|Spiders Believe In A God Too, Y'know
Author: Your-Magpie PM
FOR THE REVIEW GAME July. Is my little critique of the beliefs and worlds inside beliefs and worlds. Hope that comes across. NEWBIE ALERT! 2000 words exactly. Went out of my usual writing.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Spiritual - Words: 1,917 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Published: 07-05-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2825125
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The spider scuttled across the floor, taking care not to lose a leg to the grooves that ran through the wood. A twitch here and there on his bemused face told him it was getting colder, and he better hurry his pace up if he ever wanted to get home.
All in all, it'd been a good day.
He'd brushed away some of the mottled cobwebs before he had set off to work, much unlike his usual routine. With a vigour that made his next steps bounce, Mr. Spider knew what when he got back, the missus was going to treat him (or punish him, depending how you looked at it)...
He felt blood rushing from his face, so he stopped the daydream.
The next part of the morning had gone well, too.
He'd worshipped the picture of Him next to the big hole that let through fire. A younger replica of his idol. He had gaps in his teeth, like a chessboard he had played on once, the spider watching in the shadows. There were hints of clouds behind God, but something about them made them look awfully artificial. On the side of the photograph, it said a word that began in the shape of a snake. The spider knew that made an 'S' sound. The mage in the Garden hamlet told him so.
He'd worshipped the picture for at least an hour, before he decided he better skedaddle before the missus, Mrs. Spider came home- whoever came home first got the honour of making tea, and he wasn't settling with cold greenflies again.
Slowly, he shifted his weight onto the left side of him. As he did, he dwelled on why Mrs. Spider hated him worshipping God.
"He's cruel!" she said hysterically one night, as they were tottering from a housewarming party in the computer study. "He could turn us out of our homes without a moment's thought. Did you hear about all of Mrs. Long Legs' family? All sucked up into that machine- gone. He just decided to, one day. What kind of God sends a mechanical tornado to his children's door?
You don't understand, he'd said with a happy solemnity in his voice.
A shifting sound made to the left of the spider made him jolt back to the present.
"Declan!" yelled the Spider exasperatedly, spittle flying out of his mouth. "What you doing around here? I've told you to stop meeting me halfway to walk me home again- it's dangerous. And you've got to stopcreeping up on people. Scared the life out of me..."
Bouncing spider Declan laughed skittishly, the laugh splintering and echoing brokenly around the place of the fire (or Fireplace, his missus had said). "Dad, you know, you know if you were a cat. And I'd have taken a life out of you. You know what that means?" asked Declan, stuttering in places.
"No Declan." The spider spoke, grimacing, and all eight of his feet tapping after each other impatiently. Bloody cats.
"That means you'd have eight lives left!" was Declan's unequivocally witty punchline. Mr. Spider began to fake laugh, but realised he couldn't commit to such a thing- after all, it was well know that people shouldn't lie, and spiders were people too, weren't they?
And with the absence of Laughter Approval from his father, Declan scuttled the remaining room length back to home, no doubt feeling the machinations of not doing enough homework, or tidying his room was the reason dad didn't like the joke. It actually was a good joke- why didn't Mr. Spider see that. Mum had laughed for about fifty whole minutes. Mr. Spider was just hard to please, that's why, Mr. Spider felt like telling him.
He followed Declan with his gaze, as if his eyes following his body make his way over the lines in the wood would prevent him from harm. From here, Mr. Spider could faintly see the aura of light coming from around the door.
Mrs. Spider must have got home first. That meant greenflies were on the menu á lá cobwebs. And he'd already washed the old ones left on the sideboard just this morning. Sigh.
We have more bloody eating apparatus than we have warm dinners!
Mr. Spider, was of course referring to being unable to eat greenflies warm- they melted easily. And Mr. Spider was a lover of hot dinners.
The brisk walk that used to give him a wallop of fresh air and a brighter outlook on life had now turned in to an arthiritic arachnid's very worst nightmare.
"Just place all of your weight on your one good leg!" chided Mrs. Long Legs, up in the boiler room one summer ago, when his old age had begun to seep through his limbs. He had ignored her 'advice', however well meaning was the intent. By now she had to be used to being shunted for her advice: everyone was prone to ignoring Mrs. Long Legs- she was mad.
Yes. Completely mad, summarized Mr. Spider succinctly, nodding. How can you put all of your weight on your good leg when you have eight? Like pivoting on one foot would work...
Mr. Spider got a mental cardboard box, put Mrs. Long Legs in it, and taped it, and packed it away, into the furthest reaches of his mind. It took all of his self-control whenever he passed the grand colony of Long Legs on the way to the bathroom to not grab them and drown them in the boiler.
