The feathery touch of silk spun with the warm spell of safety is my first memory of this world.
It didn't last very long. I was content and snug in my spider web-bed made of gossamer silk when a shadow passed over me. My life was turned upside down before I could say kaboom! The shadow monster took a giant swipe at our home. There was complete pandemonium as my siblings and I scurried in all directions to escape certain death.
That is how, I, Alex Spider, came to be an orphan and a nomad. I moved all the time. I wanted to be one step ahead of the shadow monster. It was an invisible game of cat and mouse. I seemed to be winning for I never stayed very long in one place.
That was until I met Dotty Dormouse and Fungus Frog. Dotty had just woken up from what Fungus called “her legendary sleep” when I moved into the neighbourhood. Dotty and Fungus were quite the contrary pair and yet were the best of friends. Dotty would watch sleepily as Fungus yodeled away till his eyes popped out. This ritual went on for hours every day and strangely, I was drawn to the monotony. It could be because I had never had friends before. Friendship was the beginning of my downfall. Well, not my friendship with Dotty and Fungus. That felt fuzzy and warm but it was all this fuzziness that made me stay. Staying was my big mistake. Staying is how the shadow monster finally caught up with me.
Dotty and Fungus were napping beneath the shade of a wise, gnarled tree one magical, sunny afternoon. I was practicing the art of weaving silk to perfection. That’s when we heard it. Fungus leapt out of his slumber and proclaimed, “Moonlight Sonata. It’s so romantic.” “Oh claptrap,” said Dotty, “It’s mournful, like a death march.” I just swung myself upside down and looked down at them with buggy-eyes. “Fence-sitter!” exclaimed a disgruntled Fungus. Before he could launch into one of his Alex lectures the melody changed. What was this lovely melody? I had to get closer to it. It was calling out to me. It was my destiny. “Bach’s Prelude in C Major,” muttered smug ole Fungus as I scurried away as fast as my super-8 legs could carry me.
I just had to get closer to the music. When I finally did, I knew I had found my true home. And what a home it was - big, dark, light, corners, plenty of corners, carpets, tea cups and most importantly, cupboards. The music filled my new home, a home I noticed that Fungus and Dotty refused to enter. Fungus kept hopping around and Dotty looked rather faint. They seemed to be saying something but the music drowned out their words. They could wait, I decided. The magical melody could not.
I felt warm and safe and found myself climbing up a rather tall wooden leg. It turned out to be the leg of a giant piano and the melody was coming out of it. The rhythm lulled me into semi-sleep. That might explain why I did not sense a change in the air above me. I jumped out of my skin as I heard something whoosh past me.
I did not stop to think. I ran as fast as my super-8 legs could carry me, almost proud of the way I navigated the obstacle race. I say almost, as one minute I was winning, I was free, I was Jesse Owens. The next minute I was face to face with my old nemesis - Shadow. We stared at each other, still as stone, like we were playing “one, two, three – STATUE” to the death. And that’s how, I, Alex Spider hypnotized the shadow monster into becoming my lifelong slave and follower.
Dotty Dormouse yawned and Fungus Frog rolled his eyes as I narrated the last moments of my almost-death story to Mitsy Millipede. Mitsy was the latest addition to our motley crew. I’d woken up one day in my rainbow-coloured doll house to find Mitsy curled asleep in a dainty china teacup. Having learned kindness from my new best friend, Shadow (Please do not tell her that I thought she was a monster.), I let Mitsy stay. Shadow’s what they call a little girl, she’s 8 years old and likes everything rainbow. I do not like rainbow but don’t complain. After all, I have every comfort I can think of. Comfort that included Mr. C Major Bach Prelude or whatever it is called, playing all day until Dotty, Fungus and Mitsy threw the quaint music box out the door; a door through which I wander whenever I am in need of adventure. Adventures that will captivate you but I’ll leave those stories for another day. For now, it’s simply goodbye, sleep tight and don’t let the shadow monsters bite.