“Is this it?” I asked my mother as we arrived at our new house.
“Yes it is, Michael,” she replied. It was a nice house, but it looked too small for a family of six.
“Mom, it’s too little,” I told her. And because it was a small house, it meant that I would have to share a room with one of my brothers.
“Michael, this is just for right now. It well have to do until I find a better job,” my father replied. He was recently laid off from his previous job. He worked at a denim factory as a supervisor for ten years, but a new owner bought the factory and decided to close it down. But my father had found another job. He was employed at a grocery store as night manager in town. He didn’t make as much as he did at the denim factory, but it was enough to keep us on our feet. We planned to move to Lubbock, but I had one more year to graduate at Abernathy High School, so we decided to stay another year. Besides, sometimes it was hard to attend a new high school. Abernathy was a nice town, but it was too small for me. I was ready to graduate and go to college in Lubbock. I’d miss all of my friends, but that was life. Girlfriends, I didn’t have to worry about. I didn’t have one because I didn’t want to be like my friend, Matthew. He had a girlfriend and they were together for five years. He was graduating with me and he was going to attend a college somewhere in Ohio. His girlfriend was a year behind us. She wouldn’t graduate school until the next year. So there was a lot of pressure and drama between their relationship. Sometimes I would have to see that drama when we went out. I’m glad I wasn’t in one.
“How many rooms does the house have?” I asked my parents as we pulled into the driveway. It looked better closer then it did faraway. I missed my old house. My brothers and I had our own rooms. But maybe I would be able to adjust to the new house. I knew I would have to compromise with Thomas because he was the brother next to me and I knew he would share rooms with me. How can a seventeen year old share rooms with a twelve year old? We’d have to see.
“I think it has three rooms,” my father replied.
“Man,” I said.
“Michael, remember this is temporarily. I’m sure you and Thomas will get along in a room. Besides next year, you’d be living in the dorms at Tech,” he said. And he was right. The next year, I was moving to the dorms at Tech. I was great at school. I was a straight ‘A’ student and I received an academic scholarship for Texas Tech. But, I didn’t know want I wanted to be. Until then, I’d share rooms with Thomas.
Thomas looked at me and smiled. I saw the dimples on his face as he did. He had brown hair and brown eyes to match. He was scrawny little thing, but I loved him.
“Alright, everybody get off,” my mother said and every body got off the station wagon. I stopped in the front of the station wagon and looked at the house. It looked okay from the front. But looks can be deceiving. I needed to see how the inside looked.
“Let’s go inside, mommy.” Thomas said.
“Yeah, mommy,” David said as he tucked on my mother’s arm. David was two years younger than Thomas was. Everybody said David was a smaller version of my father because he looked like him when he was a child. He had blond hair and blue eyes. But he looked like ‘Dennis the Menace’ to me. And he was, sometimes.
“Okay guys,” my mother replied. We walked to the front door. My father inserted his left hand into his left pocket and reached for the keys.
“Come on daddy.” David said. Dad was having a hard time getting the keys out. As he reached for them in his pocket, I looked at the left side of the house. I noticed that beside the house there was a small storage. But it was a wreck. There weren’t any windows because broken boards had replaced them. The outside of the house had maroon paint, which were falling in pieces. You could see the actual color of the storage, which was black. The door itself was falling apart. The doorknob on it was rusted and hanging by a bolt. The hinges of the door were also rusted and one of the hinges was not connected with the door. I could tell that at one time the door was a white color, but dust layered on it, and it made it a yellow dirty color. On the upper left corner, under the roof, hung spider webs and the weeds around the storage were my height. Anything could have hid in them. The thought of snakes and other disgusting insects hiding in the weeds gave me the willies. The storage was a complete mess. I would hate to see the inside of it. No telling what lies inside. I quivered as the thought crossed my mind and I felt goosebumps over my body. It was a creepy place.
“Found the key yet dad?” I asked. I wanted to be inside. I didn’t want to stay outside any longer. It was sundown and I didn’t think that the storage would look great in the dark.
“I … got it,” my father said as he took the keys out of his pocket. He lifted the key up in the air as if he found something valuable. He unlocked the door and grabbed the doorknob.
“Hurry daddy,” David said impatiently as he grabbed my father’s arm.
“Okay, here we go,” my father said. I heard the lock click. Dad twisted the doorknob and pushed the door. It opened.
“Cool. Let’s go inside,” Thomas said. My father stepped in first. Then followed David, Thomas, and then my mother with Joey holding on to her arm. Joey was the youngest in the family. He was six years old and a momma’s boy. He was very spoiled because of my parents, but that was because he was the youngest. He had shoulder-length brown hair, blue eyes, and he was very small for his age. I teased him a lot by saying that he was a dwarf because he was so small for his age. He’d get mad, tell my mother, and I ended up getting in trouble. But I loved him. I loved all of my brothers.
