The King and the Spider
by Eric J. Krause
He eased himself into the room, mindful of the space above him. It wouldn't do for it to pounce down on his head before the game truly started.
It. The humongous spider terrorizing this room. Striking fear into the hearts of his beautiful queen and their precious princess.
No doubt its plump black form flowed full of deadly poison. Its fangs, the size of small daggers, itched to puncture him so it could feed itself and its unseen clan. As visions of his painful and messy death flashed through his mind, he knew he had to strike first and strike hard.
He spotted the beast as it scurried up the wall, just out of range. It scuttled across the ceiling, and he crouched down, weapon at the ready. Did these leap at their prey? He didn't know, but he wasn't going to court defeat because of carelessness.
Out in the open he found it much bigger than he first guessed. Maybe the size of a large cat or a small dog. Maybe bigger. The thought of sealing off the room and leaving it for the monster crossed his mind.
Instead, it took that option away. It reached the other side of the room and crawled down towards the door. A room was one thing, but he couldn't sacrifice his queen or princess. Without thought to his own safety, he lunged forward, weapon poised . . .
. . . and scrunched it in his paper towel.
"Did you get it, Jerry?"
"Yeah." He examined the squished form. "Tell Sara she can come back in and finish watching her Happitty-Hoppitty cartoon."