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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Horror/Scary · #2279191
Arachnophobia can limit your life...in many ways.
Horror Writing Contest Notes

"I can't g-g-go in there!" Shelley froze in terror at the door to the garden shed. "Th-th-there's a spider." She was sweating and trembling, and her breath came in rapid pants.

"Dr. Shargian told you how to deal with the fear," her husband Chad reminded her. "Back away to a point where you feel safe." Stupid woman. It's just a little spider.

She backed up until the web was out of sight. Breathe deeply, she reminded herself. Just relax your muscles, starting at your feet. She worked through the relaxation technique the therapist had taught her until finally her muscles unclenched and her breathing eased.

"Okay. I'm okay."

"Good job, honey. Now, while you're relaxed, take one step closer. Just one little step."

She stepped forward, but as soon as she saw the web in the shed, her stomach lurched, and she swayed with dizziness and horror. "No! No!" She turned to flee but ran into Chad's solid bulk.

He held her shoulders and shook her violently. "Calm down! Follow the program! Dr. Shargian has told you to face your fears by controlling your exposure." She tore away from him and fled, wailing like a lost child, into the house. Chad shook his head in frustration. Can't get through a single day without crap like this.

He found her on the bed, snivelling and sobbing. He helped her sit up, then held her until she calmed.

"We probably shouldn't have done this on your birthday, Sweetie. Hey, I got you a present. Come on."

He seated her at the kitchen table. "Wait here." He returned from the garage with a huge basket of fruit. "I know how much you love fresh fruit, so I got you this."

"Oh, Chad, how thoughtful. It looks beautiful." She tore off the plastic wrap and reached for a banana--and froze when a palm-sized tarantula crept to the edge of the bowl, its fangs dripping venom. She was too terrified to even scream when it sank those fangs into her wrist.

Chad just smiled.

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