Squished a Spider
By Laura McHale Holland
While sipping her morning coffee, Clara noticed a big, black spider ambling across the rug near her feet. She stood up, ready to stomp the thing, but then she sneezed–once, twice, thrice. She opened her eyes and spied the creature scurrying away. Rather than whack it before it found cover, Clara took the sneezes as a sign and let the spider be. Soon, she forgot about the spider lurking in her home.
That night in her dreams spiders covered the walls of her bedroom; they crawled in and out of her mouth and ears, they perched on everything she owned. She screamed and cursed and tried to bat them off, but the spiders didn’t budge. She fought on anyway for what seemed like eons until, completely spent, she dropped her flailing arms and said, “Go ahead then. Kill me. Take me. Do what you will.” At that, the spiders vanished and the dream shifted into placid territory.
The next day, as she watered a fuchsia hanging in her garden outside, Clara took a step backward and inadvertently squished a spider. She didn’t notice the dead arachnid underfoot, and she never dreamed of spiders again.