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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Surreal Arachnids

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A sketch based on the saga

Hypnagogic Hallucination -
vivid auditory, tactile, or visual hallucinations that sometimes occur during the transition from being awake to asleep, or vice versa.

Last summer a series of events took place over a period of about 2 weeks in which I would wake in the middle of the night to experience various interactions with spiders.

These phenomena lasted for only a matter of seconds
(until I was able to jolt up and turn on the light next to my bed) but they were very vivid.

1. The first event took place when one of my friends (friend 1, lets call him) and I stayed the night with another of my friends (friend 2?) in his house. Friend 2 slept in his room while Friend 1 was in the bed in the guest room, with myself on the floor in that same room. I had some trouble getting to sleep that night and when I finally began to fall (or I may already have been asleep, it is hard to tell) I wearily opened my eyes to find a large, black spider resting on my left hand. Being as careful as possible to keep my hand still, I reached for my cell phone for a better light source but when I was able to shine it's dim light on my hand, the spider disappeared. I was very startled and immediately got up to search my area for any spiders but found nothing, so I went back to bed.

2. The second event (and the subsequent events) took place in my own room. I went to bed a few nights after the first occurrence and everything seemed pretty normal. However, in the middle of the night I woke once again and slowly looked at my left hand to find that it was covered in dozens of spiders, similar to the cellar spider. I reached for the light sitting next to my bed and turned it on, but the spiders had once again disappeared. I went through the same routine as in Friend 2's house; checking the surroundings and shaking out the blankets to come up with nothing.

3. The third event took place a few days afterwards and was slightly different in my reaction. Once again I went to bed in confidence, only to wake in the middle of the night with the same spiders on my left hand. This time however, I saw them to be halfway buried in the skin. The spiders were positioned so that the back half of their bodies (as well as their back legs) were submerged in the flesh of my arm, with their heads sticking out and their foremost legs out in the open, swaying back and forth in unison to some imaginary rhythm. At first I was almost mesmerized by the gentle sway of their appendages, but it was not long until I realized what was happening and quickly turned on the light to have them disappear once more.  

4. The fourth event saw me wake in the middle of the night to find a massive spider (about the size of my hand) dangling from the ceiling just inches away from my face. I immediately turned on the lights to find it gone from existence.

5. The fifth event was by far the most startling. I woke in the middle of the night to see a spider on my bed. This spider was different in appearance though. It was white (rather than brown or black) with red spots on it's abdomen and black joints on it's legs. The spider started at the foot of my bed and began to run towards my face once I woke. I threw the covers off and turned on the lights. I continued to search my room but found nothing.

6. This sixth and final event (in this series, at least) happened a few nights later. I woke in the middle of the night to find my hands cupped and outstretched above my head, with a massive brown spider resting in the basin. I felt calm, however, and slowly moved my cupped hands toward the wall where the spider fragmented into hundreds of the smaller cellar spiders witnessed before. The spiders then scattered into all directions and I was left in peace for months. Like I previously said, the event was surprisingly calming and I don't believe I even searched my room this time.

It should be important to note that with the exception of the first and fourth spiders,
the structure of all spiders in the series was that of the cellar spider.

It should also be noted that the events were so startling that with the exception of the last event,
I was so thorough in my searches that I would even check my hair in the bathroom mirror.
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