Ohlone College
Creative Writing Stories

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An accomplished aerialist, she gracefully executed a series of perfect pirouettes, inching down a single, silken thread to a spot directly in front of Stanley's face; a hypnotic performance worthy of a spotlight and center ring in The Greatest Show on Earth. Her pearly white teeth gleamed in the light of the naked bulb, exposing her two tiny fangs. The effect made her look irresistibly sincere and benign.

He looked straight at her, but appeared to be looking at the portrait of his mother because of his cross-eyed condition. Then he looked up to the ceiling, where the moth, having been tied so tightly that he couldn't breath, had ceased to struggle.   " Dinner? " he asked, casually.

"Snack ," said Little Egypt, who kept spinning a beautiful Gods-Eye web right in front of him, suspended only by that single line of webbing from the ceiling. His breathing made it turn and sway slightly, but Little Egypt didn't seem to mind that at all. His gaze swung down to the picture of his mother on the dresser. Suddenly, his mind began to race and his voice sounded agitated.

"I would never kill my wife!!!"

"Can't know what you'd do in every situation..."

"Well, it's been scientifically proven"

"Who's science???..."

"The Kinsey report says.."

"Who gives a damn about some report!?!?"

" 70% of men and 60% of women only cheated on-- but did not kill-- their spouses!! !"   He tried to get the words out quickly before she interrupted him again. They came out in a gush, sputtering with his emotion. (Stanley did not want to mention it, but couldn't help thinking about, the report's most important finding that 91.4% of sex happens while people are alone.)

" I ain't no cheater, MISTER Cogswell!" ---

"100% of my husbands were dead and eaten before I got me another man!"---

" I may kill 'em, and I may even eat 'em, but I NEVER cheated on 'em! "

Little Egypt wanted to make this point absolutely clear so she emphasized it by wildly spinning a new web that completely occluded the photo on top of his chest with the face of a frowning young woman. She wanted to appear outraged by accusations of infidelity, but secretly his naive rambling about a wife that (sure as that dead moth) he would never have, amused her.

Her display of offense had the desired effect. Stanley sounded contrite . "But, but 5.2% of black widow spider bites kill humans! You might forget one day that we're best friends, or I might accidentally squash you... rolling over in bed or putting on my socks!"

Little Egypt cocked her arms in a very un-spiderlike way, kind of like she was putting four hands on her hips, and looked at him with all eight eyes. "Knock it off Stan! Reality check time! Aren't you the one who told me there's a 50% chance that a bus could hit either of us? " She used her logic in a most effective way.

He looked at her stupidly, his eyes blinking slowly while he thought about it. "Maybe. Well, yeah, I guess so." His face lit up as he thought of something less argumentative to talk about. "You make sense 86.2% of the time and that's a lot more than any humans I know." He grinned at her, hoping this would calm her down.

Little Egypt turned her back to him, suppressed a giggle, and kept spinning her web into an intricate analytical cubism design. (She had always believed that Picasso must be part spider.) She didn't want Stanley to see her smile too often because those fangs made him feel a tad uncomfortable. Little E knew that her children were safe in the closet, watching and listening to their mother, gaining information that would later be useful to them.

She climbed back up her aerialist strand and without another word collected the moth and carried him back into the closet. Stanley didn't know about her kids. No reason to get him all excited.

Stan and Little Egypt were a couple... of sorts . A relationship based on trust. She made his life less lonely and confusing, and he appreciated her amazing webs. His percentage obsession appealed to her intellect, and she amused herself by fabricating bogus statistics just to watch his face contort as he absorbed them.  

Later that evening they cuddled up to watch her favorite movie, "Kiss of the Spiderwoman." Little Egypt strutted up and down her web showing off her huge abdomen and fancy tattoo for Stanley's enjoyment. Her long legs became stiletto heels that never left her tightrope of spun silk. She kept spinning new and interesting webs throughout the entire movie and Stanley got lost in their intricacies. She could do it all. The Classics (he loved her Mona Lisa best), modernism, and Neo-Expressionism. He felt like an art student watching a Master when she did her pointillism webs. Stanley nodded off to sleep that night to the faint but all-too familiar sounds of bump and grind music that drifted upstairs from KittyKat's.

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Email author Susan Mountain

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