I’m not overly afraid of our eight-legged friends; I don’t love them, but I don’t have a phobia and am content to co-exist with the creepy crawlies so long as everyone remains on their own turf (which means the spiders must remain OUTside.)
My encounter began when I innocently wandered down the hallway of my home (that’s right spiders… inside in MY territory!!) and was confronted by a spine-chilling creature. It was extremely hairy, a deep brown colour and enormous—with a body about the size of a tennis ball.
The hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stood up immediately and I made an embarrassing, high-pitched squeak as I froze and looked for escape. There was no histrionic screaming but it wasn’t my finest hour.
While attempting to keep my eyes on the intruder, I searched for Daniel’s big, heavy, steel-toed work boot and luckily it was nearby. I also grabbed an aerosol promising a “fast knockdown”, but holding it in my hand the spray can looked to be horrendously inadequate for the job.
All the while, the spider stood fairly still, seeming to watch my antics with amusement. As I gathered my weapons and started to inch my way towards the enemy he raised his front two legs aggressively as a warning.
Taking a deep breath, I crept as close as my courage would allow, nervously shaking the can as directed and all the while trying not to startle the spider. I reached out with the spray and raised my other hand which was holding the boot—ready to strike—but then I SCREAMED!
I dropped everything as I ran terrified back to the safety of the kitchen while thrashing around and hitting myself in the arms, shoulders, neck, and head. Only after a few moments to gather my composure did I realise that I had not been subject to a covert attack by some previously unseen sidekick of the hallway spider, rather, the shoelace of Daniel’s boot had fallen down and gently swished across my wrist. So much for not screaming hysterically…
Standing still in the kitchen I gingerly peered down the hallway and saw the spider creeping slowly towards me. I quickly picked up the boot and spray can and backed up, but the spider began to pick up speed. As he got closer and closer I readied myself to launch a defence; simultaneously spraying the bug killer and whacking the boot onto the floor as hard as I could. Being somewhat uncoordinated, the boot managed to land only halfway onto the spider’s enormous body, and although that part was as flat as a pancake, the remainder of the body and legs kept coming—and now it was angry!
I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed and eventually the spider came to a halt, looking as if a thick coating of snow had fallen on it, but then the Spidinator (I’d named him by this time) started to move towards me again, leaving behind a creepy, five-legged ‘snow angel’. Daniel’s boot was now out of reach in the middle of the battlefield. All I had left was the bug spray which by now was virtually empty and devoid of any of its promised knockdown power.
I’d like to say that I walked at merely a brisk pace into the lounge room to locate Daniel’s matching boot, but admittedly it was a ridiculous, girly, screaming, run. I reached the boot and turned around to go back after the spider but he had followed me in my cowardly retreat. It was now or never. I slammed that boot down to the floor so hard I could have easily won first prize at any circus strength-tester.
Thinking it was all over, I leaned back against the wall to try to catch my breath and consider how lucky I was to have survived such a ghastly ordeal. As I looked down at the evidence of our duel, I thought I saw the boot give a little twitch. Unwilling to believe it, I stared at the deadly footwear. Sure enough, it twitched again and started to lean ever so slightly to one side. Against the odds, the unstoppable Spidinator wobbling out and continued his mission towards me.
With nothing to defend myself with, and at a loss to explain the Spidinator’s extraordinary survival, I flinched and waited for my inevitable doom… at which point I sat bolt upright in bed, mercifully startled out of the dream before the Spidinator’s razor-sharp fangs could penetrate my flesh.
As I settled into bed to try to get back to sleep I considered the origin of my nightmare. A couple of days earlier I had encountered a large (but not Spidinator-sized) spider in my hallway which I successfully killed. I suspect Mr Normal-Hallway-Spider is haunting me!
Emma is a freelance editor and writer who got her start at Newbie Writers two years ago. In her previous career she was an accountant, but escaped the numbers game to envelop herself in the literary world.