The Perspective of a Spider

A subtle vibration heightened my senses. I scurried for the poor fly caught in my web. It squirmed, but I immediately began to wrap it in my silk.

Voices drifted up to the ceiling and clung there, collecting like smoke. My preparations were paused as all the commotion from the party below distracted me. Clouds of gossip about the queen and Scotland Yard swirled around me. Congratulatory comments for the earl and his new heir stuck to my web and made it difficult to breathe. Spirits were high, but even good moods spoiled my quiet life if they were too passionate.

The emotions surrounding me became befuddling, and my meal flew away while I was distracted.

My eight eyes focused down on the crowd of people. They were all dressed in their finest clothes, only the best fabrics imported from foreign countries. The array of food was astounding. It made me wonder how humans could eat so much or handle confections so rich.

Three young ladies stood off to the side, giving off an air of regality. I knew they were the three daughters of the earl. There was something about them that made me look twice. Their posture was straight, almost too stiff to be comfortable, and when I looked into their eyes, I saw the silent resentment. I followed the jagged, unruly line of emotion, tracing it all the way to a small bundle of human. It was the youngest attendee of the party. The earl stood beside the woman who was holding him—indeed, it was an infant boy—boasting about how his first born son would inherit his generous fortune. No once did the nobleman glance at his three daughters. The eldest had her hands clenched into fists. I could feel the majority of negativity coming from her. The younger two held more jealousy than hatred, but from my time watching this family, I knew they would follow anything their older sister did.

I caught sight of the fly eating itself sick in the dusty blue cake frosting. It taunted me with the way it pranced around out of my reach. I refocused on something else to avoid the feeling of loss.

The festivities ended, and I could hear automobiles pull away from the estate. It was dark, but my vision adjusted.

Dust motes danced around, mingling with the presence of ghosts. I watched them play for a few hours because it was the only thing to pass the time besides repairing my wilting web.

Just when I thought everyone was sleeping, I saw three silhouettes sneaking across the polished oak floor. I heard whispers of uncertainty.

"We really should not being doing this."

"Mother and father will find out."

I heard reassuring confidence in the third voice, which I recognized to belong to the eldest daughter. "No one can catch us. This is something we have to do. Do you want Mum and Father to forget about us? Leave us in the streets with not a thing in our pockets?"

The younger two hesitated, then shook their heads.

"Then it's settled."

Three hearts pounded rapidly in unison.

"I never wanted a brother anyway," was the last thing I heard before the shadows disappeared into the nursery room. In a few short minutes, I could no longer hear the heartbeat of the baby boy.

I wasn't allowed to think too long on it, for that same foolish fly found itself stuck in my trap once again. I wrapped it quickly this time, and I enjoyed the taste of its innards.