Let me preface this by saying I have a severe case of arachnophobia. Seriously, even those tiny ones scare the shit out of me. If I spot a spider in a room, any room, you can bet your arse I'll be the first to leave it. So it's God's greatest joke that this should be happening to me, the guy who regularly dissolves into tears over a fucking Daddy Long Legs in the sink.
Just a few days back, I ran into a friend of mine on my way to the corner shop, so naturally I was forced to stop and make small talk. When I glanced down at my feet whilst wracking my brain for an excuse to leave, I saw these long hairy legs sticking out from under my Reebok, twitching meekly. Now, when I say those legs were long, I don't mean "hey that spider's got pretty long legs" long, I mean "HOLY FUCKING SHIT LOOK HOW LONG THAT SPIDER'S LEGS ARE!" long. I'm not exaggerating when I say that its leg span could easily have covered a small car's wheel from end to end. Staring down in utter revulsion, not daring to remove my foot from what I imagine to have been a very gruesome scene, some part of me noted that this monster had ten legs in place of eight.
Without looking back, I turned tail and sprinted all the way back down the street to my house. At the front door, I kicked the offending shoe off into the street before slamming it shut. I backed up to the sofa, shuddering as phantom spiders crawled around under my shirt. The rest of that evening was spent on my laptop, trying to find the species that the spider belonged to whilst simultaneously avoiding the "images" tab. I'd seen enough spiders already, thanks. As expected my efforts uncovered nothing, and so I retired to bed for the night feeling very confused and very uncomfortable.
Sometime during the night, I awoke to the faint sound of scuttling in the darkness. Blinking sleep from my eyes, I rolled over and flicked on the bedside lamp. As warm light washed over the cramped bedroom, my blissful ignorance shattered into oblivion. On the bedside table, so close to the lamp I'd almost touched it, sat a huge ten-legged spider. I was unable to move, unable to think, unable to breathe, as I looked at its face.
Set into the front of its dark fat body were a pair of brown eyes, human eyes. They were heavily bloodshot and didn't appear to have eyelids, just big, round, and boring deep into mine. It was an abomination, the stuff of nightmares even for someone without my crippling fear of spiders. Whenever my head moved, its eyes would swivel unblinking to track mine. Something about knowing that it was watching freaked me the hell out. And then I blinked.
In the split second that my eyes were shut, there was a sound of mad scrambling followed by a sickeningly heavy weight falling against my chest. It was on top of me, its bulging eyes locked on to mine, mere inches from my face. My heart hammered furiously for the remainder of that night and well into the morning, the spider stayed as motionless as I did. Apart from the constant "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit" running through my mind, I only had two unique thoughts the entire time. There was the point that I very nearly broke, and actually considered knocking the beast away and making a run for it. But, knowing full well it would have probably just killed me with those vicious fangs, I couldn't go through with it.
I also came to the realisation that this had to be the same creature I'd stepped on earlier that day; in fact I was certain of it. It took me an embarrassingly long time to snap to it, but then my mind wasn't exactly at peak performance just then. I'd killed it, and this was its insane idea of revenge. Lord knows how it returned to life.
Hours after the torment had begun, when the sun had fully risen, the thing finally zipped away in an instant, disappearing through the open door. It was a while before I felt able to move again, and even longer until the torrent of tears finally stopped.
Later that same morning, I received some troubling news. Apparently my neighbour, Todd, had been taken to the hospital during the early hours of the morning. His wife had awoken to the sounds of his sobbing. When she had turned on the lights, she had been horror struck to find that her husband's eyes were missing, with dark empty pits in their place. I can only imagine what it must feel like to open your eyes but see nothing... that poor guy.
I have an appointment with a therapist tonight. I'll be paying through the nose for him to convince me that this shit didn't happen. Money well spent if you ask me. So here's my advice to you: if anyone ever needs you to kill a spider, then, by all means, rid the world of as many as you can, you'd be doing many of us a huge favour, trust me! But for your own sake, you might want to count its legs before you do.