The Spider

March 7, 2008
By Jessica Santos, Trenton, NJ

Light, in all its fantastic glory, spilled through the windows of the house, teasing and latching itself onto the walls and boards. Miniscule by comparison, a spider tapped its way towards a suspicious patch of ground lighter than the rest, tentatively darting a single leg into it, then, much more quickly, out of it again. Realizing that no harm had come to him, the infant - or the adult, living to his remarkable full first day of age - cautiously scuttled into the light, hesitant at first but growing increasingly more eager to soak in the sun's almighty rays.

The spider’s excitement growing under the warmth that caressed his body, he practically tripped over himself with enthusiasm as he hurried to the center of the area where the light would surely kiss him the most. He lifted his small head up towards the window, up towards a concept of freedom that he knew nothing of and never would, and smiled to himself: a wide, crooked and grotesque spidery smile of approval.

He began to debate with himself - to stay or to go? Should he stay in his more-than-pleasant humble new home, or seek greater pleasures beyond the windowsill?

He had cast a web of inner controversy that was so intriguing that his senses became dulled, not listening to the rising hum around him and not feeling the increased shaking beneath his small feet. It was only after it was too late for him to move that his demise became apparent. Too terrified to run, he scrunched his legs close to his chest to become the tiniest ball that he could manage while he inwardly begged for danger to evade him.

Without the chance to make his decision, his life ended. His body, crushed under the rubber heels of a young boy's shoes, laid without recognition as the child sped off to explore each corner of the new house that his family had just bought. His body had been transformed in a millisecond - once alive, proportionate and precise, it was now unfamiliar, horrifying and deformed, yet even in death still embracing the dazzling sunlight that shone down on it.

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