Now on to part 2 of our little story: the spider's perspective of our encounter. FYI: I took a few liberties here and there (as writers are wont to do), so it might not be 100% what happened. Also, it's told by a spider, so you know there's that.
In case you missed it, here's my side of the story.
I present "Dreaming of Summer: A Spider's Story.
I wake as the daylight fades. The cold bites into my legs. I flex them, loosening my stiff joints. It’s the coldest day in my memory.
I haul myself up and out of my hiding spot, a collection of leaves and twigs nestled against the snow. I sway with every step. It’s been days since I ate anything but those little red begs living on my legs.
A swirl of air a hair warmer than today’s frigid temperature caresses my shins.
I chase it, the tips of my legs tapping against the ice encrusting the snow. An endless black tunnel yawns before me, surrounded by a strange reddish-brown surface. Warm airs flows through it like the world’s most welcoming river.
A dark siren, I follow that warmth into the tunnel. Beyond the opening, it splits wide open. Standing up to my full height, I look right then left.
There’s no difference between the paths.
Choosing left, I creep forward. Warmth seeps into every nook and cranny of my skeleton. It eases my aches and pains.
One of my legs slips in a clump of grime.
I catch myself before I fall, but still my pincers tremble. The ground below me is wet. The sides arching around me are slick with grease. I’ve heard of these tunnels. One moment, they’re damp, nothing to worry about. The next, a tidal wave surges toward you, ready to kill. Unwilling to turn back—and away from that precious heat—I speed up.
A flexible fiber almost as thick as one of my legs crosses before me.
I duck under it. A speck of dim light appears in the distance, a beacon calling me home. My legs spring forward with minds of their own. I wait for the slightest vibration, one that could hint of a flash flood. Not that there’s anything I can do if it happens. I’d just like to know when my death is near.
But there’s nothing except the pitter-patter of my eight legs striking into the filth of the tunnel.
The light grows bigger and brighter. It separates itself into twenty different beams poking through twenty different holes. I squeeze myself through one of those holes, scraping most of my knees.
Gentle light bathes me. It’s warm now, warm as an early summer’s day. But it smells wrong. Something like the flowers of my youth, but not.
And there’s not one blade of grass, one fallen leaf, one snapped twig. Just a solid white expanse surrounding me.
My jaws clenched, I rush forward. I must find a hiding place before something dives down and carries me away.
I slip. My abdomen smashes into the ground.
Pain stabs upward, but that’s the least of my worries. I’m immobile with nowhere to hide. Any enemy lurking above would have seen me move.
My breath swells. My pincers flex. It might be a hopeless battle, but I won’t go down without a fight. I wait for the inevitable. I’ve seen it happen to so many of my friends.
But nothing changes.
I pull myself together. I can’t hide, so I must move. It might attract unwanted attention, but I must escape. Finding cover is my top priority. Even crawling at an aphid’s pace is better than staying here exposed. I inch one leg a whisker forward, then the next and the next. I creep along the smooth surface, searching for an escape. Finding an area that slopes upward, I begin to climb, one careful leg at a time.
Too-bright yellow light blinds me.
I can’t breathe. I can’t move. My thorny hairs bristle. I prepare to fight once more.
A roll of thunder vibrates up my legs, shaking my core. I brace myself for the flood.
Something swoops down toward me.
A foul stench bursts from my abdomen. My jaws open, ready to clamp down on anything they can reach.
The thing disappears. I swing my head back and forth, but I can’t find it. I take a step forward, then another.
The ground beneath me quivers, more gentle than the thunder from before, but no less terrifying.
Something sweeps down again. Before I can get my jaws around any part of it, the thing collides with me. Agony bursts up one of my legs. I tumble down, down, down. My remaining legs scramble for purchase, but they slide and slide.
I crash into the unyielding ground. A swaying motion throws me into a corner with borders as hard as rocks. My seven intact legs dig in, protecting me from my swinging world. My last leg lies limp. Pain pounds up it, but I can’t think about that now.
If this is what being eaten alive feels like, it’s not as bad as I thought.
The swaying motion stops. A blast of cold air hits me. It numbs my throbbing leg.
The ground begins swinging again. Only this time it feels different. More hurried. But maybe that’s the frigid air swirling around me.
The movement hitches.
The ground lurches beneath me.
The world turns upside down.
I lose my hold.
Again, I tumble down.
This time, I crash into something familiar: the rigid ice coating the snow. It knocks the wind out of me. My abdomen pulses with pain. I cower. Again, I’m out in the open. Again, I’m out in the cold.
And yet, my heart pumps out hope. I know this place. I will find cover here. I will find food here. As long as the cold doesn’t kill me first.