Water Spiders

  • With Tish and August, we're skimming along the surface of a wilderness lake riding atop a small platform about the size of a small surfboard. The edges of the lake blur into marsh and the platform seems to follow a submerged track which stays in the shallows near shore. Tish tells me that the lake is 120 feet deep in the middle. Soon we arrive at a delapidated shack of a house, built on floatation rafts and attached to the shore. Our automatic people mover brings us alongside the dock and we climb up onto the creaky platform. Tish's father used to live here many years ago but it's been uninhabited for some time. We three are thinking about moving in. The interior is not as run-down as the exterior--the carpet is even fine. A portrait of Tish's dad hangs on the wall: a brawny fellow, built like an ox, with a somber face that's only sketched in. When I walk to the door that leads out onto the deck overlooking the lake, it's hanging slightly ajar and there is a huge swarm of big black spiders jumping all around there. I yell to the others as the spiders begin to leap frog towards me. Suddenly, Tish's dad appears, looking exactly like the portrait with a sketched-in face, and blocks the spiders while we run out of the house.