His tiny legs, being no larger than that of a needle’s point slowly pace themselves up the dirty forearm, pass the spot of the wrist where scurrying paths would have tickled even with the lightest touch, but the arm does not stir as he the spider walks along. Maybe to bite, but no he was not irrational like the rest, it knew not to bite what it walked upon. One by one each leg following the next when the arm begins to slope, and it makes its leave when and where he wanted to, not like the fool it walked away from, if spiders could have pity, he may have felt some.
Kicking the invisible sand out of my shoes I try my best to remain calm while making my way through the queue for the airport security. He checks my passport than my face, eyes switching back and forth between me and the information. I feel the sweat gather at my collar. He flips back, then back once more. A petulant tin colored thunder fills my head, about to speak, to cough up the words of frustration when he hands my papers back to me “Have a safe flight.” It was cold and dark as a threat. “You too!” I respond trying to mimic his malice tone. I remove my boots, pick my pockets, put them on the tray. The scanner swooshes back then forth as it peers into the crevasses of me I didn’t want to show, deep crevasses that I never wanted a person behind a computer monitor to see. I am ushered to the left, I place my feet on the yellow footprints like many before me and await my judgment. The man with the cheap badge and the cheaper shirt gives me a nod, and I collect my thing. Once collected I set myself at the gate, my head hurts, and all I want is to see the ocean.
The jets engines roars, I feel the hydraulics under my feet, I question my belief or disbelief in God. The plane rips upwards as if to tear holes just to kiss the sky. We sway, and we turn, the city becomes a lake of lights, tiny diamonds dancing on the ground where people should be, where people are. I unclench my fingers and the color returns to my knuckles. The seatbelt sign soon comes off as the lights below diminish. Drink orders are made, and I have far too many, the seat is just comfortable enough to for me to fall asleep. I dream of the west coast to come, of the water.
He watches him with all eight eyes, its seen many things like him. His face, though, it seemed twisted and turned, contorting itself beyond good measure straight to the bad. Something has or had bothered him like a moth in a web, his nightmare, the moth’s nightmare, to be free but no freedom to be had.
The craft lands with a thump, my ears pop and hurt. It taxis its way to the gate while the pilot speaks. “… a cool seventy-nine degrees, with a chance of showers. Enjoy your..” The voice over all of us cuts off before we are to know what exactly we’re meant to enjoy. I seem to be the only one bothered by this; I try my best to look around the cabin while appearing composed, not a single person appeared to be worried by the lack of information. Two by two, then three by three the plane unloads. “Hey captain, hey captain!” someone shouts as we pass the revolving doors, to walk even further where we can collect the shit we call possessions. The conveyor belt runs and squeals. I collect my the bag and walk to the pick-up area to get a cab. “Where to?” she asks like she has asked hundreds of times before. “To the ocean, but first I need to pick-up something.”
Picking his way across the floor, it crawls over the muddy boots; it can feel the still wet earth. Sucking on the little droplets that had gathered on the dirty leather, he makes his way back to the corner where he lives. The wood panels seem darker and longer as the giant in the bed above him stirs.
I shut the door with a predictable click. The headlights soon give the darkness the advantage, but as the ocean goes, it’s not always there just to see it’s also something to hear. The waves make their entrance than their leave. I drag my bag across the still warm sand. I kick off my shoes and socks to be lost in the darkness. Not far in the bag is dropped as well. I walk into her welcoming wet arms as she embraces me at my feet, then knees all the way to my torso. I felt lost in her pull, her fantastic pull when I hear a voice that curls my spine straight. “Come back to us!” it yells, I walk forward still, to let the salt wash over my head, to wash off my wrongs, but the voice and the person that carries it calls out once more. I feel my toes cut through the mucky sand to propel me away from the oceans ever welcoming grasp. “Dammit, dammit, dammit!” my thoughts go as I continue to make my way up the dry sand. It sticks in between my toes rubbing like a fine sand paper. “What the fuck is it now?!” I want to strike the shadow, but I don’t feel sure on its identity. “I will tell you like I’ve been told, you can’t simply run from this. It is how it is; time works the way it works, you and I both know that.” He brings the silver flask to his lips as I close the gap between us. Finishing with a relieving sigh, he then offers it to me. “To destroying ourselves.” My hand shakes as I take the warm metal from his.
As long as he could remember he kept all of this, all of this his home. He cannot recall how long it’s been here, or if it was here before he was, or if maybe it was built all around him in the idea to keep him safe. He tucks himself deep into his web, not to be afraid of what the darkness had, but of what it didn’t.
We sit on the sand as the ocean sings the same old chorus, he tips the flask skywards as the last remaining drink falls into his mouth. With a thrust, the flask flies but doesn’t quite make it to the water. “I know it’s tough, though it’s not impossible, you need to pick yourself up and head back home. There are far too many things in this world you still need to do.” his hand grasps my shoulder as he finishes. “The number of people you’ll save outnumber those that you want to save. We all have to have sacrifices.” His hand lets go of my shoulder, I turn my head to give my rebuttal, to disagree, but he’s gone. Dragging my feet I pick up my bag and shoes. I call a cab and wait alone with my thoughts.
The air feels as if it vibrates, as in a shake to the cold. He checks his web, but it’s empty. Something pulls him to the darkness, but he has no idea why, as if something inside him needed to go. He makes his way onto the wooden floor, he tries to reach out with his eyes, to see past the shadows, pass the nothing, but there’s just nothing. Inch by inch he creates a space between his web him, from his safety into the unknown.
The red eye was quick and nearly empty. I pull myself into my house and stumble my way to the back door, into the backyard. The ground is muddy and wet from recent rain, but I could find the place with my eyes close. I kneel down and claw at the mud with my finger. Faster and faster I dig, covered in earth and blood I scrape the top of the box. I pull and pull; the ground gives, and I fall back. The box opens scattering the yellow flowers and my device onto my chest. I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, but I did neither. I quickly gather myself and make my way back inside. I scatter the muddy clothes across the bedroom floor and lay myself down. I grasp the device; it’s cold, familiar steel clasped hard in my hand as I shut my eyes.
A light shines fast then is gone, there’s sounds, a loud tone, maybe a voice, if that’s what voices sounded like. He wasn’t sure, and he was scared. He twitches his legs not sure on which way to move, lost in the sea of shadows. The voice stops, there’s light once more, then nothing.
My phone rings, but only in my head, I reach with my hand and flip it over. Turning it on the bright screen is nearly blinding as I check for a missed call. Mumbling to myself I scroll through the colorful options, dictating my steps as I go. Nothing, no call. I run my fingers through my hair and decide that sleeping feels useless. I spin off the bed to get dressed, to go somewhere, though I wasn’t sure where. I feel something wet under my bare foot as I step down. I wipe it on the floor till it’s dry once more.