Story time, children. This is going to be a little long because I enjoy the details and theatrics.
There are few things in life that I will always disagree with, always back away from (in the most literal sense) and always find myself scared of. But things running at me—anything running or even walking at a brisk pace—towards me, gets me every time. Er—not literally.
I have—um—some good reasons, too! I’ve had cows run at me, dogs run at me (including that one that actually did get me), people, yada yada yada. When I was nine a poolball (from the game, not the happy-fun-times water in somebody’s rich backyard) flew at my face, shattering one of my front teeth. Overall I’ve had a whole life-time to supply me with reasons for flinching so much. Also I flinch a lot.
Now, it just so happens that spiders don’t really bother me. Y’know, they’re okay. They catch the other bugs—like the roaches—so we’ve formed a mutual friendship. Like, I might add them on Facebook, if they requested me first. Buuut I don’t go out of my way to be pals with them. If I see them in my bathroom but they aren’t bothering me, that’s okay. Forget the fact that the spiders in my house are named (I think) ‘Jungle Spiders’ and are always around the size of my hand.
However, I don’t like them in my bedroom. Sorry, spiders. We’re not that close. You’re a strictly pop-out-from-behind-the-mirror-while-I’m-brushing-my-teeth kinda friend. Stay there. Just there.
This morning I woke up to a nice thunderstorm. The internet was off, it wasn’t safe to plug in our devices. My laptop was at 5% battery (because I’m a careful person who doesn’t leave it plugged in at night), so I sat down in my floor, in the dark, and set about to deleting tons of useless photos from my phone.
I should have known that thunderstorms mean bad things. I’ve read the Horror stories. I’ve seen the cliches. It was 10:00 AM, but close enough to a ‘dark and stormy night’.
And so, I sat there, where I would never sit. Never before have I sat in my floor. It’s not comfortable, for one. I have a stool at my desk and a bed beside it, for another. But for some reason I decided to sit in the floor, fiddling with my phone.
Several minutes later—after deleting all the excess junk off of my phone—I looked up. Jerked in surprise at the spider—several feet away, on the wall right next to the bathroom door—and got up to get the electric flyswatter. Or, ‘spider zapper’. Spider couldn’t be in my room, I wouldn’t allow it.
So, I get up to the spider. Press the button on the swatter that makes it spark (sometimes literally) to life, which is signaled to me by the faintest buzz and a small red light flicking on. Raise it over the spider. And slap. It gets away, only nicking a couple legs. They’re huge, and fast—as it fell I heard a thump.
You’re not supposed to slap things with a clunky, plastic, electric spider zapper. My mom heard the slap, called my over, reprimanded me, so did my dad. I went back, looked around, didn’t see the spider anywhere. Okay, that’s semi-cool. I don’t want to find him/her later, but hey. If it’s gone, or curled up somewhere dead, that’s good. Right?
Fast-forward to a few minutes later. I’m walking into my bathroom. Separating my room’s floor from my bathroom’s floor, is a small bar of wood, laid across the doorway. Right as I’m stepping over, I see the spider pressed up—somewhat injured looking—against the bathroom side of the wood. I’m like: “Oh!” jump over, into the bathroom.
Why didn’t I step back, instead of in?
So I hover there, a foot or so from the door for a moment. I’m in the bathroom, but not at all ready to brush my teeth—which would turn my back to the fast-and-furious-leggy-of-death. So I’m all like: “Okay leggy, I’ma jump right ovah you and is’ gon’ be OK.”
Thank God for long legs. I started to step-hop over the doorway. The spider had LONGER LEGS.
IT. RAN. RIGHT. AT. ME. IN THIS WAYWARD. FREAKING. TWO-LEGS INJURED PATTERN. THIS EIGHT-LEGGED, BROWN, STARVED TURANTULA COMES SKITTER-SKITTERING AT ME AT HYPERSPEED. STARS START FLYING BY—IT MILLENIUM FALCONED ITS WAY RIGHT UP TO MY FREAKING FOOT.
SO I DID A DANCE FROM FOOT TO FOOT, WHOOPING AT DIFFERENT PITCHES WITH EVERY HOP.
OUT THE DAGUM DOOR. IT CHASED ME OUT THE DOOR. INTO MY OWN BEDROOM. IT LEFT ITS BOUNDARIES—BREACHED THE BASE ENTRYWAY. SKITTER-SKATTERED INTO THE PLACE WHERE MY BRAIN HAD LIED TO ME, TELLING ME I WAS SAFE HERE. IT. CHASED. ME.
My mom saw that, she started to laugh. And I was laughing. And I was like: “It’s cool yo, I gets the spider zapper agin ‘cuz i, lik, know whur it be now.” (Internet talk doesn’t work in real life by the way—don’t try it with anyone you care to impress.)
I walk back into my room—peering all around for it. Didn’t see it. Pulled aside something farther into the room, didn’t see it. Okay then. That’s… Disconcerting.
My middle brother walks in, pipes up: “What’re you doing?” no wonder he noticed, I was half-bent, velociraptor-ing in the doorway-corner it was supposed to be lurking in.
To which I responded: “Searching for a spider—please turn on the light.”
He turned on the light, and I spotted it—curled in the most beautifully camouflaged place—right beside my door where it was still dark. In the corner RIGHT beside where I would have walked through next time. Again, I raised the spider zapper. This time slow, precise as a dork can be, hanging over the death-legs before descending. Without slapping.
It didn’t die. These spiders are muscular. They don’t just squish. It was in the corner—the one place my zap couldn’t get it. The plastic edge of the zapper got it, but not the electric part. It was just muscled underneath a piece of plastic, such an infuriating little leg-body.
I lifted it just a little, and the spider come SHOOTING AT OUT AT ME. SO I GET IT AGAIN, AND IT BARELY MAKES A SPARK. SO I GET IT AGAIN, AND IT SPARKS A LOT, AND CURLS UP AGAINST THE ELECTRIC “SCREEN”.
So I proceed to knock it off into the toilet, and brush my teeth. It just floats there on the surface, as dead things of certain weights and air tend to do. I brush my teeth.
Something caught my eye. I turned, stared at the dead spider. Decided to experiment—because I’m too curious for my own good. I blew on it. It moved. Not from air. From being just a LITTLE bit still alive. I blew on it. It’s haywire death-leggies move again. Not a twitch. An alive slide, across the water.
When God invented spiders, did he know we were going to put on such a fun show every time one EIGHT-LEGS GALLOPS AT US.