note: terrifying images of spiders below. be ye warned.
This is easily one of the more horrifying things that has happened to me.
I once chased a spear gun-carrying poacher. I confiscated a collection of weapons from an unstable teenager. I have driven through the worst neighborhoods at 3:00 am and wrangled injured animals protected by nothing more than a bath towel.
NOTHING prepared me for this.
This post started out as a very different piece about life and experiences and being brave. It had some basics on how my life was kind of weird, and how it’s important to face scary things blah blah lather rinse repeat. I’d kind of found my groove and was pretty happy with the direction things were headed. That’s when I glanced over toward the bookcase, and this thing was just there. Staring at me.
And just like that, any illusions I had ever held about being a brave person immediately vanished. It was pretty much as though Nature went, “Oh, you want weird and scary? Okay. Challenge: accepted” and poofed this thing into existence. Nature clearly hates me.
I'm not ashamed to admit I eeked like a mouse.
The quality of this photo is terrible because my hands were shaking so bad that I could't keep the camera focused. Thank Heaven this vase is nearly 12 inches tall with slick sides, because this horrifying spawn of Hell was trying to climb up the glass, flailing all its horrid legs around. I screamed so loud that I startled it and it fell back down, and I actually heard it hit the pebbles and may or may not have come close to losing control of my bodily functions. As it struggled to right itself, I ran around the kitchen looking for any possible thing I could use as a lid on the vase. I grabbed a cookbook and slammed it down on top, but was worried it might be able to squeeze out through the millimeter gap around the edges. I grabbed a cutting board and did a quick switch, then placed the cookbook back on top. Then put a stewpot on top of the book. Then a heavy flower pot inside the stewpot. I thought about adding more, but then got scared the glass would break and it would escape and maul me.
I do not scare easily, but by this point I was hyperventilating and my hands were shaking and when one of the cats bumped the back of my leg I let out a squeak and jumped roughly 45 feet into the air. Fortunately for me, Rocky's day job is a pest control technician - what used to be called an exterminator. Unfortunately for me, he was thirty minutes away having a breakfast date with our son. I called him in a complete panic and he very calmly talked me off the ceiling and told me to keep the lid on it and that he was coming home to battle it. He said it was probably only a wolf spider.
Only a wolf spider. Only.
Per Wikipedia, “Some [wolf spiders] are opportunistic hunters pouncing upon prey as they find it or even chasing it over short distances.”
A venomous creature with eight legs, eight eyes, fangs, and a propensity to chase down and kill things it wants to eat is not an only anything. Except maybe only evil.
I sat in the living room and waited for them, both wanting to shut my eyes and also afraid to look away in case the thing somehow escaped. When Rocky got home, he took a look and for some reason did not agree with my assessment that it was a creature of hell and should be returned to the flames from which it came. HE insisted on staying perfectly calm and saying nonsense like they were common. He even tried to tell me that it wasn’t the biggest one he’d seen in our area recently. I explained to him that things like that could only be found in the Australian outback or something, hanging out with dingos and surrounded by an uncrossable ocean. He very calmly said no, and I not at all calmly explained to him that yes, yes it was – that there is no way any spider bigger or more terrifying could exist in this part of the world because if it did, I needed off this planet immediately. And just in case you were starting to think I'm some kind of giant baby who is scared of a tiny bug, here is a ruler for scale. With its legs all scrunched in, it's still about the size of a Volkswagen.
Rocky carried the vase outside and went out to get the can of napalm or whatever was needed to kill it. When he came back, I asked him how where it came from and he said it probably just followed us in while the door was open or something. THAT MEANS IT FOLLOWED ME INTO MY HOME WITH THE CLEAR INTENT TO MURDER ME. A few hours after spraying it and reassuring me that yes, it really really was really and truly dead, he went back onto the patio to retrieve the vase and send me a proof of death photo.
You're welcome. May it haunt your nightmares forever as it will mine. I don’t even know how to go on from here. I may have to burn down the apartment just to make certain there aren’t any more of them hiding and waiting to eat me.