I was but a young lad, a boy of only sixteen, when I first saw it, the thing I changed my life.
It was a Saturday night. My father and I were fiercely engaged in one of our world-famous Yahtzee games on the back patio. When at last he rolled a large straight and claimed victory, I threw down my scorecard and began marching back indoors in search of a corner to sulk in.
As I clomped up the steps to the back door, my neck sticky with the summer sweat of defeat, I saw it out of the corner of my eye. The gargantuan black beast, speckled with yellow flecks, was unlike anything I had ever seen.
Easily the size of a softball, the spider perched on a web three feet wide. In that moment every preconceived notion I had of a perfect world flew out of my mind and into the chomping pincers of the villainous arachnid.
For weeks that spider terrorized me as I cried in the seemingly safe darkness of my room. Nightmarish visions of massive black spiders continued to haunt me as time went on.
What, my dear readers, eventually gave me the courage to take the dog out to the patio, I cannot say. However, peering out from behind the safety of the sliding-glass door, I found the web absent of terror. Where had it gone, and where was it waiting? Days passed and the spider did not return. After desperately scouring every inch of the house and back yard, peace of mind could not be obtained. Our efforts were, for the moment, to no avail.
Gradually my fears subsided. To outsiders, the problem had resolved itself; still, I has reservations as to whether or not the creature had truly gone.
Late one Friday night almost some two months later, I returned home from a riveting night out on the town with a handful of my closest friends. Distracted by my immense enjoyment of the evening’s activities, I pulled into the driveway oblivious of anything other than the Justin Bieber tune I had blasting through my car stereo.
Therefore, it was not until I had gleefully exited my automobile and began my ascension up the front steps that I noticed I was not alone. Strung out on a thick web across the entire front door was the spider, every bit as intimidating as I remembered.
I panicked. Hands trembling and body going numb, I dropped my keys and slowly felt my body falling backwards down the stairs. Was this the end? What was to become of me?
No! Rage swelled up inside me, masking any fear I may have had. I would not allow this spider to best me any longer!
Catching myself at the last moment, I bent down to recover my keys while contemplating the best plan of attack. Should I simply ignore it, or punish that brutish beast for all the hurt it had caused me?
Now was no time to back down. I must take action, I thought, or else the monster will have had his way again; I would not, could not let that happen!
Slipping off my right Croc-Flop and raising it dramatically over my head, I channeled all the fear and anguish this spider had caused me. With a resounding whack of my sandal, I put an end to the spider’s wicked ways once and for all. From that moment on, I made a promise to myself that never again will any spider, no matter how monstrous, strike fear in the heart of Brendan Marks.