Spider Bytes

Inspired and propelled by Angela, who never met a spider she didn't like. I've come to think of my little notebook computer as a playground of sorts. More than just a centrifuge for words, its keyboard offers hours of pleasant distraction for the impossibly small jumping spiders that have lately taken residence in my hair.

Watching a hatchling as he hopped from key to key, exuberant and playful as only the very young can be, I wondered what sort of neighborhood he lived in, and what he did after school. Did his brother take him to the playground to frisk on the teeter-totters and swings? Did his sister tie him up on the merry-go-round, spinning him faster and faster until centrifugal force reacquainted him with breakfast? What was his favorite cookie?

Aghast, I asked the question again, louder this time, and with greater concern. I knew I could not expect an answer; the tiny spider had already disappeared below the C. Alarmed, I began to pry the spacebar from its moorings, knowing full well that eight legs are better than one, but determined to prove myself wrong. Too late. The tot had already found his way through the hard-disk enclosure, and by the sound of it, was having the ride of his life on the spinning platter within. Then I heard a different sound.

I wasn't expecting good news when I arrived to pick up my disk from the forensics lab, but I didn't want to be laughed at, either. The technician smirked as he pointed a finger at his head, making a clicking sound with his tongue as he pulled a make-believe trigger. I looked at my shoes, pretending not to notice the spiders dangling from my eyebrows.

"So . . . the disk . . . is there . . . ?" My voice was hoarse.

"Any hope?" The technician was smiling, but his eyes were hard.

He pointed to a sheet of paper on the counter. I picked it up, and felt the blood drain from my face.

Cause of failure:

1) Persistent cookies

2) Spider bytes

Please pay this amount: $1,756.09

Have a nice day.

"Will you be using your credit card today?" asked the technician.

Looking back on it now, I should have known. I should have remembered that spiders are people, too; the attraction of the web is undeniable; it doesn't matter how many legs you have on. I shouldn't have forgotten that I was young once, and maybe twice, but you're only as old as you feel after you toss your cookies from the merry-go-round, or the hard disk.

I should have counted my blessings, instead of my legs.


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