Thursday, November 1, 2012


We'd been searching through the piles of corn for a while, the older lady and I. The children who'd gathered in the warehouse with us were complaining of hunger. The corn, of course, had begun to rot long ago, but we held out hope for a few good cobs to make some kind of meal for the little ones. Their cries were nearly unbearable. They were drowned out only by the whistling missiles that flew overhead. Our eyes were drawn upward to the windows with every bright explosion.

To keep the children busy, we tasked them with husking the cobs. They worked diligently, but I shooed them away when the older lady began to smack them for eating the rotted pieces. I know she was only trying to keep them healthy, but she was so damned cruel about it. She didn't have to call them names. They were just hungry. They didn't know any better.

I turned back to her just in time to see the tiny black spiders explode from just beneath her corn's husk. She crumpled her face and dropped it back into the pile. I reached for it, thinking I could seal it up somehow to prevent the spiders from biting us. Who knew of they were poisonous or not? When my fingers touched the silky strands just under the yellowed husks, the entire cob disintegrated. Thousands of tiny black spiders jumped toward me, opening their hungry mouths before landing on my face and my chest.

I jumped backward, into wakefulness and began to wipe the frightening things away. A few seconds went by before I understood that it had only been a dream, but that didn't keep me from turning toward my lover to smack the spiders away from him.

A few moments went by before I realized that he had only been a dream too.