Haha, you know, it's funny. I actually used to love spiders.
I live in the rural town of Floyd, VA. Well, actually it's extremely rural, and the only connecting towns are Indian Valley, Willis, and Check. And these aren't even towns at all, just little connecting areas where you can get to Floyd. Floyd is extremely small, it's only about a seven-mile stretch. When you enter when coming through Check, you come across a dollar general. After that, there's some type of mattress place, and it's mixed with a rehabilitation center. Not for drug abusers, it's a physical therapy center. I've never been in it, but my friend's dad was in an accident once and he had to go there.
On the other side of the street are just houses. Behind the rehab center is a doctor's office, and of course, more housing. My friends and I refer to this area as the "Floyd Ghetto." Well actually, the houses aren't in bad condition whatsoever. We just named it that one day for no particular reason. As you continue down the main street there is an Express Mart. You know those stores that don't have a chain in other locations, so nobody has really ever heard of them. Yeah, well that's the Express Mart. Beside that is the Floyd Pharmacy, which also has a connecting gas station. The place is actually nice; it has a little relaxation area, it just makes you feel at home. Nuzzled in between the two, is DJ's Drive-In, another non-chain restaurant where you can order some really good food.
See, Floyd is designed very weirdly, because across from DJ's, is a Subway and Pizza Inn. (I mean Subway as a restaurant) I guess they compete for business, but hey, they're all still in business, so why don't we just enjoy our variety of foods? There is a car shop, across from the gas station. Most of the cars it sells are really bad and pricey. Half of the cars are used, half of the cars are new. Their prices go something like this: Car = $5000, they'll sell it for $8000. I understand the concept of making money, but come on. Every once and while they have some expensive sports car I'll gawk at, but hey, that's normal to me. After all the shops and businesses, sits a high school. Our school is pretty poor, so it's not much to see. To be honest, I don't even know why. You'd think with some of the highest test scores in VA, they could help us out, but I digress. Continuing up the streets of Floyd you come across a very repetitive Floyd scene. A gas station and, you guessed it, another restaurant. The gas station is Exxon, and the restaurant is Hardees. Behind Hardees sits a garage. And that's being nice. I really mean some trash pile that houses dozens of broken cars. (Oh, the joy of living in Floyd.) Anyway, if you continue up the street, you will reach a courthouse. Along with other random little shops and the like. Never been inside any of those buildings. The last two buildings in Floyd is Food Lion, and Slaughters, A non-chain market.
Growing up on farms, you have to be used to many various insects, rodents, etc that invade your housing. I was very fond of spiders myself. I would venture into my families' barn to hunt for them. I would find various harmless spiders. On the lucky occasion I would find a Black Widow, or Brown Recluse, I was very excited. I learned from my parents how to identify spiders, and which ones were poisonous and the such. To be honest, I didn't care if the spider was completely harmless, or deathly poisonous. Didn't stop me from having fun with them. And I'm not some insect torturer who gets joy out of pitting them to fight to the death. I mean I really just found them fascinating. And hey, they helped with other pests that would eat the crops.
Nothing very interesting ever happened in Floyd; the town was extremely boring. I just passed the time by exploring the land/town. One day though, something weird happened. It started off normal, getting off from school, and walking home. Except these trucks were driving down the road of Floyd. By truck I mean something with eight wheels, carrying tanks full of something. There were about two of these trucks, and were being lead by a military-type vehicle. It didn't have huge guns on it, but you could definitely tell it was military by the distinct green color on it. The tanks were also being followed by the same thing.
Of course, being in the town of Floyd, the news of these tankers spread like wildfire. Various rumors spread across the high school. One person in my class said that they were transporting dangerous liquid used to raise the dead. Others said that it was dangerous sewage and some leaked out into their lawns, and destroyed many of the vegetation surrounding the home. Even with my high-school brain, I knew these were false. Personally, I think a 5th grader could determine that these rumors were all made by people with really nothing better to do than make up these lies. But I did notice that something was off in Floyd in the following days. See, Virginia has a very bad stink bug problem. The college VA Tech did some experiment when they released about 10,000 stink bugs into the wild. (Releasing an invasive species, great idea!) Now Virginia is full of them, and they are some of the most annoying bugs for farmers. During when they were most common, there were none. I wasn't worried, in fact overjoyed is a better word. Their sudden disappearance just made my job easier.
I would make daily trips to the barn, to find various spiders and insects. I found no other insects except for a wolf spider. The average wolf spider's length is about a size of a quarter, the body that is. The legs making it reach probably about three inches in toe-to-toe length. This time though, this was a very large spider. Probably the biggest one I had seen at the time. The body was about the size of 1.5x a quarter. The legs were about two inches in itself. Making the spider about six inches of total length. I found this extremely interesting though. In my opinion, the larger the spider, the cooler. I would only expect that this had killed many of the other insects. The only issue with this spider was that it was very aggressive. I mean when I got close to it, it charged at me. I managed to step back, barely avoiding getting bitten. That's odd, I thought, as I hadn't come across a Wolf Spider that aggressive. It was getting late, so I just left the spider and went inside.
