In a forest, a butterfly flies in front of a man. A gust of wind passes and throws the butterfly off-balance. The spider’s web takes control of the butterfly. The man attempts to free the butterfly before the spider can feed on it. When the spider’s minions defend the huge network of web, the man falls back in shock and becomes unconscious. With no help expecting from the man, the butterfly flutters its wings to break a few strands of the web, only for others to tie even further. Just as the spider reaches the butterfly, the man slaps it outside, only for the spider to reach and bite. However, it is not fatal, and the man succeeds in releasing the butterfly to its freedom.
I was in a forest, noting down observations about several species of trees. There were oak, banyan, mango, pear, and apple trees. The undergrowth covered the forest floor everywhere and vines sprang on whatever it could grasp its hold in order to reach as high as possible.
A butterfly flew in front of my sight. Although there must be hundreds in such a place, I felt its beauty take hold of me. The sparkling reddish green colour with a network of yellow lines split the wings in the shape of the letter ‘W’.
Hovering in flight to balance itself, I believe it was in search of flowers to suck nectar.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew through the forest floor. When I searched for the butterfly, it was not seen anywhere. I looked at all possible places where the wind would carry it.
After tense moments, I had thought the butterfly must have flown away by now. Yet, when I turned and gave a glance towards a few overgrown weeds next to an oak tree, I felt the need to help it in every way possible. After all, it was beautiful.
Soon, horror entered my mind as I saw a huge spider making its way slowly across the web towards the butterfly.
As I closed in toward the cluster of spider’s web, a few strands stuck my face, stretched, and broke away. When I observed the spider, it looked fearsome. The web was not exactly a small spider web, but also a whole network of them. They hung over branches and vines in almost every place over the tree. When I glanced at the other trees, I did not see any spider webs on it. It was this oak tree, infected with an entire society of spiders; they must have built up their nest somewhere.
As I moved through, I broke a few strands of the web, which led me to a surprise. Within moments, I saw other spiders hanging over their silk web strands, swinging down between the butterfly and me.
Arachnophobia gripped me as they landed, and I fell unconscious.
When I woke up and saw them, they looked as if they were the spider’s minions. Although they were small in front of me, they looked fearsome. With black and white curved stripes painted in a random pattern, I could not take my eyes off them. The world had closed in on me, with nothing besides the spiders in front of me.
Then I saw a blurred object beyond these spider’s minions. When my eyes focused, it was none other than the butterfly making a desperate attempt to free itself. Only a few inches away lay the huge spider, ready to pounce on it. The spider spanned at least four inches across opposite ends.
I stood up, without looking at the other spiders blocking my path. I moved towards the butterfly, and stepped on one of the spiders, which took late to realise my feet came over it. When I reached close enough, I waved my hand and slapped the spider out of the network of spider web onto the ground. Nevertheless, it took hold of my hand when my hand slashed out. Not a moment later, I felt a sting on my hand, and I shook it, which made the spider to jump down to the ground.
When I saw my palm, there was a small puncture between the thumb and index finger. There might be a few toxins, but I hoped they would not be fatal.
Ignoring the wounds, I went closer to the butterfly and picked out the strands after creating a cup with both my hands, so that it would not fly deeper into the network of web. The butterfly made a tug-of-war attempt to free itself. A few moments later, it reached out and freed itself from the terrible sticky web, and I felt sympathy for it.
I watched it fly unharmed. As it flew higher, it came closer. I held out the back of my palm, and it rested on it. After a few moments, it took off and went away from the oak tree. I was glad to have done a good thing on my part. Although I am sure, the spider must have cursed me, after loosing its prey.
I walked away soon after, watching the spider walk back to its web. The minions had gone already, and were not seen anywhere.
Oh, how the world is beautiful in its own way. There is so much to watch, feel, taste and know.
Right now, I fly along the open field, but I am close to the trees, which loom above me. I do not like the idea of flying higher. The wind could damage my wings. Hence, I fly low to the ground, hoping that the breeze would be calm always.
I reach the edge of the tree line and watch as they block the bright morning sunshine as I fly inside the endless placement of trees in every direction. Within a few minutes, I reached a tree where flowers grew on it. Oh, how beautiful they look. They are almost everywhere and it feels like heaven. White lilies, tulips, jasmine, and others in different colours and smells. There cannot be any place in the world as beautiful as this one. My curiosity carries me exploring even deeper within the maze of trees. I look up and imagine how high the trees went. Just imagining it gives me the shivers. The waves of the wind would definitely be lashing the roof of the trees. Only as one, shall they all survive its torture, as wave after wave hits them over.
As I keep moving on, my eyes provide with a sight where I see a creature I had seen long ago. I knew they could walk, talk, jump, and wave their limbs around in almost every direction. The legend was that they came from some place other than where everyone else was born. The world belonged to them, it was rumoured. However, I had a different way to look at things.
