The Spider is a scary story about a man with a terrible fear of arachnids who spends the night in a dreary, run-down roadside hotel.
Mr. Avery was a travelling salesman. He was driving across the country, trying to sell his products in every town he passed through. It was getting late and he needed to find somewhere to stay for the night, so he pulled over at the first hotel he saw.
It was set far back from the road and it looked deserted. There were no other cars in the parking lot, but the lights were on in the lobby, so Mr. Avery went inside.
At the front desk, he rang the bell and after a little while, the manager emerged from the back room. There was something about the fat, little man that put Mr. Avery off. He had a wide, slack mouth full of crooked teeth and beady little eyes that sparkled with meanness and malice.
“It’s the low season,” the man said. “We don’t get many visitors at this time of year but don’t worry, your room is ready and waiting.”
The man picked up Mr. Avery’s suitcase and led him down the hallway to a small room at the end. The manager showed him around the room, explained that breakfast started at 7:00 the next morning, then excused himself and returned to the front desk.
Mr. Avery was very tired from his journey, so he decided to take a shower, but when he went into the bathroom, he noticed a small black spider sitting in the middle of the floor.
Mr. Avery had a terrible fear of spiders. Just the sight of one was enough to make his stomach queasy. He stepped on it and as he ground it under his heel, he heard sickening cracking and squelching noises that made him want to throw up.
When he turned on the light, he saw that there were two more of them in the bathroom, one on the wall near his head and another on the floor beside the toilet. He took off his shoe and, using it as a club, squashed both of them to a pulp.
Taking off his clothes, Mr. Avery stepped into the shower. He was very careful to ensure that there were no other spiders hiding nearby. When he was finished, he dried himself off, wrapped a towel around himself and went into the bedroom.
Getting into bed, he read a book for a while and then, some time before midnight, he switched off the lights and went to sleep.
In the middle of the night, he was awakened by a faint scratching noise. Mr. Avery switched on the bedside lamp and looked around. The sound seemed to be coming from the corner of the room. There was something there, lurking in the shadows between the ceiling and the wall, but in the dim light, he couldn’t make out what it was.
As he strained his eyes to see, the shadowy thing suddenly scuttled across the ceiling. Avery began shaking and he let out a strangled cry, horrified by what he saw.
It was a spider, but it was unlike any spider he had ever come across. The thing was enormous. It had long spindly legs that were at least a foot long and a huge furry body about the size of a large rat.
Mr. Avery could hear the sickening rustle of its legs as it scuttled across the ceiling, getting ever closer. He thought he could even hear it emitting a low purring sound.
As it edged into the light, he desperately looked around for something he could use as a weapon against the hideous-looking thing. There was nothing within reach. His hands were shaking and a cold sweat was rolling down his forehead. Mr. Avery rubbed his eyes, hoping against hope that he was just having a nightmare.
The disgusting creature came closer and closer and Mr. Avery saw that it had a wide, slack mouth, filled with crooked teeth. The thing was almost directly above him now and it glared down at him with beady little eyes that sparkled with meanness and malice.
All of a sudden, the spider launched itself at him and before he had a chance to react, it was on his mouth, its hairy legs clawing at his ears, its fat, furry body covering his eyes and nose.
Mr. Avery let out one terrified shriek after another as the spider sank its teeth into his soft flesh and he felt himself slipping into unconsciousness.
The following morning, Mr. Avery did not appear for breakfast. His car had disappeared from the parking lot and his room was freshly made up, ready and waiting for the next visitor.