Incy, wincey spider...
Sally was sat up in bed. Behind her was a mountain of cushions. There were so many, they threatened to swallow her whole.
She was as snug as a bug in a rug. She was in her favourite, soft pyjamas. The television was on in the background. Bliss.
She reached to her cup and took a sip of coffee. Sally always had a cup of coffee before bed, blissfully aware that it might cause a sleepiness night, but she didn't much care.
She raised the cup to her lips and then froze.
"Excuse me," said a small voice.
She placed her cup back down and looked around the room. She swallowed hard. "Hello?"
She sat, stunned.
"Excuse me," the voice said again.
Just above her now, crawling slowly towards the pillows was a small spider.
She turned and looked directly at the spider. Sally hated them. She panicked and leapt out from the comfort of her bed.
Frantic, screaming and a little bit hysterical, she grabbed a book sat on her dresser. She turned, ready to squish it.
"Wait. Don't do that. I won't hurt you. Please don't squish me," the voice was high pitched and frightened.
"Who said that?" She asked.
She looked about her bedroom, then back to the spider, now at eye level.
This wasn't happening. Could a spider really be talking to her?
"Did you...this is ridiculous. Did you just talk?" She asked.
"Are you talking to me?" The spider asked.
"If you're a spider, and you're a talking spider. Then yes"
The spider moved down a little.
"Hello," it's voice was shaky. "Can you put that book down please?"
Without thinking, Sally placed the book on the bed, still focused on the small black blob on her wall.
The small black blob that was now talking to her. Ridiculous.
"Ok," she started. "You can talk. You must be able to see me?"
She heard the slightest giggle.
"Of course. You are wearing a delightful pink pyjama set with little kittens on your top," said the spider.
And she was.
Sally, although terrified of spiders, leaned in closer. Then a little bit more.
"Hold on a second," she said.
"No problem Miss," the spider replied.
She dashed out of the room. Seconds later, the sound of a draw being emptied filled the house. Sally returned moments later with a magnifying glass.
She approached the spider and held it close to it.
"That's close enough," The spider said. "This isn't going to hurt or squish me, is it?"
Sally shook her head and looked through the magnifying glass.
Right there on the wall was a small, fuzzy black spider. It had two pearly black eyes and a small, fuzzy little body. If anything, Sally thought, this was a friendly looking spider.
"Your eyes are huge," said the spider.
The spider waved one of his legs in the air.
Sally laughed. This in turn made the spider laugh.
"I can't believe this," Sally said, still shaking her head in disbelief.
"Not so scary now you can talk to me,eh?" The spider asked.
Sally had to agree. All these years she would run to the hills at the first sign of a spider. But now she was talking to one, she wasn't afraid.
"Isn't that the strangest thing?" She replied.
"I'm Thomas," the spider said.
Sally held her hand to her chest. "I'm Sally. Nice to meet you"
"And me you," said Thomas.
Tentatively, Sally held out her hand and closed her eyes. Without a seconds hesitation, Thomas ran on to Sally's palm. She could feel only the faintest of sensations.
She opened her eyes, and in the centre of her open palm was Thomas.
"This is amazing," she said.
"I've never met a nice human before," said Thomas.
Sally felt a pang of sadness at his admission.
"You have now," she replied.
"Can I ask you something?" Said Sally.
Thomas nodded, although Sally couldn't see it.
"Could you please keep out of the bathroom when I'm in there?" She said.
Thomas blushed a little, but being so small, Sally didn't notice.
"I promise," said Thomas.
From that day, Sally was never again afraid of spiders, all because she had met one that talked. Sure, there were other spiders, but none of them talked. But she offered them all the same kindness.
Thomas was extremely grateful for this, as he knew a lot of them personally.
And so, every night, and sometimes when she was home during the day, Thomas would visit Sally.
So next time you see a spider, try introducing yourself before you squish it. It could be Thomas.