Everyone knows not to walk between trees in Australia. Or under them. Or anywhere near them before dawn. Or after dawn if we’re being honest.
It was a beautiful night, a sliver of moon nestled in the infinite stars above. I was looking up at this glorious view on my way to check the mailbox I’d forgotten that afternoon. Did I mention my mailbox is smack bang in the middle of two trees?
I felt it straight away – a light hair-like brush across my face. A slight tautness, then something large thunking onto my face.
I froze, horror turning my blood to ice and paralysing every muscle. I waited, my heartbeat increasing to a hair-before-defib pace. I tried to call out, but fear turned my voice to a gurgle.
“You okay honey?” called my husband from the house. “What are you doing out there?”
“Huuhhnnuhhud,” I said.
“Nuhumuh. Numudhhuuu. Sussspeder. Sppiiiddeeeeeeerrrrr.”
My saviour launched himself off the step and into the yard. He was beside me in seconds, but I couldn’t turn my head to look at him. The thing that had smacked into my face was now dropping slowly to the neckline of my pyjamas.
“Where is it?” he whispered. He was wielding a broom above his head like a club, and that’s when I realised – This was it. I was going to die. Either from being beaten about the head by my well-intentioned but psychotic husband, or from the enormous human-eating spider that was about to stab its fangs into my neck.
Then hubby doubled over, dropping the broom. Was he was he having a heart attack? But how can I help him when moving might mean death for me? But how can I not?
I moved. The weight vanished and I fled to my husband’s prostrate form.
“Are you okay? Should I call and ambulance? Where does it – wait a minute – are you laughing?”
Between snorts, he was able to nod. “Remember the stupid silver disc you bought off eBay to deter spiders?”
He nodded, tears now streaming down his face. “No spider.”
He shook his head.
I picked up the broom. I tore the rest of the line down, threw the broom into the garden and stormed inside followed by my husband, still chuckling. Just to be safe, I took a can of spider spray from under the sink, went back outside and enveloped both trees in the cloud.
Damn straight there’s no spiders.