written upon waking…
My wife, Cat, and I, along with our dog, Sterling, are lounging in a tiny apartment, watching television. The apartment is a studio, so we are on a fold up futon/bed. It appears to be 30 or 40 years into the future. The television program seems to have something to do with faking people into eating wax fruit on the street as a joke. The host laughs very loudly and has a catch phrase – “See? People will do anything!”
“This show sucks,” I say to Cat.
“You put it on,” she counters. I nod, hitting the remote and flipping the tv off. Just as I do, Sterling leaps from the futon and begins to chase what looks like a giant hairy brownish-black spider (12-16 inches across, including legs) around the one-room apartment. Cat leaps up, opens the front door and catches Sterling by the collar, almost in one motion.
“Holy crap!” Cat shouts.
As Cat has the door open and dog by the collar, I chase the creature out into the hallway of our apartment building, the walls and ceiling of which are painted an electric red. The floor is white. A cable running along the wall has been chewed through and a section of it is missing. Walking down the hall a bit, I peer underneath a baseboard radiator to find the creature nesting, having built a shelter out of the cabling. It is visibly breathing.
“You and Sterling tired it out,” I say to Cat as I come back into our apartment and shut the door. She looks up from an iPad.
“I looked up the spider,” Cat said. “And it’s not really a spider.”
“Really?” I ask. “Then what?”
“It’s a spidertick. See,” she turns the iPad to me and shows me a picture of exactly what we just chased. “They can suck a small child’s blood dry if they put their mind to it.”
“Jesus,” I say. “Where’s Sterling?”
“Ay yay yay,” Cat says. “He went out into the hall again.”
I return to the hallway to find Sterling napping across from the creature’s nest. “Get out of here,” I tell him. He reluctantly skulks back into our apartment. I shut the door and return to the nest. I have a broom in hand and start poking underneath the radiator at the nest. I pull the broom out as a few hundred baby spiderticks scatter in every direction. Apparently I’ve punctured a mother spidertick, and the babies got released. A few dozen make their way up the broom handle. I fling the broom down and start running back towards my apartment.