In the stairwell out my door and down a few, there resides or resided (I’m not sure yet) the Mother of All Spiders.  I’m sure she is just a plain garden spider, however, she was flippin massive.  She gave the end of my pinkie a run for its money, I’ll tell you that right now.  I decided she was female, and I almost named her Shelob after the gigantic nasty spider in Return of the King by Tolkien but that really skeeved me out.  Anyway, she resided in the cement-tile crevice above the door I use every morning and evening to get to the car – from the stairwell to the parking lot under the building.  Every morning and evening, I would say hello to her.  I believed that unflinching manners and kindness would keep her from dropping on my head at inopportune times – that is to say, at any time.  This went on for a couple of weeks, I’d look up and say hello to her OctoMajesty as I went to the car in the morning, and on my way in at night I’d step to the side through the door and say hello again.

Everything changed about four days ago.  She was not in her place when I came home one day.  She had moved about ten feet along the left-hand wall, and it did take me a few tense moments, casting about frantically, to find her.  I greeted her like usual, and gave her space as I went up the stairs.  The next day was kind of bad.  I didn’t see her at all as I came through the door at 5.  I looked at her old place, I looked at her new, I didn’t see a thing.  I looked and looked, up and down and all around.  then i saw it.  I saw Her OctoMajesty on the floor, rather hunched up.  I skipped the pleasantries and skittered past without screeching.  That was a major  triumph, as my screechometer was twitching.  Today I walked down the last flight of stairs with great trepidation, eyes darting thither and yon, trying to locate her before I stepped into her lair.  I didn’t see her at all and had to feel that scalp-itching horror of not knowing where a huge spider is in the room.  My spine tingled.  My hiney cringed.  I feared the worst.

Sadly, today after work, the worst was confirmed.  Her Ladyship, Her OctoMajesty, Her Madamness, was found dead on the floor all folded in on Herself at 5:17pm, Thursday, March 17th 2011.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my friends.