Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spider Bites

“WAG #11: Scaredy-Cat”
Another people-watching exercise! Choose a stranger and observe him/her for a little
while. Now give them a phobia. A full-on, jump on the chair, scream like a little
fear. (Or however you imagine them to respond.) Try to choose something that fits
the person you’re watching, and let us know what it is about them that clued you
in to their secret fear. The object is not just to describe the fear, but to make
us understand why it fits with this particular person.
Special thanks to
Christine Kirchoff
for this week’s topic idea! Email NixyValentine AT gmail DOT com to contribute topic
ideas. It’s very helpful!
Post the results on your blog, and
read this post about the group for information on how to notify me
so your post will be properly included in next week’s list. (Note, please include
WAG #11
in the subject heading and tell me how you want your name to appear! If you do not,
I will use the name as it appears on your email.) Deadline: next Tuesday, May 12th.
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So I’m at a party over the weekend. We were all gathered in the kitchen around the food and drinks. The windows were open, stirring the tangy smell of spicy ribs through the house. The bluesy sound of sax warbled over the desultory buzz of idle chit chat. Just as I was elbowing my way to the living room to find a seat, a nerdy looking guy in a pair of thick horn rims stopped me, striking up a conversation. It turned out he was an exterminator.
“Yeah,” he went on in his nasally voice. “Gotta catch ‘em buggers before they get out of hand. Spiders and cock roaches breed like rabbits. Gotta zap ‘em dead.”
“Uh-huh,” I said, the food on my plate suddenly far less appealing than it had been seconds before. “I’ll just be on my way.”
SWAT! He slapped his arm. Then he jabbed his forefinger into his horn rims, catching them as they slid down the bridge of his long, straight nose. “Even after three showers, still feel like those spiders and bugs are crawling in my skin and hair.”
“I’ll just be on my way,” I said, feeling a bit itchy my own self.
SWAT! The force of his elbow had me jumping. If I do say so, I did a mighty fine job of balancing my food.
“Like I said,” he gave himself another good hard swat for good measure. “Feel like ‘em buggers are still on my skin.”
“Yeah,” I said, finally breaking free of the nerd. “Good luck with that.”
I dumped my food in the nearest waste can, my stomach queasy. I left the party, still stuck on the bugs. I couldn’t shake them loose from my brain.
As I crawled between the sheets that night, I visualized spiders and roaches in my hair, on my skin, nesting and breeding like rabbits. A little shudder went through me. I swore I felt the beginnings of hives breaking out on my arms and legs. My eye began to twitch. Just the thought of such a thing had niggles of fear skittering down my spine. Then I laughed out loud. Somehow the nerd in the horn rims had managed to pass his bug phobia onto me. If that didn’t beat all. I drifted off, realizing that phobias were all in the mind. But still, I thought, ideas stirring. It would make for a good fantasy thriller—or a writing assignment. The possibilities were endless.

Want to join Nixy’s WAG Writers Adventure Group? Here’s how:


Julie Robinson said...

Wow! Sharon, I felt like those bugs were on me!! Spiders don't bother me, but I get murder instincts when I see a roach.

We are leaving in a few days until the end of the month for my son's b-day and graduation cruise. So by then I hope to participate.

Meanwhile, I am so excited to tell you that my Lasting Love Rose was just delivered by the mail lady today!!! I'm so excited. I plan to plant it this evening when it gets cooler.

Thanks a bunch!


Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Julie. I know. I hate spiders and bugs and snakes--oh my!! Wow, a cruise sounds really nice. Where are you going? BTW, my Lasting Love rosebush came in the mail today too. I'll be planting it tomorrow. Thanks for dropping by. Have a terrific time. Bon Voyage!!

Julie Robinson said...

Thanks! We're going to the Western Caribbean. However, I am terribly disappointed, as I'd been gearing up to see the Mayan ruins in Cozumel, and now that port has been canceled due to the Swine Flu epidemic. We're stopping in Key West instead. Although that's nice, and we'll get to see Hemmingway's house, it's still the U.S.

