The Vixen and the Terror of Cirith Ungol

5 09 2014

Our house has a mailbox.

It isn’t so uncommon a thing, particularly in rural areas to have one. If we lived in a city I could see a PO box but since we live far from the jungles of glass and concrete and cement we have an actual, honest-to-goodness metal box sitting on a wooden post stuck in the dirt.

We have one of those rural mail carriers too. That’s a person that actually drives a car around to deliver your mail. This isn’t like a normal mail man though. They don’t have a fancy set of USPS shorts/pants/shirt/mailbag/poncho (for when it rains and snows.) He doesn’t drive a little white mail van with the blue stripes or anything. Nope. It’s a dude in a jeep of some sort that he owns. And sometimes when he isn’t around it’s a lady.

I don’t like the lady much; she waits to deliver the mail until waaaay later than the normal mail person.

But that’s all backstory. None of that is truly what is important. I don’t want to talk to you about the mail carriers or the box really. Those things aren’t that interesting. I want to talk about what’s inside the box.

One of Shelob’s distant cousins.

You remember Shelob don’t you? Well for those of you who may not remember/know what the hell is I’m talking about; it’s the giant spider that tries to make a lunch of a couple of hobbits in middle earth. That’s right, that thing guarded the pass Frodo and Samwise used to sneak deeper into Mordor. I’d take a picture of this mailbox dwelling beast but I’m afraid that if I tried the flash would send it into a seething rage and it might leap from its mailbox sanctuary to attack me.

Spiders never used to be something that I was incredibly cognizant of. Sure I would notice webs from time to time forming in out of the way places, strands of cob that you don’t ever see until they are thousands of tiny strands thick, clogging up a corner of the ceiling. I would also catch the occasional spider poking around the pool stairs when it was time to drag the things back to the pool so I could get in it again.

Now that the Vixen is in my life there seems to be a hell of a lot more. She has this weird sense. She is drawn to spider activity like shai-halud to a harvester. (Two uber nerdy references in one post, how do you like that?) Many a night I’ve spent responding to the horrified calls that yet another arachnid had been discovered and needed assistance in moving swiftly to the afterlife. (Which for spiders I’m told is hell given that it is their point of origin.)

No longer are these eight legged eaters of annoying insects allowed in my life. They have taken a different place all together. They are intruders and they are legion. A cobweb is no longer simply that. It is an indication that our perimeter has been breached and our defenses overcome, the only thing remaining that stands between happiness and the utter annihilation of my family is me and sometimes a long dowel or shoe or something for those times they are too high up for me to squash without additional reach.

That giant arachnid in the mailbox, easily shadowing a quarter with its size, is one that I have battle for my wife in the past. While she deals with turtles and turkeys and all other manner of other creature; she like any good superhero has a weakness. Arachnids are her kryptonite and being the loyal sidekick that I am in this crazy partnership called marriage, I step in to help.

I remember it like it was yesterday. The sun was high in the sky, it was hot, humid and the night couldn’t come fast enough. The mailman had recently been through so I volunteered to go get the mail. I opened the box and there it was, sitting on the lid, staring at me with all of its creepy little eyes which were actually big enough to make out fairly easily.

I moved to get the mail and it followed my hand, scurrying across the lid like a lion ready to pounce. I withdrew and eyed it for a bit. It returned to the forefront of the lid as if it were daring me to invade its newly acquired cardboard treasure horde. I told it to piss off. It didn’t.

So I got a stick.

When I returned to the box I found it had retreated down into the lip of the lid interior so that I could still see it but I’d have a hell of a time getting at it. The bastard knew. IT knew what I was doing. I thrashed and jabbed but either my stick kept hitting the lip or it was deflecting my blows. To this day I don’t know which it was.

Finally after I crossed the road and waited a bit it came out and actually started expanding a web on the exterior of the box. I waited until it rappelled down a bit, rushed over, hooked the line with my stick and pitched it into the hayfield. It flew a long ways and fell hard in the grass. And the box was safe.

Or so I thought. My work as a sidekick wasn’t over yet.

The spider is back.

It’s built a new web, inside.

It watches.

And it waits.




One response

5 09 2014

Poor little thing! ::snik, snik, snik::

Walk without rhythm next time.

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