Archnaventure

Archnaventure

A Story by DB Heinemann
"

Inspired by that one time I was on the toilet and saw a spider, here we delve into the day in the life of a spider.

"

Liny Blackwell sat on the only toilet in her home which, for those interested in knowing, was planted in Boise, England on Beechwood Drive. She stared at the tiled floor blankly, thinking of life things. If you asked her specifically what she was thinking about, she'd blink and realize she had completely forgotten. It was the sleepy sort of human think that one thinks when there isn't much to think about. Automatic thoughts.

While she thought of nothing in particular, her peripheral vision suddenly became activated by a small, black and brown money spider scrambling desperately by her feet. Most people, girls especially, become quite squeamish at the sight of any sort of creepy crawly and would even go as far as to make an attempt at the small, insignificant creature's life. Liny never understood these people. It was a harmless bug, after all. The worst it could do was leave an annoying mark on your skin for a bit and the best it could do is get rid of some equally annoying flying insects in the area. Liny was also further fascinated by the way the creature moved. So quickly it could move those 8 limbs which would easily trip Liny up. She found the whole design of the bug rather beautiful in fact.

So Liny watched the spider's journey with indifferent interest. Her brother, Davie, was yelping about a spider earlier. She wondered if this was the same one. She put her hand down on the floor and allowed him to crawl onto her. It was definitely smaller than most money spiders in the area and its colors weren't particularly solid. It was probably quite young. “I think I'll call you Patrick,” she thought to herself, for Liny was in the habit of naming things that couldn't speak. She continued to study her discovery as it crawled around her hands.

Suddenly, an active thought appeared in her mind. She started to wonder at the coincidence of their meeting in the bathroom like this. What did this spider- so called Patrick- go through that would cause him to end up in a person's bathroom? And how funny that Liny was here to witness the spider's mad dash.

She imagined Patrick's first breath of life, wakening inside that crowded sac full of his brother and sisters. Soon, all individual eggs inside the sac have hatched and the spiderlings break free of the sac to roam freely about their web their late mother left behind, probably in a field somewhere far away from Beechwood Drive. It's all jolly good fun, a lot of, “Howdy doo. How about a game of squash?” “How do you feel about this warming climate?” “What's squash?” Eventually, however, Patrick and the others start to grow hungry. They look at each other with uneasy suspicious. Perhaps my siblings are food, they think.

Instinct soon kicks in, thankfully, and they all realize that they're meant to go out into the world and seek food. Luckily for them, they are a breed of spiders that can fly. Patrick and his siblings all run to the tips of nearby grass and other various plants and wait for an updraft of wind. “Good luck, siblings!” Patrick calls out. “May the winds be ever in your favor!”

“Good luck, guys!” his siblings call back. “Bye! Hope we can see each other again! Hopefully when we're not hungry! See ya!” The well wishes and goodbyes continued until finally, a strong gust of wind blew up, seemingly from the ground. Everyone, including Patrick, shot out a long strand of silk from their silkholes, tearing their persons from the ground.

“Wheeeeeeee!” Patrick shouted gleefully as he floated about the air, getting higher and higher. Soon, he was just barely above the trees, the large field that was once his first home suddenly seemed small. His siblings were indeed scattered but for the most part still within a human's visual range. Patrick didn't see them, however, or most of the scenery, in fact. Being a spider limited his sense of the world with vibrations and scent, with splashes of light and heat recognition. He only realized one of his favorite siblings, Stu, was right next to him when he bumped into him briefly mid flight.

“Hey, Stu!” Patrick waved. Stu looked and waved back, adding a wiggling of his fangs: a spider smile. Patrick looked down. Some of his siblings had already landed on nearby trees. The green grass was turning into a flat, gray mass of concrete and buildings started popping up. Some hit the walls and poles and started their lives there. Patrick, of course, being a spider, didn't actually know the names of these these structures. But for the sake of simplifying the story, let's call them what humans call them instead of spiders. The wind held on tightly to Patrick, though, not ready to drop him off just yet. Patrick spread his legs out to encourage this attachment. He enjoyed the feeling of flight, the easiness of it. The breeze was gentle. Patrick was content.

