A Tale of Arthur Miller, the Orb-weaver Who Lives Outside My Kitchen Window, Part I

Arthur Miller was hungover this morning. Naturally. She’d spent last night bumping and grinding in a strobe-lighted club, the floors there stickier than her stickiest web. Her carapace throbbed, her coxas were totally numb from all the dancing, and her abdomen was full of acid, ready to retch. She shouldn’t’ve done all those lines of coke.

Somewhere not so far away a bell chimed; the echo caused her web – which is normally fit as fiddle and strong as an ox – to shake. So it was going to be that kind of day, was it? thought Arthur Miller.

Still, she wouldn’t let Yolanda know. Yolanda was the fly caught on the silky outer threads of her web. Poor Yolanda, thought Arthur Miller. She buzzes so earnestly.  Perhaps she’d been out on a moonlit winging of her own, enjoying the company of the night breeze, when she’d been snared. Flutter those tiny little fly-wings, Arthur Miller said in Orb-weaverish, knowing full well Yolanda couldn’t understand and that there was no moth nearby for translating. Flutter away, my sweet, I’m still going to eat you. At least, Arthur Miller decided, there was one good thing to come of this morning.

Damn, she was hungry. It’d probably physically hurt her more to eat Yolanda than for Yolanda to be eaten: Arthur Miller’s palps were agitated and raw, but such were the dangers when leading a life of Dionysian excess. Grumbling, she.made her slow descent toward the trapped fly who, as she saw the spotted thing come for her, began to squirm and squeak all the more to no avail.

Arthur Miller passed the kitchen window where I was doing early morning dishes before work. I don’t know whether she saw me or not, but I watched her devour the fly. It was slow at first, almost as if the orb-weaver was reluctant. Then, she pounced. Her legs very delicately encircled the fly; her palps held it to the shiny web. Her fangs bit the fly in half in less than a heartbeat. Poor Yolanda, I thought. She’d buzzed round my living room the day before and made good friends with a dustmite in the corner.

She hated to hear flies beg. Yolanda tried every trick in the book: I’ll bring you more coke, I know the hottest clubs in town, I’m a mother – I’ve laid many eggs in manure, and so on. Don’t talk, Arthur Miller said so that Yolanda would understand. It’ll go by quick, I promise.

Then Yolanda said something Arthur Miller really didn’t like. She said, I know what happened to Dr. Praphasirirat.

That riled Arthur Miller. How dare this dumb fly bring up the doctor, her one and only true friend, who had so mysteriously vanished moons and moons ago? She was so angry she ate Yolanda without even thinking about it.

When she was done and fully sated, she returned to her patch of web and rested. She’d score some coke later this afternoon and then she’d go see Commander Kittywiddles in the alley. If Yolanda really did know what had happened to Dr. Praphasirirat chances were high she’d told the commander. Arthur Miller closed all of her eight eyes then, and waited for the pulsing in her carapace to abate.

To Be Continued…


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