- Richard Haywood
One Hundred Baby Spiders
One Hundred Baby Spiders
From nothing to life and he comes to the fore of existence, opening his eight eyes to blink and stare about in wonder at the dazzling lights of the new world about him. Scents in the air, aromas and things that make him tingle and feel funny inside. Noises too, or are they vibrations? He can’t quite tell, only that he either hears or feels them.
This must be life then.
Wow. What a concept. He blinks again. Looking left and right and up and down through his eight eyes while wondering what exactly he is.
‘RUN MOTHERFUCKER!’ a rush from the side and something steams past, barging him aside and only then, at that point, does he realise he too is running and he looks left and right to see he has eight spindly legs all going like the clappers to drive him along amongst a seething, broiling mass of other eight-legged creatures all screaming and shouting.
‘RUN YOU DUMB SHITS…’
He runs too. Except, he doesn’t know why he is running.
‘Hey,’ someone calls at his side and he turns to flinch at the ugly eight-eyed hairy face of a spider.
‘WHAT THE FUCK!’ he yells, veering off to run into another ugly eight-eyed hairy faced spider. ‘ARGH,’ he cries out, thinking to try and make his legs turn him about while realising he doesn’t really have that much control over them and so he crashes and bashes, veering left and right and only seeing really ugly eight-eyed hairy faces and in his panic, he swerves back to the position he was in before. ‘THERE’S SPIDERS EVERYWHERE,’ he screams wildly.
‘We’re all spiders,’ the same spider as before says while running at his side.
‘Are we?’ he asks, double-taking while running. ‘Have I got eight eyes?’
The other spider peers over and pokes her spider tongue out of her spider mouth while checking him over as they run. ‘Yep, eight eyes…’
‘Wow,’ he says. ‘Wow,’ he says again, being unsure of what else to say.
‘I’m Sally,’ the ugly girl spider says. ‘Sally the spider.’
‘Right,’ he replies. Nodding. ‘Er…’
‘Choose a name,’ Sally says, seeing his hesitancy.
‘Choose a name?’
‘Yeah, just choose one.’
‘Right,’ he says again.
‘So, that’s Bob over there…’
‘Hey, Bob…and that one is Roger…over there is Jane and…’
‘But…’ he says, cutting in while casting about at the others running like mad all about him. ‘I mean…oh wow. Pressure…how do I know what gender name to choose from?’
Sally looks sideways at him through her eight-eyes. ‘Check your belly.’
‘You’ll either have a spider dick or a spider vagina.’
‘I have a spider vagina…see,’ she says, lifting one side up while running.
‘OH MY GOD…what is that?’
‘Duh! My vagina. Now have a look at yours.’
‘How do I? I mean, where do I look and…’
‘Jesus, come here…’ Sally says, scooting over to reach one of her eight legs under to grab something that makes his eight-eyes go suddenly wide. ‘You’ve got a dick,’ Sally says, pulling away to nod at him. ‘Hey, the new guy has a dick,’ she yells out as several of the closest running spiders turn to look at him.
‘You touched my willy!’ he blurts, staring aghast at Sally.
‘Willy?’ Bob shouts over. ‘Is that his name? Hi, Willy.’
‘No! I said she touched my willy…’
‘Hey, Willy,’ Jane shouts, waving a spindly leg while running on.
‘It’s not Willy! I said she touched my willy…’ Willy the spider shouts. ‘And why are we running?’
‘Nobody knows,’ Sally the spider says.
‘Right,’ Willy the spider says. ‘That makes no sense at all.’
‘Well everyone else is running,’ Sally points out.
‘Yeah but why?’ Willy asks. ‘Er so hi! Hi guys…does anyone know why we’re running?’
A general hubbub of replies come back with the spiders shaking their spider heads and saying no, they do not know why they are running.
‘Right,’ Willy says. ‘Er, so…maybe we could like not run?’ he suggests.
‘Ooh I don’t know,’ Sally says, pulling a face.
‘Bit risky,’ Bob says moving closer.
‘I think Willy’s right,’ Jane says, coming in closer from the other side.
‘I think you’ll find we are genetically programmed to run as soon we gain life and that in itself tends to suggest there is a reason to run so perhaps it is unwise to stop running,’ Roger the spider says.
