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The Spider By: Steve Bolin

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The Spider
Part 1
By: Steve Bolin


I donít know what I was thinking at the time. I guess I wasnít. Because the next thing I know, Iím walking out the door one spider richer and $500 poorer. When I got home, Joanie was out running around like always, so I was able to set up my new spider in its aquarium cage unbothered by her objections. The little, hollow log that Doc Ock had used for a hidey hole was way too small for this monster. I replaced it with a bigger log for Delilah, which was what Iíd decided to call this new spider.

Delilah didnít seem interested in doing much of anything except sitting on the aquariumís vermiculite flooring and staring through the glass. Needless to say, when Joanie got home and saw her, she went ballistic. Our fight, like Delilah herself, was much bigger than the fight over Doc Ock.

At the peak of the argument she marched out of the house, slamming the door behind her. She said she was going to drive around for a while until she cooled off. She didnít say where she was going or when sheíd be back.

It was getting past 6:00 PM, and I still hadnít had dinner yet. I decided to cook myself a burger or two out on the back porch grill. I hoped it would help me get my mind off Joanie.

Later, sitting on a lawn chair eating my cheese burger, I saw my next door neighborís dog come prancing in my yard. The little Chihuahua looked unconcerned as it squatted near the edge of my lawn and took a dump.

I was already mad and this made the third time Iíd caught the mutt fertilizing my yard. I moved out of my chair, snatched up the overgrown rat and carried it to my neighborís front door. Though angry, I resisted the temptation to kick the jack-o-lantern sitting on his porch.

I donít remember exactly everything said, but I do remember that in only a few minutes we were shouting at each other. The volume of our yelling was loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear. It was even worse than the fight I had earlier with Joanie. I left before I decided to start swinging.

Back in the house I saw Delilah and remembered to feed her. Since Iíd eaten already, Delilah should get her opportunity. I placed a live baby mouse into her cage with a set of tongs. The arachnid was on the pink, blind mouse before it could even squeak.

As I watched Delilah suck the life fluids out of the mouse, I imagined the Chihuahua impaled on her fangs instead. I wondered what the neighbor would say if I used his mutt to feed my spider. It would serve him right. At least I thought so at the time.

Not long after I went to bed that night, I felt Joanie crawl silently in beside me. My wife made every effort to let me know that she was still mad by taking care to not touch me. She shrugged away at the touch of my hand and mumbled how late it was when I tried to apologize. We hadnít had sex in over a month, so I certainly wasnít expecting that, but I had hoped sheíd at least forgive me so we wouldnít have to go to sleep mad at each other. Her frigid silence let me know she still had some more cooling off to do.

I donít remember falling asleep that night. I know how stupid that statement sounds, but I can usually feel myself drifting towards sleep. In the morning, waking up is confirmation that Iíve actually been asleep. This particular night, however, was different in that I donít remember either the drifting or the waking. I do remember tossing and turning. I also remember dreaming.

Ordinarily a dream, like waking up in the morning, is a sure sign that Iíve been asleep. But this was no ordinary dream. In fact, Iíve never had a dream like it before. Iím not even sure if it was a dream at all. Yet, I didnít know what else it couldíve been.

As I lay there in bed tossing and turning, I replayed the events of the day in my mind. I thought of the rotten day Iíd had at work. I replayed the events at the pet store. I considered the unfair treatment Joanie gave me over Delilah. I remembered how the neighborís dog was just the icing on the cake. I once again replayed my mental fantasy of feeding that Chihuahua to Delilah. It was a truly satisfying visualization.

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