Fifty Shades of Guilt
I killed a spider tonight. It was crawling over the wall trying to get in the house. I think it was trying to get in the house though it may have been trying to get across the doorway. Anyway I brushed it, forcefully, off the wall. About a fortnight ago I saw a large spider flit across my living room but I had been too slow to catch it or see where it went. That flashback was playing in my head when I flicked tonight’s spider. Even as I saw it writhing on the floor, probably terrified to death, I determined to kick it further away from my door. So I did. I think I killed it but you never know. These things are tougher than they look. As I turned to put the key in the front door I felt a pang boom in my chest. Guilt. I had just extinguished a life. That spider had done me no wrong. Even if it had gotten into the house it’s not like it’s going to lay in my warm bed enjoying my soft pillows or eat my eggs or drink my bottled water. It’s not going to hijack my computer and steal my passwords or throw a wild party when I’m out of the flat. In fact it would, probably, have stayed well out of my way. Not even probably but almost certainly. So why did I kill it. I don’t know. I do actually, it was fear that made me do it. Fear of a little and quite pretty looking brownish green arachnid just one inch in diameter. The creepy crawly nasty. I know its nastiness to be so because I was brought up to believe that to be true. And as much as I try not to believe things I’m told without proof or a reasonable probability of being true, tonight I succumbed to my primal instinct. It may have been poisonous, you know. I wake up and, very like the guests in August Winnig’s short story Das Romerzimmer, I’m dead in my bed. That’s silly I know, no one wakes up dead but you know what I mean. The thought has occurred to me that I’m probably nasty looking to every spider. How would I like it if something, anything, that considered me nasty just snuffed me, squashed me in an instant. I wouldn’t like it at all.