Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Two Many Knees

Over here in the UK it's that time of year again. The nights are cooling rapidly and new cobwebs seem to crop up from nowhere, glistening with dew in the morning light, or clouding the corners of your room.

I have big time respect for the eight-legged breed, but with a thing about creatures  with too many or extra high knees I'd rather they didn't come for me.

Who's had a spider encounter, either real or fictional? Let's have a Spider Week 2010! Post something on your blog - no limits - and whack your link in the Comments box below.

Here's a friendly little pome I wrote last year. Bet you can go darker :)


On the loose
In your house
Scampering up walls.
Velvet legs
Thick as twigs
Scuttling down halls.
Dropping down
By your face
Frightening you half mad.
No wonder
Spiders run
If you think them bad.
When you scream
What of him?
Sensitive fine hairs
Tense up tight.
He screams too.
Panic on the stairs.
Wish him well,
Prowling in the night.
On the hunt
For a mate.
Pity him his plight.
Pointed knees,
Bubbled eyes
Staring from his nest.
Waiting there.
Why not say
'Welcome' to your guest.


  1. They do tend to come around at the start of September, don't they?

    I do have a certain fascination with spiders; as long as they stay the hell away from my face. I've certainly had a few encounters, but nothing too dramatic, or anything I want to relive ("I had a spider on me; I freaked out"). But I wish them no harm. Mainly because I feel like they'll know it, and wish me harm right back...

    Hello, by the way.

  2. Welcome Franklin - come on in.

    The three main spider 'events' I recall are:

    1. Getting my coat out of the cupboard under the stairs and wondering why the thick tassles of my scarf were crawling over my face. Uuuurgh - huge black devil he was.

    2. Many years later we discovered a trapdoor in that same cupboard (you'd have thought I'd have learned first time) that led into a four-foot high area beneath the house. I was crawling around looking in all the boxes left behind by previous occupants when I happened up on a tin. You know what's coming. I opened it and it was crammed, I mean absobloodylutely crammed with thick black loft spiders that must have been inbreeding and eating each other for decades. It's the only time in my life I've been genuinely paralysed with fear - after screaming the house down.

    3. I lived in France in the 80s in a 300 year old farmhouse. Our bedroom was under the eaves in the roof which was uninsulated for the first year so all sorts of things, like bees and snow used to drop onto our bed. One morning I woke up in agony. I had a huge, ladder-shaped welt down my arm. I threw myself out of bed only find a massive fluffy spider - quite dead - where I'd been lying. Poor thing.

    It was also France where I was attacked by a praying mantis and woke up one morning to find our windows covered in stick insects.

    It's the knees...

  3. Those spiders in that tin...now there's a horror movie image if ever I've heard one. Shudder.

  4. I have a horrid spider tale. Please don't read on if you're squeamish.

    The LSO and I decided to visit the House of Marbles at Bovey Tracey. By the time we drove there, and have had lunch on the way, it had been a good couple of hours. As I'm walking to the entrance, I feel a biting sensation in my jeans by my thigh bone. It really hurt, so I put my arm down my jeans and pulled what I felt out. Only it was a couple of spider legs. Horrified I put my hand back down and pulled out the rest of the spider. Needless to say the crowd watching me thought it was funny. I didn't! It was a purse-web spider that must have climbed in my jeans on the clothes horse.

  5. I was tiling a bathroom in a house back in Manchester and the woman's daughter had 2 aquariums in her bedroom. A tarantula in one and a smaller spider in the other, that apparently eats birds. She picked the tarantula up and asked if I wanted to hold it. I couldn't not could I? A 6ft 3inch builder type, so I held out my hands and she placed it in them.

    "They don't bite, do they?" I asked.

    "Not normally, but if it does, I'll drive you to the hospital," was her reply.

    I have a photo of said incident. On the photo though, you can't see me shaking. :-)

  6. Ow, Ellie, ow. That's awful. Spider's bites are SO painful, and you never know what will happen afterwards. Some of the South American spider bites make you rot from the inside out. In fact - just remembered my flash piece Paper Lace back in April - it's up in my Short Stories menu - top right. Conversely my father's recurring malaria symptoms stopped after being bitten by a loft spider. Scary but extraordinary creatures.

    David - OMG, you brave butch thing you. You've got to post that photo up! The hair on the back of my neck has just turned white at the thought of holding a tarantula. Respect.

  7. Here's a little story in the same vein.


           Maybe it came in with the firewood, sleeping in some rotten log until the warmth of the stove revived it and brought it to life. Or maybe it had been dormant in the walls of the old house and it awoke because it was time. Whatever its origins, it was a unique creature, half mouse half crab and very hungry. It stretched its legs and groomed its body. After so long a sleep, waking felt good. Its need for food was strong.
           The house was dark but it could see. It was wary but all was quiet. It crawled from a hole in the wood box and made its way off the hearth. It scuttled along the room's perimeter in little bursts of speed followed by an alert silence. Its claws made a soft clicking sound on the wood floor. In the dim light of the room it could make out the darker rectangle of a doorway. It made a dash for the opening.
          To the old tabby cat sitting motionless in the corner, this was just too tempting a target to resist. As silent as only a cat can be it pounces on the intruder, all its weaponry at the ready. The crab thing reacts instinctively and strikes with its poison claw. The cat sinks to the floor a glassy eyed corpse. The thing's venom liquifies the cat's organs and bones. A mosquito-like proboscis drinks the pre-digested pussy cat innards and leaves an empty bag of cat fur in the middle of the room.
    Having fed, the creature feels stronger though not yet satisfied. It finds the box of kittens in the kitchen and one by one it leaves six little bags of fur in place of animated cuteness. It's hunger now sated the crab thing heads back to its hole. It has sensed the big black lab asleep by the back door and the family asleep upstairs. Tomorrow is another day.

  8. Jeez Harris - that's effin' brilliant!

    Great to see another newcomer, welcome.

    I loved, loved, loved this. "...a unique creature, half mouse half crab". It's such a crawling, crusty description that I'm having to check my bare feet even as I type this.

    Deep down, I think this is our fear, a primal knowledge that the Goddess Arachnia is ever watchful, ever hungry, ready to eat our babies. I met her once - in a dream - though I was fully awake. I was scared shitless. She turned her back on me and let me go, warning and protection in a single move.

    Thanks for contributing Harris. Come back on Friday for Lily's 100-word Flash Fiction 'Prediction.'

  9. Hi Lily - great idea for "spider week". There's something so innately creepy about them.

    It spurred me to a fairly lengthy little flash (check it out on my blog here: http://chrisallinotte.blogspot.com/2010/09/spider-week.html

  10. Great idea, Lily! I'm a little late here, but I'm going to try to bust something out. I enjoyed your poem...yes, the spiders must fear us too. Clever title:)

  11. Great flash Chris, well worth a read! Left a comment over there.

    Look forward to what you come up with Erin!

  12. You simply must read Erin Cole's beautiful Orb Weavers over at http://erincolelive.blogspot.com/2010/09/spider-week-orb-weavers.html. It's how poetry should be, imho.

    This is what I said "Erin - this is absolutely exquisite. The words weave like lace and I am enraptured yet terrified. If I were an artist, I would design a necklace of your poetry to wear around my neck."

  13. This was awesome. Now I feel bad about screaming at spiders.

  14. Welcome Laurita!

    I bet the spiders can scream back even louder. :)


Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.