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Barbara Kay came to spend the night with me in my new room. I graciously let her sleep against the safety of my wall, while I lay on the outside as bait for hungry monsters.
Lying on our backs we took turns holding an arm up while the other person scratched it in long soothing motions.
“I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Let’s go to sleep,” said Barbie.
A full moon shone through my high basement window. Our evening would have remained calm if Barbie closed her tired eyes before rolling over. But she kept them open one second too long.
She turned her back to me and faced my studded wall. A bright moonbeam illuminated a fat hairy spider perched six inches from her nose. She screamed and scrambled over the top of me.
“Kill it, kill it,” she yelled.
“Oh no, I’m not doing that. The last time I squished a spider that fat, a million babies crawled out of its body,” I said. My reassuring words failed to soothe.
Dad killed the spider. No babies crawled out.
Barbie didn’t want to sleep in my bed anymore and wanted to go home. I couldn’t really blame her.
“It’ll be crowded, but you can sleep in the middle with a decoy on the outside,” I said. I placed a life-size stuffed seal (that originally came from either Barbie or her brother) under the covers, taking my place as monster bait.
“Well, maybe,” she said.
I positioned my metal potholder looms across my doorway and pulled out random bureau drawers. “This worked really great on Dad. C’mon, you’ll be fine and I’ll be between you and the wall.”
Impressed with my early warning system, Barbie agreed to stay.
Stuck next to the spider wall, I spent an hour scanning the darkening shadows for signs of multi-legged movement before nodding off.
Dad slept safely because I thoughtfully remembered to inform him of my reactivated potholder looms.
I should have pursued a career in civil defense.
Lesson learned: Keep your bedroom free of clutter so creepy crawlies don’t have any place to hide. And you might want to keep a fly swatter or old shoe within reach.
Related post: Chapter Ten: Intruder Alert
Now it’s your turn: Have you had a bad spider experience?
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