‘Such a know it all, Roger,’ Sally tuts.
‘He is,’ Jane says, nodding at Sally. ‘You are,’ she tells Roger.
‘I am just pointing out that we seem to have come to life whilst running and so it does not seem the sensible thing to do to stop running,’ Roger says primly.
‘Blah blah,’ Bob the spider says. ‘I’m with Willy, I say we stop running.’
‘Don’t pin this on me,’ Willy says in alarm.
‘I agree with Willy,’ Jane says.
‘What’s going on?’ Bert the spider says, running over.
‘Willy says we should stop running,’ Sally tells him.
‘I never said that!’ Willy says.
‘Oh,’ Bert says. ‘Yeah okay, like…we were asking the same thing over there…hey lads! Lads! Willy here says we should stop running.’
‘I really never said that!’ Willy says.
‘Alright, Willy. I’m Johnno and that’s Pete, the ugly one there is Bazza…’
‘Oi!’ Bazza shouts.
‘Hahah! Bazza’s a good lad really,’ Johnno says. ‘You think we should stop running then?’
‘No! I just asked why we are running in the first place.’
‘I like it!’ Johnno says. ‘Questioning the status quo eh? Challenging the rights of the oppressors. Yeah right on! Bazza? You up for a bit of not-running?’
‘Yeah can do, Johnno,’ Bazza says mildly.
‘But then Roger had a good point,’ Willy says quickly. ‘I mean, what if we are pre-programmed to be running for a specific survival reason?’
‘Like what?’ Sally asks him.
‘I don’t know! Ask Roger.’
‘Don’t ask me,’ Roger says stiffly. ‘I was just playing devil’s advocate.’
‘Wanker!’ Johnno says. ‘I hate spiders playing devil’s advocate.’
‘Yeah right,’ Bert says. ‘Always trying to look clever and give different views while refusing to get off the fence and choose a side.’
‘They do that,’ Jane says. ‘Appropriating other spiders’ ideas and regurgitating them as their own while distancing themselves from the notions at play for fear of being unpopular.’
‘Fine!’ Roger exclaims. ‘We’ll stop running then.’
‘Er, maybe we should keep running,’ Willy suggests.
‘No no no, you want to tell everyone to stop running then we’ll stop running,’ Roger says pointedly. ‘EVERYONE STOP RUNNING…STOP…THAT’S IT…WILLY SAID TO STOP.’
‘I bloody didn’t,’ Willy sputters as the mass of running spiders all slow down with many legs going from blurring to stopping as they all come to a stop hanging upside down and the silence spreads out. A quietness of many spiders all looking about at each other.
‘Seems okay,’ Sally ventures.
‘Does doesn’t it,’ Jane replies. ‘Good idea, Willy.’
‘Er,’ Willy says, feeling an urge inside to run. Like a really big urge. Or does he need a poo? How can he tell the difference?
‘So, what happens now?’ Bob asks, looking at Willy.
‘I don’t know,’ Willy says.
‘Well you’ve got all the answers apparently,’ Roger says.
‘What’s the plan, Willy?’ Jane asks. ‘And er, so…like…are you single? Asking for a friend.’
‘Whoa, that’s a bit predatory,’ Sally says.
‘What!? I was asking for a friend,’ Jane says.
‘Was a bit predatory, Jane,’ Johnno says. ‘Anyway, what’s next, Willy?’
‘Stop asking me. I don’t know!’
‘Are you single though?’ Bob asks.
‘Can anyone else feel something?’ Sally asks, cocking her spider head over as Willy starts feeling it too. A vibration coming through his legs. A clickity clacking sound growing louder and closer.
‘MY BABIES…’ a roaring voice bellowing out and they spin in horror to see a huge spider running at them. The claws of her huge feet digging into the surface to gain traction as her great swollen body charges onwards. Her eight eyes shining so dark and big. Her mouth open and her pincers snapping as she runs. ‘MY BABIES,’ she roars out again, making them all freeze in pure panic.
‘Mum?’ Bob asks, pulling a confused face as that feeling of really needing a poo spreads through everyone else. ‘Mum?’ he asks again as she runs at him. ‘MUM!’ he screams out as she comes in hard, lunging in to drive the pincers into his body, tearing him open with spider blood spurting out and she lifts the body to thrash left and right, spraying the innards of Bob over them all.
