Spider, Spider by snodlander
Flash Fiction Writing Contest contest entry
I'm sitting on the kitchen unit, knees hugged to my chest. It's John's fault.
I was frying the chicken when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. A spider, scurrying across the floor. It froze when it saw me. I screamed for John. To his credit, he came racing in.
I pointed with the heavy skillet, chicken still sizzling. "Spider." I was so terrified I couldn't say anything else.
John laughed. Yeah, big joke. It always was with him.
"It's tiny. What could it possibly do to you?"
"Get rid of it."
"You know it's more scared of you than you are of it."
"No, it couldn't possibly be. Just get rid of it."
"Look, all you have to do is --" He lifted his foot.
"No!" I screamed. "Don't kill it. Just get rid of it. Out in the garden." I know, but if logic played any part of phobia, I wouldn't be scared of them in the first place.
John chuckled and shook his head. Silly me with my made up fears of harmless creatures. It didn't matter how many times he told me they got rid of flies, or that no native spider could break someone's skin with a bite. That was all reasonable, logical and totally useless to me. That part of my brain wasn't in control at that point.
"Fine, fine, I'll evict the poor little beggar." He bent down and corralled it in his hands. How could he do that? Not even a newspaper and a glass to trap it, just picking it up with his bare hands. The spider ran and I couldn't help giving a little jump, but he caught it and held it in one fist. He moved to the door and disappeared. Seconds later he was back.
"Did you get rid of it?" I asked.
"Yes." But there was something about the way he said it, a mischievous grin on his lips, the way his hand was still clenched in a fist.
"No, don't mess around. Did you get rid of it?"
He stepped towards me.
"Yes, of course."
"Open your hand. Show me." I was almost screaming at this point. I kept the skillet between us. "Show me!"
He was just two feet away now, with me pressed back against the kitchen units, no escape. He suddenly thrust his hand forward, opening it almost in my face. I screamed and swung.
I don't know if the spider was in his hand. It might have just been him larking about. Or maybe the spider was in his hand. What if it was? I don't know. That's the worst of it. It could be on the floor. Under a piece of congealing chicken, maybe. It could be under the skillet, the heat from the upturned pan making it angrier and angrier. Maybe under John. Not in his hand, his hand is open, empty. Was it empty when he thrust it at me as some sort of sadistic joke? I don't know.
So I'm sitting on the kitchen unit, knees hugged to my chest, trying to work up the courage to put my feet on the floor, to sprint out the kitchen, to phone for an ambulance. But I don't know where the spider is.
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