It’s story time!
Unfortunately, this story is true. :( You’ll see.
One of my students lent me the first book in the Percy-Jackson-sequel-series (“The Heroes of Olympus”) during the last week of school. I’d read all the original Percy Jackson books (“Percy Jackson and the Olympians”), so I was excited. I finished it quickly and liked it, so I bought the 2nd and then the 3rd, which is called “The Mark of Athena.” I read most of that one this past Sunday.
(minor spoilers ahead)
The character Annabeth is a daughter of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. If anyone remembers their Greek mythology (woo 9th grade), Athena challenged Arachne to a weaving contest when the mortal girl claimed to be better than the goddess. Long story short, Arachne got turned into a spider.
In Riordan’s book, he elaborates that spiders are the enemies of children of Athena. Naturally, Annabeth gets attacked by some–whole swarms of spiders–before meeting Arachne herself.
Now, let’s back up one step to remember that I like Athena. I love mythology and learning (and owls), so Athena is my favorite of the Greeks and the inspiration for my Twitter handle.
Therefore I connect with Annabeth more than any of the other characters.
And I was lying in bed Sunday night, reading feverishly through the story on my Kindle, wondering if Riordan was actually going to kill off one of his characters and trying to finish before I fell asleep so I would know who lived or died. I wouldn’t say I have arachnophobia, but I really dislike spiders (especially in my house. NO BUGS ALLOWED), so Annabeth’s scenes were making me a bit squeamish.
Then a tiny spider crawled across my arm. I squished it and shivered. Haha, a real spider landed on me while I’m reading about Annabeth being attacked by spiders. So funny.
I continued to read. Poor Annabeth! She was getting tangled in the evil webs of Arachne!
Then another spider lowered itself down from the ceiling and landed right on top of my Kindle. I squished it and felt my heart rate start to rise. Two spiders??
Not so funny.
Annabeth was trapped in Arachne’s lair. The setting was getting a little too realistic. I lowered my Kindle and stared up at my ceiling.
Four–five–no, seven tiny moving dots.
And one began to lower itself on a thread of silk.
I leapt out of bed and ran to retrieve the broom from the kitchen. I swept the spiders away and prayed they’d die in the fall, and also, fall onto the floor and not my bed. I tried to follow with my eyes the imaginary path they’d been walking, and looked in the dark corner of the ceiling.
A hundred spiders.
A HUNDRED SPIDERS INSIDE MY HOUSE WALKING TOWARD ME NO NO NO NO NO NO
It looked as though a spider egg/pouch/thingie had been laid in the corner and recently burst, and Charlotte’s-Web-style, the babies were trying to float their way to freedom. INSIDE MY HOUSE. They were slowly leaving their corner in a line, Harry-Potter-and-the-Chamber-of-Secrets-style (oh I feel ya Ron Weasley), and lowering themselves right above me in my precious sacred should-never-be-covered-in-spiders bed.
Yeah so maybe I panicked.
*sleeping husband turns over* “…….. what?”
“JEEEEEFFFFF I’M BEING ATTACKED BY SPIDERS, DO WE HAVE ANY RAID?????”
“Maybe under the sink? Multiple spiders? What?”
There was no time to explain. I ran to the kitchen again to get Raid and paper towels. I climbed our dresser like a monkey and somehow didn’t fall down as I sprayed and squished and murdered those bastard spiders that dared to set up camp INSIDE MY HOUSE.
It was after midnight at this point, but my adrenaline had spiked so high that I knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep for a loooong time. I considered burning off my skin with a flamethrower to make sure there were no more spiders on me, but the repercussions seemed pretty heavy so I refrained. I cautiously began reading again. Annabeth overcame the spiders (mostly) as I had (mostly), so I felt encouraged. After that, and after playing a bunch of Bejeweled Blitz on my phone to try to calm down, I finally fell asleep. There didn’t seem to be any further sign of spiders in the morning.
Worst experience ever.
Guys, I think I have arachnophobia now. :'(
Anyway… review of The Heroes of Olympus series to come after I finish all of them! [… is what I wrote until I looked up book 4 to purchase it, and saw that it doesn’t come out until October… Hrrm].
p.s. If I had any kind of Greek in me, I would be easily convinced to name a daughter Athena. But, my husband and I are Italian, which equals her Roman name, “Minerva,” which is McGonagall, and basically everything falls apart.
p.p.s. The Pitcharama post is bringing an overwhelming amount of traffic to my blog and makes me feel really shy! hahaha