|(J.J. Harrison. Wiki.)|
Dade McCorkindale burst into the maternity ward, still flicking at his phone. Momentarily distracted by his shit-ticket-tracker app, he made a mental note that they were down to the last two rolls of toilet paper. He never would have known that otherwise, just one of the many benefits of modern telephone-science.
His wife Dee’s pale, oval visage swung to him and his heart leapt strangely. She was a real trooper.
In her arms was the newborn. He stood at the edge of the bed as a nurse bustled around on the other side.
Dee lifted the bundle in his direction.
Warm in his arms, and surprisingly heavy, they already had a name picked out.
“It’s a girl.” The nurse looked at him proudly, as if she’d done the deed herself. “Eight pounds nine ounces.”
Dade had the phone tucked awkwardly in between this ear, neck and shoulder area, waiting for Solly Melman, the famous Hollywood agent, to come on the line.
“Miss Muffett!” Little Miss Muffett.
His heart pounded. He could hear the blood streaming through his ears, but this was just so real.
Dee smiled tiredly, too wrung out by the ordeal of childbirth, plus all those drugs, to argue with Dade.
“Look at that little nose.” He eyed Dee and the nurse. “Has she opened her eyes up yet?”
They shook their heads, eyes shining with womanly emotions.
It was too bad.
The phone dropped and he cursed, but stopped abruptly.
He put the baby on his wife’s arm and shoulder area, and stooped to pick up the device. All it had was a dial tone. Thoughtfully, he snapped it shut and put it in a side pocket.
He stood looking at his daughter. Then, as a hint of sadness crossed Dee’s face, he took the edges of the blanket and pulled them back.
“Oh, magnificent. Magnificent.” He looked up at the nurse, beaming down and making goo-goo-ga-ga noises at the child, who appeared impervious to her wiles.
Miss Muffett’s eight hairy legs, three joints on each one, with a small thorax, the big abdomen, and the vestigial mouthparts, were just adorable.
The phone buzzed in his pocket as he gazed open-mouthed at the fruition of all his life-long dreams and ambitions. The technology was there, and with the right people behind them, a deal had been made.
Now he and Deirdre had a spider-baby.
His wife put the wrappings back on and brought the child’s oddly-formed mouth to her breast, which she exposed.
Licking his lips, he answered the call.
It was Melman.
“Solly! Have I got some sweet news for you!”
“So it’s all right then? How’s the kid? How’s the mother?”
“Fine, fine. Better than expected. So…what’s up?”
“Oh, ah…the kid’s okay? It’s going to live and everything?”
“Yeah! It’s going to live.” Dade gave the nurse a big thumbs-up as she left the room.
“Okay…okay then. I will let them know, ah, okay?”
A ten-million dollar advance. In the bag. Yes!
“We need the first three chapters straight away so our ghost-hack can get to work.”
“Sure! No problem.” His neighbour was onboard already, he was functionally literate, as Dade didn’t bother with such things himself.
He had bigger fish to fry.
“Uh…bye, Dade. Say hi to the wife for me.”
Dade bit his lip in sheer excitement.
“Yeah—I’ll do that.”
He snapped the phone off again.
“Congratulations, honey. It’s in the bag.” She was right out of it.
His eyes softened.
Spider-baby made little sucking noises, as she took in the essence of life from her mother’s milk.
Here is the trailer for a 1964 film called ‘Spider Baby,’ starring Lon Chaney.