But then again, that would go against the killing rule. No go.
Mr. Spider rationalised, as he hobbled the last couple of metres home, that he was a good spider. He listened to the rules from the book, that God left forgotten in his room, underneath the superman comic strips, and his sound player and his sphere he kicked around, black and white hexagons all stitched together. (and from what Mr. Spider could guess from looking like it, did not look like a pig's bladder. Which just goes to show to not listen to old has-beens like Mrs. Long Legs. She may have had the longest and best looking pins in the days where she wasn't as mad as a maggot from the mental asylum, but in brains she most definitely scored a zero.)
The Mage in the Garden was very wise and very polite, and was more eager to help with the mysterious book from God's room. The only thing Mr. Spider hated (apart from old bags who stuck their minds in his business), against all his talk of equality and anti-discrimination, was the fact that the Mage was a woodlouse. And a smoking woodlouse, at that. And Mr. Spider hated smoking. And to be a woodlouse that smoked just made Mr. Spiders many eyes see red. Nevertheless, he read the book aloud with what Mr. Spider supposed was reasonable accuracy, and even though he thought the Mage made half of the stuff up anyway, Mr. Spider was thankful he bothered with his simple request- didn't he have an old Worm to save from the clutches of the heel of a welly or something?
"Must stop discriminating," promised Mr. Spider. The Mage wouldn't be happy if he realised all of the words he had been reading aloud to him had no resounding effect on him. And did the book not say to love your neighbours, or your family, or your cousins, or something people-related?
"People," gulped Mr. Spider, rolling the word on his tongue like an expletive. The bane of his existence. Always in the way when they were hibernating or whatever the new fad was these days. Did they not realise he was just a lowly spider, trying to do his own little thing? It wasn't like they couldn't move a few inches to the left? Mr. Spider didn't buy his home and not want the full use of the first inches on the outside of the front door.
Well so be it,he thought resignedly, because he knew that if The Wife saw some louts on her front porch, she'd give 'em eight strategic kicks to the attic and back.
Mr. Spider wiped down his black fur, and tugged at the ruff of extra skin on his neck. So yes. It had been a good day. Been a good husband, learnt a bit more on morality with the mage, a nice dinner at work, done at least a little work, a peaceful walk back home with only his arthritis to keep him company- no stupid mice asking him for directions to the larder, like yesterday (stupid American tourists: all about the food) and been a very firm Dad to little Declan. So today had been a progressive day.
Worshipped as well. That was good.
And he hadn't lost a single leg in the wood flooring unlike Mrs. Long Legs. Well, Mrs. Long Leg, if you were going to be mean about it, seeing as she only had about six left. A freak accident is one thing, but losing two legs in one weeks just pushing it, for me.
The only worrying thing about the worshipping of God- staring at it and praying for guidance- was that God was looking at him. And what's more- it was smiling! And every second of every day (and sometimes part of night, too) had been used for Mr. Spider to spend studying what type of smile it was. Is he smiling at me in happiness? Is he smiling and laughing at my poor excuse of an existence? Is he smiling and laughing because Mrs. Long Legs has only six legs left? Shame on him.
Another startling thing about the picture was that it's two eyes seemed to follow Mr. Spider wherever it went. Almost as if it was watching him, all-knowing.
So sometimes, it was hard to curl up against the sleeping body of Mrs. Spider without thinking of who might be watching.
Mr Spider took his final fluid steps onto his front porch and stepped through his front door, letting out a happy sigh when he saw Mrs. Spider looking as radiant as ever, serving a hyperactive Declan a cold soup of Greenflies. The aroma was unbearable. He shuddered. Mr. Spider found a grin on his face when Declan shuddered too.
"Mr. Spider," said Mrs. Spider with a serious tone, until her smile crept through.
"Mrs. Spider," he returned, bowing.
"What 'you think about having the Mage round for tea next week?" said Mrs. Spider, straight to the point, just as usual. "He's been awfully kind, reading out that book of God's."
Mr. Spider's face pulled and twisted into an unrecognisable grimace, which disappeared when faced with Mrs. Spiders's six beautiful whitish eyes, at which point all indignant protestations melted, when he saw her. With an exasperated groan, he muttered resignedly, "I suppose Woodlouse are people too..."
Mr. Spider's outlook brightened when he realised he could barter tea in exchange for the Mage reading the next story in the book a week earlier. Yes! He thought with a grin, this is perfect.
And maybe he can look at God's school photo, and tell me if he loves me or not.