Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Spider

Here's this week's Whimword entry. The crowdfunding thing is still going on, of course, but it's nice to take a break.

He paused for a moment on his way out when the spider caught his eye. It was only a little money spider, but there was something beautiful about it. He watched it, weaving this way and that through the bicycle's spokes, shooting tiny gossamer threads behind it. It was sort of mesmerising, the way it did that, building the web, one strand at a time. It made the bike come back to life for a second, healing it. He hadn't ridden it in years and the thing was so rusted, it was about to crumble into dust, but that spider...

"Come on," the officer called from outside. "I ain't got all day." He looked up at the doorway, but he didn't move. He wasn't done yet. He couldn't see the officer from where he was sitting, and if he closed his eyes, he could pretend he wasn't there. He could pretend it was just another day.

He thought about the day he bought the house. There were spiders then, too - hundreds of them, live and otherwise, cobwebs clinging to every surface, dust everywhere. No one had lived in it for a good twenty years and it was basically falling apart, but he loved it the minute he saw it. He could see the strong, steady bones of it, the life it could have again. It was a good house. Good things had happened there. He opened his eyes again and looked around the room. The bike was propped up against one wall, just the way it had been when Dotty was still there. He could still see her sometimes, at the very edges of his vision, laughing in the bedroom, watching him from the kitchen. But he could never turn his head fast enough to see her properly.

She'd loved this house, too. It was supposed to be their home. It was supposed to be forever. They poured so much of themselves into it, making it perfect, making it theirs. Oh well, he thought. There were bad things, too, of course - the things that had brought him here, brought him to this point. There was pain and sadness, anger and bitterness. There were things he couldn't take back, things he couldn't forgive. It was hot outside, the air breathless and full of electricity the way it was before a storm. But he felt cold all of a sudden. A shiver ran through him and he was back in the present.

"Buddy, come on," the officer yelled, his voice a little meaner. "It's time."

As he got up, he saw an unwary insect had flown into the web, its wings all gummed up as it tried to wriggle free. The more it struggled, the more stuck it became. It was only a matter of time before the spider got to it. He felt a little prickle in his eye as he watched the wretched creature.

"You and me," he said out loud. "We got a lot in common."

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