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Spider in the room.

“Oh my fucking god…” “What?” “What the…Bloody hell you made me jump.” “I didn’t do anything.” “Did I touch you?” “No!” “I did. I felt it. I touched you…” “You really didn’t.” “I did. I’m going to be sick.” “Don’t be soft. You didn’t touch me.” “What you doing there anyway?” “Why?” “You were in the bathroom yesterday. In the corner, I looked for you this morning and saw you’d gone.” “Ah that’s nice.” “No, I was glad you were gone.” “Oh. Right. Fair enough.” “So why did you leave the bathroom?” “Seriously? Have you seen the colour in there? It’s pink.” “Well yeah but…” “I mean seriously pink, like oh my fucking god it’s so pink.” “Yes I know…” “How do you live like that? I couldn’t stay in there. I mean it was okay when I went in at night but when the sun came up? Fuck that. I was out of it. But seriously, have you seen how pink it is?” ” Yes I know it’s pink but I haven’t had a chance to paint it yet.” “Oh. Why not?” “I’ve been working. Anyway, you can’t stay there.” “Why not? Took me all day to find this spot. I’ve done a web and everything.” “Yeah well, you’re in my eyeline and…” “And what?” “Nothing. You’re in my eyeline and you’ll distract me.” “From what?” “From writing.” “Writing what?” “My book that’s what.” “Oh you writing a book?” “Yes I am actually.” “What’s it about?” “It’s a time travel book about these people that get…look, just never mind that. You can’t stay there.” “What about the people?” “Never mind, you’ve got to move.” “Move?” “Yes move.” “You want me to move?” “Yes. Move.” “Sure?” “Yes.” “You’re sure you want me to move?” “Yes I’m bloody sure…” “Okay then…like this?” “OH MY FUCKING GOD STOP MOVING!” “But you told me to move.” “Oh that’s so gross…stop it…stop moving…you’ll make me puke.” “So I can stop moving now?” “Yes! Stop moving.” “If I stop moving I’ll have to stay here.” “Fine. Whatever. Just stop moving.” “Okay.” “Oh thank fuck for that.” “You’re weird, mate.” “Just don’t move again.” “Why? You scared of spiders or something?” “What? Me? Course not…just…just don’t move.” “We’re just the same as you.” “You’re bloody not. You’ve got eight legs.” “Well yeah but…other than that we’re just the same as you.” “You’re really not. Is that? What is that? Is that another spider in your web?” “What under the lamp switch? That’s just Carl. He’s okay.” “What…Why are there two of you?” “Well Carl’s only little so he asked if he could hang about in my web so I said yeah cos there’s this big bastard somewhere round here that’d eat Carl if he had the chance.” “Big bastard? What big bastard?” “Oh he only comes out at night.” “Eh? Where from?” “Surprised you ain’t heard him. He’s got massive claws that make this scitter scatter sound when he climbs up the walls…” “Don’t say that!” “Above your bed.” “What?” “When he climbs the walls above your bed at night. You must have heard him. He’s huge. Like…like massive. Eh Carl, you seen that big bastard haven’t you? Carl said yes he’s seen him.” “I didn’t hear Carl say anything.” “You speak spider then do you?” “Well no but…” “Well then.” “This big bastard, like…where’s he hang out?” “Under the floorboards.” “Which ones?” “All of them.” “All of them?” “Oh he’s massive. He’s got the whole under floor board thing to himself. He ate everyone else and took over their webs. Right evil fucker he is.” “Why hasn’t he eaten you?” “I signed up didn’t I.” “Signed up?” “Yeah, he got me when I was coming out of the bathroom and said he would eat me right there unless I signed up.” “Signed up to what?” “To giving him some of my food.” “Really? What like a protection racket?” “Er, yeah I guess you could say that. So like, I said I’d drop him some bugs down and he said not to worry about going down and he’ll come to me.” “Fuck. That’s awful.” “Life mate, that’s what that is.” “What if he comes up and sees Carl?” “Carl’s only little and can tuck up under the lamp switch.” “Ah. Right. Still, that’s out of order.” “Yeah I know. Still, look on the bright side.” “Hmmm, well. I’m working so…” “Oh don’t let me stop you. You carry on.” “Cheers.” “I’ll just stay here.” “Yeah cheers.” “All quiet and not moving.” “Okay, cheers.”

“So what happens then?” “Huh? What?” “In the time travel book? What happens?” “Er, well like…I, look I’m working right now so…” “Oh yeah, course. Sorry.” “S’fine.”

