Parasitism (Fiction)

Creative Writing 2 

63ESQDm

His wife told him to do it. He didn’t want to. She wasn’t in the kitchen with him, he could fake it and she would never know if he had actually done it or not. Although, the proximity of the back door would be a dead give-away for an escape. He stood there in the kitchen staring blankly at the underneath of the bottom of the counters. It’s under there, he thought, She told me to do it. I’ve got to. But he was too kind hearted, with soft hands and perfectly rounded nails that exhibit his organized, polite nature. Never could he ever intentionally do anything harmful to anyone. Regardless, he stooped down to his knees on the repetitively square, white linoleum, pushing his smooth yet masculine hands into the floor to support himself. Peering underneath the bottom of the counter, he was eye to eyes with the eight-legged animal.

“I can’t do it, Rachel!” he yelled, “He didn’t do anything to me!”

“But you’re the man! I ain’t doing it! I ain’t even going to look at it!” she yelled back.

He continued to stare at the taunting, life-abundant spider that was cowering into the linoleum lining between the floor and the counter. The spider twitched its front legs upward towards his mandibles to clean himself. The man leaned onto his elbows and inched his hand forward; each of his fingers were uniform with each other, each representing his gentle and considerate nature. Every knuckle curved the with the same manner; each wrinkle displayed a color that was slightly darker than the skin folding around it. His fingers looked as if he had experienced so much and had absorbed so much trauma—the possible result of his marriage.

He hesitated.

In the spider’s eyes he could see so many moments before him; what if this very spider was the last of its kind? What if destroying it meant destroying an entire species? All because his wife was unable to exterminate the spider herselfwhich didn’t make any sense because she was the one in their relationship that was negative and life-sucking—but he was now obliged to take the heavy load of the extinction of an entire species. Way to go, Rachel. Way to assume that men are the consistently more brutal creatures in a marriage. The darkness in the wrinkles of his hands represented the darkness that he had been enduring from his rather parasitic relationship with his wife. This is why some people don’t marry their high school sweetheart. My friends had always told me that she was no good; she constantly made me spend time with her but when we were together she just nagged at me. Why the hell did I marry her? We jumped in too fast. We fell in lovesomehow—then got engaged, and once we were engaged it felt finalized. He sat there frozen in his awkward, kneeling position, recalling every moment to support his claim that his marriage was a failure from the start.

“Wait a bit before getting married, why don’t ya, Carl,” he accidentally spoke to himself.

“Did ya get him, already?” Rachel yelled.

Creasing his eyebrows with suppressed anger, he didn’t answer. This is stupid. He poked his softened index finger towards the eight-legged creature. It twitched with life. Then, it slowly crawled onto Carl’s finger. Maybe it knew. Carl had no intentions of hurting the little creature;  maybe this specific species of spider was able to detect feelings of trust and empathy. Maybe his fingers were oozing a gentle, luscious fume that could only be detected in the fourth dimension. Afterall, spiders have eight eyes. At least one pair should be able to sense things that humans cannot.

The spider looked up at him as if it were smiling and thanking him for the rescue.

“There ya go, little guy,” he whispered, “I’m going to sneak you outside, okay? I’ll put you back where you belong. How did you end up in here anyways?”

The spider seemed to communicate with Carl; it raised a front leg and pointed out towards a nearby floor vent.

“Ah, I see now. Well don’t do it again, it’s a mess in here. I know you’d rather be outside. It’s a good thing it’s warm outside so the AC cools you down instead of, well, it would have gotten mighty hot down in the vents.”

The spider’s eyes glimmered and slanted upwards to reveal a slight opening for its mouth, smiling again. It seemed to express its gratitude. Carl smiled back.

“You’re lucky that Rachel’s too scared to take care of you. She wouldn’t be very kind, anyways.”

He heard his wife’s shoes stomping from the living room so he got up steadily, trying not to disturb his new friend.

