Peephole: A short story

I wrote this back in 2006. I don’t even know what inspired it. A friend and former co-worker reminded me of it, so I thought I would share for the masses (at least the tiny group that will ever read my blog).
Enjoy! And thanks Lisa Mason for the inadvertent reminder!

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It was 9:30am. A time of productivity for some but not for Jason. He was sleeping happily — his mind telling a tale of naked tennis stars, with him as a ballboy, to keep itself occupied while the body rested. The score was 40-30 when an odd bell sound shattered his pseudo-reality. Groggily, he got his bearings in time to hear it again. It was the doorbell, announcing an unexpected visitor. As Jason worked from home, this usually meant UPS or FedEx was delivering something that he could turn into money. Money being good, he conquered his equilibrium and got up.

“Be right there!” he yelled, hoping the delivery person would hear it and not run off hastily with his perceived Christmas in August offering. Tossing on a t-shirt and some elastic-waist shorts (inside out, but it’s not like the guy would notice), Jason strode to the door.

This being LA, he didn’t take anything for granted, so he peered through the peephole. Oddly, there was something obscuring much of his view. He could make out the visitor’s face but not the uniform as there was something in the peephole blocking it. In his tired state, he continued to stare, waiting for this puzzle to solve itself. It did. The obstruction got larger, making his view darker.

All of a sudden, he felt sharp pains on his eyeball and again on his cheekbone. He fell backwards and clawed at his face in a panic as he hit the floor. He screamed for help and made out a voice on the other side of the wall; he was in too much pain to decipher it. All around him things were closing down, like he was seeing his whole life through that peephole. The pain hit once more in his nostril as he felt a tickling in his nose — the last thing he ever felt. The spider had found a new home. This was much cozier than that peephole.

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