Last week I started the first of the five Fridays of October with a writing prompt from:
well it seemed to frighten some more than others.
Now, for Week Two, Young and Twenty makes a good point about spiders being a metaphor for the differences we shrink away from. A creature so different from us is likely to give us the creeps and it does for so many. This can easily be turned into the nightmares of horror movies or dark dreams.
When I think of spiders, I don’t think of the little guys crawling on my arm. I think of the giant spiders in Harry Potter or the evil female spider and her descendants from Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.
Then I try to write from what would be my nightmare, something that could happen in what might seem like everyday life. When you can not see one little spider is nothing really to freak out over. The texture of walking into a web or brushing up against one with my hand is enough to make me squirm though.
Spiders. Although many spiders are less dangerous than a bear, we hold a stronger sense of resentment. We fear the unknown and we hate the idea of living amongst something so different than us. It’s not surprising that we hate spiders, as we’re guilty of looking at everyone different from us as though they have eight legs.
No big bad monsters that chase around a dark town square. No evil spirits haunting dreams. No lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!
I just happen to glance down and spot him crawling along your arm. You automatically flinch and pull your arm away, as a shiver of revolt pulses through you.
“He’s just a little spider. I can’t believe you are afraid of a measly little daddy longlegs.”
“Oh but they’re gross.”
Now that you’re alone and it’s not just a joke, the walls seem to be crawling with, not just one, but millions. You could handle one of them on your arm, others who have no fear of spiders mocking you, but now you see them everywhere you look, crawling out of every crack and cranny.
The sun shines through the window, but the pane soon fills with their bodies and their legs, eight at a time, (sixteen, twenty-four, thirty-two…) Webs stretching this way and that.
You stand and try to run from the room and your face feels the sticky spidery tangle. They are weaving their homes all through the room. They all communicate with one another, squeaking their plans all around their webs.
“Don’t let the human escape,” they conspire.
You are being closed in. Oh, how you’d like to go back to that one tiny crawling spider on your arm, when now spiders and webs encircle you. Just outside you can hear the birds chirp and the cars drive by, but it’s as if these hair thin webs are becoming a sound barrier, blocking out the world. You could scream, but the spiders say it’s no use. You don’t know how you can hear them, how you can make out their cries from all around you, but somehow you understand every word.
“Pinch yourself,” you say in your own head. Or was it? Strangely assuming, hoping you said it in your head so these monsters can’t hear you. What are you talking about? Spiders can’t understand English, even if you could open your terrified mouth to speak out loud.
You lift your arm to pinch the other, hoping you will awake, but webs tickle your hand and you instinctively pull back, your hand dropping to your side. You are being pinned in and you suddenly realize you have been backed into a corner. These spiders have forced you into the corner by the television, which was on and up loud when you noticed that first spider on your shirt.
I hear the plug being pulled and the sound of the electrical charge makes this, suddenly, all so real. As if all these spiders weren’t real enough. Maybe you think you would have been woken up when the sound splits the air of the heavily webbed room. Nothing can save you now.
The sounds from outside are muffled now by the squeaks of these eight-legged web-weavers…did they hear me call them that? you wonder. No…they couldn’t possibly. The room grows dimmer and dimmer now, no more light streaming in.
If my above story doesn’t cut it, isn’t enough to freak you out then I include, as a final thought, this news story: