Character Creation: Em (Part 4 – Here be Spiders)

This scene might be slightly familiar to some — but don’t worry, names have been changed to protect the scaredy-cat involved. Em was once again my character of choice…

Spider

Spiiiiiider

The word flickered through her brain like the creepy eight legged monster it portrayed; skittering across her subconscious with a terrifying kind of agility. She paused a moment before turning on the light, unwilling to believe what her mind was trying to tell her. The instant the light switched on she leapt backwards through the doorway, a scream bubbling up in her throat.

It’s bigger. How can it possibly be bigger???

He sat there in the sink, unafraid, knowing that to even consider challenging his dominance over the bathroom she would first need to conquer the crippling fear that prevented her from stepping back over the threshold into the room.

Can’t squish. Too big.

It was amazing how fear could abbreviate her usually long-winded thoughts.

A shudder wracked her body, starting at the hair follicles on the top of her head and working its way downward until there wasn’t a single hair lying flush against her skin. With sudden clarity she bolted for the kitchen and grabbed a bowl. She twisted the hot water tap and began to fill it when she realized that the two cups of liquid it held wouldn’t even phase the monster. Cursing her sleep addled brain she fished around in the bottom cupboard until she came up with the soup pot that she had never had occasion to use. A pot of soup made in this beast would feed at least 37 people. She didn’t even know 37 people.

Fully armed, Em returned to the bathroom, inching forward until she could just see the creature over the rim of the sink. She eyed the tap, knowing that it was far too close to him for her to hope that she might reach it first. Steeling herself, she swung the pot, water arched through the air, glistening with elemental power. It hit the spider with incredible force, dislodging it from its position at the bottom of the sink and sweeping it towards her with tidal strength.

The scream no longer bubbled, it ripped out of her, a primal challenge that managed to do nothing but accurately portray the depth of fear coursing through her veins.

The tidal wave settled as the water slowly drained down, leaving the creature standing, mighty and unphased, on the drain stopper. He hadn’t even had the decency to curl up into a spidery ball and show a smidgen of concern.

Hands shaking with the intensity of the confrontation, she returned to the kitchen and began to re-fill her weapon of choice.

He never should have been able to withstand that much water.

Visions of the spider being swept up in the water, carried over the rim of the sink and landing at her feet, played out before her. Unwilling to risk propelling him any closer, Em was much more careful with her second attack. This time she only emptied half of the pot but it didn’t do so much as dislodge the creature from its perch.

It’s inhuman.

She blinked.

Of course it is. Idiot.

The remainder of the water hit the sink with a great deal more force, once again dislodging the spider for a wild ride that ended with him swirling up the side of the sink, only to settle right back on the top of the drain plug.

If her scream was a whimper, at least there was no one around to witness her shame.

Collecting herself she filled the pot for a third time, taking a deep breath as she inched back towards the bathroom door. With a mighty screech she launched the entire contents of the container directly towards the spider, howling in victory as his fat body was finally forced down the drain.

With speed she didn’t know she had, Em dropped the pot where she stood and lunged toward the tap, wrenching it as far open as she could. After a moment’s hesitation she twisted the tap from lukewarm to scalding.

He would have done the same to me.

Leaving the steaming water to continue pouring down the drain, she let her shaking legs give way and collapsed beside the pot, giving it an affectionate pat.

I am king. None can defeat me!

A gentle touch against her nose had her on her feet and out of the room faster than a blink. Swiping frantically against her face, her heart stopped for a moment as her hand came away wet.

Oh god, I squished it on my nose.

But there was nothing on her hand but a faint smear of water. Confused she turned back to the washroom and took a moment to really look at the room. Moisture clung to every conceivable surface, there were puddles on the floor and there, from the ceiling – a drip.

The water from the tap became a roaring in her ears as she surveyed the damage to the once pristine room. Suddenly aware of a chill in the air she glanced down to discover that her pajamas were completely soaked through.

What… happened? …What have I done?!

***