The wild buzz of a trapped insect hit my ear as I walked down the stairs past the window. The fly, caught just by his legs in the wispy strands of web, looked as though he might manage to escape. His captor fled from his wild thrashing, skittering up an invisible wire on eight legs thinner than strands of hair.
It was the disparity in their size that caught my eye. The fly looked monstrous beside the infant spit of a spider. I doubted any web it could spin would be sufficient to hold prey of that size and strength. But the fly stilled, and his tiny oppressor crept slowly closer. At the touch of one of its fine thin legs, the fly would panic and attempt escape, and the spider would retreat and wait.
It was nauseating to listen to the high whine of the fly’s wings while I attempted to eat my breakfast. I almost intervened. The sickening extension of each thick silence that stretched between moments of terror. The thought of those whisper-thin arms brushing against a wing or an eye. The mental torment of each tiny bounce in the web as it pulled tighter on his legs. The eventual resignation of stillness.
Did the struggle knock him senseless or were his multifaceted eyes still capturing a thousand images as that tiny devil made its final approach? Was he awake when the little jaws nipped through his exoskeleton? Would a bite so small feel like a pinprick on a finger? Did the poison dull the senses or merely numb the pain? Will he feel the loss, the steady drain? How long will it take to be consumed? Or will he merely be a snack and then left to rot into a husk with blood still lingering in his veins?
Will that tiny demon eat him slowly over the course of the day so when I wake up tomorrow I will find a small dry crust where the fly was and a larger, stronger spider?