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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Escape (01/02/06)

TITLE: My Wife Doesn't Understand
By Denise Stanford


It hasn’t been easy. I searched long and hard, leaving no stone unturned, in my effort to find her. Now, having succeeded, I am bewitched, she is beautiful. Breathless, because she's so near, I long to reach out and touch her but I resist the urge.

So, I watch her, busy with housekeeping duties; she appears to have the lightest touch. Moving gracefully, the yearning to possess her, builds within me; I am held captive by her charms.

I suppose you’d call her ingénue, petite, perhaps even delicate, but she is strong there is no doubting that, she is strong and dangerous; the danger excites me. I consider her body, long slender limbs, dark and exotic contrasting with a rounded comeliness, it makes a perfect combination. She dresses in flashy red. As I draw a little closer, enjoying the details, perspiration beads on my brow; I breathe carefully, her obsidian eyes seem to hold mine.

I begin to tremble with a terrible fascination my wife fails to understand. Yet, if I can, I will take this beauty, then, of course she must die. It saddens me but it must be done, just like all the others I have killed. She will die for the sake of my family, for the sake of my marriage. There is a movement behind me and for a moment I am distracted. When I glance back the object of my affection has disappeared.

I hear my wife’s voice nearby, “well, did you find it?’”
I emerge from the shed.
“I did see something…”
“You let it go didn’t you?”
She begins another lecture and I am burdened with guilty dread. I escape to the hardware store for the spider killing spray; for the sake of my family.

Note: Red-back spiders or (Latrodectus hasselti) are common in urban areas. Belonging to the Family Theridiidae they are found worldwide; a close relative of the Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus sp)
The Red back Spider favours nearness to human habitation with webs built in dry, sheltered areas among rocks, in logs, shrubs, junk-piles, sheds, or toilets. Usual prey are insects, however if entangled in web, their diet may include, male trapdoor spiders, king crickets and small lizards.
The female has a body the size of a large pea approx (1cm long) and slender legs, her bite is dangerous with venom acting directly on nerves, resulting in weakening of neurotransmitters. She begins digesting the male as they are coupled; if strong enough he will only survive until mating is complete. For him there is no escape.
Source: Copyright © Australian Museum, 2003

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This article has been read 774 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 01/09/06
ROFL! You totally had me! I was thinking, "wow, this is sort of provacative..." HA!
I'm with your wife on this one. I see absolutely nothing beautiful about any spider - except when it's smushed between a tissue. I know it's brutal but...it's a woman thing. (shudder)
Brandi Roberts01/09/06
LOL I liked this! You had me going too!
Georgiana Daniels01/09/06
Wow, on the edge of my seat wondering how you had the nerve to submit this. That is, until I got it!
Michelle Burkhardt01/10/06
Great Job...Recognizing the beauty in all of God's creatures. You fooled me too!
Grace Sempa01/10/06
As I read I wondered too,with much effort ,I read through,then I got it.What made me laugh out loud were my fellow members`crituqes.I`m in with you there.
c clemons01/11/06
Very interesting, I like the title and later the explanation of what a red back spider is.
erin hahn01/11/06
Now that was a good read- very intersting. Too bad it was about a spider, they aren't my favorite of God's creatures. :)
Tammy McConnell01/12/06
I was initially horrified that someone would submit a story like this for a Christian review. That is, until I got to the end. Very clever. And yes, I love that you added the informational paragraph at the end. Great way to bring it all back together.
A side note: My family (husband and five children) and I were forced to surrender our home to an infestation of brown recluse spiders last year. My husband had a similar experience...he captured 26 of them in a coffee can. We endured some hefty financial losses, but have realized that God wanted us to be where we are now. Even the seemingly bad things have a way of turning out right when God puts His hand to it.
Jan Ackerson 01/12/06
Now, why on earth would anyone feel so fond of a spider?????? Seriously, though, good job of writing, and of pulling your readers' legs.
Cassie Memmer01/12/06
Funny! I enjoyed this story and the notes. Good job!
Julianne Jones01/12/06
Very intriguing. I wondered at first if it was a snake although you probably wouldn't describe a snake as dressed in red (even a red-belly black). Very well done. And the shortness of the piece worked in its favour (any longer and your readers might have started getting upset with your 'fatal obsession' LOL).
Suzanne R01/13/06
"Her obsidian eyes..." - wow! Well done!

What a clever concept!
Val Clark01/14/06
Sucked me right in! Well done. Yeggy
Marilyn Schnepp 01/14/06
"A typical man", I thought to myself. Well, you fooled me - and I'm so glad that you went to the store to purchase the spray! Very well written!
AND such a sneaky way to invite us into your web...by portraying the typical masculine line..."My Wife Doesn't Understand". Nicely done.
Sandra Petersen 01/14/06
I was intrigued by his captivation with "her". It's almost as if the husband is putting himself in an Indiana Jones-like adventure movie, and then his wife breaks the spell.
Typical woman, rather than kill it (and she obviously doesn't like it) she wants her husband to catch and release. I've been the woman in that story, only my biggest dread is mice!
A couple of technical things: use of commas and semi-colons as opposed to breaking a longer sentence into two smaller ones.
Example: "I suppose you’d call her ingénue, petite, perhaps even delicate, but she is strong there is no doubting that, she is strong and dangerous; the danger excites me." I would put a period after "but she is strong"(or maybe even combining the two times you mention she is strong and say "she is strong and dangerous"), make the next phrase "there is no doubting that" a stand alone sentence, then a semi-colon and "the danger excites me".
Just want you to know, I was not offended in the least since I wrote "The Sweet Fragrance of Evil" for another Challenge and that was definitely not for sensitive Christian ears!
Anita Neuman01/14/06
I wasn't offended, either - but I was very curious to see where this "Christian" story was going! Even with all the other surprise endings this week, you still managed to keep me hooked right to the end. Great job! I would suggest a few touch-ups on your sentence structure, but other than that, this was a great story!