Heavy Metal Spider

Contributor: Mike Wiley

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My grandmother hated spiders. “Never turn your back on one that’s alive,” she said to me. “And not even when you think its dead.”

I’m not sure what they ever did to her.

Despite her warnings and condemnations, I grew up more or less indifferent towards the arachnid community. I guess you could say I even had one as a pet through my first year of college.

A tree-horned daddy long leg had made a home behind one of my stereo speakers. It didn’t bother me, and I didn’t bother it. The thing even seemed to like most of my music. The harder, the better. If I played Slayer or The Dillinger Escape Plan, it would come out from behind the speaker and do a little bobbing, swaying motion. Nothing fancy. It’s not like it was a goddamn tap dancer; just a spider. Though I think it really liked The Refused, because it would actually change colors when I played that. During the buildup to New Noise it would sort of tremble, weak at all eight knees. Then when the lyrics came (Can I scream? Yeah!) it would burst into a bright red, like a clown’s false nose, one leg pumping up like a fist. I would have said it was amazing, except that I had seen a leopard gecko do a similar trick a few years back.

It was still living there in the dorm room the day I moved out. On that day, as I was packing, its body turned blue.

That part of the story took place on the west coast of the United States of America. About six years later, I found myself living on the east coast. Brooklyn, as it were. I had a career, a wife, and had more or less forgotten about Dave (Dave is what I had named the spider, by the way). Only occasionally during those dull cocktail conversations where one is pressured to produce a story that makes you appear interesting did Dave ever make an appearance in spirit.

Well, one night I came home after heavy drinking and a ton of head banging to find my wife, Emily, duct-taped to a chair in the living room. Her mouth was gagged with a gym sock and she had a black eye. The Refused was playing on a stereo in the bedroom. I knew right away that I hadn’t stumbled into a kinky love affair because the men my wife typically had affairs with all listened to pansy music.

I don’t know how he did it, but Dave had found me and he wasn’t looking to make friends.

Tears streamed down Emily’s face. Because she couldn’t talk, she gestured wildly with her eyes, indicating the bedroom door, which was neither closed nor open. It was ajar.

I crept up to the bedroom door. A red light emanated from the room that glowed like camp-fire coals. Suddenly, a large shadow passed before the open space and the light went out. I kicked open the door and immediately received a blow to the face. I fell on my back. Just like that, Dave was on top of me, spider fangs hovering inches above my face. A drop of frothy venom fell from one of the fangs and caught my ear. It smoked and burned like acid. The smell was horrible.

Normally I can hold my own in a fight, but you’l have to give me some credit here. Dave had one arm or leg for each one of my limbs, plus four extra. You try taking on the Lord Vishnu in hand-to-hand combat.

“What do you want?” I screamed.

“You left me and have taken up with this whore!” Dave said. Each of his four free arms delivering devastating blows to my face and torso. It was a flurry of hairy, glowing red arms and legs.

“Dave! Please stop!” I begged.

“Stop calling me ‘Dave’!” it said. “My name is Margaret and I love you. You left me behind like so much trash all those years ago.”

I stopped fighting.

Turns out ‘Dave’ was a female the whole time. And she had the hots for me. As soon as I found out the truth, I had a break down. I started sobbing.

Margaret gave up the fight too. Her body turned from red back to it normal, doo doo brown color and she fell onto her back by my side. I couldn’t stop crying.

“I love you too, Margaret!” I blubbered. We were both crying.

Just then, I heard a slow creaking sound as my wife tipped her chair over onto the spider, crushing it to death. The gag fell from her mouth.

“What is wrong with you?” she said. “That spider just invaded our home and beat the crap out of both of us. Untie me from this chair so I can leave you.”

So, to answer your question, that’s pretty much how I ended up homeless and begging for spare change outside this here liquor store. Now let me ask you a question. You gonna finish that sandwich?

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Mike Wiley is an active author and musician residing in Brooklyn, NY. He can be reached at rosebombsexplode.com.
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