“Tessie Mara Favor! Don’t make your Daddy and me come in there one more time tonight!”
The little girl pulled the sheet and blanket up over her head and closed her eyes tightly. “No ma’am, Mama. I’m asleep.”
Mama spoke more gently. “We checked in the closet and under the bed. We used the flashlight to see in all the shadowy places. You’re safe. Nothing bad is here.”
But Tessie could hear the giant spider walking across the ceiling. Its really big mouth scared her. It had huge brown things on the side of the mouth that made clicking noises when it ate one of the ghosts or fairies that got too close to it.
It’s eight eyes were too scary to look at.
Still, sometimes, even with her eyes closed she could see it. It wanted her to see it and be afraid.
She hugged her stuffed horse more tightly. “Pedro,” she whispered, “what can I do to make it go away?”
Pedro didn’t say anything, again.
Tessie made herself be very still. She breathed slowly and quietly. She thought happy thoughts to Pedro about playing outside in the sunshine. He thought happy thoughts to her, his white body with red polkadots becoming softer and more oval as he became a real horse.
After a while, she opened her eyes. She didn’t know whether she was sad or mad. It was still there.
She looked at the giant spider and asked, “Who are you?”
A lovely voice answered, “Why, thank you for asking. I’m Olivia. Most of my children have the same name, ‘Olios giganteus’. I and my children are definitely hunters, but we aren’t interested in you. Your kind aren’t tasty to us.”
“Olivia?” whispered Tessa, “Why do you seem so scary?”
Olivia thought for a minute and said, “I don’t really know. Why do you look so scary to me and my children?”
Tessa gasped. “I look scary to you?”
“Yes, indeed! Remember last August when you scared my daughter? Olios was in a cardboard box in the garage. After you disturbed her, she took cover under the truck. She was brown, and was probably 2 inches wide. She has a lovely eyes and darker brown chelicerae that are quite large.”
“I remember,” said Tessa. “She ran very fast and got very flat and got away.”
“Yes,” said Olivia. “I’m very proud of her. She has many beautiful children of her own, now.”
Tessa whispered, “I’m glad she got away. We were trying to kill her.”
“I know. Your kind doesn’t like what it doesn’t understand.”
The little girl thought about that for a minute. “You might be right. Can I ask a different question?”
“Of course,” said Olivia.
“Why are you eating ghosts and fairies?” Tessa moved closer to really look at the spider. “You are kind of a pretty brown and you look kind of soft.”
“Thank you,” Olivia laughed with surprise. “We all have to eat something. You thought they were ghosts and fairies, but they were just my usual fare, mostly flies and mosquitoes.”
“Why did it look like you were eating fairies?”
“You are still learning to see. It takes a while to learn to recognize what you are actually looking at. While it is just a part of growing, most of your kind take it too far. You stop seeing the wonder of life and can only see what is useful to you for now.”
“Is that why my parents can’t see or hear what I hear?”
Tessa yawned. “Pedro, I want you to meet my friend, Olivia. Olivia, do you know Pedro? He doesn’t say much.”
“Yes,” said the spider. “We are old friends.”
“I feel sleepy,” said the little girl. “Will you stay and keep with scary monsters away?”
“Maybe for you tonight, I will,” said Olivia. “Maybe some of the scary monsters will also turn out to be friends someday.”
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. I will approve feedback of any sort, but will delete spam. That’s why I handle this task manually for now.
Here is the best part of the fun! It’s the list of everyone else participating in the Storytime Blog Hop:
Morning Has Broken, by Katharina Gerlach
Good Honest Work, by Chris Wight
Bad For Business, by Gina Fabio
The Last Friday, by Raven O’Fiernan
Lost And Found, by Angela Wooldridge
Bia Trevi’s Worldly Eats, by Barbara Lund
Hunting Bob, Vanessa Wells
Don’t Drink The Water, by Juneta Key
Duty, Elizabeth McCleary
The Footnote, Karen Lynn
The Monster Under The Bed, by Nic Steven
Field Trip to the UFO Museum, by Bill Bush
Remember, you can join the fun next time around. The next Blog Hop happens in April. Stretch your creativity and writing muscles. Get out of your comfort zone. The rules are here.