I went close to the creature, who stood on two of the four limbs. He stretched his other two as he stared at me. I hovered close to it to get a better look. It saw me as if it had seen something new. Maybe it was the way it stayed alert whenever another animal came close to it.
Well, it was a way I would have to adapt to, but the creature did not do anything and waved its hand at me. Oh, how it was. I wondered how such a creature dominated our planet when it did not have any wings for flying across the skies.
Just as I moved towards a tree, a wave of wind blew me away. The current caught me for a long time. It seemed like minutes had passed, until my flight stopped abruptly. I twisted my eyes to look for the object that blocked me.
What I saw was something sticky along my feet, and one of my wings. I felt trapped, for when I wriggled to free myself, the sticky substance pulled me back. I could not get free from whatever held me.
I did not fear as much, for it was not powerful as what was to come ahead. I made myself still, looking for trouble in all directions.
In the distance, I saw the creature walk closer, as if it knew I was stuck in something. However, a barrier of fat black beasts with eight legs along their bodies and abdomens larger than their heads, hung down over the strings.
Suddenly, I saw the biped fall to the ground. If there was any hope at all, it was lost. I thought that maybe luck might play its role today and save me. Only, it did not feel that way anymore.
The biggest terror came not from any of them, but the giant beast that stood staring at me straight up front. A mighty beast lay in front of me, with four black eyes on its head. The beast was more than twice my size, even if my wings were wide open.
It tapped on one of the sticky threads, then another. I felt the vibrations. I wondered what it was doing. Fear crept through me.
I started to flutter my wings as hard as possible. I had to get rid of this thing. I wished to gain my freedom. My senses told me these were the last moments of my life. No. This was not the way I wished death would grab me. Something was wrong.
The eight-legged beast started closing in on the distance. I saw its fangs on its mouth. Was it going to eat me? What harm had I done to this beast? However, I was the unfortunate one. Even if the beast might have the ability to hear, I did not have any ability to communicate through speech. I fluttered my wings, but the beast only became ever more confident of my location.
Within moments, the beast was inches away from me, when I saw the biped stood up. As I kept my best to get rid of the sticky threads, it became worse instead.
Then something impossible happened.
The biped creature ran towards me. As it ran, I saw a beast crush under its feet. The creature had immense strength and power. I wondered what it was going to do to me. I was already in a death trap. Moreover, what better would it be to have the creature feed on me as well?
I felt as if I was going into shock. I held my grip on it. The creature used one of its limbs to slap the beast out of harm’s way. Nevertheless, the beast clung to his hand. The biped shook his hand and the eight-legged beast fell to the ground.
The two-legged creature placed its palms around my body, making sure it did not touch me. I guess the creature knew that if any animal felt my wings, they would lose colour and I would die moments later.
The creature broke through all the sticky threads and jerked those stuck over my body. Fortunately, the ones stuck on my wing let go by itself. Then I saw a wound on his hand. It was a bite I assumed it made by the eight-legged beast.
Filled with fear, I flapped my wings and flew in front of the biped for some time. I wished I could thank it for saving my life.
Then, as if it understood, it held out the back of its palm towards me. I flew towards it and sat over it for a few moments. The creature walked a foot or two, which jerked me to fly away. It was time to head back home. Without looking behind, I carefully made my way back, making sure there were not any sticky threads in my way.
These past moments had been the most dangerous and life-threatening ones. I knew these memories would never go away. The lesson I learnt today shall live with me all my life.
The forest floor. What a place it is, gentle and still rough. The cool breeze flows along the space, shifting every small insect moving over it. Then there are vines and roots of different trees, plants and shrubs growing in different places. The cursed humans have not yet discovered the haven we have created here.
I am glad to have a society finally. The humans pillage our every home. Even when we have no intentions to harm them, they wipe us clean from all the cornered places of their homes. What they do not think is the logic we employ to live along with them. We live near them since they use artificial lights, which attract a wide variety of insects. In addition, we build our traps to feed on those bugs, which create a pestilence for them. Nevertheless, they either drive us away or kill if we do not back off.
I curse them for they are the villains of this world, which they dominate. Someday, I would like to bite one of them over their soft flesh they conceal it under different patterns and designs on their clothes. It is rumoured that humans build such things in huge open structures, which is warm and comfortable. I still am yet to see one.
It took many years for all of us to become a society. We advertise it now displaying our construction of shiny white threads everywhere. Only to remain hidden from the wretched humans, we do not spread out further beyond this one tree, where we make our stand. We stand in numbers and hope never to encounter any humans here. They bring trouble, ill health and death with them. Moreover, we are not one of those who will back off now. Not from this one tree, we host ourselves to build our home and live in peace.
