Thursday, August 19, 2010

Surprise trees

Winter is sullen because gleeful Spring arrived today. Too warm for a sweater. The naked limbs of trees clack together in a warm northerly breeze like strips of plastic in bicycle spokes.

So I'm looking at the trees and thinking 'aw, they're about to burst into bloom'. Cue images of pure white blossoms and verdant leaves exploding from the buds. But... the closer I walked, the more a feeling of impending doom rose, until I stood almost beneath one of the trees. Those small, white globes, ready to unfurl dotted each tip without the accompanying hint of green. Those small, pale orbs ready burst bore an uncanny resemblance to something else I knew of; something that lurked in the garden. Under pots and wood piles. In dry gutters and buried in piles of dead leaves: spider eggs.

Off went the imagination, backpedalling as fast as it could manage. The film played out anyway; white pearls tearing open and a squillion dark spiders raining down on unwary shoppers below... skittering down unprotected collars, abseiling off fringes with legs spread wide, tickling across bared skin, nipping, biting with tiny fangs.

For a moment I paused - not just because of the traffic - and wondered where the hell the images came from. My favourite time of year slowly giving way to the warmer weather? My particular loathing of eight-legged beasties? Stress? Dunno. But writers can turn the most innocuous sights into whatever they want. Being botanically-challenged, I have no idea what those trees were, but I'll never look at them the same way again.

It's weird how the mind works when out hunting down groceries. Don't you think?

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