When I was a child, I had an intense fear of spiders. My dread of those little eight-legged monsters has somewhat eased in my adulthood, but I continue to hesitate whenever I encounter an arachnid.
I’m unsure of the exact roots of these feelings. My grandparents’ house often seemed rife with spiders of all varieties. These little creatures turned up when you least suspected. My grandmother reminded me that the spiders I stumbled upon were even more afraid during the encounter.
I don’t know that was entirely true.
The predatory nature of spiders and their various means of securing prey also disturbed me as a child.
Of course, our culture often portrays spiders as creatures to be feared or, at the very least, a serious nuisance. I’m sure that helps foster a touch of arachnophobia in all of us.
I presently find myself at tenuous ease with spiders. Spiders consume many of the insects that I find absolutely the most annoying organisms known, which has created a need for toleration.
With that newfound magnanimity in mind, I wanted to share two science fiction short stories that I was fortunate enough to have published. Both of these stories involve the more sinister characteristics of arachnids (both real and imagined).
“Floating over a Spider” was published with Fictional Pairings in April of 2017. I wrote this flash fiction after reading extensively about Venus. I had developed a fascination with the potential habitability of certain cloud layers within the Venusian atmosphere. The plot concerns a floating research abode that unexpectedly requires repairs. However, the crew is unsure as to the cause of these troubling leaks.
“Montanha do Aranha” appeared with The Evening Theatre in May of 2018 and concerns the shipwrecked survivors of a Portuguese expedition in the 16th century. These unfortunate sailors wash ashore on a mysterious island in an uncharted region of the Pacific. Desperate for rescue, one survivor gets attention from a deadly apex predator.
Click the title of either of these arachnid–inspired stories to read.