It has previously been established that I ain't no Grandpa Jones. Let the record show that I also ain't no Stephen King. But I have a horror tale that will make you blog with one eye open while shaking in your boots and looking over your shoulder.
The real time is 12:20 a.m. I awakened from a sound recliner slumber around 11:45 and wandered into my office to shut down for the night. Ever the conscientious blogger, I did a quick check for comments to post before retiring to my actual bed for a feisty night of wrestling my pillows away from the clutches of Hick, and trying to push a cowl-necked quilt down to cover my feet.
In a move uncharacteristic of my dark nature, I flipped on the overhead light. In hindsight, that act might have saved me from a conniption to rival the dance moves of Elaine Benes.
I posted four comments. I logged out and back in to check my other blog. Kind of like a Backroads river-dweller checking his many trot lines for catfish or snapping turtles. Just as I hit "publish" for a new poetic waxing on my supersecret blog...all heck broke loose!
My keyboard and monitor are set up at the corner of a laminated butcher-block countertop that Hick lovingly installed on two walls of my basement office. It is quite comfortable and ergonomic for resting both forearms while typing. Out of the corner of my right eye, I sensed rather than saw movement. A soft "thud" followed. Not the sound of a heavy object dropping, but that of a substantial one. Like a tiny, ripe persimmon, perhaps. Or a maraschino cherry. But without the dusky orange or bright red color. A dark blob streaking from above to land on my green hummingbird-and-flower-silhouetted Puffs with Aloe box. The one with a TurboTax deluxe CD case laying across the top.
A soft plop. Nothing more.
That's what I tried to convince myself. That is was nothing. Though what kind of nothing would fall from above and bounce off my Puffs box like a fluffy mallet off a tympani drum I could not quite fathom. You know I had to look. You would have looked. Stephen King knows we all would have looked.
My Puffs box was perched on seven CD cases containing resource material for my old and new textbooks. Because I never know when I might want to burst into a bout of lesson-planning on my own time. Thus, the leaning tower of work material, nose-wipers, and tax prep software. It is my own little Dr. Suess-like rickety tower, a monument to Val's dual-flamed candle of productivity.
Turning my full attention to the well-lit woman-made canyon between my wayward tower and a 1990s model Uniden cordless phone in its charging cradle, I saw the instigator. A dark-brown, furry, quarter-sized arachnid. The hair on my neck stood up. My body chose flight, but my noggin argued for fight. Because I could not surrender my workspace to this intruder.
I work in the dark. I cannot comprehend the act of blissfully typing away while an eight-legged enemy silently stalks my territory. But it gets worse.
When Spidey bounced off the Puffs box, he shattered into a million little pieces. Or, more correctly, Mrs. Spidey had the bejeebers knocked out of her. If, by bejeebers, we understand that she released a plethora of tiny offspring. Join me, won't you:
In moments of terror like these, the body takes over. The adrenalin pumps. I could have lifted a tour bus off a trapped family of Duggars. And Cousin Amy, too. I grabbed a folded paper towel that had, a few hours earlier, been a coaster for my giant cup of ice water. I jammed it down on Spidey and several hundred babies. Spidey was having none of it, and skittered behind the upright Uniden and under one-third of a twenty-dollar, three-speaker sound system. The woofer. I made the lightning-quick decision to continue decimating her descendants. Because baby spiders grow.
I wore out my paper towel and reached for a Puffs, hoping that all the birthing had occurred outside the box. I began the big game hunt for Spidey. She proved to be a worthy prey, pausing momentarily at the end of the woofer, just long enough to draw a thrust from my Puffs, then darted under Dell Tower. A jostling of said tower shot Spidey into the desk-wide web of wires that twine together and plunge through hole bored in the countertop like a dark waterfall, running down the wall to power strip near my feet. Spidey could NOT be allowed to reach this escape route. I laid the smack down on her like that uncouth Monty Python foot.
Spidey writhed within her wire confines. A couple of hundred more young 'uns poured out of her. I pressed and pressed with my wadded-up Puffs. Lucy and Ethel in the grape vat had nothing on me. When the surface stopped moving, I scraped up the carnage and flushed it down the toilet in the NASCAR bathroom.
There's probably a trochaic octameter poem here. But I ain't no Edgar Allen Poe.