Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Spider Moon

The bar was nearly empty, only the dedicated drinkers remained. A few broken men, a few depleted women. All of us too lonely to go home, too weary to hit on each other.

Then the old Indian in the corner started speaking. We hadn't even noticed him there. He spoke of his childhood on the banks of Black Rock Creek and everyone ignored him. Then he spoke of the Spider Moon and it made our blood run cold.

According to legend, the Spider Moon comes in the last wanes of what was the Harvest Moon. All the crops are in, the first snow is still a few weeks away. The buck deer battle in the browning forest and brother squirrel guards his nut house. And (and this is the chilling part by the way) it doesn't matter where you go, it doesn't matter how you sleep. Before the night is over, a spider is going to crawl on your genitals.

"Oh god." We involuntarily groaned. Somehow... somehow we'd always suspected. Those mornings that just don't feel right--when something hangs in the air like an interrupted omen. The feeling you're forgetting something but if you remember it'll drive you insane. So we lock that unease away with all the other things we'd rather not consider--like: has my face ever been cross-haired in a sniper's scope? Do healthy cells scream when the cancer cells invade them?

It took hearing it out loud to match the dread with its cause. There is a Spider Moon. It's the night a spider crawls on your genitals.

"You aren't suggesting that..." The quaver in Gus the Bartender's voice was unmistakable. The old Indian met his stare with a terrible look in his eyes.
"I mean, okay." Gus continued. "M-maybe it happens every once in a while--law of averages says it's gonna I guess. But not for sure tonight right? There’s no such thing as a Spider Moon… is there?"

And in the half-light of a neon sign that proclaimed Budweiser the King of Beers, the old Indian finished his drink and set the empty glass on the bar. We hadn't noticed he was carrying a pistol, but we sure couldn't miss it when he raised it to his temple.

"No more Spider Moons for me." He whispered. "Eighty-two is plenty."

***

And then later that night the spiders came and they crawled up our legs as we slept. And you can't help but scream once you know what the memory of a tickle means.

And I wish like hell I'd never heard of the Spider Moon. I could have very happily lived out the rest of my days not once considering the fact that there have and will come nights when a spider crawls on my genitals.

But try as I might I can't forget it. And I scream every morning out of habit now.

So add it to the list of things that haunt me. Somewhere below the thought of dying alone. And somewhere above a fancy restaurant sneezing fit with a bloody nose.

14 Comments:

At 1:01 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I'm nothing if not a problem-solver.

The way I see it, all you have to do is spray-coat your genitals with Raid Roach and Spider formula.

If it works for crabs, I figure it'll work like gangbusters on those moon spiders.

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger Helga von porno said...

Maybe you should have kept this one to yourself like the shitty mittens one. I certainly didn't sleep last night

 
At 5:47 AM, Anonymous The Macek Collective said...

I told her those were spider bites...

 
At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Strange Forces said...

I can see the Indian raising the pistol to his temple, the red and blue neon running fluidly along the barrel.

This is nearly Lovecraftian in its horror.

You continue to amaze, sir.

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger 12 Crumble Ave said...

Dear lord, do you not know of the Spider Moon?

It even effects those in perfectly sealed environments you know, for example those under contamination in hospital frequently wake up feeling worse much to the doctors puzzlement, but there it is, that fuzzy dot on the CCTV image crawling up the gown, the night terrors worse than usual and the shadow that seems to grip the room in a cloud of unnatural nothingness.

Just make sure no-one tells you about the cockroach eclipse, that one'll drive you mad.

- Mr Winston

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Or the Easter Butt-Bunny. (Those needle-sharp little teeth! For sheesh!)

Had to go away for a few days but I return to find you as splendid as ever, Flinty.

Tell me, do you have a name for your pistol and do you keep your hand on it at all times? Isn't this awkward? Especially in fancy restaurants?

 
At 5:52 PM, Anonymous ATD said...

The sheer human terror evinced by the chilling words you set one-by-one from mind to webpage, evokes frightening resonances in my mind with the dark, menacing horror of Edgar Allan Poe.

That is, if Poe had written Westerns, not gothic horror stories.

You might also want to watch out for the Day of the Tarantula. On this day, remember to stay far away from the jungles of the Congo, where tarantulas are known to frequent.

Or worse yet, Dio de los Arañas, in South America. If you were creeped out by "Arachnophobia", you should steer clear from South America during Dio de los Arañas, when the locals are known to throw large spiders through the air like confetti, and the annual "Running of the Giant Spiders" in Rio de Janeiro. You haven't seen a man tossed into the air, until you've seen him tossed by a giant spider, wrapped in silk, liquefied by digestive acid and then slowly drained of his fluids over a period of .86 seconds.

~ATD

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

That's just great Latigo. Mr. Scoop hates spiders worse than Hitler. He is going to read this and then spend the rest of the night fetal and clutching his johnson. Now I'm not going to get any. I hope you're happy, goddammit.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Why has everyone got it in for Spiders?

I like having them crawl on my genitals.

It's like having eight miniature ladies stroke your manhood with one of their fingers each.

Mm.

Fingers

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger tangled said...

Oh, I'm so glad I'm not a man.
Even with the poem.
Nothing is worth spiders. Not even fingers.
Nothing.

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger Ari said...

Very halloweeny! (although I can respect that Native American cultural legends should not be viewed as 'halloweeny' and that in any event, gunslingers are on watch for arachnids all the year round)

 
At 1:23 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

You're an engineer LBB. That's what engineers do, they solve problems.

I'm sorry you didn't get much sleep Helga Von Porno... except that no one ever said I should have kept the Mittens poem to myself--it was the one about the shadow puppets of unicorns. That was the one. Grrr.

That is so going on my tombstone Macek. Sue me for copyright infringement if you like, it's not gonna matter 'cause I'll be dead.

Thank you Strange Forces. You definitely get to speak at my wake, you eloquent bastard you.

I laughed up a lung Mr. Winston. Well done. The cockroach eclipse. Spectacular.

Yes Sam, of course I have a name for my pistol: Thornbrow Ruinface. That's what it's called.

Thanks a lot ATD. Now my mind twists and shudders when it should be resting. It ought to be against the law to speak to me of spiders. I do enough harm to myself as it is.

Hitler hated spiders Amandarama? I never knew.

Not right Ultra Toast. Not right. You need, like, a hug or something. Such things are evidence of madness and stuff.

Hey Tharunya... Last time I checked, both men and women have genitals.

We know spiders can't be trusted Ari. We aren't afraid, we're just appropriately wary.

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger tangled said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger tangled said...

Dammit.
Now it's scarier.
This is not fair at four a.m. on a Tuesday morning.

 

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