Reincarnated (2022)

Nobody listened. Nobody cared, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Not even close. I had changed.

Just hanging out in my corner, staring at the stained ceiling of his filthy room; there was no way out. I was the vermin with a conscience. I chose my bites wisely, even in the darkest places. God, was it grubby as hell. I looked down at his comic book. It was wide open on a page with a tanned naked woman. The comic book was thick, almost resembling a magazine. I was a spider that couldn’t read, but most of us couldn’t. Calmly contemplating the meaning of life, the woman looked ready to leave.

“Ottis, I can’t fuck you tonight,” she said.

“But what about last night?” Ottis asked.

“What about it?”

“You loved it last night. How about another fifty for tonight?”

They were standing by the door. The living room and kitchen led to the small entrance. Ottis was looking at her with lustful eyes. The one-bedroom apartment had one washroom. Brazilian pizza, french fries, and sandwich bags on the coffee table, next to the cage with his pet lizard. Comic books strewn along the wood floorboards. Empty soda bottles and beer cans and cigarette butts covered most of the entrance to his bedroom beside an open suitcase. Ottis was a good match for the room. He was unshaven, un-showered, and wearing skinny jeans and a new AC/DC T-shirt. The never-put-away suitcase from his vacation had clothing sticking out. I remembered the flowery shirt, his new curly hairdo, wiry frame, and bare feet from when I first locked eyes on the fool.

Tiny legs sprawled out around the cleanest cobweb. The web was my hiding place. As I moved half an inch closer to the black stool and lonely lamp, I surveyed the idiot’s apartment, like I’d done many times before. The place was eerie dark with a low ceiling. 

She was petite, with curly blonde hair, blue eyes, and a massive chest. “Loved it,” she said. Her curly hair was done up in a tight bun; only to be undone and flung down, wavy hair down to her shoulders. “Fucking you makes the world go round,” she said.

“Thanks!” His sucker eyes bulged wide open. How could I bite the pitiful human?

She reassured him. “Your perm is cool, but I’ve got cramps. I started my period. Started this morning. Gotta go.” Smiling, almost laughing, she opened the door, grabbed her purse, and walked out. Went down eleven floors on the elevator, only to walk out into a lightning storm.

“This is just great.” It sounded to me like he was trying to be ridiculously sarcastic.

She disappeared when the door slammed shut, but he just stood there. I think her last words were “Thanks for the coin.” He gazed at the door with disappointment. God, there wasn’t a lonelier human on the planet. The decision to bite wouldn’t be easy.

I was the Brazilian wandering spider with toxic venom. I crept inside the dude’s suitcase on his trip to Rio de Janeiro and brought to his urban hellhole somewhere in Canada. I wasn’t used to the cold or living out of this neurotic man’s armpit of an apartment. As a handsome Brazilian wandering spider, I liked to hide in the corner, while observing and waiting for just the right moment to spring out. I was so hungry.

Image credit: Joao Paulo Burini/Getty Images

I’d spent months watching his neurotic behavior. His radio broadcasting and binge drinking on the beach made me want to bite into his sweaty flesh, but there was patience. When Ottis visited my native land on vacation, I saw it all; his anxious drinking habits, his obsessive-compulsive disorder, and his disgusting neuroticism. This lonely creature was just as emotionally unstable before I killed my last victim and found my way into his suitcase. The next bite wouldn’t be an accident. Still, I waited. I had mixed emotions about biting Ottis.

Moving back out from the entrance, he walked into the living room and sat down on his newly owned red leather couch from the Salvation Army. Turning on the cable TV, he moved the laptop closer to him then inched the coffee table closer. I’d learned a lot about Ottis over the months. He paid for sex. A serious drug addict, a heavy drinker. It seemed his dealer was an old dude who wore a cowboy hat, going by the name of Travis. This slob loved messes and his comic book collection. Ottis wanted to buy a new set of wheels. He had found a new part-time job washing dishes at a restaurant, but it didn’t pay much and it wasn’t a radio gig. The ringtone went off on his smartphone. Dirty fingers loved to text, take calls, or do the most perverted things humanly possible. Ottis looked at the greasy fries beside his phone. He looked at the phone, picked up his cell then answered.

“I got the job,” he said. It was probably his stepdad. He turned on the speaker on the phone and turned the volume up. He’d opened his laptop before answering the phone and was in the process of turning it on. There was a moment of strange silence, a pause, and the room was momentarily quiet.

“I’m proud of you, son,” his stepdad said. “How are your friends doing?”

“I’m dating. Just going online to get the Camaro I always wanted,” Ottis said.

“You got balls, son,” his stepdad said. “What you need is a good economical car.”

“Sure,” Ottis said.

“You’ll be fine. I’m watching shoot ‘em up westerns on the boob tube tonight, then some British comedy, and nature programs tonight, but there’s nothing on TV about train wrecks. I should get Netflix.”

