The sky had darkened and the moon had long since risen as I left for the night. Wispy clouds surround the full moon and move lazily about. My regular bus had been temporarily rerouted last week and I had been walking the 4 blocks home ever since. The streets are quiet tonight, save for a few cars. I tuck my hands into the pockets of my jacket, relishing the chilly breeze. It was a perfect night to walk home - anticipating the warmth of my apartment and relaxing after a long day.
I turn right onto my block and am greeted by a flickering street lamp. My mother had always considered that a bad omen. Every time, she would drone on and on about the coincidental mishaps that occurred the last time she encountered one. Smiling to myself, I made a mental note to call her soon. The back entrance of my apartment building was easier to get in through than to walk all the way around the block. To my luck, the door opens and someone rushes out just as I near it. I grab the door, glad I don’t have to shuffle through my pockets for keys just yet.
That’s when I see … it.
All of the characteristics of the eight legged arthropod I had grown accustomed to. But this one was… huge. It stood at maybe 10 inches tall, and it had spotted me. The door slips past my fingers as I stumble backwards, eyes trained on this unnatural arachnid. The faulty street lamp illuminates it for just a second at a time, generating a flickering shadow. The darkness of the night cut only by the soft moonlight highlights its beady eyes as we stare at one another. I take another step back.
My heart is beating so loud, I’m afraid the creature can hear it too. If I could just get to the end of the block, I could turn inward and use the shelter of the shadows to sneak back to the safety of my office building. I’m so close.
It jumps forward and that’s all the startle I need to turn and sprint across the street and down the next block. The spider is hot on my heels - how can it move this fast? I’m turning corners and crossing streets carelessly. Adrenaline is rushing through me and I don’t know where I am or where I’ll go. Just keep running.
There’s barking somewhere behind me and I desperately hope a dog is chasing after this giant monster and will save me from demise but I tire before I’m saved.
Exhaustion overwhelms me. My lungs burn. My calves tighten.
I trip over an uneven pavement and fall flat on the ground, coughing. I flip over to see the arachnid slow down as it nears me. I can’t move and am forced to watch in horror as it inches closer.
Its legs are practically dragging against the pavement.
Tears sting my eyes and I’m too afraid and too exhausted to shout for help.
It places two legs on me - furrier than I imagined.
Huge and dark and fuzzy and….. A puppy?
A puppy in a spider costume..?
…I just ran 10 blocks and it’s a puppy in a spider costume.