Hairs On The Back Of The Neck
“It’s not an unusual phobia, Mr Tomlinson. Many people are afraid of spiders.” The hypnotherapist was calmness personified, as he should be, thought Harry. But he had no idea...
“It’s not just spiders ... well, I suppose it is, really.”
“We can treat this. Would you like to make an appointment? I’m sorry my receptionist isn’t here today, if you could give her a call tomorrow ...”
“I will, thank you.” Harry put the phone down and cursed. Why couldn’t he just tell the man the truth? No, it wasn’t an unusual phobia but the situation he was in and that – Could he just up and tell someone?
“It’s not like my house is dirty,” he told his neighbour over the fence, a bit shamefaced but wanting to tell someone, “but I just found a jar of peanut butter in the fridge-“
“Not a good idea, Harry.” Old Tam would interrupt, always had done. “It won’t spread.”
“I know, I went to put it in the cupboard and do you know? Its death date was two years ago!”
“Still be all right, though.”
“Maybe, wasn’t going to risk it, though.”
“You had any more trouble with spiders, Harry? Remember one time when you said you had a giant one in there.”
“Well, sometimes, comes and goes, you know.”
“Don’t like them much myself, but you know what they say, if you want to live and thrive – let a spider run alive.”
“I do that, Tam, I do that. Can’t bear to kill anything.”
Especially the one I have in the house, he thought, but said nothing about it.
Someone else he couldn’t tell.
“Is there anyone in the Pest Control department who knows about getting rid of spiders?”
Next port of call, the local authority.
“Not really, sir, do you have much of a problem?”
“Well, there’s one very large one...”
“We wouldn’t send someone out for one, sir. Sorry.”
But this one is ... no, they would call the people in white coats if he told them. “Thanks anyway.”
They’d be sorry one day that they didn’t listen.
Harry went back into his lounge and stared at the spider which had all eight legs curled up under its huge body and took up all the sofa.
“I just want my house back,” he told it. “That’s all. And no one wants to help me.”
The spider reached out a long lazy leg and gently tickled the hairs on the back of Harry’s neck.
“All right,” he sighed. “You can stay.”