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The Spider’s Web

by Richard H. Williams

When Londo was driving up South Dixie Highway and turning into the beach near Shark Valley, the sky was clear and blue, the sun blazing, but when he left his pick-up truck and walked to the far beach, a thunder was rumbling in the distance and lightning began to crack.

There was a light rain and he settled down and stripped off his bathing suit. It felt good to be naked and he stretched and walked into the water. The water temperature, like that of the sky, was cool, and he basked in the wetness and began a slow Australian crawl.

Londo didn’t mind the drizzle and the mist and he felt good. Because of the inclement weather, the beach was deserted. After swimming for a while he unpacked his lunch and enjoyed an egg salad sandwich, an apple, and a thermos of iced tea.

Then he heard some voices from a distance, apparently coming from a small boat across the water----it seemed far away and he couldn’t hear what they were saying, partly because they were speaking in Spanish. As they drew into view Rondo saw that there were three men in a Whaler. He knew enough Spanish to realize they were cursing at him, accusing him of being gay.

“Queer! Mariposa!”

Londo jumped up on the damaged pier near the deserted lifeguard tower and shrieked back at them. The interchange continued. He turned and wiggled his naked ass at them. They were outraged and steered their boat toward the shore.

They grew closer than he had anticipated all at once and Londo scooped up his belongings and ran away from the water, racing across a meadow to the forest of low bushes, palm fronds and tall pines.

His pursuers anchored their boat and, shouting challengers, running after him. They wanted blood. Londo knew of a deserted cave hidden within the dark forest and he sought it. On entering it he heard a familiar sound. It was like someone striking taut wires, like the sounds of the birds in Hitchcock’s horror film. He backed out of the cave as the three men surrounded him. One of the three was partly inside the cave, blocking Londo from entering, and the other two prevented him from darting away.

Londo attempted to move into the cave, but his means on ingress was completely blocked. The man inside the cave moved further in and became attached to a sticky substance. He was caught in a huge spider’s web. The large black spider plunged a sword-like weapon into that man’s neck and he screamed out, shuddered, and then stopped moving. The other three men ran away.

Copyright Richard H. Williams 2011

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