The next day was no different. I went to school, rumors about the trucks died down, and I went on with my life. Same following the next two days. After getting home from school on Friday, I wanted to go to the barn. I couldn't go for the past couple of days, due to homework. I wanted to check up on the aggressive Brown Recluse I had seen, and I did just that. For the first fifteen minutes, I found nothing. I was about to call it quits until I saw it. Or at least its molted skin. See, when a spider molts it means it's reaching adulthood. This really frightened me, because the molted skin was about seven inches total. I knew that since it was molting, it was going to get bigger. Now I know some spiders can grow to be the size of a dinner plate, but never a brown recluse. I figured this had to be some sort of record, so when I saw it next time. I was going to get some sort of evidence to prove my find.
When returning to school on Monday, things were noticeably different. My agriculture class, which usually had twenty-two kids, now had sixteen. In ITF (Information Technology Fundamentals), a class that was my largest in twenty nine people, only had twenty. In A-Lunch, where every table was often filled with people, nearly 1/4 of the tables were empty. All during Spanish, the only class with its regular amount of people, I could not take my mind off the spider. Just the pure thought of a most likely 8.5 inch spider running around would not be pleasant to most. When going to Algebra class, I knew something was wrong. An announcement came onto the intercom. The announcement was as follows:
"We are releasing the students early today! Please ride the bus home to your designated guardian. If you do not know your bus number, please report to the office. All afternoon activities are canceled; we will call the households to inform people when school is back on. Please everyone, stay safe."
Most people were excited; they were just happy we were leaving school early! I was the opposite. Never had they just released the kids, and not even told us why. Something was wrong, and I knew it. The bus ride home was quiet. I spent time listening to my iPod and staring out the window. As I watched the landscape move by, my eye caught sight of something. A giant web, just placed in the middle of a field. The web was the size of a car. It was almost invisible as it seriously just covered the ground. There was a house sitting next to it. The door was wide open, no people appeared anywhere near the house, and their was no sign of
the car that usually sat in their yard.
When I got home I needed to tell my parents about the spider. "Mom!" I said when we got home. "We need to leave, now! There was this spider in the barn and-" Nobody was there. The kitchen light was on, along with the living room light. The rest of the house was empty. My room, my parent's room, and the bathroom. The TV displayed the news, it was playing something, but I wasn't focused on it. There sat a note on the table.
"Sorry about not being home today. Dad and I had some chores to do; we need to go to the grocery store for groceries and fill up the car with gas. I think we need to stop by Austin's, but that's up to your father. Oh yeah, we also need to get some things out of the barn. Love you honey! Be back at around 5:30!"
"No, not the barn."
I dropped my backpack on the ground and ran to the barn. The clock read 4:17 P.M. as I stepped onto the porch. I ran toward the barn and when I reached it, everything looked normal. The door was open as usual so I stepped inside. I explored it and found nothing. I was relieved as I figured that they just hadn't made it out to the barn yet. I was about to leave it as I looked down. The floor was coated in a white, stringy substance.
"Oh no," I thought, extremely panicked.
I was standing in spider web. A massive spider web. I looked up at the ceiling and was horrified. Hundreds of baby spiders littered the roof. Some falling onto nearby stacks of hay, and many on the floor. That's when I noticed it: my mom and dad were tied to the ceiling. All I could see were their faces, pale and lifeless. The rest of the bodies were covered by web and spiders. I was in the process of vomiting when I saw it, a massive spider now blocked the front door. It was at least two feet tall, with a four foot reach. At that point it all came together. The tankers, the over sized spider, the missing students.
"Why our town? Why did this have to happen to us?" I asked with tears rolling down my face.
I had to get out of there; anywhere was better than being stuck in a barn with my dead parents hanging from the ceiling. The gigantic spider hadn't seen me yet, so I made my way out the backdoor. I ran back inside and the news caught my eye. Reports of missing people mixed with reports of huge spiders. I just sat on my couch, watching the live footage of the town of Floyd just being token over my massive spiders. The camera-man flashed to Food Lion, and it showed spiders on top of people, just tearing them apart. The news reporter was tackled by a spider, and the camera-man dropped his camera and ran. The TV turned to an emergency broadcast system, and I knew it was over. When I say over, I don't mean the town of Floyd. I mean the whole world. The military, they wouldn't be able to stop this.
"Genetically modified spiders," I thought as I chuckled to myself. "So this is the end; wasn't what I was expecting, but hey, I like spiders, right?"
I felt a sense of ease as I walked the streets of Floyd, now ravaged by these arachnids. The bodies of people lay on the ground, I saw spiders scurrying across streets to pick their next victim. The gas station blew up momentarily deafening and blinding me. I opened my eyes, to see a spider crawling towards me.
"Oh well, it was a good run. Ha, now I know why people have arachnophobia. Because of these monstrosit-"