deep-web until it was quiet. I know to be cautious around my brethren, because a hungry spider will not hesitate to eat her sibling. I had not known that humans were the same.
In the stillness of the dawn, a fly, fat on spilled blood, blunders into my web. A quick bite and a wrapping of silk holds it for later eating. I am not hungry, this is a good house, but one never knows when the next meal will appear. Perhaps the next humans will be quieter.
Copywrite Maria Rich 2011
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