My desk is haunted by a phantom demon spider.
I am deeply afraid of spiders. They are creepy and gross and scary with their way too many creepy, skinny legs and fangs and everything else. *shudders* However, I try not to kill anything just because I don’t like it. I usually use the cup-and-card method to safely remove the spider and release it into a more appropriate habitat: Outside. (Note: outside scares me just a little bit because spiders live out there…) I have had to do this entirely too much lately because the back door of my apartment isn’t quite sealed so lots of nature finds its way inside—including a number of the creepy style of crickets which I frequently mistake for spiders. I’m usually pretty good about it. I see the spider, have a minor panic attack, then take a deep breath, gather my tools, and relocate the creature. I even have a small spider living under my keyboard (the musical instrument, not the writing tool). He’s been there for months and is slowly working away at the problem of Other Bugs in my room, so we have a tenuous living arrangement. I check daily to be sure he hasn’t relocated out of sight or laid any eggs (I am quite sure he is a he, because I say he is, but that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of eggs because he may not agree with me). All other spiders are promptly relocated to Outside.
A week or so ago, I was already at the end of my rope when a Large Spider charged under my door and scurried wildly around my floor before ducking into a hole by the door where another smaller spider was undergoing a trial period for live-in bug elimination (this one determined the arrangement was not for him and moved on within the week, possibly due to the sudden assault by the Large Spider). I would have none of this and was not in an emotional state to calmly relocate a Large Spider, so I determined that he had to die. When he reappeared, I was waiting with a shoe that turned out to be far too light to get the job done effectively. After a traumatic beating on both our parts, I came out the victor—though I left the crumpled corpse for some time to be sure he was really dead before attempting to dispose of the body.
Since then, I have lived in fear of retribution from his many spider friends—I frequently check my shoes to be sure none of them are lying in wait.
I fear the spiders are now getting their revenge. This morning, I was sitting at my desk working furiously to finish Packet 5 and get it printed before the post office closed, when a smallish back spider scurried out onto my desk. I jumped back and quickly collected my Spider Removal Equipment while I kept my eyes on the little demon spider. He scurried in among the collection of crap that lives on my desk during Packet Due-date Week and I knocked things around rather frantically to get the little black demon spider into the open where I could capture him with my little plastic cup. Unfortunately, this didn’t so much expose him as send him deeper into hiding. He disappeared completely.
I gave up the cup and card and returned with a long, bent knitting needle and a flashlight. I searched the desk, turning over every piece of paper, equipment, and candy wrapper with my trusty knitting needle, even opened the drawer and poked cautiously through it. I scanned the bottom of the desk and every crack with my flashlight. I checked the surrounding floor, walls, and trashcan—everything under my desk. Still nothing. The demon spider had vanished. I still have no idea where he is, but he must he some sort of phantom spider to have vanished so completely.
Eventually, I had to give up and get back to my packet, but I’m sure he is still lurking around somewhere, perhaps keeping tabs on me as the other spiders prepare their attack. In the meantime, I jump at every slight tickle against my skin or movement out of the corner of my eye, fearing that the little phantom demon spider has returned.
I hate spiders.