I can’t sleep.
It’s not gastric distress or money troubles that are keeping me awake. Or my gnawing fear the world will soon be plunged into post-apocalyptic chaos, transforming it into a wasteland where only men who are as handsome as Will Smith thrive, forcing pitiful half-men like me to forage for scraps left behind by zombies.
It’s the spider.
I caught it perched on top of my unmade bed a few days ago.
My bed! That inviolate nest of rest, where I’m supposed to be swaddled in safety while I float down the river of tranquility into the land of nod.
It was roughly the size of a dinner plate, and it looked hungry. Evil, too — shrouded in fuzzy skin as black as the coal used to stoke Satan’s hearth.
Unarmed — I was shoeless — I kept it my field of vision and slowly bent down to the floor to grab the first weapon I could find: a crumpled sock. I held my breath and swung it at the vile beast, which snarled defiantly and ran.
Swung again, making contact.
But it leapt to the floor unharmed and made a mad dash for the gloom under the dresser.
I swung a third time, but missed. And in the wink of an eye, it was gone.
Shivering with fear, I considered my options.
I could find a shoe, tip the dresser over and renew my chase, but that would require dangerous hand-to-hand combat. I doubted I had the stomach or strength for it. Where was Will Smith when I needed his help?
I could hire Orkin to fumigate the house. Too slow, and expensive.
I could move to the Lapland, where spiders struggle to survive in the bitterly cold climate. It would never follow me there. But what of my family? I couldn’t abandon them.
Or so my thinking went at the time.
After four days without sleep, lying in bed with the lamp on, my eyes nervously scanning the walls for the foul creature or it’s spawn, a shoe clutched in each hand, my skin itching with the anticipation of the painful bite of its poisonous fangs, I’m starting to wonder if I made the right choice.
Maybe I should hurry my wife and kids into the minivan, douse the house in gasoline, torch it, and then flee into the night while the wicked thing burns alive.
We’ll head north, into the ice and snow…
Hi, and welcome to day five of 30 Days of Writing.
Wait, day five?
Shit, that means there are 25 days left in this competition, which is rigged, has no prize, and is run by a woman who collects boys — four of them and counting – and man who appears to be married to his cat. Collectively, they run the blog We Work For Cheese, which is where you can find their entries for today and an linky thingy to all the other fools who agreed to join this meme (meme being a stupid word).