Of course, life, eventually has to show it's ugly side to the young and naive of the world. For Patrick, he met the ugly side of life in the form of a Goldcrest, aka, a bird that eats bugs. A large mass suddenly swooped beside him where Stu still floated. Patrick shouted as the by-wind caused him to swerve out of control. Through the tumbles, Patrick was able to see just barely as the Ugly caught Stu mid-flight.

“Stu!” Patrick cried in vain. Other birds soon appeared, plucking his siblings out of the air, one by one. “It's an ambush!” Patrick started to gasp and search for a way out when an Ugly singled him out and made a run straight at him. Patrick screamed as he crunched his legs close together, causing him to suddenly dip and narrowly missing the large, dark beak of death. He remained in such a position until he hit the ground, landing on asphalt. Some of his siblings were lucky enough to follow suit. Patrick recognized one of them as Dash.

“What were those things?!” Dash exclaimed.

“I dunno,” Patrick mouthed as he stared into the sky. It was once filled with balloons of his brothers and sisters. Now it was empty, the birds flying far away by now, the feast was over.

“Guys!” cried another lucky survivor. It was Patrick's sister, Susanne. She was still in the air being carried by her silk thread which seemed to be held by an invisible hand. She was almost above their heads.

“I-” But Susanne's proclamation was interrupted by an SUV that tore down the road, squashing Susanne upon impact on the windshield as it zoomed by.

“Omygod, Susanne!” Patrick cried after her, sensing the vibrational disturbance. “Dash, we gotta-” But Dash, as Patrick found, was equally as squashed as his sister. This time on the asphalt and by the tire. His crumbled body lay compressed into the dark ground. Another car zoomed by, snapping Patrick out of his shock and into flight or fight mode. Instinct chose flight.

“I gotta get outta here,” he realized. He scrambled out of the road and towards whatever shelter he could find. He quickly scaled the nearby sidewalk and ran fast across it, narrowly avoiding large passing feet. He hit grass, safe. He stopped to catch his breath.

“Patrick!” He turned to sense a brother and a sister, Margret and Stumps. But as they ran across the sidewalk to greet him, they failed to miss the foot that quickly stomped them out of existence. Patrick flinched at their sudden demise. Flight was still in effect, though, and he quickly turned to scurry further into the grass. It was only a slight difficulty to travel through the green forest. He occasionally bumped into a little mite or a fallen leaf. Spiders are wonderful trekkers and Patrick would have found the journey exhilarating if he did not feel like his life was in peril. He sensed a large structure ahead. A house. Shelter. Good.

He moved onward but stopped abruptly at the vibration of something large landing on the ground. It was another bird. Patrick held his breath and hid by a stalk of grass. The bird cocked its head a few times and bounced closer to him. All at once, the bird shot its head forward with an open beak, straight at Patrick. “This is the end,” thought Patrick in a flash. But the bird missed and struck the ground near Patrick, pulling up a wriggling worm.

“No, help, I have a family!” the worm's pleas faded off as the bird carried him away into the air. Patrick almost collapsed in relief before continuing to the house. He came upon a grate on the side of it that led to the dark underneath. He ventured inside. I don't know if you've ever been underneath a house that has no basement, but to Patrick, it was almost unsettling large. The great dirt and rock desert seemed never ending. The “ceiling” seemed like that of a cathedral except instead of intricate designs and paintings, pipes and tattered wood panels. Patrick sensed nothing but a vast wasteland in which he felt very vulnerable in. As he walked along, he noticed other spiders had already made their dwelling here- some much larger than he. They looked at him hungrily as they sat unmoving in their tiring webs. Patrick was sure to avoid them. It was a spider eat spider world after all.

He needed to find his own space- a little cranny, somewhere tight and enclosed and comforting. He traveled under and over random rocks- some natural, others man made chunks. Life was quietly alive underneath the house. He bumped into some rollie pollies and pincher bugs, a millipede or two. At one point he passed a grumpy gray cat that was nestled off center.

