Moving to Freedom, .Org

Itsy Bitsy Fritsy 6: The Spiderish Inquisition

by Fritzi Webber
(go to the beginning)

Everybody expected the Spiderish Inquisition.

Yesterday the HSA board met for a “preliminary evaluation of code violations resulting in homeowner agitation.”

They castigated me for my reckless actions without once praising my audacity and prowess. I told them I would make everything right, but Liselotte, who seems to think she’s the queen of the association, ordered me to stay away from the man and the cat while they discussed the situation “internally.”

She sounded so self-important about the whole thing that I could have puked. As if we’re some high-rise spider association with an Internal Affairs division. But we do have our bylaws, and those stuffed egg sacs on the board so enjoy following their official policies. At best, I can look forward to a slow “death by bureaucracy.”

The board declared a threat level of yellow: “Elevated: Significant risk of homeowner attacks.” This caused a stir among the spectators, angry looks in my direction, and gloating satisfaction on Liselotte’s face.

They called for two spotters to wait near the door and see if the man brought any munitions home. They would sound the alarm and call to emergency shelter if needed. At Lisalotte’s urging, they further asked for volunteers to watch me. I protested loudly, but it was no use. From the many legs that immediately shot into the air, she picked out two goons.

Looking at the angry faces, I decided to pretend to accept the admonishment. I have some rights in this situation — technically I don’t think they can physically restrain me — but that might not stop someone from getting all web-happy and stringing me up for safekeeping.

The Return of The Man

He came home late. Not all that late, but late enough to make the cat nervous about her evening meal. (Which increased everyone’s jitters. No one likes it when the cat is hungry.)

He came through the door carrying a large bag. Anxious murmurings spread through the community until field analysis determined that it was kitty litter. Disgusting. (Are you following this? Spider webs are unacceptable, but a box full of poop in the house is just fine.)

He seemed distracted. He absently pet the cat and fed her. He didn’t talk about spiders, although I could tell the cat wanted to. He changed the stairway light and cleaned up the web remnants, whistling while he worked, and clearly willing to let bygones be bygones. That’s what I argued, but the other’s didn’t agree and I received more angry looks. And some shushes.

So, Then

With the board bogged down in bureaucratic minutiae, this would have been a great time to press the hunt. Hit the man again before he has time to retaliate. But still today, these slack-jawed mouth-breathers are following me around. Konrad and Ludwik. I don’t know if they think this community service will gain them a mate, or maybe they think — gross — I might mate with one of them, but they have been surprisingly persistent in staying close.

I haven’t tried going near the man. I want people to think I’m meekly waiting on the judgment of the board. I’ve been acting listless and hangbug with the hope that the scrutiny will die down. Spider nature may work in my favor. No one likes interacting this much, which is yet another source of resentment towards me. Everyone’s on edge from having to deal with each other for an extended period of time. Given the chance, most spiders will happily drift apart and avoid each other.

So, I’m mentally preparing for my next opportunity, which will be in the morning if all goes well. The only way I can make this better and get back in good standing is to succeed at my original goal. The man must die. (Or at least be incapacitated.) His ability to oppress us must be hobbled! (Or something noble like that.)

I remain concerned about the greater risk of the new plan, but dire circumstances call for bold action, right? I’d share it with you here and invite feedback and discussion, but I still have this creepy feeling — probably irrational, I know — that the cat might be reading this.

(Suck it, Kitty!)

Maybe I’ll check her browser history to see what she’s up to on the HumanWeb…