#fridayfictioneers via madison woods – 9/14

Every Wednesday Madison Woods posts a picture prompt to challenge writers to create a 100-word story or poem or anything that works for you.  then post your work on your blog.  additionally, on friday, you go back to her site and post a link to your blog entry in the comments on her Friday Fictioneers post.

I’m going to try to keep up with this, as should you.  give it a shot.  i prefer to stick to 100 words, but she doesn’t mind either way.  not everyone has the time to sit and write, revise, edit, revise, edit, etc. until getting it down to 100 and telling everything you want to tell.

Here’s this week’s picture and my 100 words.  Well, my words are really a poem I wrote about 25 years ago when I was in college.  After the poem, I’ll explain what inspired it.

breaking webs

Just the sight of those

Endless legs and I panic,

Lured to chase satanic shadows

Into corners, dusty and dark.

You rise from the woodwork

Feel your way through the dark

Hide behind my mirror.

As always, I want you

but despise you

Coming nearer

Many others I’ve slain, and you

Soon comes your time.

I wish the demon inside

Knew the Hell you drag me through.

I wish you knew the coming terror!

That at any time

I could move that mirror

Then, your life would be mine.

And I wish you would run

Because I don’t want it.


– 100 words, probably.


I wrote this poem one night when I was attempting to go to sleep.  I lived in the basement because the people in our house outgrew the actual house.  As I was clicking off the lamp, I saw this – something – with soooo many legs, running across the wall from behind a poster to behind a mirror.  There was no way I could possibly get to sleep unless I found it and killed it.  I don’t recall for certain what happened, but I seem to have a memory of getting something like a shoe, quickly pulling the mirror from the nail on which it hung, and staring at this – thing.  I think I smashed it, but before I did, I stared in amazement at its size.  Afterward, as I wrote the poem, I thought about how what was taking shape made me seem like a murderous stalker.  And I realized that the – thing – seemed to also apply to a woman, maybe a prostitute walking the streets, and that made me a sort of “Jack the Ripper.”

And I was okay with that.

41 thoughts on “#fridayfictioneers via madison woods – 9/14

  1. You’re right about the comparison between the spider-killer and the Ripper. It’s one of the things that made me have to get over my fear of them – I couldn’t kill them. Intriguing piece of poetry – thanks for sharing

  2. Pingback: The Brainsnorts 400 « brainsnorts inc >.<

  3. Enjoyed the poem, Rich. Especially the line, “Lured to chase satanic shadows”

    BTW, congrats on your 400th post and all the other 4 numbers. My post this week was number 60. So if you’re a race car I’m a slug. I’ll never catch you, but I leave a great slime behind.

  4. I got both possible interpretations out of it even before you explained so it worked on both levels. I completely get smashing that monster. Sounds like a millipede to me and I hate them. I literally get goosebumps when I see one but I’ve gotten adept at killing them, despite how fast they can run.

  5. I’m fine with spiders so long as there are lights on and other people in the house. But on your own in the basement, I can see the killer coming out. Thanks for stopping by my story earlier.

  6. With that going on in your head, I’m not surprised at your apparent sleep trouble. For some reason, I am particularly drawn to the interplay of the endline words terror, time, mirror, and mine (lines 15-18). They are stimulating verbally, and when isolated from the rest of the poem and grouped together, they give an even deeper dark, psychological aspect that is fascinating.

  7. Your last line resonated most with me, I can’t bear to kill a spider now, though I did when I was younger, and was always ashamed with what fear had made me do, as I looked down at the little crushed body. I try to be a better person now, to be brave in front if my children too, and I’ll go to extraordinary lengths to capture creepy-crawlies under a glass and set them free outside. But you’re fighting primitive instincts when you come up against a spider, and I think your poem does a good job of exposing that.

  8. “Lured to chase satanic shadows
    Into corners, dusty and dark.
    You rise from the woodwork,
    Feel your way through the dark….”
    Definitely describes the torments of a midnight spider hunt. Nice.

  9. Oh My God! this is exactly how I feel, every single time I have to go chase these wicked, scary looking things out of my home, I almost always pray for their escape, as I hate having to kill any one of them. I really enjoyed the thought behind the poem, Thank you for sharing. Will be back for more for sure.


  10. Dear Rich, (or is it Jack?)

    I’ve not seen you venture into verse before. This poem held me, rapt, thinking about what spiders think about as they make their webs in quiet dark spaces and we come with light and fear and suddenly kill them all in a rush.



    • poems strike me far less often than prose. it was written a long time ago, close to 30 years, and the picture reminded me about it, and i got away easy.


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