We are a family of spiders, a union of families, to be precise, and we share our house with two humans. They take up most of the space, never really show much gratitude for letting them stay in the home where we raise our children.
They are different from each other, despite both of them being human. There is one who takes caution towards us. For example, when she gets in the shower, she gives us a fair chance to get out before the water hits the walls and sweeps us away. She lets us settle in the high corners of the ceiling. The second one is crueler.
You see, we spiders are used to discrimination, persecution in fact. The humans are afraid of us and they kill us in most inhumane ways. Many of my friends and family have been slaughtered, often by a book or a boot. Or devoured by one of their vacuum cleaners. They’re lucky if they hadn’t seen it coming before they died.
The second human who uses our space is a sadist. She kills with pleasure. I know because I have seen her. I have only just escaped her.
She knocks the life out of us with whatever object she can find. Her facial expression, when she does it, when she murders, is an inconsistent combination of a satisfied smile and disgust.
And she leaves our cadavers there, on the wall, the floor, the window sill. It’s like a reminder for the rest of us. Don’t come near me. I’ll be the death of you.
I raise my children in the highest areas possible, though it harder to catch nourishment up here. I do go down and spin my net here and there. They never last, but if I work hard enough, I can help my family survive.
We’ve tried to install warning systems. We’ve tried to distinguish between the two of them, to know which one we have to flee from and which one will not harm us. They look so much alike, so large and clumsy.
The cruel one kills everything. She even steals our food before we can get to it, like she wants us to starve.
But we’re determined to stay here. This is our home. We’ve had many, but I want my children to have a place to grow up in, a place to feel safe. I will make sure it is safe for them.