I really have to share this night of horror (and hilarity) that I experienced last night. I apologise in advance to those of you who must protect all living creatures, but I live in Australia, where not all creatures are cute and benign.

I was up late, caught up reading blogs, chatting to everyone and working on a new feature I’m hoping to add soon. I finally made my way to bed just before 1am. It took a few minutes to settle my mind after all that chatting. I snuggled in under the covers with my air conditioner cooling the room. I could feel my whole body relaxing and I knew I was dozing in and out of sleep. I was lying on my side, this is how I usually end up just before sleep takes me. I heard a little noise above me and then something dropped and landed on my head. I considered that it might be a water droplet from the air conditioner. BUT IT BOUNCED.

I turned on the light and what happened next happened in such a short amount of time but felt so drawn out and horrifying. I was leaning up on my arm while I turned on the bedside light so my face was about 20cm off the pillow when I saw the SPIDER ON MY PILLOW. It took a beat for me to register (remember, I had been almost-sleeping) and my body reacted involuntarily to lurch away from the pillow. I looked back and this time, I was fully aware. I shrieked! Boy did I shriek! My hands went straight to my head, rustling my hair furiously to make sure it wasn’t still there, even though I could see it ON MY PILLOW. I jumped out of bed, running in place, shrieking.

At this point, I have awoken the sleeping princess, Miss Gidget, who had been snoring away on the end of the bed. She went into full protect-and-serve mode and started running around, growling and barking. She had no idea who the offender was but she was determined to send him off swiftly. I went back to rescue my pillow (I love my pillow) which caused the spider to scurry onto the sheets, towards the edge of the bed. I was not allowing it to escape under the bed and out of my sight. I grabbed the edge of the sheet and swept it over the spider and then sprinted to the kitchen to get the fly spray. Sprinting back, I was sure it would be gone, but as I tentatively lifted back the sheet, there it was, trying to look innocent. I sprayed (oh how I sprayed) and wrapped the sheet up tightly. I threw the can on the floor and furiously ripped the sheets from the bed, careful to make sure it couldn’t escape and ran to the back door, threw the sheets out there and slammed the door shut.


For a fleeting moment.

Then I wondered – what if there’s a family of them and that was the baby and now the parents know where I live? And where I sleep? As I remade my bed with fresh sheets, the back of my neck was tingling the whole time. I sat halfway down the bed, away from the pillow area for about half an hour, writing a post on Facebook describing the event – I have a friend in Chicago who is petrified of Australian wildlife and she delights in sending me horror stories of the crazy animal-related things that happen “only in Australia”. We posted back and forth for about half an hour. In the end, she swore she will never sleep again.

Eventually, there was no evidence of any more creepy crawlies, I gave them plenty of time to show themselves. I moved my pillow down the bed a little, lay down and pulled the covers over my head. At least if something fell on me again, I would be able to fling it off using the covers as a shield. Meanwhile, Gidget had been snoring again for the last 20 minutes!

I did survive the night. I went out to get the sheets so that i could wash them this morning. I slowly unwrapped them, bit by bit. The spider was gone! I have no idea where he went, but he’s probably having a great time telling the story of the crazy girl who did a crazy dance for him in the middle of the night before stunning him with fly spray and flinging him into the back garden!!

The photo in my header is not the offending creature. That photo was taken in the garden, among the rose bushes some time ago. For Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab, it was taken with my Olympus OMD EM5, with 60mm macro lens at f/4.0, 1/125s and ISO640.

I was able to snap a quick photo with my iPhone before sprinting to the kitchen. This morning, Gidget was really suffering from lack of sleep, so I snapped one of her as well.

Do you have a similar shocking story to share?

x desleyjane

Posted by:desleyjane

photographer, blogger, planner, scientist, dog lover, frequent flyer, daughter, sister, BFF, human

141 replies on “The Stuff of Nightmares

  1. How did I miss your spidy story? 😀 I had a similar experience with spider mites chomping on my legs as a child. I tore my sheets off and examined every inch of my mattress before returning. Then there was the hand-sized spider in our home in Thailand. It’s smaller relative skittered between my feet while I was squatting doing the dishes the day after we killed the huge one. We also had a jumbo millipied in our living room that got smacked with a shovel and I went to the toilet and squatted eye to eye with a scorpion. That week was our big bug fiesta!

    Liked by 1 person

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