Three times in two days an intruder has dared to enter our house. I know it’s ‘that’ time of the year again, but still, I thought I’d made it clear last spring that inside is MY domain. I expect creepy crawlies to stay outside. Suffice to say, those three are no longer around to make a comeback next year!
To explain my aversion, here’s a peek at what I wrote last time there was a similar encounter…
A proficient gardener I’m not, but I love to putter around in the yard. I meander through the flower beds on a regular basis, hauling the hose along to water needy plants, discovering what’s new, deadheading depleted blossoms and, yes, (shudder) occasionally encountering miniature wildlife.
I’m not a big fan of bugs, but I accept that they serve a purpose in nature. In their place I tolerate them. In my place, I do not. Anyone who spends time in my household will know that a shrieked “Spider alert!” requires an immediate response. I can’t tear myself away from spotter duty long enough to fetch a shoe or tissue, because, after all, during even the briefest gap in my attention the spider might creep away. It would be out of sight but definitely not out of mind. I’d know he was still there somewhere, a lurking intruder just waiting to leap out and startle me again.
Unfortunately there’s a no-man’s-land between the garden and the house that the bugs and I both insist on claiming as our own — the back deck.
It’s my favourite summertime location, quiet and distraction free; the perfect spot when I need a fresh writing environment. I am not amused, however, when a spider glides down his silken guywire and suddenly lands on my keyboard! Talk about a plot interruption! Maybe writing indoors is a better option. But I resent being chased away. After all, this is a structure attached to the house, so it’s my space.
“Ah,” leers the eight-legged creepy crawly, “but it’s out here with the flowers and fresh air. It’s my space.” Deadlock.
I compromise and knock him off my laptop. Watching him scurry to the edge of the deck I’m satisfied that he’s still out there somewhere, just not on me, my laptop or my lounge chair. I have asserted my authority. They are mine!
How do you feel about trespassing arachnids? Have you ever put your characters into situations where they have to deal with arachnophobia? Or any other kind of phobia? What did they learn during the experience?
“That’s what happens to all who forget God—
all their hopes come to nothing.
They hang their life from one thin thread,
they hitch their fate to a spider web.
One jiggle and the thread breaks,
one jab and the web collapses.”
[Job 8:14-15, MSG]
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