Through the attic’s solitary window, I watched a meaty spider build its web between the eaves and the ivy. Evening obscured my view. The next day, in its absence, I did the best I could to draw the spider from memory. The size of a silver dollar, it had distinctive white markings on its back and striations of brown, white and orange on its legs. At dusk, it reappeared. It dismantled the web and started afresh. How peculiarly meticulous--obliterating such extensive work only to rebuild. How contrary to the ideals of modern industry and manufacture. I watched as it performed this seemingly antipodean procedure again and again. Among the dust-laden shelves, I was fortunate to find Father’s old entomology guide; when I was still young enough that he allowed me to explore with him and my brothers, we would spend the day out in the woods collecting myriad crawlers and then spend evenings classifying them. This particular specimen, I suspected and confirmed, was “Araneus diadematus,” commonly called the garden spider or, aptly, the cross spider. On the fifth morning, after my arachnid friend again disappeared, I heard the jangle of keys suggesting my confinement might finally be over.
The door creaked open and I saw the stooped shadow of my Aunt--she called herself Aunt, but in truth there was little genetic similarity--in the lighted gap.
"You readin' books again?" she asked; her voice dry as the door hinges. "I told ya, ain't no good'll come of readin' books. Look what it did to your ma."
It pained me to recall that page, so recently turned; when events made Aunt Jessica my guardian, I did not anticipate she would handle her role so sternly.
"All them books but it seems you ain't learnin' nothin'." She stooped further and left bread and water for me on the floor. "Well, don't let the bugs get ya." Her words, and the door, creaked to a close.
I returned to my little attic window: the only other exit from this room. After five days, I was weakened, but perhaps I could make my escape . . .
The spider was back. It had started to build a bigger web.
Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: ril