It’s Not Rain

#picturefiction #flashfiction

Clancy rolled out of bed and staggered to the bathroom scratching an itch in his stubble and yawning wide enough to make popping sounds in his jaw.

He partied hard last night and his vision refused to focus; he planned to ‘drain the main vein’ as he liked to say, and go right back to bed.

He straddled the toilet and groaned in pleasure as the pressure in his bladder was relieved. He was in the middle of another ear popping yawn when his blurry vision revealed a dark dot right in front of his face. He squinted and leaned forward and then just as quickly jerked away, screaming like a little girl. A spider, all legs and pointy abdomen, twirled mere inches from his face suspended by a hair thin thread of silk.

“Jesus Christ,” he screamed.

His heart raced and felt like it wanted to climb into his throat; sweat erupted from his skin and he gasped for air like a drowning man – he feared spiders even more than clowns. The rush of adrenaline cleared the alcoholic haze from his head and his vision sprang into crystal focus – all the better to let him see the monstrous spider which would probably leap from its thread any moment to attack. He was instantly wide awake; there would be no going back to bed now.

Clancy ran from the bathroom, his most vulnerable parts still hanging out of the front of his pajama bottoms, and bee lined to the kitchen. A frantic search brought a can of bug spray and a wand lighter into his hands.

“Mother fucker gonna die,” he said.

His voice shook as he marched back to his bathroom with the spray can and lighter held before him like a sword and shield. His hands shook and knees wobbled as he forced himself to enter the abode of his enemy. The spider, a mere half an inch across but to his mind it was the size of a collie, still twirled on its invisible thread above the toilet.  He approached like a big game hunter stalking a rogue lion. Inch by inch he closed the distance until he was within an arms length of the hated creature. He extended the lighter and with a click ignited the spider silk. The spider fell to the toilet seat. The monster received no reprieve, Clancy mashed his finger down on the nozzle and a jet of toxic liquid engulfed the spider. He held the nozzle down until the spider rolled over and curled into a tight ball; it was finally dead, he was safe.

“Take that fucker,” he shouted. “Who’s da man?”

Clancy did a short victory dance and only then realized he was still flopping around outside his pants. He walked back to his bedroom, chagrin blunting his euphoria, and dressed for the day; there was no chance of him going back to sleep after such a rude awakening.

Clancy grabbed his keys and put his hand on the doorknob of the front door when he noticed a pitter-pat sound. The sound was coming from the roof and from outside the door; it must be raining. He detoured to the closet and grabbed an umbrella and once more went to the door. He stepped out beneath the metal awning and prepared to open his umbrella but paused when he realized the sun was shining. The ticking sounds of rain hitting the awning continued even though there wasn’t a cloud in view. Clancy stood, perplexed, for several seconds and then noticed small dots bouncing from the awning and raining to the ground all around him. The small dark shapes began to move across the pavement; revulsion rocked him back on his heels as he realized that the hundreds of shapes were spiders.

Hundreds, thousands, possibly millions more – an infinity of spiders were inexplicably raining down on his roof and awning and bouncing to the ground. Clancy shrieked once more and retreated to the safety of his home before the crawling horde could reach him.

Clancy pressed his back to the door as if trying to hold off a charging monster. It was raining spiders; how could such a thing occur?

Movement in the corner drew his gaze; a spider was moving across the wallpaper toward him. Clancy ran back to the bathroom where his trusty weapons still dwelled and returned to spray another multi-legged monstrosity into the next life. The monster had no sooner fallen to the floor than he spotted another spider crawling along the baseboard. Clancy sprayed, the spider died.

A veritable tsunami of arachnids swarmed into his house through every opening imaginable. Everywhere he looked an eight legged death machine targeted him. The spray wasn’t working fast enough, he needed a better approach. Clancy side stepped a cluster of spiders making for the television and in a fit of inspiration he triggered the bug spray and the lighter at the same time. A blowtorch of poison flame engulfed the pack of spiders. They ignited and began to curl up but not before spreading the flame to more spiders nearby; Clancy’s flamethrower was working perfectly.

He raced from place to place, flaming dozens of spiders into the next life. He was panting with exertion and alternating between laughing and screaming in fear as more and more spiders fell before him. It was getting hard to breathe. Why was it so painful to breathe? Clancy staggered to a halt and turned to see half his house engulfed in flame. Smoke filled the air and as he watched, the flames leaped from curtains to ceiling, floor to furniture; his impromptu flame thrower had backfired.

Clancy ran to the front door, ripped it open and recoiled. The entire opening was filled with spider webs and thousands of spiders. He turned from the horror and saw thousands more spiders racing toward him, fleeing the flames which even now were closing in around him. He turned the can toward the webs on the door, he could burn his way to freedom – the spray did not come, the can was empty, he was trapped.

Clancy charged into the web; he intended to force his way through but the webs were dense beyond belief and restrained him as thoroughly as a net. He began to scream as he struggled in the web’s embrace. He could feel spiders crawling over his body and the heat approaching. He prayed the flame would take him before the vengeful spiders had their way with him.



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