Eight eyes stared balefully across the semi-darkness of the apartment at the monster lumbering towards them, the brain behind the eyes unable to even begin to make a suitable comparison between it and that. It simply wouldn't know how.
Old Jacob (the aforementioned 'monster') would, though. He would probably compare himself and the spider with a person, standing beside the Empire State Building in New York, or the Burj Dubai currently the tallest building in the world. Not that Jacob was excessively tall, at around six foot he considered himself to be average, though the stoop he was forced to adopt did drop him by a few inches or so. Nevertheless, compared to the spider, he was monumental !!
Nor was he particularly old, not even 60 he was still too young to draw a pension, yet his body seemed determined to age faster than the actual passage of years, and his white hair and beard added another 5-10 years to the illusion of old age. But when friends he hadn't seen in a decade had remarked about the disparity between assumed and actual age, he would smile and a twinkle would come to his eye, and he'd tell them that it's not the age it's the mileage, and living life his way, and to **** with convention.
He knew that the spider was there, of course. Not in that particular location perhaps, but somewhere in the apartment. They had come eyes to eyes on a number of occasions, and at first he was tempted to do as everybody else did and either kill it, or put it outside to make a new life for itself in the gardens. But he had mellowed somewhat with age, and let it be. Though he would never admit it to anyone, he thought of the spider as a kind of companion - there being nobody else in his life anymore - so he accepted it's presence and ignored it, and the spider seemed to ignore him, making it's way around the periphery of the apartment whenever it went hunting. Keeping the 'monster' at a safe distance, and renewing destroyed webs after the thunderous-sounding machine had sucked the old ones up into it's belly.
Jacob made his arthritic way across the room, leaning heavily on furniture as he got to them. A couple of times in the past he'd had to sit on the floor and shuffle around, his legs unable to bear his weight. He had felt mightily embarrassed at having to do that, and he forced himself to walk through sheer determination, but even so he knew it was only a matter of time before he would be confined to a wheelchair to get around. A fact he most certainly did not like to dwell on !! Always independent, he hated the idea that he would lose that, and have to depend upon other people to take care of him. ****, they would be chewing his food for him before much longer !!
Today, though, was different. He had been having dizzy spells over the last week, making him even more unsteady on his feet, and shopping at the supermarket he thought he might pass out. Fortunately he didn't and he got home ok, but the dizziness persisted and today he had felt dizzy all day. He made his uncertain way to his bedroom, and collapsed gratefully under the covers for what would be the last time.
The spider walked cautiously through the partly-opened door, and stood there surveying the bed and it's occupant. Puzzled, it knew that something was wrong, different, like the passing of something, but it didn't know what it could be. Then it became aware that the rasping, bronchial wheezing of the 'monster' had stopped. The number of times it had stood here, wanting - desperately - to suck out the delicious life-giving juices, but had been too afraid. Now, it moved towards the bed with renewed courage, somehow knowing instinctively that it would be safe. Standing upon the 'monsters' neck, it bared it's fangs and plunged them into the still warm flesh.
Jacob lay undetected for several months, until a neighbour called the cops. Not because they hadn't seen him in that time, but due to the smell emanating from his apartment. The coroner made a cursory examination, decided that he had died of 'old age' and called the funeral parlour. The cops found neither friends or relatives of Jacob, and a state-funded cremation was pencilled-in for him. Until a last will came to light, detailing the pre-funded arrangement for a burial in a shaded plot in a nearby cemetary, and he was duly interred into the said plot. Other than the the pallbearers and a priest, nobody else came.
When it was over, in the absolute blackness of the casket, eight legs and a hairy body made their way out of a handy pocket in Jacob's funeral garb. In life, they were only together for a short time. In death, they would be together for ever !!
Grateful thanks to PupsiK for the awesome sigs !!