As I entered the house last, I looked at the storage one last time. There was something strange about it. Then Joey’s yelling startled me.
“Mommy, it’s dark in here!” he yelled out loud.
“Tom, turn on the lights. Joey’s scared,” my mother said.
“Joey, calm down,” my father said. It was very dark. I thought it was a good idea if my father did turn on the light. “The switch is somewhere around here,” he said as I heard him bumping into things, searching for the switch. “Yuck, what did I run into? Ah, here it is.” He turned on the lights. It wasn’t dark anymore, but I preferred it. The inside of the house was a mess. It reminded me of the storage outside. There was dust and broken furniture everywhere. The room we were in was the kitchen. The table in the middle of the room was broken. There weren’t any chairs around it and the cabinets on the walls were damaged. The doors on the cabinets were hanging by a hinge. The cabinets still had canned foods and boxed-up foods. They must have been from the previous family that lived there. They must have been in a hurry, leaving their food behind. But what stood out the most in the kitchen were the spider webs. They covered the entire room.
“Dad, how much did you pay for this dump?” I asked him as he wiped the spider web from his face.
“Michael,” my mother said.
“Sandy, that’s fine. I expected that from him. I got it for a good price. The owner is going to drop by tonight. He should have been here already. He told me the house needed a little bit of cleaning.” He put his cap back on. “And I know we can do it,” he said as he looked at all of us. We all looked down at the floor.
“Well guys, you heard your father. Thomas go get the brooms from the station wagon,” my mother said. He left and came back with three brooms and two dustpans.
“This is all we have. Daddy, can I look in that little house outside and see if there is anything in there?” Thomas asked.
“No,” I said immediately. I had a bad felling about that storage.
“Yes, Thomas,” my father replied and looked at me. Thomas smiled, stuck his tongue out at me, and ran outside.
“Michael, what was that?” My mother asked.
“Sorry mom. That storage just gives me the creeps.”
“It’s nothing to be worried about,” she said. “It just needs a little cleaning too.” And she was probably right. Dad then looked at his watch.
“The owner should have been here already. I wonder what’s taking him so long?” my father said.
“Alright everybody. Lets start cleaning. I’ll start in the bathroom,” my mother said.
I was sweeping by the broken table and then I heard my mother scream. We ran into the bathroom. As we entered, we saw what terrorized her. In the toilet bowl, there was a dead small animal, with spiders all over its mutilated body. I could not tell what it was and the smell in the bathroom was terrible. I covered my nose and I stepped out of the bathroom. My family followed. Then we heard another scream. It was Thomas. It was coming from the storage. Everyone ran outside with my father leading. When we got there, Thomas was sitting by the storage on the ground, with his knees to his chest, hugging himself. He was rocking himself back and forth.
“What’s wrong baby?” my mother asked.
“In there,” he said as he pointed into the storage. The door was opened. We all walked in. My mother was carrying Joey and David was holding on to my father’s hand. We saw a picture of horror. In the corner of the first room lied the body of a man wrapped in a webbed cocoon.
“That’s the owner,” my father said.
“Oh my God,” my mother said.
The owner’s hands and face were blue. He had a big hole on the top of his head and we could see the inside of his skull. Blood and puss oozed out. His veins were a dark purple and clearly outlined out of his skin from his entire body.
“What’s wrong with him mommy?” Joey asked.
“Sandy, take the kids out. They don’t have to see this,” my father said. Then we heard Thomas screaming again. We left him outside alone.
We ran outside and looked at him. His was still sitting on the floor, trembling.
“Michael, pick him up,” my mother told me. And I did. It was hard to pick him up, because he hugged himself into a little ball. He would not let go of himself. As I held him, I could feel his body trembling. He wouldn’t stop.
“Stop it, Thomas, you’re scaring me,” I told him, but he wouldn’t listen.
“Stop it Thomas, its going to be okay,” my mother said, but he still didn’t listen. My mother walked toward us. She grabbed Thomas by the chin.
