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A Study in Scarlet Tarantula
A Study in Scarlet Tarantula
John Mundy
Published by Montag
A Study in Scarlet Tarantula


It sits on my great oak desk.

A Scarlet Tarantula,
Larger than a man's fist,
Beautiful as a ruby,
I have no idea where It came from.

Perhaps I found It the day I wandered
Aimlessly, deep in the Forest,
Seeking the cool green shadows of the Wood
Desperate for distraction
From the mad pounding in my skull

Perhaps I found It there--by chance--
Amidst the ring of black misshapen stones
That the old men and women fear;
Even though their superstitions
Meant nothing to me…

Strange...but I can’t recall…..


It isn’t of the Theraphosidae family,
And the resemblance is vague at best
But my fondness for arachnids must be humored!
This morning I awoke to find Its great spidery legs,
(Cruelly adorned with glistening razor sharp barbs!),
Gone, withdrawn in some mysterious fashion,
Tucked neatly into a segmented body that felt warm to touch.
(Possibly some internal clockwork mechanism?)
I do not understand Its intricate construction
Its materials are of an uncertain nature
Its amazing prismatic properties are perverse, mysterious
The translucent hairlike filaments are a craftsman’s triumph
I study It. Delicately. Respectfully.
I fear harming it with my clumsy fumblings.
During the course of such investigations
It amuses me to pretend I am examining
An animate living thing...


O how my Scarlet Tarantula blazes at night
With such a fierce inner light!

At sunset It glows with an unearthly beauty
Crouched on the great desk,
The heavy curtains drawn;
Its hues bleed and mingle

Rhythmically It pulses,
A lambent heart of feverish
And impossible
From a body once again
Warm to the touch.

And at such moments,
Against all logic and sanity,
I feel It to be indeed a living thing...
And a living thing that Dreams…


As I sleep Its dreams bleed into my nightmares:

Jagged rotting moons rising
In the infinite blackness of a starless sky
Above a land of cruel extremes,
Ravaged by great and eternal storms;
From frozen massifs to vast plains of scarlet snow
To the boiling rivers of poison far beyond
Where sleek, wickedly-fashioned creatures
War with nameless Colossi for survival in a hell world.
Here far beyond the frozen wastelands
On the heat-blasted shores of black oceans
Mad life in multitudinous Forms:
Running crawling hopping
Slithering flying swimming

And all these Horrors now fear a new Horror,
A greater Horror, not native to their world.


In these visions I have learned much.

The Tarantula sleeps for great intervals of Time
But when it wakes It must Hunt.
Softly, It hums through my Dreams
It meditates as it rests
A state neither sleep nor waking
Dreaming meditating humming.
The humming is low,
Almost musical,
Haunting, hypnotic,
It must use this lulling sound
To...when It wakes…
It must...

(My thoughts: dull; confused;
These past days I’ve felt...strangely...
Perhaps... the aura of incipient migraine...?)

Last night I began to feel...a concern:
Its colors are paling
The bright vermilion fading
I don’t know how to help it…
How to restore the Scarlet Beauty

It will awaken soon (I feel certain of it!)
It will do what It must
I can't seem to remember—
Once I knew what It did when It woke.


It is Awake!


It is am I at last!
My mind is clear; unclouded;
I understand how wrong,
Dreadfully wrong I’ve been
No longer a need for It to Hunt or Feed!
The Great Cycles of rest and feeding are done.
Neither artifact, nor mechanical construct,
Nor simple living organism,
The abomination is an evolutionary adaptation,
A Horror that somehow found Its way to our world...
How could I or anyone have guessed?
Even that hell planet must have been Paradise to It!
It was mad evolution’s terrible answer
To survival on an insanely inhospitable world.

It Awoke...and I saw...
The Opening.

I watched as the legs slowly extended;
Delicately, like a cat lazily stretching after a nap.
The posterior segment of the bristled body rose
Vibrating as the front legs twitched;
Twitched and—with an almost mechanical whirring--
Elongated and rotated upward
To achieve position for their ultimate purpose:
For with the precision of surgical tools
The legs cut, opened and peeled back
The glistening, pulsing, vermilion upper surface
(So like a Tarantula’s prosoma and opisthosoma!)
Revealing the terrible darkness within,
Not empty but bursting with microscopic life,
The darkness of a multitude, a legion
Of Nightmares Unspeakable, nightmares now incarnate;
A darkness soon to feed in unimaginable ways
To grow to horrors of unimaginable size and potency

And shrieking, I fled from that horror-choked study
And the hideous black swarm vomited forth:
That black cloud pouring
Like an infinite sea
From the Scarlet Egg.

A Study in Scarlet Tarantula: a ballad
Thanks From:
Doctor Dugald Eldritch (08-14-2016)


scarlet, study, tarantula

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Style Based on SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER as Published by Silver Scarab Press
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