‘MY BABIES!’ she bellows, chomping and chewing.
‘MUM!’ Bob cries out, thrashing in the grip.
‘Oh fuck,’ Willy says. ‘Yeah so…RUN MOTHERFUCKERS!’
‘Oh now you want to run,’ Roger says haughtily as they turn and sprint off, going like the clappers.
‘MY BABIES,’ mummy spider yells, spitting Bob’s half-eaten corpse aside before lumbering on after them.
‘SHIT!’ Willy shouts, turning back to glance then wishing he hadn’t. ‘Don’t stop!’
‘No shit,’ Sally gasps at his side. ‘Is that our mum?’
‘Are we related?’ Willy asks in alarm. ‘You touched my dick…isn’t that an incest thing?’
‘Er, so I don’t know if it counts for us, seeing as we’re spiders,’ Sally says.
‘Oh,’ Willy says.
‘Sally is right,’ Roger calls while breathing hard from running. ‘It doesn’t count for us.’
‘Such a know it all, Roger!’ Jane snaps.
‘It’s a crime to read is it?’ Roger fires back.
‘It’s a crime to read is it?Jane mimics.
‘Er, maybe we should focus on like…not being here and BEING EATEN BY OUR MOTHER,’ Willy shouts.
‘Great! Got it,’ Johnno says. ‘Everyone, Willy says don’t get eaten by mum…’
‘MY BABIES,’ mum the spider roars, lunging at another of her beloved babies to sever them in half with spider goo spraying over her face.
‘Why is she killing us?’ Sally wails.
‘Er, I think you will find that our mother is also pre-programmed to…’
‘Shut up, Roger!’ a few spiders shout together.
‘Oh god,’ Willy says, looking ahead to the body of a spider dropping to the indistinct greyness below them. A scream ahead. Another one. More joining in and more spiders running out and away from something happening.
‘COME HERE MY LOVELIES!’ A deep roaring voice as another huge adult spider steams into view. The body black, the hairs thick, the eyes mean and the pincers dripping with goo and blood.
‘DAD!’ Bazza cries out, trying to veer off but it’s too late.
‘BAZZA!’ Johnno shouts, seeing Bazza has nowhere to go as the dad spider comes in fast with mum spider still so close behind.
Willy feels only terror. His whole body consumed with the fear of the now but in the blink of his eight eyes and in the beat of his spider circulatory system an idea pings in his head and he roars as he runs out, overtaking Sally, overtaking Jane, overtaking them all while that urge inside to take a shit manifests and he releases his bum muscles at the last milli-second while leaping to land on Bazza’s back, wrapping his eight legs about while staring up at the giant face of the dad-spider bearing down and they drop. Willy and Bazza falling fast through the air as Sally and the others cry out in fear.
‘SHIT AND DROP…’ Willy screams out.
‘No!’ Sally cries out. ‘NO!’
‘MY BABIES,’ mummy spider snaps another in half, chewing to guzzle the juice down before flinging the body past Sally and the others.
‘MY LOVELIES,’ Daddy spider sinks his pincers in and all about them there is only carnage and death.
‘TRUST ME,’ Willy roars the words, plummeting into the abyss of the grey nothing below.
A look between them all. A sharing of the reality that they have no choice.
‘Fuck it, I’m in…’ Johnno goes first, squeezing hard to take a crap while releasing his claws and he drops down hard, flying through the air.
‘Oh god…oh god…’ Sally closes her eight eyes and reaches out for Jane’s claw as they squeeze to do gentle lady spider-poos and they too drop. Bert does the same. Roger with them. All of them shitting and dropping as the mangled half chomped bodies drop past them.
Sally hears the laugh and opens her eyes, thinking she is dead, thinking she fell and broke her body but no, she is still falling and there, ahead of her and somehow staring up while holding Bazza is Willy. Willy laughing as he drops but slower than he should be. She looks left to see Jane smiling and moves to look round at Roger and the others all laughing as they all fall.
‘Look up, Sally!’ Willy shouts.
She twists to see and can’t believe what she is seeing. A strand of web pooing from her bum glued to the ceiling winding out of her arse as she falls.