“Hut, two. Hut two, hut two,” came a small voice. Patrick looked to see an ant a quarter of his size wandering around.

“What are you doing?” Patrick inquired of it.

“Scouting,” the ant replied unconcerned.

“Scouting for what?”

“Food,” the ant further explained, with just a pinch of annoyance being added to its voice.

“I could go for some food.” Patrick quietly murmured.

“You stay away from our food!” the ant snapped at the spider. “Food is for Colony. Colony is not for dumb spiders.”

“Well then!” and with that Patrick snapped back at the ant, this time with fangs.

“Long Live the Queen!” bellowed the ant before passing out from the venom. The ant was so small, it was hardly a snack for Patrick. But liquify and consume the ant he did. Catching it himself without help of a web isn't particularly a money spider's style. But that ant was particularly rude and he was particularly hungry.

Patrick sighed and looked about. He really should find a place to settle down and make a web. Though he'd prefer to stay near the ground, as a money spider often feels the need to do, this was a pretty sketch neighborhood with great competition long inhabiting the area. He'd prefer a place like a tree or high standing grass. Someplace he could easily catch flies. Not many flies seemed to be in this area. Perhaps if he climbed a bit higher.

He found a concrete pillar nearby and started to climb. He inspected the pipes and rafters until he found a nice hole he could easily go through. He wandering near aimlessly through a maze of pipes, beams, dust, wires, tags, and insulation. He passed many like minded bugs that stopped their journey there. Patrick nodded politely to them but felt his goal was beyond here.

Finally, he came to another crack in the wall, this one shining with light. He went through it and found himself on a bedroom wall. On the bed lay a teenage boy who was staring at his laptop. Patrick paid him no mind and continued undeterred across the wall towards the door when sound-waves randomly hit him. To you, these sound-waves may have sounded like a young boy screaming. But to Patrick, it sounded like the outside of a car with the windows rolled up and the speakers blasting a sick beat. Such are the ears of a bug. Were Patrick a spider with special hearing, he would have heard the following conversation after noticing the appearance of large human at the door:

“Davie, what are you screaming about?”

“There's a spider, Dad! Kill it!”

“Goodness, Davie, it’s such a tiny thing. Calm down, I've got it.”

But Patrick heard nothing of the sort and was caught completely unaware when a flip flop flew at him, hitting the wall directly above him. It fell on top of him and together they fell into a pile of clothes. Patrick was completely dazed, of course, and picked up his pace trying to get out of the tangle of fabric. He felt the pressure of a human hand on the pile which relieved the weight of a flip flop off it. More bass-y vibrations:

“See? I got it. Nothing to worry about.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

Patrick wondered what they could mean. Sounded like a walrus garbling marbles. Ah well. He got out of the bedroom and traveled low at the base of the wall. He could feel the heavy vibrations of something large walking by, softly shaking him both physically and mentally. But when one is so small, one gets used to such large things in the plane of existence. He hardly recognized the creatures, in all honesty. His sight provided only that he sense the presence of something much bigger than himself. They might as well had been the movement of the wind or the heat of the sun. In fact, Patrick assumed that's what they were. They were much too large to be something he should be concerned for, much less understand.

He found a door, this one closed. But for him, he didn't see a door. He saw a wide opening on the bottom of the wall. He went to it. It was very white inside. The floor was smooth, with occasional dips that were straight and grid-like. He was heading towards a cabinet when something randomly fell on his path. It looked like a branch of some kind. Patrick bravely ventured towards it, paying it no mind. He was half-way across it when the branch suddenly lifted him up. The motion startled him but he kept himself from stopping. He's got to keep moving.

The branch was strange, indeed. It was warm and soft, opposite of your typical tree. Gravity seemed to shift on it, as well. If he tried to go under it, he felt himself turn and suddenly the force of gravity was in his favor again. One side seemed to have endless little hairs on it while the other was bare and wrinkly. Five smaller branches branched off from the main branch which ended abruptly with even smoother, harder, colder bark. Patrick tried numerous times to get off of it and continue his journey. But each time he tried to get off, an identical branch would appear underneath him and catch him, causing him to start all over again. No matter which way he went, the branch seemed determined to keep him on top of it.

