Thursday, September 22, 2005

As Promised....

Spiders. I'm not the biggest fan, but I don't shriek and holler when I see them, especially if they aren't bothering anyone. I could care less if a daddy longlegs or some other little spindly thing makes its home in the dark corners of my room. I don't use the space behind my dresser, so they're welcome to it if they don't bother me. But my sister Johanna is a different case. Her room seems to be the Spider Mecca of the entire county. Understandably then, Jo lives in constant paranioa of the creatures. The other day I was walking through her room and she whispers "Don't. Move." I feared I was about to step on a screeching rattlesnake by the look on her pale face. She proceeded to point to not a rattlesnake, but an admittedly large, furry, striped spider, apparently taking an evening stroll in its front yard outside its cozy Home Sweet Home: a tiny hole in the corner. Johanna's eyes never left the creature as she slowly poised herself directly above it and said, "Give me a cage!" A cage? Apparently this freed me from my command to remain still. Using only her wide, frantic eyes, she pointed to a plastic lattice pen-and-pencil holder. I dumped its contents out and she positioned it about three feet directly above the spider.

Seconds went by. The only movement was the nearly imperceptible lowering of her hand holding the "cage." She whispered, "It has lots of eyes. If I don't move slowly, it'll see me and dash back into its house." I stood awkwardly, unsure what my role in this epic capture was to be but wanting vaguely to be a part of it. Suddenly she lunged with the cage, and I couldn't tell if she'd gotten him under it or not. I told Jo she'd missed. After all, I had the flashlight (another nearby stalking tool Johanna kept by her bed) and it looked like he wasn't in there. For several minutes, we diplomatically discussed the plusses and minuses of lifting the cage. She said he could just starve in there, and that way we wouldn't have to squish him. Ultimately though, since I did have the flashlight, she lifted the cage, and yep, he was in there and darted out. Johanna screamed. The spider ran about a foot towards his home and stopped. Jo gave me the kind of look people give when they are horrified by something but are also a little sheepish about it and they are trying to laugh at themselves because they know you're laughing at them, whether you're showing it or not. Me, I was howling out loud with laughter. Nonplussed by my outburst, she gasped, "You have to help me get him. I'll keep an eye on him because he blends into the carpet. You find something long and pointy to kill him with."

I sobered. The execution would fall to me.

Gathering my emotions together, I darted around her room, suggesting trophies, pencils, and other equally inadequate (in Jo's eyes) spider killers. I realized I might have to try the place I was headed all along: My Room. As soon as I ran into my own dwelling, my eyes found my Stick, laid carefully in a place of honor behind a stack of books. (Most things in my room, including my shelves and bed and desk, are also behind stacks of books.) This wasn't any Stick. This is way better than the Stick on Homestar Runner. This stick is thick, strong, very smooth, and almost white. I gently caressed its branches as I remembered the day we met...

I had found my stick laying in a rough neighborhood, out of place and lonely under a bush next to the birdfeeders. Miraculously, the orphan stick had managed to avoid all the gooey white substance falling from the birdfeeder, and I immediately admired its courage and resourcefulness. I proceeded to rescue it from danger and brought it inside to care for it as one of my own. I kept in suspended upright in a jar of pennies and it repaid my kindness by graciously holding many of my precious possessions on its branches.

I snapped out of my flashback to Johanna's shrieking to hurry up. I looked at how perfect and jagged its edge was. Could I really use my beloved Stick to kill a disgusting fat spider? Second thoughts galloped through my mind as I presented the Stick to Johanna, hoping she would forget her plan for me to kill the spider. She accepted it without dissent. Yessss.....

After several more minutes of stragetic planning between us, Johanna finally jammed the stick against the spider (who was now up against the wall), capturing him underneath it. Or at least half of him. The other half of the spider stuck out, his legs writhing. I could hear his muscles flexing, his legs tapping the wall. Johanna screamed. I screamed, partly startled by her but sick to my stomach at the sound of squishing spider meat.

She looked up at me again, eyes tormented, and barely gasped, "GET THE ARROW!" A flashlight, a cage, and now an arrow, what's next in this asylum? She pointed up to...yes, yes folks, it was indeed an arrow attached to her wall near the ceiling. I wondered why in the world she would have an arrow on her wall, but that fleeting thought was followed by a distinct feeling of deja vu. It was just like on the movie Signs, when Merrell and Graham are trying to kill the alien. There's this point when Merrell looks up to the wall and sees his trophy baseball bat. At that point, he knows what he needs to do and beats up the alien. Transported back to reality once again by Johanna's shrieking, I reluctantly grabbed the enigmatic weapon. So I would be the one to do the murdering after all. The spider's furry legs still writhed. I stabbed him with the arrow, hoping I wouldn't have bad spider karma after killing such a prominent member of their species. We both pulled back our tools. Apparently we'd missed a single leg in our attempt, and our courageous spider dragged his misshapen body along, towards his home, with his one unaltered limb. For an instant, Jo and I looked at each other in combined wonder and terror and disgust. We both might have screeched at this point. "He's indestructible!" Jo shouted. (There was an awful lot of screaming and shouting going on...did I mention it was nearly midnight?) She was still holding my precious Stick, and I the arrow. We both took another spear at the poor creature who, I remembered at this point, had only been wandering around in his front yard, soaking in the 70-watt light and exercising his cramped limbs. How quickly a life becomes nothing more than a body. We both felt the last breath of the spider as we twisted and stabbed his body into a pulp.


Several days have since passed. The skeletal corpse of a brave and innocent spider remains in that corner. Neither Johanna or I dare to wander into that now-hallowed land. The spider was not the only casualty suffered that evening, though. My Stick now bears the scars of battle: a grim dark stain of spider juice on its proud, jagged edge. How saddening. That's all I've gotta say about that.


At Friday, September 23, 2005 5:40:00 PM, Blogger NLWilliams sayeth thus:

wow...what fun to read someone who has something to say about something. Thanks for posting. I think I will visit this blog again(oh, and thanks for commenting on my blog as well...I feel inspired by reading yours to instantly post on mine some more)

At Friday, September 23, 2005 5:56:00 PM, Blogger Hero's Cousin sayeth thus:

Thanks! How make me want to write more as well.


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