Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Widow's Murder

While filling my watering can, I noticed that a spider had built its home inside. About to clear out the web, I shrieked as a round, black and brown mottled spider climbed out and stood on the handle. It waved its front legs vigorously, then began to crawl back into its web, upside down. The hourglass gleaming on its stomach matched the bright red of the can.

My heart began to pound as a slowly backed away from the watering can and considered my options. One--scream and surrender my apartment to the poisonous arachnid; two--try to catch the beast and release it elsewhere; or three--smash it. I stood paralyzed. We had just moved in, so the first option seemed hasty. Besides, I couldn't let Staci return home just to be murdered. I quickly texted her about the situation, in case she wanted to remain at the hospital until the crisis had passed.

The second option had merit. But I remembered Staci's loud protestations of spider-saving: "They'll just come back inside and build webs all over the world!" This was a common problem at the old house, where we also had black widows lurking in the corners. One lived for a time in the space between the kitchen and the table.

So there was no other way out--I had to smash it. The spider by this point was resting, seemingly miraculously, in mid-air above the spout. How long has she lived in there? I thought, wondering how often my hand had been mere inches from her fangs. I shook my head and searched for a smashing implement. My eyes rested on a wooden spoon, which I retrieved from the container. As I hefted it in my hand, the spider scurried onto the side of the can. Carefully, I moved toward the sink, brandishing the spoon. I ran the water, thinking that perhaps the spider would trip and fall into the spray. But it just stood there, its many eyes full of accusation.

"I don't want to kill you!" I shouted. "I don't know why you wanted to live in my watering can! I'm really sorry, I truly am. But there's really no other way to go about this." I raised the spoon to strike, but I couldn't bring it down. I didn't want to see the spider's murder. In a flash of inspiration, I rushed to the door and grabbed a flip-flop--mine, of course--then returned to the sink. In one motion, I brought the shoe down and thrust it away from me. The flip-flip lay by the watering can, the surface of which was marred by a dark brown splotch with eight hairy legs . I quickly poured bleach into the sink to destroy the evidence.