A somewhat unnerving short story collection about our relationship with arachnids, featuring the stories, "What is There to Fear?", "Spider Inside," "Home Sweet Home," "A Response" and "Blondi".
WHAT IS THERE TO FEAR?
A furry black mass of limbs protrudes and carries itself, hidden within the long legs punctuated by joints and dark fiber like hairs are eight beady eyeballs too dark to reflect light. Distending directly beneath the eyes are two smaller limbs that resemble the tusks of a walrus, and attached to these limbs are two large fangs that secrete venom and digestive juices. The size of their bodies can vary from inconspicuously small and pea like to the dinner plate sized giants of their species. Spun along with our imagination they move pass phobia and become monsters. Stories depict them bigger than cars, travelling together like a pack of wolves but in greater numbers, ghastly like a herd of zombies with an unrelenting desire to feast solely on human juices. They are fast, much smarter than anticipated and can climb anything. Bullets won't penetrate their tough carapace, their limbs are too strong to break and they're too quick to evade. Fire is the main defense our subconscious has given us. Like the witches from centuries before, we have decided it is the only thing that can take them down for good. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being in the sights of their eight eyeballs with no way out, the only mercy available to you is the speed in which these giant hairy creatures will gather you up to their mouths, breaking your bones as they do, and render you permanently immobile with the deep stabbing of their venomous fangs. Or if smaller, dozens of them will unsuspectingly emerge to cover your entire body, biting and sucking you way past death, until you are empty and your body resembles a human raisin all wrapped up in white.
Outside of our nightmares and fictional adaptations they are less deadly and less crazed for human juices, but no less intimidating. These things are terrifying; people have been brought into shrieking fits or reduced to quibbling blobs when one is simply spotted in their vicinity. Their image has been used throughout humanity and in numerous civilizations for a variety of mythological customs, and with the advent of popular entertainment their menacing appearance and creepy instinctual behavior have been used to scare us. What is not intimidating about a creature that is propelled entirely by the hydraulic power located in each of its eight legs? And that also has eight eyes? Along with a pair of large overhanging fangs that inject both painfully paralyzing venom and a digesting acid that turns the insides of their victims into a liquid substance that can be slurped up as sustenance? A daunting variety of specie types, each with its own personal array of gifts: camouflage, propulsion, speed, aggressiveness, agility, and millions of years of instincts. There is only one species of human left on the planet, and on a physical level there isn't much going for us defensively. No big teeth or night vision. No super strength or speed. No claws or quills or protective shells. No venoms or poisons or toxins. With no exoskeleton and made mostly out of carbon and water we are possibly less defenseless than the sloth whose sole defense is lack of movement.
In short, don't make fun of people who are afraid of spiders. It makes sense.