Revenge of the Spider Woman

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Revenge of the Spider Woman

I have absolute power and free reign over this terrain. I am queen of the realm. 

I can go wherever I want. 

The ceiling is my canvas in which to create my intricate crèche with gossamer threads.

The dew is not available to provide the ornaments,

but my mind is free to wander and create my own illusions.

Three weeks before my husband lay dying in bed, after he told me he got a woman pregnant when he knew how much I wanted to be, I started transforming into a spider. Night after night my soul would walk slowly across the ceiling while my body lay still and waited for my morphed arachnid self to drop a line in front of my face. My human hand would shoo away the large brown spider but there was no spider; I was just waving at air. I rubbed my eyes and determined I only had two eyes and not six. When it first happened I figured I had been dreaming; however, as the nights dragged on and the spider, coming from different directions on the ceiling continued to drop a line over my face, I wondered if I was fantasizing or truly morphing from human to spider to human again. 

It got so confusing that when I saw a large, hairy jumping spider on the door to the bedroom, I had to yell for my husband to hurry and check if it was real. I believe he was starting to understand that I was either transforming or hallucinating although he didn’t share that opinion with me.

It was just the way he looked at me. Strange like. Maybe even frightened.

Fortunately it really was there and required a large glass to capture it before it jumped out of reach. I quickly ran into the kitchen, got the largest glass vase I could find, one with a huge opening. Returning to the bedroom door I was relieved to find the spider still there, as though it was waiting for me to rescue it, as though we had a connection. Once captured, I relocated it outside the house. Perhaps that would be the end of me changing into a spider and I was relieved when the transformation seemed to stop. I wondered if the ceiling spider was really gone or just hidden among the bed sheets.

My new fear was that my husband would start to see the spider around our bed and not realize it was me in my altered state and squish it once it was close enough to his face and end both the spider’s life and mine. 

But he never saw it, so I remained safe.

The next night, when he came to bed, the full moon must have been high in the sky because I could clearly see his chest was filled with hundreds of tiny light green spiders against his stark white tee shirt. I screamed when I saw them and told him he was covered with my babies. He stood by the side of the bed looking perplexed but began brushing the spiders off his chest until I could no longer see them. 

He never saw them either, but he must have felt them as they crawled under his tee shirt onto his bare chest and stayed hidden in his forest of hair and bit him all night long. 

They too were ravenous and as budding brown recluses, very venomous. 

And in his case, 


Marlene DeVere

Since retiring from a career in teaching, broadcast journalism and advertising, Marlene DeVere is enjoying living under Arizona's kaleidoscope skies and working on a collection of stories. She has been published in The Bad Day Book, Angels on Earth, Scarlet Leaf Review, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bright Flash Literary Review, Harpy Hybrid Review, and Oddball Magazine. She was a finalist in the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction and won first place in the SOOP Curator Award for Humor and Entertainment.

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