Saving Sonny From the Spider
I’m pounding on the door, screaming Sonny’s name. “Let me in! Sonny, for the love of God, let me in!” He’s sobbing now, big thick chunks of uncontrollable sorrow. I think I’m about to lose my mind. Where’s a fire axe when you need one?
Carlo and Thug #2 and Dale are all crowded behind me now, practically breathing down my neck. Carlo is yelling at Sonny. “What the fuck are you doing? Get out here, you asshole!” That isn’t helping any, Sonny’s just wailing louder.
His yelling, coupled with Sonny’s misery, sets me off. Without thinking, I grab Carlo by the front of his shirt and yank him away from the door. My fist finds his nose. Before I can blink, he’s crumpled on the floor, blood pooling on the worn carpet. "That will come back to haunt you," I think to myself, before I dismiss him, turning my attention back to Sonny and the Curious Dilemma of the Locked Door.
Why am I thinking like I’m in the middle of an Erle Stanley Gardner novel, for Christ’s sake? I’m neither a slick attorney nor a wise private eye. Hell, I ain’t even worthy to be Della Street!
Just when I’m debating with myself whether my shoulder can knock down the door and not crush Sonny in the process, it flies open, and I half tumble into the bathroom. An hysterical Sonny grabs me so tightly around the neck I’m in imminent danger of choking to death.
“It’s okay, it’s okay,” I attempt to soothe him, “I’m here, Sonny.”
He’s holding his wrist up, waving it about like it’s on fire, so I have to assume that’s where the bite is. When I can get him to hold it still, I squint at it, but honestly, I don’t see anything. “Where’s the spider, Sonny?”
“It’s in… it’s in…. the … bathtub…,” he manages to choke out.
Okay, Tim, think. What is the treatment for black widow bite? Is it venomous? It is, isn’t it? What does that mean? I try to remember the First Aid class I took at Summer Camp once, but nothing of any use is coming back to me. I have to play it safe, then, I have to get Sonny to the hospital, and quickly. I have no time for these assholes and their stupidity.
Maybe we should take the spider with us. Maybe they can make anti-venom from it, or something. Assuming I can even find it. With the noise Sonny’s been making, he’s probably scared it back to wherever it came from. But it’s worth a try.
I kiss Sonny, putting some oompf into it. Just to keep him quiet is what I tell myself. But if that’s the case, then why the tongue? His wails become sobs, and sniffles, so I let go and dive into the bathtub. No, not literally.
To my surprise, it’s still there. Well, that’s one good thing. What can I use to pick it up and carry it in? Of course, toilet paper! I yank out a good sized length of the stuff, wishing it were thicker than the cheap two ply these kidnappers seem to favor, and cautiously move toward the little bugger. Closer. Closer now. Almost there. Damn, he’s moving!
Afraid that he’s about to jump on me, I pounce, and now he’s safe inside this little nest. Shivering at my near fatal experience, I pull back the toilet paper just enough to ascertain that it is…
A garden variety Daddy long legs. What the hell? I start to remonstrate with Sonny for scaring the life out of me, for seeing hourglasses where they don’t exist, for thinking he’s possibly dying, when suddenly my brain actually kicks in and I begin to get a glimmer of an idea.
I know it’s not a black widow, but they don’t.
I muffle the corpse of the late non-black widow inside the tissue nest, and hold my spare hand out to Sonny. I can’t tell him the truth—you know what a big mouth he has. He’d broadcast the fact, and then where’d we be? Back up Shit Creek, that’s where. So please forgive me for not easing his mind right away, it’s a necessary evil.
“C’mon baby,” I coo, “Tim’ll take care of you.” I get him to his feet and he hugs me around the waist. I feel bad for the deception, but if it’ll get us out of here, it’s gonna be worth it. I can make it up to him later.
By this time, Carlo’s standing upright once again, and Thug #2 is dabbing at his bloody face. The same face which is glowering at me. I take a deep breath. I gotta get past him, no matter what, so I’ve got to be believable.
“Sonny’s got himself bit by a black widow, I have to get him to the emergency room. Now!” As if on cue (I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d tried), Sonny begins to quiver and shake. I’m half afraid he’s going to throw up, but it serves to make him look ill—that and the clammy look his skin’s gone.
I pray that this ploy will work, just long enough to get us out the door and to the car. Of course I have no intention of going to the ER, there’s no reason to. Sonny’s fine, just scared, and the sooner we’re out of here the better.
I brazenly push past Carlo and #2, Sonny huddled in my grasp, ignoring Dale, who looks like a gaping fish. Let him deal with them. This is his situation, after all. Something about my tone, or my words, or maybe the serious look on my face, has everyone doing their best impression of statuary of the Easter Island variety. Good. I think we can pull this off.
Out the door, down the walk, in the car. Start the car, Tim, and drive! Then I hear the rear car door slam!
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