‘Oh my god,’ she gasps.
‘We’re going to be okay,’ Jane says from her side. ‘Sally! We’re going to be okay…’
‘This is nuts!’ Johnno shouts with glee, gliding down through the air. His eight legs spread out and he twists and turns, playing tricks as he drops. ‘WOOOHOOOO!’
‘How did you know?’ Sally asks, dropping closer to Willy still holding a somewhat stunned Bazza.
‘It was just an instinct I think,’ Willy admits.
‘What now, Willy?’ Bert asks.
‘I don’t know…we keep going down I guess,’ Willy says, trying to see into the greyness below.
‘MY BABIES!’ a roar from above and they all twist while rappelling down to see mummy spider taking her own massive shit as she drops from the ceiling on her own thicker web, her legs splayed out, her eyes wild and her pincers snapping shut.
‘MY LOVELIES…’ daddy spider behind her, spitting another spider from his mouth that screams out in pain as it falls past them.
‘THEY’RE FASTER!’ Bert screams out, squeezing like mad to shit and drop as fast as he can.
‘Oh god….’ Willy twists as he falls, seeing nothing below them, his eight eyes so good up close but really quite shit at seeing far away. He looks back up to his mum and dad, wild and crazed with snapping pincers and mad eyes. ‘SHIT FASTER, SALLY!’
‘I’m trying!’ Sally cries out, grunting with exertion as the web spools out of her behind.
‘Willy,’ Bazza gasps, held clutched in Willy’s legs staring down. ‘Something down there, Willy…’
‘What?’ Willy twists again, seeing a hint of darkness in the greyness beneath them. Something big. Maybe as big as the ceiling they were on before and he looks back to see mummy spider gaining closer with every passing second. ‘Shit…’ Willy mutters, knowing what must be done. ‘Everyone…SNAP IT OFF AND RUN…’
He clenches hard, severing his own shit and drops faster from the release of his own web and Bazza screams out.
‘Oh god,’ Sally closes her eyes again and clenches to snap it off, breaking the web with her bum muscles and drops faster too. Bert, Pete, Jane, Johnno and Roger all clenching mid-squeeze and falling fast to surely die.
Willy stares down. Seeing the bulging undulations of a steeply sloping wall coming from the side. Dark in colour with bits poking up and at the last second, he releases Bazza from his grip, not wanting to land on him and they both hit the surface, expecting death, expecting the darkness and pain to take them whole.
‘It’s soft!’ Bazza exclaims, striking softness with his eight claws instantly finding purchase on the towel spread over the airer.
Willy hits a split second after him, tumbling and falling and ready to drop as Bazza takes a quick shit and spurts a strand of web out. ‘CATCH IT, WILLY…’
Willy catches it, sticking a claw into the thin web that swings him into the towel to bounce about as Sally and the others come crashing down nearby with screams and cries.
Claws dig in, finding grip as they gather their wits and shake their spider heads from the frantic drop, but the danger is far from over and as one they look up to mummy and daddy coming in fast.
‘DOWN THE TOWEL,’ Willy shouts the order, running like mad over the threads and undulations.
‘YOU CAN RUN MY BABIES,’ mummy spider lands with a thump, her heavy body sending a shockwave through that makes them all stagger as they run.
‘COME TO PAPA…’ daddy spider lands next, grinning evilly.
‘Er, what are you doing?’ mummy spider asks him.
‘What?’ daddy spider asks. ‘I’m chasing them with you…’
‘Oh right, so you fucked off while I’m pregnant with one hundred spider babies but now you want to come back yeah?’
‘Eh! You tried to eat me you crazy bitch.’
‘I did no such thing!’
‘You bloody did. You said, come here, Fred, I am going to bite your face off and eat you…’
‘I was craving? It happens? Which you’d know if you bothered to attend any of the spider-natal classes.’
‘Listen, Cath. I love you yeah, but can we discuss this later? I have this really strong urge inside to eat all of our children right now.’
‘Always about you, Fred…fine. Whatever. MY BABIES…MUMMY WANTS YOU…’
‘Jesus, talk about dysfunctional,’ Willy says, giving Sally a look as they run down the towel.