And I so wanted to the Mayan temple there. Every romance and every research book I've been reading has been about the Mayans. So I feel somewhat gypped. Who knows, maybe being in Hemmingway's house will inspire me to write productively.


Anonymous said...

The character seemed so familiar, and yet his jumpiness was well written. The fact that his fear was so much a part of him that it was contagious, well that was interesting!

I like what you did with this!

Marsha said...

Are phobias catching? Now you made me phobic of catching a phobia! :) Great piece - the thought of nesting bugs makes me quiver in revulsion.

Julie Robinson said...

Oh, that's gross, Marsha! "Nesting bugs" Yuk!!!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Nixy, Marsha and Julie. I don't know if phobias are catchy, but they give a pretty good imitation! Eeks! Just the thought of nesting things in my hair and skin make me shudder! I agree, Julie. I get those murderous instincts!

Anonymous said...

Seriously creepy! I felt itchy just reading it, I hate spiders and being on the first floor they're constantly around. They're BIG too, no little things you can barely see but huge suckers that bite. Thanks for reminding me of that, lol.

Sharon Donovan said...

Okay Chris. So now the image in my head is getting worse! Those hairy spiders will be starring in my nightmares tonight! LOL

SueO said...

Okay, if I can't sleep tonight, Sharon, I'm calling you and you're singing me to sleep to calm my fears! ;-)

Like others have noted, the itchy, heebie-jeebies started under my shirt and now I need to retreat to my "happy place". Very, very effective writing here. Good job.

Sharon Donovan said...

Sorry, Sue! I don't usually write about such gross and disgusting things, but it was kind of fun, visualizing a Stephen King best seller in the works!

Julie Robinson said...

Sharon, Quit note before I leave---It just goes to show how descriptive you were! Great job.

Iain Martin said...

Ah the power of suggestion, eh Sharon? Nicely done; your character with the horned rim glasses and the subject matter put me quickly in mind of Buddy Holly--his band was The Crickets and that name was the inspiration for the name of another band, The Beatles (a play on beetles). Great descriptions.

Frances said...

Your chap sounded as creepy as his bugs! Yuk! You certainly drew us into the experience.

Peter Spalton said...

Great dialogue and so descriptive. Made me itch justb like the others did.

J. M. Strother said...

I think I know that guy! No fun to run into at a party, that's for sure.

You did spiders, I did snakes. What a pair. I have some great spider stories I could share, but I'll be nice and keep 'em to myself.

Nice work Sharon. Are you still on for the Editor Unleashed flash fiction contest. Hope to see something from you. I'm still trying to decide what to enter. Something old, or something new?

Sorry for getting around so late.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks, Julie! Can't wait to hear all about that cruise. You'll have so many ideas to channel, you'll have to join in on the fun at Nixy's writers adventure group. It's a great way to inspire the creative muse.

Sharon Donovan said...

Iain. Great minds think alike. The nerd was the clone of Buddy holly personified! Very perceptive! Thanks for the comment.

Sharon Donovan said...

Creepy indeed, Frances. Just who we all want at a party, an exterminator with a phobia for bugs!
Peter, my skin still gets itchy and blotchy when I think of him. Thanks for the comments!

Sharon Donovan said...

More snake stories Jon? Ah...makes me shudder! If there's anything I detest more than spiders, it would be snakes. Hissing fangs not for the weak at heart. Just back from my writers conference, so I hope to come up with something for the contest. I'm sure whatever you decide to enter will be you at your very best.

dan powell said...

Sorry for the late post. Really liked the transfer of the phobia in this piece. Phobias as virals. The use of dialogue brought the piece to life.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Sharon-sorry for being so late this week- this piece was fabulously fun! I don't know how many times this has happened to me-;)


Anonymous said...

You made my skin creep with this - very nicely done.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Dan. Yes in this case, it was a transfer of phobias! And not one I particularly wanted. I agree. Dialogue brings the characters to life in a story. Thanks for the comment!
Nancy, I'm glad you found it fun. The mere mention of spiders and bugs gets my skin crawling. Yuc!
Thanks, Carol. It gave me the wee willies writing it!