PETER AND SID • by Rena Sherwood

When Peter hit middle age, he was not so bothered by the chatter of insects. As a child, he’d learned really fast that no one wanted to hear his translations of what the bugs were telling each other. Over the years, he’d learned to tune them out the way other proper Englishmen could tune out trains, flatulence and the voices of their wives. But, just occasionally, he couldn’t help but listen.

He watched BBC news, sprawled out on his settee hoping to become a zombie. His roommate Sid rested on his web a few inches above Peter’s left elbow. Sid also liked to watch telly to relax and found a convenient remote control in Peter. Although Sid, a Missing Sector Orb Weaver, spoke arachnid, he knew enough insect for Peter to understand him. It was nice to have a roommate.

Then, the fly bopped in, buzzing, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” in the way flies usually do in summertime. Before Peter could warn the fly, it had smashed head first into Sid’s web. Sid started to instinctively truss the fly up for later.

Peter would usually ignore any bugacide in his living room, but tonight’s world news was full of rape, rampage and refugees. He winced at each new scene. He wanted to wave a magic wand to save all of these innocent victims, but couldn’t.  

And then he realized there was one victim he could save.

“Sid, let him go.”

“Aww, Peter!”

“I’ll give you a Twiglet.”

Sid sighed, “It’s not the same,” but released his supper.

The fly rested on Peter’s warm arm and happily trilled to his new friend, “Way cool! Let’s watch MTV! Britney Spears put out a new video!”


“Eat up, mate,” Peter said, handing the fly back to Sid.

“There seems to be a lesson here, somewhere,” Sid pointed out after supper.

“There most certainly is,” Peter said. “If you like crap pop music, you’ll be eaten by a spider.”

“Works for me, mate.”

Rena Sherwood has lived both homeless in England and homed in America. She has had numerous poems and short stories published in places such as Atomjack, From The Asylum and GlassFire. She hopes to be a white horse when she grows up, but in the meantime is a freelance writer and professional blogger.

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