Boris The Spider

Still from FishMonkeyMan “If I’ve told you once” ©Warner Bros. Dir: Mike Olley

I eventually got round to putting the poor guitar in the shed where it stayed for a month. Outta sight, outta mind. A big spider made its web across the sound hole. The web vibrated if you strummed the strings, hit them hard enough and the spider would appear, looking really pissed off. I was scared of spiders, and so nervously strummed the damp, smelly instrument at about 100mph. It would’ve been very punk rock but the eggy guitar still sounded like a lute. That medieval vibe went out of fashion in 1453AD.

The spider had enough of being disturbed; it grabs my strumming hand and with a quick flick of the wrist pulls me into the guitar’s sound hole. I land with a thump, whole, somehow I’ve managed to avoid being sliced by the strings. Inside the guitar there’s sticky web cables are everywhere. It would be impossible to run and escape without getting caught on one. The spider approaches, tapping the web lines and making a clicking sound.

“DON’T EAT ME!” I plead.

The spider stops clicking, sighs and speaks instead

“I guess you don’t speak Arachni..? No, there’s no reason why you should. It’s a dying language, like so many things today, it will soon be lost forever. No, I was saying ‘Don’t be afraid I’m not going to eat you, I just want you to stop that infernal sound.”

“Sorry. I didn’t think spiders could hear. You don’t have any ears.”

“We don’t. It’s the sensitive leg-hair, dear boy. We can feel sound through the hairs on our legs.’

“Oh, what’s that like?”

“I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know any different. But I do know you were making a horrible dirge.”

”That was punk.”

“That was awful. You want music to have structure, melody and a story to it. You should try King Crimson, Yes, or a bit of Tull, but I have to say my favourites are Genesis – “Lamb Lies Down” is sheer genius.”

“Prog rock? It’s all faeries and wizards,” I say. “Not really my thing.”

“Hmmmmm.” The spider has moved uncomfortably close. I can hear it breathing. I see myself reflected in the group of eight eyes. It’d make a great LP cover if I didn’t look so scared.

“Can I use your toilet? Do you have one?” I ask.

“Of course I do,” replied the spider. “I use the space behind that screen.”

I carefully make my way over, looking for a means of escape. The acrid smell of body-waste intensifies as I slip behind the wooden support that acts as a screen. Putting my hand out to steady myself, I accidentally touch a hanging cocoon. It sounds a weak buzz. On closer inspection I see it is a half-digested fly trussed up in a tangled web.

I scream and drop the eggy, lute guitar on the shed floor. The spider falls out and runs into a crack. I re-donate the instrument back to the charity shop.

*  *. *

Excerpt from ‘The Playlist’, (Hard Egg Publishing 2020) available from Amazon. UK / US


Kindle version available FREE from Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May

Go grab it now!

* *. *  *. *

The following video is purely an illustration of the excellent music around at the time and is for enjoyment purposes only


Published by mike olley

Mike Olley writes short fiction. He has two collections of very short stories available, Better and Mind Clearance. His work has also been published online as well as in several anthologies. Originally from London, he spent a few years in Spain before a quirk of fate brought him back to live in an English seaside town. He now spends his time gathering storylines washed in by the sea.

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