“Why the hell does it always take you so goddamn long to do something I ask?” Rachel asked.

“You’re angry, ” Carl stated more than asked, not seeming to care. He did not remove his gaze from the spider as he sensitively took a step closer to the open back door. A spring breeze flowed through, further energizing Carl’s motivation to free the spider from the wrath of Rachel.

Rachel saw the spider in Carl’s hands. She shrieked, “You didn’t kill it?! OH MY GOD CARL FREAKING KILL THAT DEVIL!”

He kept walking across the kitchen towards the door.

Rachel’s eyes widened. “Oh. No. Give it here, I’ll kill it myself,” she said.

“Don’t listen to her, buddy,” Carl said to the spider.

“So now you’re ignoring me, Carl?” she asked.

“You’ll be out soon. I promise,” he continued.

“Ahhh!” she yelled. She flared her body towards her husband in attempts to disturb his cupped hands that held the spider.

“Hey! Rachel! I’m taking care of him!”

“No, you’re trying to put it outside! Give me your shoe! Now!” she yelled. She motioned her hand towards Carl’s foot, demanding him to remove a shoe for her convenience.

“Where else does he belong?” Carl said.

“Dead.”

“No!” he yelled. He kept walking slowing towards the door, with large eyes, focusing on the spider’s freedom and continuation of life.

“I’ll kill it!” she yelled. Her actions spoke otherwise; her head was cocked with fear and her hands were trembling. She moved away from Carl and the spider.

“No you won’t. Even if you had the opportunity, you couldn’t do it. You’re … squeamish,” Carl said. He chose his words carefully, trying to not offend the spider.

“I am not!” she yelled. Rachel was now again up close to Carl, trying to establish a false confidence. Carl stopped walking and stood still, but kept gazing at the spider. He wanted to see if she would actually try to do something with the spider. Rachel stared intently at it.

“Ew, look at its gross legs, they sprawl out in weird ways—ew, just ew!” she said. She flared her armed near her face as if she was erasing the repulsive words she had just spoken.

The spider ran up Carl’s forearm as if escaping Rachel’s insults.

“Ew!” she screamed. Her hands and fingers flared wildly as if she too were a spider. She twitched in abnormal ways and became incapable of moving out of her cramped, fearful posture. Maybe she was trying to grasp her false confidence with her fingertips as it flew around her in the air.

Carl glared at Rachel. His eyes burned through her retinas and into her skull as if he were engraving all of his suppressed anger from their failing marriage. He bit his lip so hard that he revealed his teeth. He twitched, too. That was it, he was going to make a break for it. He pursed his lips that panged with pain and darted for the door with his arms extended to steady the spider’s surroundings. As soon as he stepped outside he bent down next to a backyard hydrangea. He twisted his wrist outward, revealing the underside of his forearm and elbow. He brushed leaves up against his skin to persuade the spider into a luscious, green freedom.

“Come on, buddy, I know this isn’t the best spot, but you’ve gotta be quick now and make your way back home later! Go! Go on!”

Rachel was walking towards the door. She must’ve found her false confidence floating around her in the air.

“Carl!” she shrieked.

“Go!” he yelled. He twitchingly directed the spider towards the leaves with his eyes. He had a huge, hysterical smile crossing his face.

“Go? I’m not going anywhere!” Rachel yelled.

The spider was nodding in agreement. Carl’s face looked crazed. He smile was insanely large and his eyes were so wide that they might have well divided into eighths.

“Carl quit ignoring me!”

The spider darted onto a hydrangea leaf just far enough to be hidden in the shadows.

Carl stood up. His mission was a success. “No, Rachel. I didn’t kill the spider like you wanted. He’s innocent. You and I have never had anything in common; the only thing we have ever shared is the refrigerator,” he said. With that, his widened eyes twitched and he pushed her aside to find another house spider to rescue.

photo credits: https://www.reddit.com/r/spiders/duplicates/2sehmi/tiny_jumping_spider_on_my_finger/

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