Spiderling No More
It shifted around the tabletop like a mote of dark dust caught in the draught of two open doors. An atom of charcoal, the little creature jigged its way between mine and my brothers’ fingers unaware of the giants we were.
“It’s an ant,” said Jonny.
“No it’s not, you idiot, it’s a fruit fly.” Pete shook his head, his eyes flicking left to right as though loose.
“If it was a fruit fly, it’d fly. Geez, you lot are imbeciles,” huffed Alfie. He was older than Jonny, Pete and me, and liked to prove his intelligence at every opportunity. But I knew better.
“You’re all wrong.”
“Who says?” hissed Alfie.
“Says me. It’s a little spiderling.”
“Clean your ears out, I said spiderling.”
I watched our tiny guest bob up and down as if agreeing. Either that, or the earthquake that was our oldest brother’s approach, Gordy, caused such vibrations as to lift the tiny spider repeatedly into the air.
“What are you lot doing?” Gordy’s usual no-nonsense arrival.
“We’ve caught a spider-thing,” exuded Alfie.
“There ain’t no such thing.”
“There is!” protested us younger four.
With that, Gordy thrust his hand down on the table like a great fallen slab of stone. “Now it’s a splatter-ling. I win.”
He was off before we could catch him; just an inkblot stain remained.
That was the day I realised how precious life was. One splat and you’re gone.