Alice Block-Lindmüller


Cobwebs -Sarah hated them. Not only because of their sticky softness, but mainly because of their hairy inhabitants. Sarah remembered that when she was a child, she once stood in front of a rather big cobweb, covered with glittering dewdrops. It had looked so beautiful, Sarah could not resist touching it. She enjoyed the soft swinging waterpearls until suddenly a big black, hairy creature had come out of a hidden place, crawling quickly towards her fingers. Sarah had run away and now never got near a cobweb if she was able to avoid it. Her son, Stephen, wasn´t afraid of the long legged animals, he´d never been. "I could stay home and help you clean the pavillion, Mum, I know how you hate getting the big cobwebs from the ceiling. And there are some big ones there...." Stephen looked innocently helpful, but it didn´t work, since his Mum always scented the reason behind her boy`s unselfishness. "In other words",she translated, "you´re going to write your maths test today and didn´t practise!" Her son´s pride was obviously offended by his mothers´cruelty towards helpful children, but Stephen left the house without a word. He imagined big, creepy spiders would make his mother regret her cruelty. Oh yes, she would suffer!
In fact, Sarah had thought about her son´s offer seriously for a short moment, but since she didn´t make a fuss of her anxiety, thinking the best way to get over it still was just doing things, Sarah had got the thought right out of her mind. She collected the cleaning equipment and, with a deep sigh, went across the lawn towards the wooden pavillion at the end of the garden. Another deep sigh was all she allowed herself when opening the squeaking door, then the shutters. The gardening furniture, the gardening tools, were all covered with loads of dust and cobwebs.. She calmed herself, that  the inhabitants had died from starvation long ago.  Without further hesitation Sarah started to get the furniture out, then the tools. Now the broom and out with the dirt. Sarah felt much better now,she even started enjoying the work. The pavillion began to turn into a
nice place again, with the warm sunlight making the clean wood smell homely. Just another cloud of dust to be send outside- Sarah stopped pushing the broom abruptly when she saw a dark shadow cover the floor, a figure filling the doorway. It wasn´t just the sudden appearance of a person, nor the unexpected interruption, Sarah felt that there was something wrong, something dangerous. It felt like feeling the monster in the cobweb before actually seeing it. "Hello", Sarah clasped the broomstick,  her voice trembled a bit a she continued "Who are you looking for? Can I help you?" The figure made a few steps forward and the sunshine fell through the windows on it´s face, which actually didn´t make things better. It was a man, not as big as it had seemed when he stood in the doorway. He was bald, but lots of dark hair grew on his body. His clothes looked untidy, his face ugly, the grin showed that he didn´t seem to use a toothbrush very often.. He wasn´t a friend of soap and water either, as Sarah could smell. She felt her hands and feet grow ice cold, cotton wool filled her head and cold sweat started running down her spine. Why not try it with anger, rage... Sarah strengthened her back, took a deep breath then said in a loud voice"Stop! You´ll leave now! Out you go! I´ll call for help!" A dirty grin was the answer, but Sarah didn´t want to give in that easy. She looked upwards, as if there could be an answer coming from there or help, like spiderman or... She looked up again. There it was: An absolutely enormous cobweb, a big black something in it. Please, she begged silently, let there be  a tarantula in that cobweb, and please, she continued, let this man be afraid of it. She held to the thought as a drowning person might hold to a piece of wood. Sarah lifted the broomstick up to the low ceiling, continuing talking stupid things, while the man, very slowly, came nearer and nearer. Finally the broomstick reached the cobweb. Sarah slowly turned it round, so the web could fasten round the brush. Then, when she already could smell the sweat of the man, she threw the whole thing down. And down it came! A cloud of dust, the web lay over the man´s shoulder, and it´s inhabitant, bigger than she had dared to hope, hairier and uglier she had expected even in her nightmares, crawled across the bald man´s head.
The cry sounded inhuman, it made her blood freeze and, at the same time, move forward. But faster than she, the man ran away, stumbled, fell, got up again, shrieking, howling, running... trying to get rid of the big, black creature.
When Stephen came home after school, he found a police car in front of the house. Mum had collapsed at the sight of a spider! They had taken her to hospital and now waited for him to come home. Stephen ran into the house and bumped into his Mum.
The police officer was just saying ".....he must have been completely out of his mind! Running straight onto the M1! He´s been seriously injured!" And , noticing the boy, continued "Oh, you´re the son of this brave woman! Luckily your Mum definitely isn´t afraid of spiders as many people are. You can be very proud!" Sarah added with a smile "Well, son, have you been as successful with your maths test as I´ve been with my spider job!"  


All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Alice Block-Lindmüller.
Published on on 24.07.2005.


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