‘So anyway,’ Jane says, pushing in between Sally and Willy. ‘You dating then, Willy? Still asking for a friend…’
‘Er, so…I just literally came to life and now I’m running from my cannibalistic mum and dad so, that’s kinda my focus right now, Jane.’
‘Wow. Yeah. I really admire a career man, Willy. Kinda hot, you know…’
‘WILLY! What should we do?’ Bert cries out, running with them as he glances back.
‘They’re faster than us,’ Johnno says.
‘That’s because they have much longer legs which give them a greater stride and power output,’ Roger says.
‘Oh shut up, Roger,’ Jane huffs.
‘Shit…oh shit…’ Sally says. ‘Willy, the edge of the towel…what do we do?’
‘You know what to do,’ Willy shouts. ‘SHIT AND DROOOOOOOOOOP.’
They shit and drop once more, jabbing their bums into the towel to anchor their web on before leaping off to abseil down once more, fleeing and flying, dropping and falling.
‘We’ll never outrun them,’ Roger wails. ‘We’re doomed…doomed I tell you…’
‘WE’RE RIGHT BEHIND YOU…’
They turn as they fall to see mummy and daddy spider leaping from the edge of the towel in rabid pursuit.
‘Bert!’ Willy cries out, seeing mummy spider lash a claw out to hook Bert’s web pooing from his bum and she flicks with casual ease, sending him flying up into the air with a wild scream before turning to catch him in her pincers, crushing his body with one snapping bite as goo flies out, splashing hot across Willy’s face. ‘Bert,’ Willy gasps. ‘BERT…’ he tries to scrabble up, thinking to rescue his friend but Sally grabs his legs and pulls him hard.
‘Bert’s gone, Willy…’
‘I’m still alive,’ Bert shouts, waving a leg as his body bleeds before mummy spider bites again and chops him in half.
‘Okay so he wasn’t gone but he is now,’ Sally says. ‘We have to fight on. We have to run and live for the memory of Bert…’
‘I can’t,’ Willy says, bereft of all hope.
‘You can, Willy. You can and you must. We need you goddam it…’
‘Please, Willy,’ Johnno shouts.
‘I said we shouldn’t stop running…’
‘Not now, Roger!’ Jane snaps.
‘The ground,’ Bazza shouts the warning, making Willy look over to see the ground coming rapidly at them and in that second, he remembers Bazza shitting web from his arse to save him from falling off the towel. A blink of his eight spider eyes and a beat of his spider circulatory system.
‘I’ve got an idea…’ he whispers. ‘EVERYONE…STAY WITH ME WHEN WE LAND…SNAP IT OFF NOW…’
They clench bums to drop the last inch to the floor, all of them gasping and shaking from the fear and adrenalin.
‘WITH ME,’ Willy shouts out, putting his head down and his arse in the air.
‘Er, what are you doing, mate?’ Johnno asks.
‘WITH ME,’ Willy shouts again, waggling his arse in the air as the others all look at him.
‘Right,’ Roger says slowly, rubbing a claw over his spider chin.
‘To do what exactly?’ Johnno asks.
‘I’m in,’ Jane says eagerly, pushing into Willy’s side to pop her head down and waggle her arse in the air. ‘Yeah, so, great arse by the way, Willy.’
‘QUICK,’ Willy shouts. ‘GET READY…’
‘Yeah for what?’ Sally asks, flapping six of her eight legs out.
‘To shit on them,’ Willy says, looking back over a shoulder.
‘Oh right,’ Johnno says.
‘Of course,’ Roger says.
‘Got it,’ Sally says, nodding at Pete as they all fall in at Willy and Jane’s side to put their heads down and aim their bums at their parents coming in fast.
‘CATH, YOU BITCH…DON’T EAT THEM ALL…’
‘I’M NOT A FAT FUCK LIKE YOU FRED,’ Cath screams back.
‘Get ready,’ Willy says, staring back over his shoulder and suddenly the idea seems stupid. It won’t work. It will fail, and they will die horribly, and it will all be his fault. He thinks to tell them to flee and run. He thinks to yell out and scream they should save themselves as something lands by his head and he turns to look up at a serious face staring down at him and more behind him, landing one after the other from webs shat out of arses.