“Any spiders in it?” “In what?” “The time travel book?” “Oh. Oh yes, er yes there is one actually.” “Really?” “Yeah really. A big one.” “Really there’s a spider in it?” “Yes really. I’ve done spiders before.” “Have you? Where? What in?” “I do his zombie series…I did a spider scene in that with this character called Paula that gets locked in a toilet cubicle with a spider coming towards her foot and has to choose to stay in with the spider or go out and face the two zombies.” “Oh wow, so she stay inside with the spider then did she?” “Er, no as it happens actually, she er…she went out…” “What into the zombies?” “Er yeah, yeah she went out…into the er…the zombies…” “Why?” “Well, you know…that’s er, that’s what she wanted to do in that er…scene…” “So she’d rather face the two zombies than the spider? Is that what you’re saying?” “Oh god no…no…not that at all…it was Paula anyway. She chose what to do.” “Oh. Okay.” “Yeah so….” “This Paula a real person then is she?” “Er, sorry what?” “Paula. She real then is she?” “Paula? Er, no…she’s fictitious.” “Fictitious? So you made her up.” “Well yeah.” ” So you made her up and wrote that she would rather deal with the zombies than the spider in the toilet. That right?” “Er, yes. That’s about right.” “What was the spiders name?” “Er…Gordon, yeah it was Gordon.” “Gordon?” “Yes. Gordon.” “You just made that up didn’t you.” “Yeah. Sorry.” “The spider didn’t have a name then?” “No. No he didn’t.” “I see. Bit racist isn’t it?” “What?” “Well, playing on the stereotype of the arachnid being the evil character and you don’t even give him any unique characterisation but leave him nameless thereby perpetuating the myth that all spiders by the virtue of their existence are evil.” “That’s not racist.” “Isn’t it? Pull up the online dictionary then.” “No! Look, sod off I’m trying to work.” “Pull it up, go on…” “No. It’s not racist.” “Yes it is. You’re a racist.” “It’s not racism…right, hang on…” “Turn the screen a bit so I can see.” “There, see? Ha! Fuck you. see it says inherent differences among the various human racial groups. Ha! Human. Not spiders.” “Well it would say that wouldn’t it.” “What?” “It was written by a human. If a spider wrote that it would be different.” “Nice. Great comeback. Look, I’ve got to work now.” “I’m not stopping you.”

“So the spider in this book, he got a name as he?” “Sorry what?” “The spider in the new book. What’s his name?” “Er well he’s like a fleeting character, like not primary or secondary so…you know, it can get confusing to name every single character…” “Oh yeah course.” “It’s the same with human side characters too. You only name then if they have worth…” “Worth?” “To the story! Or the plot or…not actual worth as in value to like…to life or something.” “Ah. I see.” “Cool.” “Give him a back story then did you?” “Back story?” “Yeah, like how he hatched from the sac and spun his web into the air that caught on the warm currents that took him to a new land where he faced adversity and had to overcome the odds to survive in a world full of peril and threat and eventually he grows into a big strong spider and then ends up in your story.” “Well, I didn’t do that in actual words but…but like I think the reader can assume most of that from the narrative and prose…” “Assume?” “Yeah assume, I mean he’s a big spider in the story so the reader will naturally know that he grew from a baby and survived to become a big spider.” “So you just say he’s a big spider then.” “Well yeah.” “Oh. Fair enough.” “I’ll carry on.” “What happens to him then?” “Er…” “Oh don’t tell me…” “What?” “So cliché.” “What is?” “You kill him don’t you.” “No! God no…” “What happens to him then?” “What the spider?” “Yes.What happens to him?” “Oh you know…” “What?” “You know…spider stuff…” “What like?” “Just spider things…” “Like what?” “Yes fine. He gets killed.” “Knew it.” “Other things get killed too, not just the spider.” “I bet other things survive too.” “Well yeah, there wouldn’t be a story otherwise would there?” “Let the spider survive then.” “Er…no…” “Why not? Let him survive and…I know…he could be like a main character or something…like with a name and then you’d get to do that back story we talked about.” “I’ve got the main characters already down…” “Well add the spider into it. He could be a hero spider, like solves the murder by crawling though tiny holes and finding clues…or like a spy spider! That would be good. He’d sit in the corner of the room just watching everything and reporting back on his little radio.” “It’s not a murder or spy book…it’s time travel.” “He can time travel! He can go back in time to speak with the Victorian spiders and Roman spiders and like….he can have battles and woo the princess spider and get chased by the soldier spiders but gets back to the time machine with the secret code…” “What secret code?” “I dunno it’s not my book, mate.” “No…just…look, I’m not having a spider as a main character.” “Why not? We’ve only got that Charlotte’s web.” “I’m not having a spider as a main character.” “Ground breaking that was.” “Yeah good book but I’m not having a spider…” “Is that a fly?” “Where?” “On your right…no your right…there…see it? Chuck it over will ya.” “No!” “Why not, go on…grab it…ah you missed. He’s flown off now.” “Sorry.” “Ah no bother, more where they came from what with you having four dogs and all.” “Pardon?” “I said what with you having four dogs.” “What’s that got to do with anything?” “Well they shit a lot don’t they. Shit? Flies? Flies eat shit?” “Oh. Oh right…I do clear it up.” “Hey not judging here, mate. You leave the shit out for a bit if you want or even stick one up here.” “You want me to put some dog shit on the desk?” “Oh would you? That would be great…just stick it…” “I’m not putting dog shit on the desk.” “Why not? Just a bit…” “No fucking way.” “Fine.” “Good.” “Me and Carl will just starve then.” “You won’t starve.” “We might. Haven’t eaten all day.” “You’ll be fine. The windows open.” “Whatever. Nice biscuits are they? What are they? Custard creams?” “Yep.” “You enjoy them.” “I will.” “Fat fucker.” “What?” “Nothing. Didn’t say anything.” “I’m working.” “Fine.”

