The Spider’s Spell

In honor of the print of my copper etching “The Spider’s Spell” that will be on display at the exhibit “A Stone’s Throw from the Water” at Angels Gate Cultural Center from August 4 – September 15, 2018, I just had to write a story snippet.

Here’s the words that I chose for this “story snippet”:

believe, candle, command, fume, gather, haunt, heirloom, jolt, key, light, notice, south, specter, trinket, wood

and here’s the “story snippet” that I wrote using those words:

“The Spider’s Spell”

I had always been drawn to old things
even as a small child
playing in my grandmother’s attic
i couldn’t resist
the rusted skeleton key
that i found

no one knew
where the key came from

no one knew
what the key opened

no one knew
what the key locked away

as an adult
i felt i was searching for something
specific antique items
and although i didn’t know exactly what they were
i always had the belief that
i would find

i hunted for treasure
at estate sales
at antique shops
at local flea markets
and at every county fair

one saturday
in late summer
i followed a series of signs
leading to an estate sale

at the end
of a very long
very overgrown
forgotten county lane
i first saw it
the crumbling mansion
beyond the tangle and neglect
of the front garden

i had a strange prickly feeling
which silently slithered up the back of my spine
i gathered my courage
as i parked on the crowded drive
and stepped through a crudely cut path
past thick thorny vines
and scruffy barbed bushes
the garden had long broken free
and returned to it’s wild
instinctual state

the front entrance of the manor was crowded
as people rummaged through books and boxes piled high
at the base of the stairs

i felt drawn to climb
to the upper levels
entering a small bedroom
near the back
the room was empty
except for a worn wooden wardrobe

behind it

i discovered a musty music box
the cylinder was cracked and beyond repair

as i lifted up the music box
a tarnished silver locket slipped out
and clattered to the floor

as i reached for and picked up the locket
i felt my heart beat faster
i felt beads of sweat gather and drip down
between my chest

the clasp on the locket was broken
it easily flipped open in my hand
a fragment of a faded picture inside
of a young woman
holding her beau’s hand

this was it
i knew
the very items
that i had been looking for
for such a very long time

i thought my search was finally over
i didn’t know
it had just begun

as i had done so many times before
i took my treasures back to my small cottage in the woods
first i carefully removed the dust, dirt and grime
as i prepared the antiques for a deeper cleanse

i set the music box and the locket
beside my grandmother’s old skeleton key
on the table facing the south window

as i lit a tall candle
i could sense the presence of spirits
specters from the past
still clinging to the heirlooms and trinkets that they once owned

i opened the window
and commanded them to leave
into the darkness of the night
the candlelight swayed
the wick sputtered
and fumed

but they did not leave

i waited
for the subtle jolt
that would signal
the release
of their former ownership of
the objects
that they held
in their past lives
so very

as i waited
in the stillness

i noticed

a solitary spider

on its

like a fine spindle


back and forth


back and forth

in a slow

i couldn’t look away
three times
i tried

do it

i was

maybe it was just a moment
maybe it was many minutes
i wasn’t sure

but finally
i felt a subtle shift
a release
within the room
and i was finally able to
force myself
to glance away

the locket on the table was newly polished
and tightly closed
its clasp was fully functional
i heard the music box tinkling a classic tune

the room was furnished with unfamiliar items from a bygone era
with antique objects that were
brand new

i heard the handle of the door turn
the knob shook
the door rattled and rocked
but held in place
firmly locked
keeping me

i heard a thump
and felt a brush
as if an unseen force had passed by
the skeleton key from my grandmother’s attic
lifted from the table
and flew across the room
it neatly fit into the keyhole
and clicked
within the lock
and the door


Written by Susan Eileen Jizba
Weaver & Wordsmith….the Weaver of Words
………………weaving fibers & fables………………

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