Nothing new, just more of the story…enjoy!
Itsy Bitsy Betty
Later that night, after my mom sank into the couch with a bottle of wine on the table and a glass in hand, I snuck into my room. The moon brightened the sky and my dad still hadn’t come home. This must have been around the time he started thinking about leaving. A little seed planted in his head, being watered and fed by my mother’s continued deterioration. The TV droned nonsense and I closed my door on it.
I had an idea. I had an electric race car set. A black oval track with two lanes of metal rails running along it. Two race cars with metal pins fit into the rails and depressing the triggers on two handheld guns sent the cars zooming around the track. I had gotten bored within an hour of getting it and I relegated it to the space under my bed within a week. With my new friends on board, boredom wouldn’t occur.
I clipped the track together and wiped it clean of dust. I cleared the metal pins on the cars of debris and clicked the triggers, grinning at the free movement. I didn’t want anything to go wrong. I tested it out, got used to the controls, feeling out how much pressure to use for the speed I wanted. Although it could be fun to see, a car flying off the track didn’t fit in with my plans. Nodding, content with my preparations, I went over to my window and lifted up the glass pane all the way. Using my little red Swiss Army knife, I sliced an elbow line in the screen in the corner along the frame. You would have to really look for it to see it. I nodded at the slice and closed the blade on my knife. I moved over to my track, an excited tingle blossoming in my belly and I sat and waited.
At first, only two spiders trickled in the screen and trekked down the wall. I expected the four I had met earlier in the day but it seems the word had spread about me. Within a short time, a snake trail of moving spiders walked in the screen, down the wall and moved towards me across the floor. They moved in waves and encircled the track except for where I sat. Big, small, brown, black, a multitude of eyes and legs scrambled and jostled around me. I ate the sight with hungry eyes, smiling in delight. Two spiders jumped on each car. They craned their heads up at me, bouncing on their legs, like puppies expecting a treat, just as excited as me to try this out.
They stilled, expectant. I guessed they were ready.
I depressed the triggers and they flew around the track, bodies flattening out as the speed pressed them onto the surface of the cars. I laughed and the circle of arachnids undulated with movement. I gave every one of them a turn. An hour blinked by without notice and I remember thinking I had never felt so good in a long time. Most of the time, I lived under an umbrella of disappointment, the product of my mother’s regret. I usually went to bed thinking of how I could be a better son and maybe my parents would be nice to each other again. All such thoughts vacated my mind with every spin around the track and when I finished being the ride master and the last of my friends climbed out my window, I climbed under the covers, teeth shining in the moonlight. The unsteady clop of my mother’s drunken feet traveled down the hall. I closed my eyes as the door opened. I heard her breathing and pictured her standing in the doorway with the hallway light silhouetting her. She didn’t come in. It felt like forever before I heard the door close again.
To be continued…