“Thomas Willis Picks, stop it right this minute. You’re scaring your brothers,” she said, but he wasn’t listening. His entire body started to change to the color blue. The veins on his arms, bubbled out of his skin. He started breathing fast and he foamed at the mouth. I didn’t know what to do. I thought he was so scared that he was having a seizure. His eyes rolled back and his body started shaking. I couldn’t hold him any longer, so I laid him on the floor. As I did, I felt the back of his head. There was an indention on the top of his head and I felt something wet as I slipped my hand out from underneath him. I looked at my right hand and I saw a mixture of blood with something else all over it. My right hand started stinging. I looked at the top of his head and there was an opening. I could see the inside of his head. A mixture of blood and puss dripped out of the wound. I grabbed his hand, and I felt that his body was very cold. My mother screamed and the boys yelled. My father grabbed my mother and he turned her face away from Thomas. I became in shocked and the only thing I could do was stare. It was a horrible sight. Thomas started breathing faster and then he stopped. His body also stopped shaking.
“Thomas?” I asked, but he didn’t answer. He was dead. My mother let go of my father and grabbed my little brothers. She cried out loud. Then something stuck to Thomas’s stomach. It was a giant string of a spider web. It came from the roof of the storage. I looked up and became frightened at what I saw. It was a gigantic spider. It spun Thomas up, like a yo-yo, and took his body. My mother screamed again and my brothers cried. The stinging on my right hand became worse. It turned to a burning feeling, like I touched a used iron. I needed some water quick.
“Sandy, you have to calm down for the boys,” my father said as he placed his hands on my mother’s face.
“Okay, I will,” she said as she wiped her tears.
“We’ve got to get in the station wagon and leave before that thing comes out and gets the rest of us,” my father said. But I didn’t want to leave. I wanted my brother Thomas. And no matter how much my hand burned, I was going to get him back. I ran to the storage. “No Michael. We have to get out of here. He’s already dead,” my father yelled at me as he tried to grab me. But I was faster than he was.
“I’m not leaving my brother,” I said. I didn’t want to believe that Thomas was dead. I should have kept an eye out for him and I should have gone with him to the damn storage.
In the storage, I ran to the second room. In the far back wall lied several decaying bodies in webbed cocoons as deceased dinners for the giant spider. There were small spiders everywhere, crawling on the lifeless bodies. I nearly vomited when I saw a spider crawl out the mouth of one of the decaying bodies. Spider webs covered the entire room. The giant spider was using the storage to store its food. I looked up on the ceiling and the ceiling moved. I thought it was about to crumble on me so I crossed my hands over my face and then I realized why it moved. It was the entrance for the giant spider. It was the opening for the spider to get in the storage and as it crawled in, it had my brother dragging behind him in a webbed cocoon. I don’t know how the hell this spider got so huge, but I wasn’t going to let it get away with killing my brother. The spider came up to me and it stopped in front of me. It waited for me to make a move. It watched me, with its eight dark-black eyes. And I watch its long fangs and its eight 5-foot legs. I didn’t want it jumping on me or stinging me. I’ve seen how spiders do that technique to other insects. But I wondered how it looked with a 7-foot spider. I didn’t want it to test it on me. I looked around the room to find anything to get rid of the gigantic arachnid. On the right wall, I spotted a shelf with a container of gasoline. I needed the right time to move and get it so I waited for the spider to make its move first. And it did, and I dodged it. Its fangs bit the wall behind me. It left two holes that were the same size on top of Thomas’s head. At the end of the fangs, I saw the venom drip. As the venom hit the floor, fumes raised. The venom was strong as acid.
I ran to the shelf. I grabbed the container of gasoline and took out my lighter. I was a smoker, which was the only bad thing about me. I opened the container and threw the gasoline at the spider. The spider shook himself like a dog, not realizing what I threw at it.
“Burn you bastard,” I told the spider. I turned on the lighter and threw it. The spider burst into flames and it shrieked as it burned.
“Thomas, grab my hand,” I said to Thomas’s lifeless body. I couldn’t reach him. The fire was getting heavy, but I didn’t want to see my brother dead. I had to accept though it if I wanted to live, so I left. I cried as I ran out of the storage and the storage then caved in. I was relieved that I made it out on time and the whole thing was over. I looked at my tearing family as they waited in the station wagon for me. I saw my mother crying and my father trying to comfort her and my brothers. I wanted to get out of this place. And I felt, I would be. But, then I heard the shrieking sound of the burning spider. I looked up on the roof of the house and there it stood on fire. The burning was not enough to kill it. The spider squatted and leaped. I looked at my family as they waved for me to hurry up. I nodded my head as I realized my hopes had ended. The flaming spider landed on the station wagon and punctured its legs in the doors like nails and my family was unable to escape out of the station wagon. My father and my mother pounded at the windows. I saw my brothers hugging each other in the back seat as they cried. Then the spider punctured his back left leg into the gas tank, and the station wagon then exploded with my family in it. They burned like the hideous spider monster that I set on fire and I lost my family.