Random Contemporary has taken on a life of its own. It’s now close to 11,000 words in length. I’m on chapter six.
It feels official now. We’ve gone from, “Hahaha, I’m writing a contemporary! Hilarious!” to “Why, yes, I’m writing a contemporary. It’s awesome.”
So, last night, I was minding my own business, sitting in the living room thinking up plot ideas while playing with The Rowdy Boys. I had turned to get a toy or something for The Toddler, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something scuttle across the floor.
My brain said, “Maybe it was just a shadow. Or your imagination. Or a retinal detachment in your eye.”
I would have been fine with all of the above, but then The Preschooler said, “A buggy! A buggy!”
As I peeked over the edge of the couch, to the linoleum by the front door, I saw that in fact yes, it was a buggy. Not just a buggy, but a spider.
The size of Manhattan.
I would like to tell you that I calmly walked into the other room, got a shoe, and squashed the spider. Or, perhaps as my friend Verity would like me to have done: opened the front door and shooed it to freedom.
In reality, I screamed. I jumped off the couch, flailed about in confusion for a few minutes until I shrieked, “It’s a bad buggy! Mommy will save you!!!!”
The Rowdy Boys gave me a simultaneous side eye, but backed away towards the television.
I leaped over the baby gate, grabbed one of The Hubs tennis shoes because, judging by the fact this spider was the size of a sparrow and could have worn a saddle, I knew I’d need a weighty shoe and not the standard size flip-flop, and jumped back into the living room. I was concerned by that point, my children would be wrapped up in spider silk, a la Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings.
The spider hadn’t moved.
I crept forward, fervently wishing that at that moment, John Goodman circa Arachnophobia would kick down my front door and spray that mother into oblivion. Or that I could justify burning down the house.
A child sneezed.
At this juncture, the spider twitched–and I can only assume it was launching into attack mode–so I jumped forward and smacked it with The Hubs shoe. Missed. Smacked again.
To my horror, I’ve retained the eye hand coordination I had when I was twelve. I couldn’t play Super Mario Brothers. I can’t squash a spider on my initial strike. The spider balled up and literally bounced up into the air like a rubber ball. Terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. I vaguely remember screaming and firmly batting it back down with the shoe. And when I say firmly, it was with some kind of Hulk-esq power like that little beast had just tried to steal one of my children. I may have still been screaming. What I do know is, I then stepped on The Hubs shoe and put all my weight on it. Jumped a little for good measure.
One of my children giggled. The Toddler said, “Momma!”
Cheers. To me, it was cheers.
I was half tempted to stay like that until The Hubs got home from work. There was the fleeting vision of all that work not actually succeeding in killing the spider. Ridiculous, I know, because when I picked up the shoe to examine the carnage, it was mush. Mush, with one, huge articulated leg jabbing up.
When The Preschooler and I relayed all of this to The Hubs when he got home from work, he sat stone faced. This is a man who was in the Army. This is the man who watched me give birth to The Preschooler. He said, “There’s no way it was that big.”
I can assure you, it was. “I’ll get it out of the garbage and prove it.”
“You live in the woods!” He said. “What do you expect?”
I expect to napalm the yard this spring, that’s what. Yes, I know. Bugs and spiders are good and eat other bugs and spiders blah blah blah. And that’s fine, if they’d like to live under the fridge or tucked away under the front porch, fine. But rush me like a linebacker and game on. Game. On.
Well, first I’ll scream and flail, but then game on.
I’m going to somehow work this into my novel, because from the six chapters I’ve known the main character, Madison, I’m pretty sure she’s not fond of spiders the size of squirrels either. It might not be her fatal flaw, but (spoiler alert! spoiler alert!) she’s an archeologist, which might lead to her running to a bug. Or two. Among other things.
Dun dun dun!
I know, I know–terrible excuse for a sneak peek. But it’s all I’ve got right now. I’m battling a Thomas Chamberlain/historical fiction obsession right now. It’s a losing battle and I’m totally okay with that.