Patrick was beginning to grow tired of it when he felt the branch move, not just to keep him in place but farther away from the very place it was planted. The smaller branches suddenly closed around him, forcing him into an improvised cell. He heard a loud roar that faded into the distance, the sound of something swing by, and finally the rhythmic bounce, repetitively going up and down. It continued to simply go up in down for quite some time. Salty liquid began to secrete from the walls of his cell. Patrick began to wonder if this was a slow acting venus fly trap he was unaware of. This thought followed with worries about his safety and perhaps maybe this is the end of the road for him. He furthered wondered if he should fight or accept his fate.

He was about to try biting the squishy walls when the smaller branches suddenly bloomed open, allowing for light and fresh air to quickly rush at him. He blinked and realized the branch had brought him outside the strange structure. He rushed at the bush that rested calmly nearby, happy to see the exit of the cursed branch. He practically jumped onto the leaves. Freedom! He inspected his new sanctuary. He disappeared among the tangle of twigs and leaves.“Say,” he thought, “This place isn't so bad. What a stroke of good fortune with that branch!” He found rest on a normal branch that would be perfect for his new web when he felt those familiar vibrations of talking. It was Liny.

After awkwardly trying to keep the spider on her hand while simultaneously finishing her duty in the bathroom, she took Patrick outside and laid him in the front yard goldmop bush. She knelt down to where he was and told him, “So long, Patrick. Good luck on your travels. I hope you make it.” She turned and left her brief encounter with nature behind. As she was about to go inside, she turned just in time to see a Goldcrest land on the very bush she put Patrick in.

“Be nice,” she warned before returning inside and accidentally stepping on an ant.

© 2016 DB Heinemann


Author's Note

DB Heinemann
I feel like this isn't super exciting and kinda drags on so any tips to spruce it up would be appreciated.

My Review

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Featured Review

Charming story. I quite like the opening transition to the life of Patrick. The story is quirky and consistent, plus I've always had a soft spot for bugs. You have a number of funny lines and good details. Very enjoyable.

In the paragraph starting "She imagined Patrick's..." "Brother and sisters" should be "brothers and sisters", shouldn't it?

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Ooh, good catch, thanks. And I'm glad you enjoyed it, too. I'm pretty proud of the transition, too. .. read more



Reviews

Ants, always the victim of abuse.
I found the story very well made. I never give the life of other creatures much thought, but this is certainly a good exception.

Posted 2 Years Ago


DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Why thank you sir. It's sort of based on the idea of "sonder"- that every living thing you randomly .. read more
Great imagination. Compressing the story would also spice it up a bit. Keep thinking wild thoughts.

Posted 2 Years Ago


DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Ha! Yea, this is one of my longer short stories. I've actually been debating o make it longer like a.. read more
Charming story. I quite like the opening transition to the life of Patrick. The story is quirky and consistent, plus I've always had a soft spot for bugs. You have a number of funny lines and good details. Very enjoyable.

In the paragraph starting "She imagined Patrick's..." "Brother and sisters" should be "brothers and sisters", shouldn't it?

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Ooh, good catch, thanks. And I'm glad you enjoyed it, too. I'm pretty proud of the transition, too. .. read more
I really enjoyed this story, I thought it was really imaginative and engrossing! There were some funny moments as well, and the descriptions of humans and man-made things from a spiders perspective was really effective and made it an interesting and humorous read. There were a couple grammatical errors in some parts which could do with checking over, however they weren't too glaring and they didn't deter from the narrative. Overall, I really liked the concept of this story and your writing style made it a funny and enjoyable read. Well done! :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Grammatical errors?!! No!!! I hate grammatical errors! I guess that's what I get for writing at 3am .. read more

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Added on November 6, 2016
Last Updated on November 6, 2016

Author

DB Heinemann
DB Heinemann

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About
Just a super awesome person looking to hone the craft. I mostly do fantasy but I occasionally get science fiction-y or some artsy fartsy soul searching writing. But fantasy's my main go to because the.. more..

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