Running of the Spiders

Here’s my offering from October 2012. It’s a mix of Alfred Hitchcock and Mel Brooks. It won’t make you spew coffee through your nose, but you might look over your shoulder.

Since that time, I’ve also written a longer story entitled “Running of the Chickens” which will be included in my next book. It includes a scene that features the running of the boneless chickens, a real terror if there ever was one. It makes chicken bumps rise on my skin just to think about it.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the politician who is running for the county line is Charlotte Webinski Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Jan Morrill
copyright – Jan Morrill

Lucinda had always been afraid of spiders. Therapists suggested a variety of treatments including hypnosis. Nothing worked. The only way to overcome arachnophobia was to face her fear.

The streets of Pamplona were empty the day before its lesser-known festival. Lucinda thought it wise to familiarize herself with the course prior to the event.

The white stucco walls bore evidence of past participants attempting to escape the terror. Broken fingernails and dried blood stains littered her path.

Something moved behind her. A cold shiver raced down her spine. A lone gossamer strand trembled in the breeze.


“Mañana, Lucinda,” it whispered. “Mañana”


44 thoughts on “Running of the Spiders

    1. Perhaps you should corral a few and open a gym. A girl I work with bailed out of her truck the other day and went screaming across a church parking lot. Thankfully, a good Samaritan happened by and took care of the spider for her.

  1. As the great philosopher of Blazing Saddles once said about running to get a “”s—load of dimes” I’d say the spiders would prompt it.

    “Chalotte Webisnski” Hahahahahahaha! Priceless. 😀

  2. I tend to read you at breakfast time. I should know better. The image is almost too much for my tender digestion. This house we’re renting temporarily generates a plethora of sticky cobwebs everywhere each morning. The conservatory looks like Miss Haversham’s wedding feast – you’d love it.

    1. When we were first married, we lived in a 100 yr. old log house. We killed two snakes inside the house (one in the pantry) and were constantly battling wasps and other insects. One little spider built a web above our bed. Connie wouldn’t let me kill it. A few weeks later, we had a million tiny spiders come fluttering down on the bed. At that point, she agreed the spider had to go.

  3. Dear Mel Hitchcock,

    As that great singer Jim Stafford crooned, “I don’t like spiders and snakes and that ain’t what it takes to love me, you fool, you fool.” Uck. I do not like them, no I do not like spiders. Creeeeeeeeeeepy. If I run into a spider web I’ll be trying to catch up to Tracey.
    Your story made my skin crawl. Great read.


    Charlotte Webinski

    1. Dear Charlotte,
      I loved that song too, but not quite as much as Ray Steven’s “Mississippi Squirrel Revival.” I didn’t change much from the 2012 original other than switching tomorrow to manana at the end.

      Mel Hitchcock

  4. I live in a village famed for its spiders. Now if something says “Manana Mike” I am going to jump a mile.😉

  5. Hehehe, and she dances the Tarantella. I like spiders, I save them, and am very reluctant to kill them. But I’m also slightly afraid of spiders, at least the big, hairy types. This is hilarious. Great fun, as always.

  6. I’ve been lucky, Russell: all my up close and personal encounters with spiders have been with the variety that are speck size. But, if I was sent a message from a talking one the size of a mouse, then I’d know for certain that my luck with them has completely run out, and I’d be compelled to do whatever it take to outrun mañana. Or, on second thought, maybe I’d check myself into a psych ward where possibly the staff will all remove their white coats and look like giant spiders. On third thought, maybe I’d just get the hell out of Pamplona.

  7. Good post. I’m not afraid of spiders, but when they try and capture human prey with webs stretching from tree to ground, I get worried.

  8. Oh very good, Russell. I’d suggest that Lucinda’s therapists might have suggested something more moderate. She’s sure jumping in at the deep end. You got my skin crawling with this one.

  9. Hilarious once again, Russell. I love this. We have an aggressive little spider here named the Jumping Spider. It doesn’t sit in a web and wait, it actively hunts its prey. I had one overachiever jump on me once. That’s really wishful thinking and a sense of adventure. I wonder if Garfield the cat shows up there in Pamplona with his rolled-up newspaper. 😀 — Suzanne

  10. I can understand running from bulls, but only when one accidently finds oneself in the presence of a particularly ornery bully. Going out of one’s way to be in the way simply makes no sense to me.

    As for spiders, I’m not one to run from them. But start flinging maggots or slugs and I’ll sprint like Jessie Owens!

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