Spiders in the Midst
Jennifer E. Miller
The other day, G and I drove along the main arterial running various errands. She was jibber-jabbering as normal about the usual nonsense things. All of a sudden she stops short and gasps in horror.
"Mom! MOM! I saw a spider!"
Mom does not care for spiders and does her best to stay calm whilst continuing down the busy arterial.
"Where," I ask.
"Back here. On the seat. It was next to me!"
"Where is it now?"
"I don't know, it crawled under the seat. I can't see it anymore!!"
I nervously tap the steering wheel as I ask the most important question.
"How big was the spider?"
G holds up her fingers apart, displaying a size that would put said arachnid at requiring a Valium prescription.
I quickly think what to do or say next. Truthfully, I'm imagining a creepy crawly with sweaty fangs under my seat, ready to ambush me at any second. I feel the urgent need to tape my pant legs to my shoes but I don't carry duct tape in the car.
Meanwhile, G is becoming equally anxious and fidgets in her seat.
"Mommy! I want you stop the car now!"
I reassure her that we can safely drive to the gas station. Although, I question that statement myself as I'm preparing for eight legs to wrap around my face and pin me to my headdrest while it sucks blood from my jugular like Dracula.
Shaking the day-nightmare off, I steer the car to our destination with a pounding Tell-Tale heart. I skid the car to a stop at the first pump, slamming the brakes hard enough to give the car a good jolt. G and I click our seat belts off with a swiftness that could challenge a peregrine falcon.
"Mommy! Get me out of here!" G cries as tears stream down her cheeks.
We exit the vehicle, and I proceed to casually begin pumping gasoline into the car. I am trying to remain calm and act normal, after all.
"Mommy, I'm scared! I NOT going back in there!" G declares.
I take a deep breath.
"Okay, show me where you saw the spider."
"I told you, I NOT going back in there!" she reminds me.
"Fine. Tell me where you saw the spider."
Next to where I sit; in the middle."
She points to the other side of her booster seat.
"That's where you first saw it?"
She nods her head.
"And it crawled away?"
She nods frantically again. "Yes, under the seat."
"My seat, right?"
"No. I don't think so. I guess I don't know for sure, but I think it was the back seat."
Phew! It didn't go under my seat! I thought. My pulse begins to slow.
As the gas tank fills, I examine the scene. It's difficult to see with out a flashlight, and I don't care to get my head too close to the would-be assailant. Despite my efforts, I don't see anything.
"The spider was about this big, you said?" I touched my thumb and forefinger together in about a quarter size.
"Mmmm. No like this."
G pinches her thumb and forefinger together. Only about three millimeters separates the two.
I'm looking for a needle in a haystack. A spider that small can hide anywhere. Maybe it's a baby spider. Baby spiders have siblings--lots of them. They usually huddle together on the mother's back by the dozens.
Imagining dozens of spiders in the car, I become tense. They all have the potential to grow up to be big scary spiders. G senses my anxiety as I tap my foot as I think about what to do next. I see her eyes wide with fear. She glances at the car, shivers, and looks back at me; pleading to have another option than return to arachnid nest.
We step a safe distance away from the gas pump as I pull my cellular phone from my pocket. I tap the screen.
Confused, G asks, "What are you going, Mom?"
"Calling Dad. We need rescuing."
The line rings and a groggy T answers the phone. "Hello?"
"Yeah, come get us. It's an emergency."
I hear a thud as he tumbles out of bed.
"Are you guys ok? What happened?"
"We were under attack. Please come asap."
"Yes! I'm on my way."
Before we hang up, I inform him our location.
After a few minutes, T skids to a stop in the parking lot and leaps out. He runs over, demanding to know what happened.
"Give me your keys," I say first.
He tosses them over to me and they jingle as I catch them.
"What happened?" he repeats.
"There's a spider in the car!" G says.
His look of worry turns into annoyance.
"That's all? It tried to attack us," I say.
It's his turn to try remaining calm. He inhales and exhales a few breaths.
"Why did I need to come?"
"G and I have decided we aren't riding in the vehicle with the spider. We needed the other car."
T folds his arms; displeased.
"And I'm supposed to ride with the spider?"
G puts her hands on her hips and sticks her head out a little.
"You're a policeman! Deal with it!"
At that we skip to the uninfested vehicle and drive home safely.
Meanwhile, T enters the spider-car where eight eyes are spying on him from a covert location...
(This work is a mix of fiction and non-fiction.)
Copyright 2017 by Jennifer E. Miller