I run some errands and put Harry out of my mind for a while. Returning home I walk in to find Harry sitting in a corner of the living room with a rolled up magazine in his hand, his eyes wild.
“Harry, what’s up? What the hell are you doing?”
He has the look of a hunted man. “There’s a big one in here Carl. I told you it could happen. We might have to move out.”
I put away some groceries and think things over. Going back out to the living room I crouch down in front of him.
“Harry, look, we’re not in any danger. Are you saying you saw a spider?”
“It was huge, Carl. Big and scary. It tried to kill me. We gotta get out of here.”
I think for a moment. “Okay, Harry, where is it now?”
“I don’t know. It’s hiding.”
“Well where was it the last time you saw it?”
Now he’s doing this thing he does when he gets overwhelmed, putting his hands over his ears and bugging his eyes out.
“I don’t know, Carl. It tried to get me and I…I ran. I didn’t see where it went. It’s evil, Carl. It’s got a…”
“Yeah, I know, Harry, a tiny face. Look, next time you see it just come get me and I’ll sort this out, all right?”
This is getting exasperating. I’m worried that he’s really losing it now. I really don’t think there’s any spider, and if there is it’s one damned clever arachnid. I put on some music to change the mood and after awhile Harry seems to be back to normal. Well, normal for Harry anyway. He’s reading the magazine he was going to defend himself with, so it seems he’s over the spider thing for now.
I sit down at the computer to do some web surfing and forget about Harry for a while. I can hear him behind me after awhile and he’s talking to himself softly. At first I think he’s just reading out loud but a few minutes later it occurs to me he’s having a conversation with himself. I try to listen a little more carefully without alerting him and I can’t believe what I finally tune in to.
He’s on about the spider again. Worse, he’s actually talking to it as if it’s there. Telling it he’s not going to let it win, that he’s going to get it and such. I hear him going into the kitchen and just as I’m about to turn around to see what’s going on there’s a searing pain in my head and everything fades…to black…
“Harry, what a nice surprise. It’s good to hear your voice.”
“Um…Mom, I think you better come over quick. It’s not good Mom, not good at all.”
“Harry, what’s the matter? Where is Carl?”
“Well, see, there was this spider. It’s been trying to get us all day. Then I killed it Mom.”
“You killed a spider Harry? What did you kill it with?”
“A frying pan, Mom. The big cast iron one we use to cook bacon and stuff.”
“Oh my, dear. Where was the spider when you killed it?”
“Well, you see, it was crawling up Carl’s back, and I went and got the frying pan, and then it was on his head…and, well, Carl won’t wake up Mom. I think you better come over right away…”