‘WILLY’S HERE,’ the new spider yells out. ‘I’m Shaun. Shaun the Spider.’
‘Er, hi…I’m Willy…’
‘Hi, I’m Willy’s girlfriend,’ Jane says.
‘Eh?’ Willy says.
‘And sister,’ Jane says. ‘Girlfriend sister…’
‘We’re spiders, Jane. It doesn’t count.’
‘Oh god, Pete. You’re just always going on…’
‘Where do you want us?’ Shaun asks.
‘What now?’ Willy asks.
‘To fight back. Where do you want us?’
‘Ah crikey, heads down, arses up…three…two…one…SHIT AT WILL…SHIT ON THEM…SHIT ON OUR PARENTS…’
Grunts sounds out. The strain of exertions as dozens of baby spiders point their arses skyward and spew web out that flies up shining and glinting into the air.
‘What the fuck are they doing?’ Cath the mummy spider asks, slapping the first strand away with ease and she lands hard, making the ground shake with her weight and lunges in to snaffle up a body, biting and thrashing it to death.
‘SHIT HARDER,’ Willy shouts. ‘POO FOR YOUR LIVES!’
More strands come in as Fred the daddy spider lands next and grabs to bite and kill a spider before wincing at the web hitting his face. ‘Argh,’ he spits waving a hand to try and get it away.
‘Okay stop that now,’ Cath the mummy spider says, flinching as more sprays of web hit her face, sticking hard and tugging her about. ‘I said stop that, children! Fred, tell your children to stop shitting on us.’
‘Stop shitting on us,’ Fred shouts, his front legs now tangled up.
‘KEEP GOING,’ Willy roars.
‘I can’t,’ Sally says. ‘It hurts, Willy….my bumhole where the web comes out hurts so bad…’
‘Er, so it’s not actually our bumholes that we’re using right now.’
‘SHUT UP, ROGER!’ a chorus of voices respond, silencing the know-it-all spider.
‘I’m sorry, Willy,’ Sally gasps, tears falling from her eight eyes. ‘I tried…you just…you must keep going…’
‘Don’t give in, Willy gasps, reaching out to take her claws in his. ‘Just keep shitting…’
‘We’re not shitting.’
‘Oh piss off, Roger,’ Willy snaps. ‘Come on, Sally…shit for me…shit harder…push it out…’
‘Okay, right. This is beyond a joke now,’ Cath says, her legs tangled and her face covered in web but she thrashes wildly, snapping several strands and lunging in to start biting down into the soft squishy bodies all shitting up into the air. Biting them one after the other.
‘HOLD THE LINE,’ Willy roars, turning to adjust his aim.
‘CATH! I’m down, Cath,’ Fred shouts, now wrapped and stuffed.
‘MY BABIES,’ Cath screams, furious and wild. Biting and killing. Goo spraying everywhere, and the battle is lost. The day is hers.
‘NO!’ Willy refuses it, willing his bum to spray more web but even he can see it’s too late and his mum comes at him with frenzy in her eyes.
A blink of his eight spider eyes and the beat of his spider circulatory system and Willy leaps at her, turning mid-jump to spray from his little botty and sending web over her pincers, shitting for all he is worth, straining and going a bit red in the face while clenching and grunting. The pincers get slower. The web sticky and holding. He strains more as Sally leaps at his side, both of them landing on Cath’s face to shit on her eyes and in her mouth. Shaun comes in. Pete and Jane. Bazza and Johnno all running to leap and land on their mum and squeezing for all they are worth.
‘NO!’ Cath starts going down. Her voice strangled and muffled from a mouthful of web and more baby spiders rush in to climb up and poo, taking the monster down who falls with a crash, defeated and broken and the cheer goes up. Wild and loud. The cheer of victory. The cheer of battle as those baby spiders give voice that they were here on this day and fought back.
‘You did it, Willy,’ Sally says, breathless from the exertion. ‘My arse really hurts though.’
‘It’s not your arse…’
‘Shut up, Roger!’ they all cry out.
‘What now, mate?’ Johnno asks, looking to Willy as the rest all turn to look up at Willy still pooing on his mum’s face.
‘I don’t know,’ he says with a shrug. ‘But whatever it is…we’ll face it together…’
RR Haywood x