If it’s true that animals sense evil, then perhaps I should be more concerned about their aversion to me. It might help explain why a giant, hand-sized spider chased me up the stairs the other night.
I’m the kind of person who always imagines extreme scenarios and then comes up with legitimate plans on how to deal with them (I have already alerted Isla that her home will become my safe house in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and I keep a hammer in my car in case I accidentally drive off a bridge into a body of water one day… so, you know, just the essential, realistic stuff), but I can honestly say being chased by a spider never occurred to me as something worth preparing for.
I was wandering through the house, minding my own business when, standing at the top of the staircase, I spotted the BIGGEST* spider I have ever seen (in real life) waiting for me at the bottom. I’ve seen Arachnophobia**, I knew how this story could go. I armed myself with bug spray and prepared to scare the beast away enough that I would have time to find something, ANYTHING big enough to finish it off.
My personal Charge of the Light Brigade was even less successful – the spider (let’s call him Nemesis) literally starting running up the stairs after me, sending me back up shrieking in retreat. The neighbours mustn’t have been in because otherwise my volume and sheer terror would have convinced them I was undergoing a home invasion and the cops might have been called (SIDE NOTE: I probably would have handled a home invasion slightly better – I have a plan in place for that).
I threw several books at the thing, but I swear to god they simply bounced off Nemesis, who continued towards me. He was the spider version of Terminator. When I went to reload with more weapons and came back… he had disappeared. You know that moment when you’re swimming at the beach and something brushes against your leg, and suddenly you’re turning about manically, desperately looking for a potential shark? That was me, frantically searching for Nemesis.
While my back had turned he had secretly scaled the banister beside where I was standing. Only the belated discovery of a pair of hiking boots saved me from certain doom. I used my Horror Movie 101 knowledge and really made sure he was dead.
Sitting there in a heap beside the fallen Nemesis, I was clammy-handed and couldn’t shake the feeling I had just cheated death. Then a terrifying thought came – what if Nemesis had children?
They wouldn’t be the first species to take a disliking to me, and I suspect they won’t be the last.
* = this spider was so big that if I had let it bite me there was actually a chance I'd gain some sort of super powers... so potentially a bit of a missed opportunity.
** = actually I haven’t really seen Arachnophobia, I watched the first 10 minutes, freaked out and hastily exited the boarding school common room claiming I had homework to do.