Ghost Post 1: Skittering

The Smiling Spider, by Odilon Redon, 1891
The Smiling Spider, by Odilon Redon, 1891

I knew I never should have killed that spider.

I was making my bed when I saw something skitter away under the sheets. I threw back the blankets and slammed my book onto the mattress, banging and smashing and screaming until the big brown spider was a squashy, flat, oozing mess.

My skin was crawling. Had the spider been in the bed with me all night? I pulled all the sheets off the bed and took them to my mom, and we put them straight into the washing machine.

But even with new sheets, I couldn’t sleep that night. I kept feeling tiny legs slithering over my skin. Prickly thin fingers dances across my bare feet, climbed slowly up my pajamas, brushed against my exposed neck. I thought I was imagining things. I tried to ignore it.

And then . . . I felt something as small as a pencil eraser land softly on my cheek and scuttle toward my ear.

I sat up, shrieking. I was still screaming for help when my mom came running in and turned on the light.

The ceiling was swarming with spiders. Spiders clambered up the bedposts, prickly arms marching toward me. All around me the blanket was a sea of twitching legs and glittering eyes.

But they weren’t here for me. As the light went on, they began to pour across the floor and drop down from the ceiling. They converged on the door in a skittering swarm.

I had killed their mother . . . and they were here for mine.

—Tui T. Sutherland
from Half-Minute Horrors:
A collection of instant frights from the world’s most astonishing authors and artists.

(Click on ODDtober to see all Ghost Posts.)

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5 thoughts on “Ghost Post 1: Skittering”

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