Based on a true story.
Once upon a time in a house on 13th street, there was a dollhouse. It was no ordinary dollhouse and quite unique in it’s delicate structure. Its discreet, unseen occupant had carefully crafted it to meet her needs within colorful fashion. It had remained unfound/unobserved for quite some time, until one day……
Looking out the window was always a risk, at least it felt that way. Matilda, affectionately known to herself as Mattie, loved her home very much. Adorned in pretty silk ribbons with lace strewn fancily about spiraling little stairways and balconies. There were hidden corridors and secret walls.
It was her high rise dream home, set dead in the middle of a dangerous neighborhood. She would rarely get out of the house at all and preferred the late night hours. It was always a little quieter late at night. She took a quick peek out into a misty darkness laced with flashing light, waiting for the girl downstairs to go to sleep.
Tick, tock, tick, tock whispered into the night, and she watched out the window.
Looking into the window, things would appear much differently. Looking into the window would paint another picture and tell another story. It’s the one you’re about to hear, and this is exactly how it happened.
Lillie awoke fumbling in the covers for the off switch on her blasting cell phone alarm before she could open her eyes. She would be late for work as usual but jumped right up and rushed through her morning routine. She was about to head out the door when she ran back to grab her phone. She noticed something strange on her pillow.
It wasn’t directly on her pillow but on the ruffle of the sham just behind it. She looked closely and knew what it was right away. A corpse of some poor insect mummified and completely sucked dry of its life. About the size of an inch worm. ‘Hmmmnnn where did you come from’ she whispered to it as she looked overhead at the many cobwebs dancing around the ceiling edge. I really do need to dust those down she supposed, knowing that not everyone could appreciate the creative something extra that they can add to any room, but Lillie did, she always had.
One of the Harvestmen must have dropped it she thought. It was the reason she had let them continue to hang around up there on the ceiling after all. She remembered her Harvestman research. They’re not quite spiders. They’re harmless and will eat other insects and spiders. She scooped it up and was off to work.
Lillie loved horror movies and Stephen King books. She believed in ghosts and hauntings. She just enjoyed being ‘safely scared’ with Stephen King . She was not possibly aware of just how close something spooky might be to her , without her even knowing it. How close?
It was later that night when she was getting ready to shut off the lights for bed, she noticed a couple more of the webbed ‘corpses’ alongside her pillow’s edge. One was about the size of a fly, and the other was about the size of a lightning bug. ‘What in the hell is going on here’ she thought to herself. Again, she looked up, but this time her eyes fell upon the beautiful old fashioned bride doll that hung on the wall smiling, just about 4 feet above. The doll was porcelain and plush. Draped in a fancy wedding dress of satin with tiers of lacy ruffles and ribbons.
There from the tip of its shoes, another small corpse was hanging, and then another.
She further observed the doll and noticed that there along the edges of her face, her dark hair, her veil, her hands, her entire body, was another kind of veil. A webbing that surrounded her, holding her very securely. There to the right of the apron of her ruffled dress just near her cream colored hand, a very thick doorway had been designed in a complete funneled circle, about the size of a quarter. Well, holy sh!t was all that Lillie could gasp! Omg, was someone home here??? She was trying to observe, without herself being observed. She looked along the edges for windows to see into, and that was when she saw her.
Well, she saw part of her. One long black slender leg which was actually extended outside the wall. Make that one extremely long black leg. It was huge! Lillie stood there staring at it. She looked down at her pillow and back up to the doll. It was just about 4 feet she thought, a mere 48 inches from its house to her head! What was she going to do? Well, what would you do??? Lillie headed for the computer.
The girl downstairs was gone. Matilda had been aware of the single large eye that peered through her windows and remained perfectly still though her one leg was in plain sight. The leg trick worked for attracting males but just lately only those dreary, dismal Harvestmen. They were good for dinner and brew, but never a date. She took a deep breath and pulled her leg in. It would be best to keep an even lower profile for a while. She headed to her darkside parlor for some much needed Harvestman tea.
Lillie typed into the search bar – ‘What – does – it – mean – if – a – black – spider – build – its – home – above – your – bed ‘ The result was just as bad as she thought it would be ….. ‘DOOM!’ ‘Surely BAD THINGS will happen’! – ‘Omens of DEATH’!
It was on every link, everything she clicked on. ‘Superstition of course, this and nothing more’ she heard Edgar Allen Poe’s raven saying inside her head.
One warning to heed appeared again and again … ‘If You want to Live and Thrive, let the spider run Alive’!!! She couldn’t be sure about its breed, but the thought of anything with legs that size running to anywhere was creepy! The only thing that could make this worse, she thought, is if that thing is a black widow! It had to be a female. Only a female could have designed such an immaculate home for itself, giving a whole new meaning and brilliant perspective to the word ‘dollhouse’.
She shut off the computer and returned to her bedroom. She turned off the lamp lights while leaving the television on as usual. She stood staring again at the doll, from a distance this time.