“Can I read it?” “What?” “The spider bit in the story, can I read it?” “Will you be quiet after?” “Yep.” “Promise?” “Yep.” “You’ll read it and then be quiet.” “Totally. Totally read it then be quiet.” “Fine, hang on….I was just working on it actually.” “Is that it?” “Yeah starts from here…actually I’ll go back a bit so you can get the scene.” “Okay.” “Bit more actually so you get the whole picture of the story…” “That’s fine…yeah just stop…stop going back…” “Okay, right. Read from there.” “Will do.” “Okay.” “Carl asked if you could turn the screen a bit more.” “Why are his legs broken?” “No he can move but then you’ll scream like a girl again.” “No that’s fine, I’ll turn it. Can he see now?” “Yeah he can see fine.” “Okay. It’s a first draft so…like not edited properly yet.” “Okay.” “I proofed a bit earlier but I might have missed some bits.” “It’s fine.” “Just say if you see any mistakes.” “I will if you let me read it.” “Sorry.”

“Finished.” “You’ve read it?” “Yep. Thanks for that. Night then.” “Eh? hang on. What did you think?” “Think? Er…yeah well like you said it’s a first draft so…” “So what?” “Nothing. I’m sure you’ll polish it a bit more…a lot more.” “Why? What’s wrong with it?” “Wrong? Nothing wrong per se…more of a syntax issue than anything.” “Syntax?” “Yeah, you know…the way you form your grammar and sentence structure.” “I know what syntax is.” “Really? Doesn’t show.” “Have you been reading my emails?” “What? How dare you!” “You bloody did. You read the emails from my agent saying about my syntax.” “Well she’s got a bloody point, mate. You’re all over the place.” “Look, I like the clipped way of writing and shortening sentences by dropping perfect form.” “Yeah but it disrupts the flow of the story and the reader shouldn’t ever become aware they’re reading a story…they should be immersed and…” “No no, I get that but…look it’s my style and I write that way. You don’t need so many linking words and English purism sentence structure. Any anyway, most of it is first person and real people don’t think in full sentences…so it shows the thought processes of the protagonist.” “Yes but you jar the reader too much.” “I can do big battle scenes and good intense scenes using that style and it brings the reader closer to the action.” “In those scenes yes but not in every bloody paragraph.” “Oh sod off.” “You asked.” “Is it that bad?” “No…what? No…not bad…just…just a bit…well just a bit fractured.” “It’s because I’m worried. I’m overthinking it now and worrying too much.” “Your book, mate. I just live here.” “Oh fuck’s sake. I’m going to bed.” “What now?” “Yes now. I’ve got work in the morning.” “I didn’t mean to offend you? Have I offended you?” “No it’s fine.” “Oh don’t do that voice. You think you got problems, I’m going to be in here all night with that big bastard stomping about.” “Urgh don’t tell me.” “You sleep sound in your bed, mate.” “I’ll try.” “While he bites your face off.” “Don’t say that!” “Put some dog shit on the desk then.” “Back to that? No.” “I’ll tell him you called him a wanker and say you said you could have him in a fight.” “I’ll keep the dogs in the room.” “Your dogs? He ain’t bothered about your dogs, mate. He climbs over them he does. I’ve seen it.” “You are shitting me?” “No. Goes right over them. They don’t feel a thing.” “Oh fuck’s sake…look just fuck off. I’m going to bed.” “Night.” “Night.” “Sleep well.” “Fuck off.” “Keep your mouth closed.” “Fuck off.” “Haha, hear that Carl? I said he should keep his mouth closed. Carl? You asleep? Fine, i’ll just chat to myself. Here, he’s left his computer open. How do you search for naked spider ladies?”

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