Giant Problems

Basements—especially the unfinished ones—were my least favorite. You never knew what you were going to find down there. Unfinished ones were usually designated storage space. Sometimes you’d find weird things, like mannequins, or halloween decorations, or old machinery. Sometimes, there’d just be mounds and mounds of boxes.

Sometimes, you’d find the source of their problems.

The cause for their fear.

Basements were hotbeds for them.

Bugs.

A spider problem.

They say that’s what they’ve been seeing.

Which, honestly, is pretty straightforward. An easy treatment.

Glue boards and spraying. That’s all it takes.

The glue boards have already been placed down. Dozens litter each part of the house, catching anything that might not be so easily effected by my pesticide. All that’s left to do is the big one. The real monster.

The basement.

It’s unfinished, the customer told me. Not much down there, though. Maybe a dozen or so containers, they said. Nothing that couldn’t be sprayed, nothing that’d be effected. No furniture, no doors, no rooms. Just one, giant, unfinished basement.

At least there’s that.

For the most part, it should be fairly easily.

The basement stairs creak. Wooden boards slapped on wood, stacked adjacently to one another. Emptiness fills the spaces in between the stairs. If I were to fall, I’d get my foot stuck, that’s for sure.

I hate unfinished basements.

Everything about them is… skeletal. A shadow of the house, rather than part of the house. I understand that the basement has doors that lead outside—doors that lock—walls that stand, and supports for the rest of the house. Yet, still.

I can understand why people find them eerie.

They are.

Their lack of liveliness—of security, and comfort, of living necessities—makes them seem decrepit. Like you’re entering a cave rather than another part of the house.

I hate unfinished basements.

When I reach the bottom steps, I notice the basement isn’t a full basement. There should be more space, but there isn’t. Instead, the space opens up, right at the bottom of the stairs.

And veers to my left. Hooking behind the stairs, rather than expanding out to both sides like a full basement would.

Great.

An “L” shaped basement.

Well.

At least it’s less space to cover.

As I make my way, I try to find the light switch.

And fail.

Of course.

An unfinished, creepy basement with no windows, and no lights.

Great.

I only have one option, then.

I have to continue my work.

I walk into the darkness carefully. Feeling with my feet for any kind of barrier that might lurk. For any sort of object that might try to trip me.

I walk carefully.

My eyes adjust slowly to the darkness as I creep further in. Going into the longer part of the “L”. The darker part.

Damn.

I definitely need a light.

There’s something here—a shape that can’t be as big as my eyes are registering it. A shadow that looms in the dark, blocking my path.

It can’t be that big though.

Really, it can’t.

He said there was no furniture down here, and there were only a few dozen boxes. That it was fairly empty of everything, except spiders.

And there was no way.

No way.

The shadow couldn’t really exist. Couldn’t be that big. Not from no furniture, a few boxes, and spiders.

No way.

My eyes were playing tricks.

Reaching into my pocket, I grabbed at my cell phone, intending to use it’s flashlight to give me some illumination. To give me clarity.

What is the shadow?

Thoughts occurred to me—struck my bones with the cold poison of foreboding—as I played with the phone. As I pulled up the button that would activate the flashlight, images flooded into my mind. Threats. Shaking my foundation to the point where I wanted to run. Leave the basement be. Hitting me quickly, flashes of fear made my legs want to take flight.

I wanted to bolt.

Leave.

But I shook them off.

They were silly, impossible thoughts.

Not to be entertained.

Because there was no such thing as monsters. As creatures like that. No such thing.

…right?

Summoning my willpower, I turned on the flashlight.

I illuminated the shadow.

And sorely wished I hadn’t.

The customer was right.

There was no furniture.

Not a lot of boxes.

Just…

A giant, spider problem.

Eight beady eyes glowing, like giant marbles in a spotlight. Reflecting the light back, taking none of it in. Hair like wire raised, edging around eight enormous legs. Illuminating the features of the creature, including—

Giant fangs.

Hairy, pointed fangs.

The spider looked at me.

And I looked back.

What else was there to do?

What else could I do?

Spider looking at me, and all my bones yelling at me to run, to scream, all I could think was:

I didn’t sign up for this.

Not at all.

I hate unfinished basements.


Author’s note: I have a giant problem with an overactive imagination, and I can’t help but think about giant spiders anytime I go into spooky basements.

It’s a terrible curse, really.

Also:

If you’re looking for some werewolf-y, halloween fun, but want a story that isn’t as spooky as this, I actually have a book out! It’s called Into the Wilderness. It’s about werewolves and vampires (no giant spiders, I swear) and survival stuff. If you liked this story, or if you enjoy my other werewolf stories on the site, you might want to give that one a go. I’d also greatly appreciate it :D.

Happy Halloween!!

 

 

9 thoughts on “Giant Problems”

  1. I loved this, because it’s relatable! I have fortunately only lived in one house that had an unfinished basement – and let me tell you, spiders are a real issue in those! My washer and dryer was in the basement, the spiders would get so bad I’d go over to my brothers do to do my wash. I hated that basement.

    Liked by 1 person

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