It was a fairly unusual night that year of the Salamander. For years from that night, Astronomers and Shutterbugs would swear that never before was such a spectacular marvel that had ever adorned a night sky! Pretty much every pair of lenses and eyes in
While Oracles and soothsayers fought hot battles on the ramification of the doughnut, Werewolves complained sheepishly that the doughnut-moonette hampered with their transformations. (Their centers were still human*!) Elsewhere in Never Land Vampires sashayed about sleep walking dreamily.
But two pairs of eyes that night were certainly not on the doughnut-moonette. One pair belonged to Elijah-the-Elf, who had a fairly atypical day at work. He unprecedentedly fell asleep through the course of it! Call it intentional co-incidence; he was a part of the torch-bearer elves that shone torches on the moonette to light it up. No prizes for guessing here, but our man usually did the centre!
Another pair of eyes was buried deeply in a pile of its own misery in Room No#202 of the
The noisy air conditioner kept blowing gusts of chilly air in periodic intervals that severely affected the trail of smoke from Muffet’s fire stick. She took another drag from her consumed cigarette and stared long and hard at the spider-junction that her table was. Hiding in her cloud-of-smoke-that-was-periodically-interrupted-by-the-air-conditioner, she faded into her first memory of a spider. She was all of five, sitting tartly on her favourite tuffet, digging into some delicious curd… and it appeared! The hideous adversary with eight hairy legs and such evil evil eyes. She could still taste the acrid fluid in her tongue called fear. And it appeared again and again to taunt her in different forms. In class, when everyone was made to chant 'itsy-bitsy-spider' in sickening unison, and she would tremble with fear as the words spilled out of her mouth. Oh, how bitter was the taste of fear! And those cruel kids, how they would rag her and pick at her. She winced at the memory of fake spiders put into her little Barbie-pink school bag. She closed her eyes to re-live those years of torment.
The tip of her consumed cigarette indicated a halt sign. She snapped out of the moment and re-lit a fresh one to absorb herself in some new smoke. Her thoughts faded into her mother. A pang of pain stabbed through her young heart. She was born to a part-time Witch! No, not the pointy-hat-scarecrow-dressed, flying-on-the-broom Witch, but a growing-younger, green-tea-drinking, black-bead-collecting Witch (that alleged herself to some funny cult called Witca).
Muffet’s first brush with amazement was at age nine, watching Mother Witch through a slit on her bedroom door. Her childish eyes brimmed with wonder as she saw Mother Witch move her beads and all the little creatures in the house pledge allegiance to her. Muffet’s first brush with betrayal followed soon enough. In fact, it was a rude stab of shock to discover through that voyeur slit, that the entomological group of Mother Witch’s devotees included a fan club of spiders! Oh, those betraying hands, those white gentle peach-creamed hands that held her... and the acrid taste of fear came charging back to her, inducing her to hallucinate ever since of those same gentle white hands strangling her! A shudder ran through her spine at the memory and the next cigarette bit the dust. She quickly re-loaded her flash-back arsenal and dragged absently into its crisp nicotine. She sighed!
With a desperate attempt to stay sane and spider free, Muffet had moved to Gremlin after high school, to pursue a Baccalaureate. It was on the night of the graduation party, precisely after three tequila shots, Little Bigger Miss Muffet spotted a spider by the side table. Perched comfortably but staring blankly at her with its tiny slits-called-eyes was a small brown house-spider, with gossamer slivers for legs. A sudden bolt of shock teamed with a sudden-hit-with-some-chemicals-released-from-the-tequila, caused her to readily faint into the ample arms of Prince Charming!
What followed in the weeks to come was a brief but heady dalliance with the Prince – some steamy kisses and some unforgettable rounds at the hot tub to be rather precise. The dalliance was rudely interrupted and abruptly ended when Muffet came to find out that Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and pretty much every other babe in the Fairie Tails had been in there, done in that. Like in all love stories, he had said she was the only one! Spiders, large black and ugly trampled all over her wounded heart.
When frustration and insomnia almost drove her insane, and two-packs-a-day was far from affordable, Muffet decided to check out the free therapist for students thrice a week. That didn’t work out, so Muffet decided to take her life in her own hands. What kind of a life is it when one is enslaved to one’s spiders? So thinking, she had stomped into the
And now this letter! What the fug was an “ethical ground” to detain a doctorate? And ask for 24 extra credits in Never Medicine and Spectacular Brewery? What in the dickens does that have to do with SPIDERS? “Coconut”, she said aloud softly, “whatever this is, you better have a good enough reason for this!”
Somewhere in the middle of her thoughts, two little June Bugs had eloped from the garden into her room and right under her bed. For several minutes, forgetting the steamy purpose of their amorous adventure, the little June Bugs, in standard June Bug curiosity, stared with their tiny beady eyes at Muffet. For those several minutes, they observed softly releasing fumes from a deliberating chimney, periodically contorted. Feeling safe to ensure posterity, they decided to head right back under the bed and indulge in some delicious debauchery from meiotic revelries of the night...
** (end of chapter 2)**