There was a spider on the wall of Dad’s bedroom. It was about the size of a grape, but that was big enough.
Can you get rid of it, I asked.
Dad just smiled his lazy smile, not even looking away from the television.
The next day, there were three or four of them, larger than the first. I felt queasy as I watched them scamper about, their long legs stumbling over the flaking plaster.
Dad, I wailed, but he shooed me away as if he didn’t want them to be disturbed.
The day after was a Saturday and I spent it round at Kiva’s house. I love it there; not a bug in sight and all the walls are nicely painted white. Her parents tried asking me questions, but I just made stuff up like how dad works nights and mum is staying up north for a while. It’s easier that way.
When I got back, the house was dark. TV light spilled out from Dad’s room. I looked inside and the walls were writhing with black. But it wasn’t just spiders anymore, there were snakes too. They were slithering out from under the bed and in and out of the sheets.
Dad was hardly visible. He just lay there, letting the creatures swarm all over him. The glowing end of his cigarette lit up their greasy skins and his hollow-looking eyes.
I haven’t been in there lately. When I get home from school, I make myself something to eat then go straight to my room. The fridge is nearly empty though and someone keeps knocking loudly at the front door.
I wish I knew how to get rid of them all. Last time the spiders disappeared by themselves after a few days. Now, I’m afraid the reason they haven’t gone away is because Dad’s not letting them.