A true story by Pat Davids.

Here at the WARA blog we are kicking off October with some spooky personal stories. If you are a new visitor to our site you can learn a ton of things about writing by clicking through our archives. If you’ve been here before you know what I mean. We have some great stuff gathered together by talented writers at every stage of the craft. Check us out.

But on to my story.

I love the fall, but one thing I don’t love about this time of year is the way spiders seem to find their way inside when the weather gets cool outside. Did I mention I hate spiders? If I didn’t, let me tell you that spiders inspire fear, loathing, hate and disgust all the way to my very core. I hate spiders. I’m okay with snakes, but I hate spiders.

I am not alone. 55% of females have a fear of spiders. Only 18% of men do. Girls are smarter than boys.

I understand that spiders have a wonderful purpose in life. They eat insects, they create intricate webs that sparkle like diamonds when the early morning sun strikes one bedecked with dew, but I hate them anyway....because....I do.

I grew up in an old farmhouse that we shared with the occasional brown recluse spider. I’m sure I’d die if I actually knew how many lurked in the dank basement, in the attic or beneath all those boxes in the junk room. Happily, I remain in ignorance of the total number but let me tell you about one encounter I did have.

Do you remember when you were finally old enough to stay home alone? I do. I was nine and delighted at the chance to stay home by myself. I felt so grown up. I parked myself in dad’s recliner and watched Gunsmoke on TV…until the old house began to creak and groan as it settled down for the night.

It really isn’t the same without your family in the house. It was...spooky.

I will admit things got spookier the later it got, but I wasn’t going to give in and go to bed when I finally had the house to myself. I got a book and decided to lose myself in the story. I kicked off my shoes, curled up in the chair and began to read.
Quietly, in the still house I turned the pages one by one…and then I heard it.

A faint skit-skitta-skit, skit-skitta-skit.

I looked down and saw a brown spider the size of a dinner plate—okay, well—maybe a saucer—okay, okay, a half-dollar—but a big half-dollar—crossing the hardwood floor straight towards me.

I am not kidding you. I heard that spider walking!

It ran under my recliner and I went straight up and out of that chair like a scalded cat. Barefoot, I turned in panicked circles looking for somewhere, anywhere safe and spotted a kitchen chair a few feet away.

I made the leap with amazing accuracy. I’m sure it was a sight to behold. And there I stayed.

An hour later, when my family finally came home, I was still perched on that chair. I had never taken my eyes off that recliner.

When you tell people (ie, parents and siblings) that you heard a spider walking across the floor they don’t believe you. They don’t. Even if they find you perched on a kitchen chair in the dead of night. My brave dad took one look at me and said, “Why didn’t you kill it?”

I was barefoot. It was fast. It was BIG!
I said, “I don’t know.”
Hey, I was nine.

Dad tipped over the chair and guess what? No spider. Gone! Vanished! Lurking to this day in the dank basement, hidden within the dark corners of the attic, concealed beneath the empty Christmas boxes piled in the junk room. He was Gigantico Arachnosaurus. The biggest darn spider I ever saw. So big you could hear him walking.

I never sat in that recliner again.


jel said...

I don't like spiders or snakes,

My Recent Favorite Books said...

I dont like spiders or snakes either..I believe you - when you said that you could hear it walking!

Reese Mobley said...

Poor baby. I hate spiders too. They're quick and creepy and come back to life if you don't smash the living daylights out of them.

At least it wasn't ants. (wink)

Pat Davids said...

Oh, Theresa, you always make me laugh.

Thank you, ladies, for believing me. I got creeped out just writing this story. Ugh.


Rox Delaney said...

Gigantico Arachnosaurus?

You've been watching too much Monsters vs. Aliens, haven't you?

But I digress. Probably because I'm still laughing. (Not at you, I promise.) I don't know why. Maybe out of fear? Maybe it'll scare the spiders away? I'll be listening for that sound all day.

Pat Davids said...

You will only hear that sound in the dead still of night as you lay in your bed trying not to think about what lies beneath it.

Rox Delaney said...

Stop that!! LOL

My Recent Favorite Books said...

Speaking of scary...
The "3rd Annual Delano Ghost Tours" is Thursday..Oct 7th 5 pm - 8 pm
It starts at Lawrence Dumont Stadium
in Wichita at 5 pm ~ You can ride the Trolley thru the Delano District can walk the tour..
Lots of scary stories along the way!
( for more info - call Central Plains Novelty at 267-1251 and ask for Nancy or Zandra )

Rox Delaney said...

Thanks, Melissa! I saw that in GO! and thought about going. I grew up near Delano (1/2 block from West High on Dayton), so it's nostalgic. Looks like fun!

Rox Delaney said...

Oops! My mistake. I saw the info on the WPRS website, although I don't remembe why I was there.

Wichita Paranormal Research Society

Starla Kaye said...

Spiders are NOT my friends either. They just creep me out and I really don't care the size, whether poisonous or not, whether scared of me or not.

My most annoying experience with one was in the basement laundry room of one of our many houses. This particular spider was just a spider (I don't care to know the different species) about the size of a quarter. One of those jumping kind--which I hate most. The stupid thing played with me for over an hour. It was between me and the door. It wouldn't let me out, just stood there on all its evil legs and glared me down. I know it did! We had a real battle of wills going on. Of course, I was barefoot. Eventually I think he turned his eyes or whatever and I managed to throw a wastebasket upside down over him. But then what do you do? You lift it up and the spider is after you again. What I did, of course, was to save the little devil for my hero husband to take care of.

bookagent said...

Oh, now I know what that sound is!!! So I don't like spiders but snakes are my scream and run creature.

Joan Vincent said...

Love it, Pat! What wonderful humor--thanks.

Penny Rader said...

I hate being sound asleep and feeling something on my arm. It's even worse when I wake up and realize it's a spider. Ick, ick, ick!

Isn't it amazing how spiders can be the size of a dinner plate, yet once you smush them (or spray the snot out of 'em with a can of whatever's nearby), they shrink down to the size of a pin head? Maybe it's more frustrating than amazing because no one believes that the little bitty spider's remnants were big enough to eat a toddler in one gulp.

Rox Delaney said...

Melissa, if you're still around and reading, my youngest daughter and I participated in the Delano ghost tour. It was GREAT!

I grew up half a mile from Delano, so it's even more interesting to me now.