Flies Instead of Air

by Jordyn Price

Rick was tired of his webs being ruined. Every morning he rose before any other creatures stirred and spun his web in the corner of the old, rickety house near the gutter. He took all of the proper steps, making sure he didn’t miss anything or do something wrong so that his web would fall apart. After spending all morning working on his web he’d sit back and admire his work before crawling back into the small knot hole in the side of the house. Once lunch time came around he’d come back out and the wind would have destroyed his beautiful creation. And if it wasn’t the wind it was the birds who perched on the gutter to look for worms; and if it wasn’t the birds it was the old woman who lived in the house who just couldn’t stand having cobwebs anywhere near her property. Today, however, was the last day that Rick would have to put up with this nonsense. He had decided that he would build his web in the tallest tree he could find. “The taller the tree,” he said, “the better chance I have to build the best web.” The leaves would block the wind, and the birds wouldn’t go that high. And as far as he knew there were no old ladies living out in the forest. So rick set off to search for his new home.

 

Rick scurried away from the old house and into the meadow right next to it. The grass was tall and sleek with morning dew. Rick sighed, knowing that it’s be hours before he reached the other side, but he continued forward. Hours passed and Rick had finally made it to the other side of the meadow; the woods were now in sight. Rick smiled and started to crawl towards the trees when a huge drop of rain splashed right in front of him. Rick jumped back, startled, and started sprinting towards the safety of the trees. Rain drops fell left and right, and some even right behind him. Rick was scared to death, he just hoped that he would make it before he got hit by the rain. Ten feet, five feet, three feet… almost there. Rick had just made it to the treeline when a raindrop hit him head on. Rick struggled through the water and hurriedly crawled up the nearest tree, gasping for breath. He crawled into a knothole and decided he’s stop here for the night. It’s not like he would be able to search in this weather anyways. The next morning the rain had finally stopped and Rick climbed back down the tree and continued on with his journey, ready to find his new home.

Rick was walking along the forest floor when he suddenly heard a scuttering noise from behind him. RIck turned and looked around, waiting to see if something would come out. But nothing did, so Rick just shrugged and started to crawl again. When he heard the noise a second time Rick completely turned around and asked if anyone was there. Nothing but silence responded to him. Rick turned back around and started to crawl a little faster, just wanting to get out of the area. He heard the noise again, this time much faster and he started to sprint. A huge shadowy figure appeared right behind Rick, but he didn’t slow down. The figure lunged and Rick stopped, waiting for it to strike. Only to come face to face with none other than a squirrel tail. Rick looked up and realized that he had almost gotten squished by a squirrel, not some scary monster. The squirrel scurried off and Rick sighed in relief. “The forest is a crazy place.” Rick thought, “Maybe I should have stayed back at the old rickety house instead.” He shook the thought away and marched on.

 

He searched for days with no luck. Every tree he came upon was too small, too scraggly, or already occupied by some other creature. He had almost drowned in the horrendous storm that had passed by yesterday, gotten almost squished by a squirrel, and he still hadn’t even come close to finding his dream tree. He contemplated whether he should continue searching or just go back home. Rick was starting to lose hope. “This is too much to handle!” Rick screamed in frustration. “I should just set up in the next tree I find.” Rick continued on searching for a tree but only found himself trapped in another grassy meadow. But he continued on with determination. After a week of nothing but tall grass, Rick happened upon a tree, and a beautiful one at that. It had to have been at least thirty feet tall with long, thick branches hanging off its side with beautiful orange and gold leaves attached. It was perfect. Rick was so overcome with joy he started climbing up the tree trunk to find shelter in the highest branch. But once Rick got to the top he realized that he must not have been the only spider with this idea. Every branch visible had spiders of every shape and size with beautiful webs strung on each twig. He searched for an empty one but alas, there were none. After how far he had come, Rick had failed. He sighed sadly and started to crawl back down the tree trunk to make the return back to the old rickety house.
“Wait!” said a voice from his left. Rick turned towards the voice, startled. And there sat on a branch, alone, was another spider. She crawled towards him quickly and stopped right in front of him. “Can you help me? I’m not very good with building webs…” she said, gesturing towards the loose string hanging from the branch. Rick sighed sadly and shook his head, “I would love to but I must get back home before it gets too dark.” He started to crawl towards the ground but was yet again stopped by the other spider. “You mean you don’t live here?” she asked. “No, I wish that I did but it appears that I am too late.” He smiled sadly and attempted to continue on. “You can stay with me if you’d like? I get quite lonely and I still need your help in building my web.” Rick smiled and nodded and they both went back to her branch and he started to show her how to build a web. She introduced herself as Shelly, and after five minutes of his tutoring she had the concept down. Together they both built the biggest and most beautiful web in the whole tree, and the next morning when Rick came out for lunch he saw flies instead of air.

Jeffersonville High School, 2019