"Sympathy for the Spider"
Brian Paul Dunlop
Upon one Sunday night, as I sat in my kitchen, penning another timeless
tale about the wretch that has become of humanity, did I feel an
irritating sensation within my bladder. I turned to get up from my
chair, but suddenly, I became slightly startled because of a large red
spider scurrying its way across my kitchen floor towards my brother's
As I rose from my seat, I saw the spider find sanctuary under one of
his sandals. My intentions were pure and simple, and that was to kill
the spider to which had invaded the sanction of my home. I couldn't
allow it to live, and ignore its presence, for it may crawl on me and
bite me, at any given moment, if I had put my guard down.
Now, I wouldn't say that I am totally arachnophobic, but I have been in
my younger years, but at that time, I no longer feared the spider
because the spider feared me, and I could tell, as I didn't see the
spider go anywhere else; it didn't move, all it did was hide under a
sandal, fearing the intentions of the strange giant that stood before
And without a moment to take any chances, I lifted up the sandal to see
a startled spider trying to move its eight legs as fast it could, as to
avoid my most judging and biased hand. But it was to no avail as I
brought the sandal down hard on the spider, leaving it twitching and
lingering on the agony of life.
When I saw this, I knew of the pain to which it was experiencing, but
choose not to finish it off, as who was I to decline this creature, its
last few moments of life? And I knew, I already had prior engagements
within the bathroom, upstairs, so I decided that if it’s not dead
before I came back then I would finish it off, once and for all, myself.
As I left the bright glow of the kitchen, I was met with the dark,
errie persence of my dining room. Besides spiders, darkness was
another phobia of mine that tormented my thoughts during my childhood,
and even at that point, though significantly lessened, these phobias
were still present, which caused me to turn on the hallways light as I
descended the staircase to the bathroom.
When I entered the bathroom, I turned on the small mirror light and
rushed towards the light switch at the end of the hall, but it was too
late as my brother awoke and complained in a grouchy manner as his door
was missing as a result of many aggressive bi-polar mood swings that
gradually caused the door to fall off its hinges.
And just as he had arisen from bed, trifling about the bright glare of
the hallway light, did I turn off this light, all the while, walking
towards the bathroom, apologizing to my brother for disturbing his rest
in such a late hour, during the night.
While I used the toilet, I forgot all about the spider, downstairs. It
was as if it had been flushed away with my waste; both useless objects
that burdened me, greatly, now gone and forgotten, as if they had never
existed at all.
When I returned to the kitchen, the memory of the injured spider fled
back to my mind, and I returned to the very spot where I had first
began to inflict pain upon it. And this time, as I looked down at the
spider, it lay motionless, and I realized that its suffering was over.
So I grabbed for a tissue from off the table and gently poked the
spider with it, as a way to make sure that it was really dead. And
then suddenly, the spider sprang to life, and in a dying effort,
quickly wobbled across the kitchen floor with most of its working legs.
And when I saw this, I picked up the sandal that lay beside the
tortured spider, and quickly slammed it down on its body.
When I lifted the sandal up, I saw that the spider was still alive, as
it lay with its legs and body, compacted together, but still flailing
about in every given direction, in immense pain.
When I saw this, I made it my duty to kill the inflicted spider and end
its suffering, for good. So I took the tissue, still in my hand, and
brought it down on the morbidly injured spider to a point to where I
heard a loud crunch, and I knew that the deed was done.
After this, I picked up the remains of the spider with my tissue, and
threw it in the waste basket, then washed my hands with soap and water,
and thought of the true significance of the deed I had just done.
Because deep within my conscience, I felt a lingering presence of
guilt, and with this came with much thought as every time I killed a
spider or insect, it felt trivial or necessary, or at some point,
during my earlier years of my childhood, fun and enjoyable, as if me,
killing these creatures was, but a game. But killing this particular
spider felt much different than any other spider I had killed,
For in this spider, I saw such raw and pure emotion, to a point that
whenever I thought of such an occasion, my eyes would become moist and
glossy with tears. And all I could think about was its never-ending
will to cling on to the very essence of life, even though, this essence
proved to be painful and unrewarding.
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