Writer’s Workshop – September 2

Mama's Losin' It

Yep! It’s Thursday, that time again – it’s been a week or so since I participated… a lot has been going on around here as  you may have noticed. Annnyway – on to this weeks assignment! The prompts:

1.) Childhood fears you’ve taken into your adult life.

2.) Write a post that begins and ends with a merry-go-round.
(inspired by writingfix.com)

3.) Why were you mortified?  Write about a true embarrassing moment as though it was happening in slow motion.
(inspired by writingfix.com)

4.) Open letter to a celebrity.

5.) Oprah says we all have a story. If you were on her show, what would your story be? What would you be talking about? What advice would she give you? Write about it and provide a snippet of your interview together.

My choice: 1. Childhood fears you’ve taken into your adult life.

I think I was about eight years old when my hysterical fear of spiders reared it’s ugly head. We spent many hours when I was young on our boat on the open water. You really wouldn’t think that spiders would be an issue in the middle of a lake, right? Well, I hate to inform you of this – but you would be wrong in your assumption!

It was late on Sunday afternoon when we arrived back at dock to go home. I was tired having enjoyed a full day of swimming and cavorting in the water. I was sun kissed and sleepy, ready for dinner and bed. I had been napping below deck when we arrived at the docks and while mom and dad tied off and unloaded I gathered my shoes and swimsuit and headed up on deck.

It was then that I saw it… the spider that had taken up residence in the middle of the hatch to the main deck.

Of course this spider was tiny… and my father could barely see it… my hysterical reaction was lost on him. He dragged me through the web, after which I cried and tried to brush myself off all the way home, terrified the spider was on me.

A spider

Image via Wikipedia

Fast forward 20 years and I am alone in our home in Florida… the home of the Housekeeping spider.(Above) These things can get big, I mean really big… on  a steady diet of mosquitoes, palmetto bugs and jumping spiders. They’re heavy bodied spiders and are really creepy.

One night, while reading in my room I heard a tapping sound. It was faint, and a little scratchy… scratch scratch tap tap tap scratch tap scratch tap…. I looked up, and to my horror there was a housekeeping spider the size of my hand right next to my head. Of course I ran like hell – but by the time someone got there to kill it… yeah, you guessed it – the spider was gone.

I never slept in that room again, opting instead for the recliner in the living room. I spent only two nights in the recliner, after which I moved to another state to escape the spider… well – not really but the spider was definitely considered in the decision making!

Other run-ins with Housekeeping spiders included the explosion of an entire nest of them in the shower with my ex… which he forced me to help contain. How we got the millions of babies out of our shower without me totally dying – I do not know… somehow I’ve repressed the memory.

Fast forward to today… 20 years later… and I still become paralyzed with fear when I see a spider. I cannot contain my loathing. Brooms become battering rams… fly swatters squash fat abdomens and rip apart webs with ease. No spider is safe in my house.

Our Girl has learned to be afraid of them too, except for her auntie’s tarantula, which makes me shudder and nearly swoon. She’ll allow that wicked sucker to climb all over her. A sight I cannot bear to even photograph. Somehow looking through the camera lens makes it even worse!

I don’t know where this fear came from, I don’t know why it became so irrational or how it grew into what it became. I just know that the only good spider is a dead spider…

Except… I do like one spider.  You see… as a child, I fell in love with Charlotte’s Web. And Charlotte was a writing spider. A few years ago, we lived in a house that had a huge picture window out front. One morning I got up and to my chagrin – I noticed a spider… right in the middle of that picture window… on the outside. But as I got closer, I noticed the writing in the web… it said WWWWW and I knew… Charlotte was there and happy – and I should not disturb her. She raised her family, and my family watched her through the summer and fall, and even mourned a little on that one frosty morning in late fall we awoke to find her gone – most likely frozen in the night. She left behind four egg sacs – and by the following Spring we had three new spiders in residence… The cycle of Charlotte completed, one more time.

Happy Thursday! Stop by MamaKat’s place and show some love, join the fun, or just read some other Workshop entries!!!

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