Itsy Bitsy Fritsy 14: Visitors in the Night (Another Interlude)
Nothing major to report and I’m still trying to conserve battery life, but I had to vent some frustration.
After the man and the cat went to bed, the other spiders started coming by the jar. At first I was excited about the prospect of getting help, but they only wanted to enjoy a little schadenfreude and tsk-tsking. They seemed satisfied that the situation had “resolved itself.”
They didn’t want to hear my plans for getting me out of the jar. They definitely didn’t want to hear how they could help with those plans. No one would go outside and find the house number and street name so I could call outsiders in to help.
This is upsetting. I’m a part of this community. Maybe not the most popular member at the moment, but still. I would do anything to help a fellow spider sister or brother in need. I have been doing everything in my power to help them get rid of the man. But they’re too cautious and small-minded to appreciate it.
Ursel would have helped me, no matter what. But she’s gone, and no one else seems to care about me anymore.
Boris crawled over. “I’m sad to see you come to this end,” he said.
(Not the kind of “caring” I was looking for.)
“Go away, Boris,” I said. “You’re scaring away the younger spiders who might actually have the palps to try helping me.”
“You have to understand the way the web stretches,” he said, embarking on a half hour lecture about tradition and “the circle of life.” Then he went into paternal mode. “Now, Fritzi, you know you’ve always been like a daughter to me—”
I couldn’t take it anymore. I covered the sensory hairs on my legs and said, “Lah lah lah, I’m not listening,” until he went away.
After midnight, Gretchen came to see me. She was one of the younger spiders I hoped would have some spirit for adventure. I was thrilled to discover I had gained some fame among the young ones. Word of my exploits had spread. Gretchen was interested in danger and rebellion. Perfect.
I outlined a plan where she might lead the cat to knock the jar off the counter. All she had to do was venture out from behind the sugar and flour jugs when the cat was leering over my jar. As the cat scrambled to get her, there would be a good chance for a flailing paw or tail to send the jar flying. I would do the rest, I told her. She just had to make it to safety under the microwave.
The idea frightened her — this was the cat of a hundred spider deaths, after all — but as I personally recounted my tales of “Operation Plummet” and “the Refrigerator Gambit,” she became emboldened.
But then Liselotte stepped out from behind the toaster.
“Gretchen, go back to the shelter area,” she said.
Gretchen went. I think she was relieved. I didn’t blame her. She was young, with many eggs to lay, and it was an extremely dangerous mission I had asked of her. But she might have spun up her courage without Liselotte’s interference.
I turned to her, my nemesis, and prepared to unleash my fury.
“I have little to say to you,” Liselotte said. I thought she would fly into a rage of her own, but she was calm. “You won’t be mourned and you won’t be missed. Your doom is entirely of your own making. Goodbye, Fritzi. Nobody else will be visiting you tonight.”
This made me even angrier. I started spinning a shimmering web of invective around her, but she was already walking away, saying, “Lah lah lah, I’m not listening…”
Boris! He must have warned her about my recruiting intentions.
They’re all plotting against me.
(Maybe even Gretchen was sent to raise my hopes only to plunge them into their web…)
But all I can do is go back to waiting for Fiery Fred.