“You do what you gotta do.” He clearly didn’t give a shit. “Gotta go! Have a good night,” Ottis said and pressed a button on the cell to end the conversation. Ottis had bad credit, but he was in denial. I’d gone through weeks of watching him use credit on Amazon. He was staring wildly at something on the screen. I moved my eight legs, stretched them out, and crawled out of the corner, closer to the couch to see this idiot better.

Next to the leg of the couch, I was camouflaged. I could see better from the new position. Ottis was glaring, staring with desperate eyes at a sporty Camaro popping out on the screen, clicking feverishly on a laptop’s keyboard. He grabbed his wallet, pulled out his credit card, and held it out while typing with the other hand.

After successfully making the unsightly down payment, maybe the stupid human felt the need to celebrate. Ottis clicked one of many Chrome tabs, and Pornhub flashed on the screen. Soon it was pants-down, full-on masturbation. It was disgusting to watch, and I almost moved in for a venomous bite.

Gigantic boobies bounced, zooming into a close-up on the screen. He’d gone from sporty convertibles to graphic sex. A chubby dude and a German chick were screwing their brains out. His right hand was wanking-off, fast and furious. Faster. Harder. He climaxed. A blood-red sperm spewed out and he screamed in agony. His head bobbed down to his knees. He closely examined a swollen testicle. He looked closer. Closer. He couldn’t believe it. Ottis started panicking for the Kleenex to clean up the bloody goo. Then feverishly clicked tabs open and shut on the laptop. After Googling symptoms, the Mayo Clinic advised him to get a colonoscopy. He panicked again. I thought he seemed a little young to need a colonoscopy. Maybe I was wrong.

Ottis finished wiping himself clean. “This is bad,” he said, twitching, almost like he was having a nervous breakdown. He stood up and walked over to a disastrous kitchen counter. There were emergency vegetables, old fruit, vitamins, and cough medicine beside the toaster oven next to the fridge. He took a spoonful of pre-steamed broccoli from a container on the counter and washed it down with cough medicine and vitamins. Almost tripping on an Eternity Girl comic book, he walked over and then sat back down on the couch. He looked up how to prep for a colonoscopy. He scratched his head. “There must be some other way.” He was talking to himself and self-diagnosing himself, but I wasn’t at all surprised.

Ottis didn’t want to go to the doctor. It wasn’t a pretty sight. He was in panic mode. He didn’t want a colonoscopy and he was freaked out by the bloody sperm. The HDTV mounted on the wall ran Ron Jeremy porn repeatedly. He switched to RTTV but never paid for the hacked cable account. I found human shows amusing as a spider, but Ottis didn’t pay any attention to the HDTV and it was like he almost used it as a mild distraction to keep him from feeling lonely. I wanted to bite him, but he was already in a world of hurt, full of shame, and scared as hell. He went back to his laptop, clicking tabs on Chrome. The radio across the room blasted WRICH on the FM dial.  

He really didn’t need it, but the jerk-off took all of the cough syrup. He coughed and cleared his throat, but doubtful it had anything to do with needing the cough medicine. He licked his lips after self-medicating and he probably just really liked the taste of the syrup. It would temporarily calm his neurotic disorder, but oh God did I ever want to bite into his tender flesh.

The laptop was his distraction from real life. He didn’t need a colonoscopy. He didn’t need a new convertible. I was only a spider, but I could tell Ottis was jumping the gun on everything and part of his neurotic condition included episodes of paranoia. Not pretty at all, but I was just a spider contemplating whether to bite into a poor human’s lonely and miserable soul.

My belly was empty. I hadn’t bitten in months. Moving in closer, stealthily, I was near his foot beside the couch and the coffee table. He didn’t notice. Ottis was checking his bank accounts and noticed his credit card account had been suspended, probably because he’d gone over his limit on the down payment for that Camaro. I wanted to put him out of his misery and bite hard on his baby toe. He wasn’t wearing socks and it was tempting as hell. He twitched again and I just couldn’t resist. I dug in and bit into him hard and fast. It felt so good.

“Fuck,” he said and jumped up. Soon he would feel more pain than he could ever imagine. He wouldn’t have to worry about bloody sperm again, bad debt, or trouble. He wouldn’t need treatment, a colonoscopy, or whatever the Mayo Clinic offered.

“What the hell was that?” He looked down at his foot, but I was gone. I’d moved quickly underneath the couch.

“Something feels weird,” he said. He was probably feeling dizzy from the bite. I got him good. I was sure he was light-headed when he started ranting: “The Camaro is a fucking low price, and I have to have it. Fingers crossed and it’s all mine. I’m not giving up hope. I can scrape together enough spare change. All I need is a buck or two.”

It was like he was drunk, slurring his speech.     

Those were his last words. Ottis keeled over, dropped right to the floor, and no one could help him because he was alone. There was just a laptop and fantastic noise from an old radio box on the other side of the room.

His cell phone started ringing, but nobody answered. The power went out after the storm. The room went pitch-black. I would miss watching the bloody fool, but “radio” would keep me company when it was all over. 

WRICH Radio Breakdown Show
Lucky Transmission

Radio for Sale. Cheap!

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