The Spider By: Steve Bolin


The Spider
Part 1
By: Steve Bolin

Perhaps that’s the point at which I fell asleep, if indeed I ever did. Perhaps one moment I was fantasizing about the dog-eating spider and the next I was asleep, dreaming about the fantasy. It sounds possible, but in light of all that’s happened since, it doesn’t sound plausible – at least not to me, anyway.

The dream changed. I felt my mind separate from my body and float through the house into the tiny, instinct driven mind of Delilah. I felt supercharged in this new arachnid body. I was in charge of a huge and powerful killing machine. The freakish new view of the world was twisted through the eight-eyed sight of my spider body. It was a monstrous and hateful world I saw, filled only with enemy or prey.

My mind alone was not in complete and total control. The spider mind was an irresistible presence here. Neither of our minds had complete control over the other. Instead, our two minds seemed to merge into a single consciousness. My intelligence and emotion combined with Delilah’s savage instinct and raw power. I felt the aching hunger in my new body and willed myself to grow right out of the aquarium cage.

I grew to the size of a St. Bernard, and I crawled to the back door. My flexible, finger-like pedipalps expertly activated the latch. I moved through my backyard and crossed over into the neighbor’s. I stopped at the dog house with the sleeping Chihuahua inside. I ripped off the roof and sank my venom-filled fangs into his quivering body before he could wake. I spent the next hour or two sucking the nourishment from the mutt’s body. I carried the dog’s drained corpse to the front porch and sat the husk next to a jack-o-lantern. I crawled away, silently chuckling at the nice little surprise awaiting my neighbor in the morning.

I crept back into my house and made my way to the aquarium cage. I willed my body to shrink in size and climbed inside. Using one of my legs, I slid the screen lid back in place and finished shrinking to my original size. After the spider’s body was hidden under the log, I felt our two minds reluctantly separate and drift apart. My mind felt as though it were carried back to its human body on a gentle gust of wind.

The next thing I remember was my alarm clock going off at 5:00 AM. While I don’t specifically remember waking up, I must’ve done so. As usual, the loud beeping scared me into missing a half dozen heart beats, and I hit the snooze button for another five minutes. At the end of the five minutes, the alarm went off once again, and I lost yet another half dozen heart beats. This is my daily morning ritual. It made me feel normal after a night filled with strange dreams.

Joanie gets up every morning with me and, to my amazement, that morning was no different. Not only did she seem to be over yesterday’s anger, she never mentioned our argument during breakfast. It was her usual “pretend-it-never-happened” attitude she always used after a big fight. She’d probably keep her knees glued together for the next month as her way of punishing me.

Other than keeping the house clean and preparing food, Joanie had no income providing job. She claimed to have a lower back problem that prevented her from being employed. The back problem was just one of her many, so called “chronic conditions.” I often wonder what she does with all her free time.

I try very hard to trust my wife, so I don’t do much more than politely ask about her plans for the day. Usually, her answers are vague and elusive. But this morning she gave me an answer, almost as if it’d slipped out of her mouth before she could stop it. She mentioned the name of a luxurious French restaurant, The Aviator, and that she was meeting a girlfriend for lunch.

After breakfast, Joanie gave me the customary peck on the cheek as I ran out the door. I was running late for work as usual. This is also part of my regular morning routine. I was starting to feel almost normal again after a very surreal night.

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