She couldn’t all of a sudden be freaking out over this newfound resident who’d obviously been here for quite some time already without incident, could she? The best she could do that night was to block it all out and give Darcy a call the following day. He was the handyman from next door. The only problem with him, was that he was always drunk, but that wouldn’t matter because at least when he was drunk he had no fear and perhaps he could relocate her without getting bit.
Lillie crawled into her bed and got situated. She looked straight up at the doll for the first time from that angle and pulled the covers over her head.
Meanwhile, up the wall, not a creature was stirring in the little dollhouse. Bodies were spun and wrapped tight, hanging from behind the shoes with care, how she hoped her true love would soon be there. Matilda wasn’t really worried about the girl downstairs, besides, she was down there sleeping already. She’d seen her today and nothing bad happened. Life was good. She drifted off into sweet slumber.
Games of late night peek a boo and I spy would transpire in the days to follow. She had left a message for Darcy but hadn’t heard back from him yet. It quickly became a fixation of obsession and eerie speculation for Lillie as she attempted to see her spooky neighbor entirely, outside of her house, and finally it happened.
Apparently, as Lillie would doze off, repeatedly, while sitting at bedside waiting, Matilda loved to come out and sit on the doll. The first time she saw her, she was completely stretched out with legs at full span and posed perfectly across the doll’s face, all feet on all legs were firmly planted in her long dark hair on each side.
Bigger than she even imagined, there she was, like a creepy jewel on display. About the size of the palm of your hand there, in full proximity. Every other time after would reveal that the ruffled apron part of the dress seemed to be her favorite spot. She would never, ever move when looked upon by Lillie, only when she left the room for a few minutes, that she would return to find that she had vanished to beneath the dress.
Despite her terrifying appearance, and it really was terrifying if you’re afraid of gigantic black spiders, how could she seem so harmless? Well, that didn’t even matter after what happened next.
What happened next, occurred two days later on a Saturday morning. Lillie awoke to the sound of birds chirping and sunshine beaming through the curtains. She sat up on the bed and gazed up at the doll as usual. All seemed pretty calm up there. It wasn’t until she would return to make her bed later, that she would notice that something truly horrible must have happened up there!
Lillie’s jaw dropped as she stared at the creature on the pillow. It looked like an elongated toad frog but it definetly had 8 legs! This little guy had been used, abused and thrown out fresh. It meant one thing and it made her skin crawl! There was an EGG up there!
‘Oh now you have reeeallyyy got to go’ she said…looking right at the doll. She really did admire her compassion for the male species though and had to laugh. The song ‘Two Black Cadillacs’ came to her mind and she began singing it to herself. ‘Only one black cadillac for you my friend’ she said as she scooped him into a nearby napkin.
It occurred to her in this moment, that she had forgotten about something. It said online that spiders hate rap music and will often vacate the premises from it! She pulled an old mini boom box from the closet and hooked it up. She began tuning the channel and Boom! There it was …. JayZ and Linkin Park… ‘I got 99 problems and a bitch aint one …’.She turned it up to a blasting level and was off to the trash.
Mattie was watching. She’d been out for a morning stroll and found herself stuck, peeking from behind a mirror. This was exactly why she doesn’t do mornings! There she was….talking to the doll again. What a nutcase the girl downstairs has turned out to be! The coast was clear to make her escape for home and she was taken aback by a tingling sensation in her legs. Bump, thump, boom . It felt like a full body massage. Exhilarating! ‘if you havin’ girl problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a bitch aint one…. ‘ She smiled thinking of her poor lover from the night before. She braced herself and scurried home.
Lillie was back on her computer typing into the search bar –’ “How- long- before- spider- eggs- hatch. ‘ The results alone were informative: ‘A matter of 1 to 4 weeks depending on species’ … ‘inside a sac are 100s or 1000s of eggs’ … and this one … ‘I don’t want baby spiders of big spiders in my house or anywhere near me!’ She clicked on the latter.
It instructed: ‘Take a rock or shoe , and squish it very hard! Then, since the sac is durable, take it up the road and squish it again! Then, go back to where you squished it the first time and ….. ‘ She stopped for a moment to listen. She heard something. It was a knock on the door. She composed herself and peeked out to see that it was her sister Ethel. “Hello sis, I was just out shopping and I got something for you!” She pulled out a big black scary can of SPIDERMAX! “Oh no” …. Lillie thought but didnt say.