We live together as a single family, helping each other grow and build constructive silk carvings. Hunters, family growers, workers, web network engineers, structural quality specialists and trappers. We are a wide variety of them, filled with tarantulas, black widows, trapdoors, backyard fillers, house spiders, and various others. I am a tarantula, and I am one of the lord here, with loyal soldiers to protect me.
Ah, how much I put it on and on in words. I am tired and wish to feed on something. I walk slowly towards the stock on the higher branches, which acts as filters and blocks various flying insects. I believe the flowers, which spring out and gain their attention, attract them all. I could say flowers hypnotise them to attract them from miles away.
As I move through the feeding yard, I see carcases of various insects hanging and sucked dry. The insects are few here, but I do not fear that. I hope no other creature shall prey on us, not after all our construction.
No food today, unless the hunters call for it. Moreover, they work in their own way. One variant does not disturb the behaviour of others. They have evolved for a good reason, and we do not wish them harm.
I crawl along the tree trunk, and reach closer to my home. My legs pace over the dry strands, feeling the essence of them, careful not to pick over the sticky ones.
I place my feet finally over the strands of my home, which spans over a hundred full-grown squirrel bodies. I shall never forgive them either for the trouble they created, and killed my parents. It was a bitter battle for survival. They had fed on them.
I was a third of my way to the centre, when I felt a vibration. It was not across the dry strands. The sticky ones vibrated at irregular intervals. I took caution and went closer to the sticky thread network. Tapping my feet over each one of them, I felt it. I was certain of something trapped in my web. I should not waste any time, for it becomes a privilege to receive a grand prize. Any insect falling into webs constructed by individual spiders as their home is like a blessing. This blessing is always welcome for all.
Within a few moments, I conclude the location of the trapped insect. It is not far. As I watch with my eyes and crawl over a group of leaves, I see the trapped insect. It is a butterfly, and it is a big one. My favourite ones are caterpillars and moths, for they are good to taste. Butterflies do not have much in their bodies. In addition, their wings create chaos.
Far away, I was shocked to see a human staring at me. When I focused, I realised I had bought time to grab my kill. Few of my friends hanged along their strands and landed down onto the ground. I am sure the cursed human broke through our web network. The spiders had taken the form of a barrier in front of it, and to my surprise, it collapsed on the floor. There was no movement then.
I looked back at the butterfly and felt the flapping its wings. I believe it saw me. Well, this was my time to feed. There was nothing to save it, and trouble me anymore.
I carefully made my way over the non-sticky strands of the web, my eyes not leaving sight of the butterfly. It was going to be an easy kill. Merely half my size, its death would be quick and would not hurt at all. These days, I wished for killing that would take time to die. I liked them to suffer through the pain first.
Glad to see the meal, with hunger growing inside, I reached close to the butterfly and was in range for a pounce to kill.
Something stirred in the distance. The human stood up. The butterfly was fluttering its wings desperately. The human started to run closer, as if to save the butterfly. I knew my friends would take care of it. Only to my horror that it stepped over one of my friends and crushed him in the process. Rage and vengeance built up inside. My body vibrated at the death of my friend. If I ever get my hands on this human, it would beg for death after having bitten, as the poison coursed through its blood.
The human reached closer, and I stared at it. I stood not moving. It brought its limb towards me with great force. I had expected that, and I steadied myself to get a grip over it when it came in range. Easy calculations over the movement of the limb, and I jumped on it as it rushed towards me. Feeling the warmth of the flesh, I bit on the tender flesh, which immediately released a drop of blood. As I sucked it, it felt like it was an elixir of life. I hooked on to it and kept sucking over the wound. Such a blissful experience lasted for a few moments. The human jerked its limb and shook me off balance. I fell off and balanced my body quickly, only to land softly on the ground.
I saw the human destroying my home. What had I done with this one? Why did it behave like there was only the butterfly to protect? I cursed it and the butterfly for having breaking my web.
I saw the human release the butterfly and it flew back into the empty space. I had lost my privilege of having a meal for myself. I am sure; the human would pay for it, for I had injected venom into its wound.
I saw the two of them move away from the network of web constructs. I saw a collection of spiders now reaching closer to the dead one now. I did the same to pay my respect to him. With such loss, I hoped none of this would have happened. Nevertheless, it had, and could not bring him back. Life, is unpredictable. One moment there you have it, and the next could be blank and emptiness. Nothing at all.
Someday, I thought, I shall avenge the death of my friend. On second thoughts, I never wished to see a human in front again. They were terrible creatures. I hated them. They would not live in peace, ever.
As I reached the carcass of my friend, few others crawled their way in. All I did was look at him. I felt sadness grow deep within my soul. Moments later, I crawled back home and slept in the broken web I had spun for myself. It would take some time to build it all up.
This post is inspired from The Daily Post’s Writing 101 June 2014 Challenge – Day 09: Changing Moccasins — Point of View