Fly on the wall

dragonfly 080“Leave it where I can find it easily.” This was said with a grin of pure, unholy glee. I duly placed the small, plastic object in a convenient location, knowing full well what he was going to do with it. I didn’t have to know the details. I didn’t even have to ask who the victim would be. It was obvious.

The odd thing is that until recently, they were both as bad. Both terrified of spiders for some unknown reason. They hadn’t been, once upon a time. I had made sure of that. There are few things worse than an unreasoning phobia. For me, it isn’t spiders. My phobia doesn’t even bite. I hid it for years… but there came a point where I was forced to come out of the closet and admit that I, Sue Vincent, am what is known in the vernacular as a wuss.

birds 2 078But having lived with that horror most of my life, I was determined my sons would not have the same problem. Now, I never liked spiders particularly. Not afraid of them at all, just wary of the fact that they turn up in the most awkward of places. Like underwear. And bedroom ceilings. And cereal packets. So I would, given the choice, avoid their presence. Raising the boys it became obvious that if I showed the least hesitation they would learn to fear, so I learned to pretend. Same with the dentist. And of course, pretending there was nothing fear taught them well and gave them a good grounding. It also had the rather surprising effect of removing my own fears. Apart, of course, from The Phobia.

But they didn’t know about that.

dragonfly 104I recall the huge fake spider, all hairy and realistic, that we had hung on a thread ready to drop in front of my brother’s face. I recall the scream and the two satisfied grins. There was no fear then but at some point the pair of them developed a real aversion to arachnids. One, who shall remain nameless, would regularly shout for rescue, even in his teens. Even in the middle of the night. This particular son could not even bear fake spiders and the incident with the remote controlled tarantula will live in memory and would probably have made the Guinness Book of Records for the longest leap from a standing start whilst screaming.

fly (2)But both left home and, for the most part at least, dealt with their own spiders by various means including ultrasonic spider repellers.

And then there was Alan.

Alan was… perhaps still is… a small and insignificant spider who took up residence in my son’s hallway. Just above the ultrasonic spider repeller. He most inconveniently wove his webs around the door, moving ‘house’ several times and festooning the ceiling with his handiwork. My son adopted him. Why, I will never know. I was not, to my chagrin, allowed to touch the webs, but told in no uncertain terms to be careful not to damage them. Alan was there to stay. It seemed this son had got over the phobia.

dragonfly 124The other one, however, has not. Even though he has managed to make friends with an eight legged individual in his shed… a shiny black creature that seldom moves. Which is why his brother had asked me to leave the rather realistic fake spider within easy reach the other day. As I said, I knew who the victim would be.

dragonfly 135“Mum! It got me.” The voice down the phone sounded shaky.

Sometimes our plans work brilliantly, other times they fizzle a bit. Sometimes they backfire and the popular understanding of karma comes into play. I had placed the plastic spider near the weights bench. My son had completely forgotten about it, till he saw it ‘looking at him’.

I wish I’d been a fly on the wall…

Or, given the fate of flies…perhaps not.

dragonfly 146

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Humour, Life, Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Fly on the wall

  1. Spider, spider weaving right
    In the shadows of the night
    What fearful octimmetry you bring
    ‘I think that’s what Kipling said about spiders. Really stuck with me through the years 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant photography!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Smith says:

    I hate, hate, hate spiders so it took a lot of courage to read this, sliding over the images so I didn’t have to see them horrible things. Like you, I never let my son see my fear and should have won an Oscar for my acting skills when he brought spiders from the garden to show me. I remember (maybe about 3 or 4) holding my hand out for my dad to place a – to me – giant, black, hairy spider on my palm, telling me there was nothing to be afraid of. In the background I could hear my mother saying, ‘She’s terrified.’ I’ve felt bad all my life at disappointing my dad by being a spider wuss.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I find them fascinating… as long as they don’t get caught in my clothes or dangle off the ceiling over my bed!

      I know how bad that fear is though… wet worms get me every time.

      Well done for getting through the article 🙂 x


  4. 5cheekymonkeys says:

    Yes brilliant photography indeed!


  5. sparkyplants says:

    Great post! Spiders don’t freak me out, but scorpions absolutely terrify me. Cant’ even look at them on TV or in a photo.


  6. Dale says:

    Fabulous shots indeed! Love the story to go with… Not a huge fan of spiders but don’t run away from them either. Nothing worse than going through a web on my way to the garden though…. *shudder*


  7. I was going to admire your dragonfly, then you had to so all those other icky bugs. It’s still a beautiful dragonfly, though. I get all creeped out by the other things. Ew. Ick. Ugh.


  8. Yeah, fantastic photographs!


  9. Eliza Waters says:

    I think there should have been a spoiler alert on this post, I can feel the cringe that went round the world! 😉


  10. noelleg44 says:

    Spider bites are no fun! I usually give them a wide berth, but capture and put them outside if I find them in the house. They are just too valuable in trapping insects! As for flies, I think if Ogden Nash:”God in his wisdom made the fly and then forgot to tell us why!”


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I apply that saying to mosquitoes! Flies I can see the use of as disposal specialists, even if they are ruddy annoying. Spiders can stay… but not in bath or bedroom please 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.