She explained to Ethel that she was actually playing the rap music for the spider. “No you just need to kill it!’ Ethel said. “Yeah but I think she has an egg now” Lillie informed her, as if it were a logical reason to not kill it. “Oh well this stuff will kill the egg too!” she told her. Lillie told her that she would give the spray to Darcy when he arrives. ‘Come let me show you where she lives’ …
Mattie had just got herself back home safely when she heard their voices just right outside. This was really getting to be a pain in the web! She no longer had any privacy! She didn’t want to have to move out of her beautiful home but she was being invaded! She had a lot more to think about than just herself now, a LOT more! She began stroking and caressing her beautiful, magnificent egg sac. … listening …
“No way you’re sleeping with that thing over your head!’ Ethel said as it chilled her to see the dollhouse. Lillie just laughed. What could she say? She just didn’t have it in her to disturb or destroy someone’s home. A home is a safe haven and the tenant was creepy but she had kept to herself. After all, this was 13th Street where bats mysteriously fly through the house and black cats flourish in abundance. What’s so horrible about a big black spider living in a doll? Well, the part where its right over your head, of course!
Ethel soon left and Lillie had put the spider killer away with no intentions of ever using it. Over the next few days, Lillie and Mattie went about their routines, each peeking at the other from time to time. The rap music would pound the walls and Mattie would thoroughly enjoy it.
She was mostly relaxing, taking care of her enormous sac full of little ones. The girl downstairs hadn’t been around so much lately. If she kept that up, she might not have to move at all!
Lillie had been sleeping on the couch lately while waiting for Darcy to show up and finally he did! He came equipped in his loaded tool belt, gloves and a giant pickle jar. She greeted him welcomely though she was concerned about the pickle jar. ‘County Morgue you stab ’em we slab ’em’ he said, his breath the essence of Budweiser … ‘lets rock n roll ‘ he said ! It was 2:00 am on a work night but she didn’t care what time it was. She led him down the hall to her bedroom where tv light flickered about the walls.
Mattie was almost home. She had been up on the ceiling scaring some of the Harvestmen. She had plenty of them bound at home. She didn’t need any but she was having a little fun and getting some exercise. Suddenly she was struck by a bright beam of light and she just froze.
‘There she is, shes out, on the wall!’ Lillie said. All of a sudden Mattie ran towards the doll and quickly disappeared behind it. ‘Dam, that’s a big mother effer’! Darcy said… “How am I gonna get it in the jar?! How indeed. He tapped around the edges of the doll’s arms as if to summon her back out. ‘Let me think’ … Lillie said. It was family tradition that the bride doll, as your last, would be a forever keepsake, but she was willing to part with it in that moment.
She had the idea to move the entire doll from the wall and put it outside somewhere. But where? There was an old antique cedar chest out back so Darcy went to check it out. Upon lifting the lid, he informed that there was a creature larger than her allready residing there and would most surely eat her alive. That was too dark and closed up anyway, Lillie thought. Then, she thought of the perfect place! An old abandoned shed outside!
She went and got a white plastic bag. Darcy told her to hold the bag just beneath the doll and in 1 quick swoop the doll was inside. He closed it up quickly and went as fast as he could to the shed with it. He carefully hung it on a nail on the wall there by a window. The bag was left beneath it on the floor. The door was closed.
Mattie was still for quite some time. Her long black fingertips embraced her precious , enormous egg sac. Whatever had just happened was over. She peeked out into a much quieter place lit by a nearby streetlight. She was safe and sound and still in her beautiful home! The area secluded! She smiled.
The sun was rising and birds were chirping. Crows were actually cawing too. Lillie awoke to the sound of her alarm. She looked right up at the wall. She missed her creepy neighbor allready! She smiled.
Lillie and Mattie would still think of each other in the days that followed of course. Well, … wouldn’t You? Lillie still looked at the wall immediately on waking but she sure slept a lot better! Mattie had a lot more dishes on her menu these days!
What neither one knew was that they were both being watched by someone else. The house on 13thStreet was being observed, officially, by a local crooked creep department. Notorious land bank monsters. A nightmare to most in the neighborhood, like the walking dead in uniforms. They drive little white trucks with a C on the door.
Lillie became aware and peered out the windows at them. They were out there. Lurking and stalking. Watching. They were coming. It was their intention to disturb the house on 13th Street and seize the property and that is exactly what they will do!
It had been home to her for many years and she really had grown attached to it but the threat of evil visitors plagued her mind ultimately forcing her out. Sadly, she moved. She had only one thought for the intruders. ‘Beware’. If You Dance with the Devil, the Devil Dances with YOU. A hooded skeleton called ‘Mr. Spooky’ was left hanging on the front porch to ‘greet’ them.
….some time passed ….
The leader of the city creeps walked the grounds at 13th Street in the aftermath of their long awaited visit. There was a big smile on his face and as he walked along being nosy, he found something. It was hanging on a wall of a shed out back. He took her from the rusty nail she hung upon. He was sure she must be an antique.
‘Whats a girl like you doing in a place like this?’ he whispered to the doll …. ‘I’m taking you home’. Mattie and a 1000 little black spiderlings held on tight for the bumpy ride. Piled high on their mommas back, she was quite massive indeed!
Finally, the ride was over. He picked her up and held her to him not any different than if she had been a real child, and carried her up the steps…. ‘Helloooo’……
Im home’…. He called out as he opened the front door …. ‘Opal honey, Daddys got a surprise for you!’