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You've undoubtedly heard of arachnophobia at some point. The fear of spiders. Well, I never had that issue. Up until recently, anyway. Hell, when I was a kid, I wanted a pet tarantula. Now, if you were to tell me there was a spider nearby, big or small, I would totally flip out. I can't stand the things. Not after what happened last year.
Explanations first. I was still in high school last year. I lived pretty close to the school, so I'd walk to and from school every day. It was probably about 20 minutes from my house to the school by food. About five minutes away from my house, there was a forest. It was thick, so walking through it in the fall and winter, when the sun was setting or, worse, had already set, was....spooky, to say the least.
It was around early November when it happened. Not long after Halloween. I was walking home, as usual, through the woods. The sun was setting, and the shadows of the trees looked strange and twisted. It was then that I saw the first spider. It was a tiny thing, and I probably would never have noticed it had it not dropped down right in front of my face. I found myself only centimeters from those eight beady black eyes, and I took a step back in surprise. I wasn't surprised that it was there, really, more just that it had so suddenly appeared in my field of vision. I was, after all, in the forest. There were probably millions of the things.
The first one wasn't a big deal. After that, though, it started to get weird. As I got deeper into the forest, I started seeing more and more spiders. Okay, that's not strange, they fricking live there. What was strange was that they all seemed to be in a huge hurry, and all in the same direction. Being the curious idiot I was, I decided to follow them. That was a huge mistake on my part.
The spiders weren't hard to follow. They practically carpeted the forest floor now; I had strayed probably 500 meters or so from my regular path.
They were everywhere. On the ground, on the trees, everything was a huge tangle of eyes and legs. The memory is horrifying, but at the time, I thought it was pretty damn cool.
The sun must have dipped below the horizon, because over the next ten minutes or so the temperature dropped dramatically and the darkness increased exponentially. I muttered some quiet complaints as I tugged my jacket a little tighter around my body and pulled out my phone, intending to use it as a makeshift flashlight. I clicked it on, smiling a little at the "stalker picture" of my crush that was my lockscreen. He didn't know I'd taken the photo. I held the phone up, illuminating a small area. The device lit my way for a little while before the light behind the cracked screen flickered and died.
I muttered some rather fierce curses as I shook the thing, tried clicking if off and on, but nothing worked. I would have to walk pretty much blind from here on out.
I stretched my arms out, my fingers straining to find something to guide me. I felt my way past some trees, my fingertips brushing against arachnid bdies and legs. Slipping out between some trees, I found a clearing lit dimly by the moonlight. The first thing I noticed was the ground.
The spiders all over the ground, still moving, made it look like it was rippling. It was....disturbing. To put it lightly.
The next thing I noticed was the webs. Huge, thick webs, like dusty grey candy-floss stretching across the holes between the trees. Something dangled from the webs, bundles of the spider-silk, most of them looking to be roughly 2 meters by 75-100 centimeters and more or less oval-shaped. They were absolutely crawling with spiders. Some of the spiders were enormous. For the first time, I felt a twinge of fear while looking upon what was, at the time, my favorite animal.
An instant later, I felt a tickling sensation on my legs. I didn't have to look to know what it was. Spiders. It was fine, they weren't doing anything. It was fine. Until one bit me, anyway.
The sudden, burning pain was like nothing I'd ever felt. My leg was on fire, it was being dipped in acid, it was on fire, oh shitshitshititHURT.
I screamed, slapping at the spiders on my skin. As I raced past the trees, I realized what the bundles were. Bodies. Human corpses wrapped in spider-silk. The adrenaline coursing through my veins was undoubtedly the only thing that kept me from collapsing and vomiting right there.
I ran, crashing through brush and brambles, feeling my jacket and jeans tearing when they caught on the branches. I didn't care. I had to get away.
Once I got out of the woods, the energy left me, and I collapsed and blacked out.
When I woke up, it was light out. I tried to stand, but my left leg wouldn't work. Oh, yeah. The spider bite. That thing must've had some pretty damn powerful venom. I pulled out my phone and looked at it. 12:37. Okay, I'd been out for less than a day. I needed help, though. I called a friend, who came and brought me to the hospital. My leg healed fine, after about two months. My mind, however, did not.
They say there are around thirty thousand spiders in a single acre.
From my experience, there are lots more.