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A Spider This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Suspended in still frozen nighttime, a gentle spider rocks on his web, waving as the breeze slightly nudges and draws back. By weave and toil, the spider spins his web ever diligently, arduously yanking needle strands into their places. He can’t but help imagine the delectable fly, the succulent moth to be ensnared in his sticky web. But now isn't the time. He must prepare his steel ambush, his sticky temptation, smeared with adhesive. This prey will feed him and sustain his life, he must take capture it and take its life, lest he be faced with bitter death. Somewhere inside that bristly shell there lies a force pushing the spider to feed, some impetus to sustain his body that keeps him working diligently on his web, to keep laboring day in, day out, pouring his very spirit into these tasks, all for the purpose of food, that he may live to do it longer. As his work nears its completion, his eight eyes widen and a beautiful, invisible web lies bolted between two thin tree branches. Admiring his work, the spider rests for a brief time, if only for a moment, And he waits. And he waits until, when out of the black void of night a scarlet and white moth flutters near, beautiful creature, antennae poised, seeking some sparkle of light off in the horizon. The predator’s eyes immediately dash to the unaware moth obliviously heading to its tomb. His legs tense, his body tightens, and the spider readies every ounce of energy for the ensuing battle yet to come. While the unaware moth draws closer with every flutter of its unceasing wings, thoughts of serenity cross its mind, hypnotized by that pulsing golden speck plastered on the horizon. Then for a moment its wings are heavy, and as they are drawn back, an adhesive blanket is pulled around its body, then as its blanket becomes its noose every bit of motion grows more impossible for the little damned moth, and as he struggles to tear off his wings now bonded to the web, his horrified eyes focus on gaping fangs dripping with what must surely be poison, neither approaching, nor twitching; waiting. As the moth burns through every gram of energy in its body, it fails to realize the accommodation it makes to for its own death, and surely as it exhausts its last flutter, that demented predator draws near, mouth agape, as the final moment approaches, the moth ceases to flutter. Sharp talons sink into its flesh, first violent jerks jolts and writhings from the moth threaten to cripple the lethally engaged little spider, as he too incinerates every ounce of force, until the final twitch of the prey, then liquefying its inner organs later to be gulped out solely for the purpose of survival. Graceful slave to nature brutalized by yet another elegant slave to his own nature. This little spider, beautiful sheen of fur, chalk white fangs smooth to a fine point,has succeeded in sustaining its life by mangling its achingly laborious web for a meal, sacrificing all his strength to merely provide enough sustenance to build one more web.





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