Found mostly in
Pretentious literary
Fictions

The metaphor spider
Spins silken words
Together

No like no as
Only ideas compared
Concretely

The spider webs
Cross the pages
Unbroken

Awaiting willing
Readers to be
Entangled

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1/19: Marrs Properties LLC is happy to welcome you to your new home in our exclusive Rolling Greene subdivision! We think you’ll agree that your recent real estate purchase with us guarantees a long and happy period of home ownership in Mississippi.

2/15: In answer to your question, we have had no complaints about spiders by your neighbors. As your family is the first to inhabit #591637, Marrs Properties LLC has no record of previous owners. We have a contract on file with Arachnicide Pest Solutions out of Cambridge, and would be happy to refer you to one of their specialists.

2/29: Your Arachnicide Pest Solutions spraying is complete, and the charge, less a 25% contract discount, will be spread across your grounds fees for the next six months. You may return to #591637 at your convenience.

3/8: In response to your query, Marrs Properties LLC offers its deepest apologies. We have had a contract with Arachnacide Pest Solutions for fifteen years without complaint, and we wish your son a speedy recovery from his spider bite. Unfortunately, your homeowners insurance will not cover medical costs or the cost of another spraying by an outside contractor.

3/31: Having read the report of the building inspector, Marrs Properties LLC would like to remind you that all real estate purchases and mortgages are final. However, to help defray the costs and avoid a lengthy litigation progress, we have agreed to contract Wilson Pest Control out of Jackson to conduct an additional and more thorough spraying. We trust that this solution will be mutually satisfactory.

4/27: Marrs Properties LLC is pleased to announce that Wilson Pest Control has completed its spraying and found no evidence of further spider infestation. You may move back in at your convenience, and we trust that this will amicably resolve the matter to our mutual satisfaction.

6/3: We here at Marrs Properties LLC would like to offer you our deepest and most heartfelt condolences on your loss. We must remind you, however, that your signature to the pest removal contract by Wilson absolves Marrs Properties LLC of any and all liability and that your homeowner’s insurance will not cover funeral expenses.

6/19: In response to the motion filed earlier this month, Marrs Properties LLC must reiterate that all sales are final, all mortgage details are non-negotiable with the lending institution, and that we cannot be held responsible for your latest hospitalization costs in the same way that we were regretfully forced to return your bills from the Napier Funeral Home, Cambridge Children’s Hospital, and Holy Trinity Cemetery. Again, we do offer our sympathies for your misfortune.

7/16: Marrs Properties LLC must condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the condemnation of your property by the county authorities as unfit for human habitation. We reiterate that there are absolutely no complaints of spider infestations from your neighbors, that your property was newly built, and that we and our subsidiaries cannot be held responsible for your negligent actions in making your home attractive as a habitat to pests.

8/21: As reflected in the legal papers served you this afternoon, it is our sad duty to inform you and your family of your eviction from Rolling Greene, effective immediately. None of the paperwork you have offered alters the terms of your binding and lawful contract with Marrs Properties LLC or excuses non-payment of mortgage.

11/1: Marrs Properties LLC is happy to welcome you to your new home at #591637 in our exclusive Rolling Greene subdivision! We think you’ll agree that your recent real estate purchase with us guarantees a long and happy period of home ownership in Mississippi. We regret the delay in your move-in; lingering legal issues forced us to contract to remove pests attracted by the former owners, but now that the process is complete, you may move in at your convenience. In response to your question, we are not aware of where the site of the Battle of Spider Creek falls within Rolling Greene, but we can assure you that all proper steps were taken during our vetting and construction process at #591637 and elsewhere.

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[At a party, people are passing around bowls of candy and cans of soda pop. TEDDY is offered a can and refuses, holding up his hands.]

TEDDY: Whoa, better not drink that Coke. I just ate a bunch of Pop Rocks and I might explode.

[The girl next to him rolls her eyes.]

ELISABETH: Don’t be a wuss, buddy. That’s just an urban legend!

TEDDY: Yes, but I’m Teddy Mauser, the guy for whom all urban legends are true.

[music begins as TEDDY looks sheepishly into the camera]

SINGERS: He’s Teddy, Teddy Mauser
For him all urban legends are true
He’s Teddy, Teddy Mauser
And he never quite knows what to do

[TEDDY is driving a car at night in the rain. He pulls over to pick up a hitchhiker]

SINGERS: The hitchhiker in the back is really a ghost
Just trying to get from A to B

[The hitchhiker floats into the car three feet off the ground. A bolt of lightning reveals a pasty and rotted complexion. TEDDY shrugs and looks sheepishly into the camera]

SINGERS: He’s picked up seventeen and that’s not a boast
Of course no one else can see

[TEDDY pulls a temporary tattoo out of a pack of Dallas Cowboys sports cards. He licks the back and presses it to his skin]

SINGERS: Temporary tattoos all have LSD on the back
Licking them gets it started

[The world suddenly goes tie-dyed and pink elephants and Robert Crumb prints in vivid colors attack TEDDY. He wakes up in an underpass wearing a stewardess’ uniform, shrugs, and looks sheepishly into the camera]

SINGERS: Unhinging his sanity by more than a crack
When for pink elephant world he’s departed

[TEDDY purchases a pack of bubble gum at a gas station and throws all eight pieces into his mouth at once]

SINGERS: There’s always spider eggs in his Bubble Yum
They taste as good as you’d think

[TEDDY gags and spits out a mouthful of baby spiders. He gropes for another piece of candy, and takes an Air Head taffy, shucking the wrapper and biting in deeply as if to clear his palate. A moment later he gags again and spits out a mouthful of baby scorpions before turning and looking sheepishly into the camera]

SINGERS: It would maybe be better not to chew any gum
But the eggs are in anything sugary and pink

[Music ends as scene returns to the party]

ELISABETH: I don’t believe that for a second, loser. Drink up!

TEDDY: Well, all right. What’s the worst that could happen?

[TEDDY drinks the soda and smiles. A moment later he lets loose a deafening belch and his abdomen explodes, coating all the onlookers with viscera]

SINGERS: He’s Teddy, Teddy Mauser
And for him all urban legends are true!

[TEDDY shrugs and looks sheepishly into the camera]

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