The Spider Tree

Analía Rivera, age 11
The Spider Tree Analía Rivera is eleven years old. Analía's passions are reading, writing, and running. Currently, Analía is at a writing camp, Writopia Lab, which has helped Analía cultivate so many of her writing talents that she still has today. So far, Analía has gotten published six times by an Australian Magazine called Alphabet Soup, three times by a New York magazine called Magic Dragon, and three times by Young Writers, and Analía’s play was accepted and performed by the Worldwide Plays Festival.

“It was the Christmas season, and I was in my cozy apartment building where nothing exciting happened. We had several traditions, like watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and doing secret Amazon shopping for everybody. We had bought our Christmas tree from a different Christmas farm this year, but it was perfect, and we had decorated it with Christmas ornaments the night before while blaring Christmas music.”

It was the Christmas season, and I was in my cozy apartment building where nothing exciting happened. We had several traditions, like watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and doing secret Amazon shopping for everybody. We had bought our Christmas tree from a different Christmas farm this year, but it was perfect, and we had decorated it with Christmas ornaments the night before while blaring Christmas music. It was December 21st, and I was watering the Christmas tree, my favorite job. Little did I know, enemies were making their way into my hair. I didn’t suspect anything until that night. It was pitch-black in the hallway as I stepped into my parents’ bedroom. Suddenly, I felt something tickling me. 

“Indi, this better not be one of your games!”

No response. Taking a deep breath, I groped for the light, and as it flickered on, I turned suddenly. Staring at the floor, I was petrified at the sight of a spider! A large midnight one about the size of my thumbnail crawled along the floor. With an ear-splitting scream, I alerted my parents. I don’t have a phobia of spiders like my dramatic older sister, Indira, or Indi for short. They were just annoying, but once they climb out of your hair, you might have a change of heart. I did, and I was now deathly afraid. Luckily for me, my scream made my mother jump out of bed and race to the doorway. Thankfully, the only thing she was frightened of were waterbugs, so she could be my exterminator. As she stomped it dead, I huddled next to my snoring father, trying to comprehend how the spider had found its way into my hair. The most obvious thought never occurred… the innocent Christmas tree. Shaking my hair, no spiders fell. I was in the clear… for now, until the spiders found me again.

***

I was still shaken by my spider incident, but I put it behind me. I needed to continue with my life. Easier said than done when the spiders are lurking nearby. My daily job of watering the tree had been completed at 3:15 PM precisely. It was midnight, and I was settled in a chair, reading a book, until my “friend” decided to come out and play. As I flipped the page, an orange spider stuck out on my hair’s strands, which hung from my face. 

“You’re hallucinating,” I tried to convince myself, but fear won that round.

As my sister and mother chatted rapidly in the hallway, I let out my famous ear-splitting scream. 

Moments later, they suddenly stopped their conversation and arrived at the end of the hallway, where I was trembling. 

Stuttering, I started, “SPIDER, in — in my hair!”

I shook as the real message arrived to me: two spiders in my hair in two days. The spiders were trying to send a message, and the worst part was, my sister and mother didn’t believe me! They thought I was making it up! With determination, I searched the wooden floor and found the culprit. As my mother exterminated it, I decided to huddle next to my sister. After my mother exterminated it, she researched and discovered that the new type of tree we had bought this year was one spiders liked. Then the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Every time I put my head UNDER the tree to water it, guess what crawled into my hair at 3:15 PM, then waited for seven to nine hours to scare me at night? Spiders! We decided that right after Christmas we would throw the tree out, and NOBODY would be watering it!

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