I’ve brought it upon myself. I thought it was dancing. I’m so sorry.
Martha didn’t want to die. She loved life, cherished it even! As a vegetarian, Martha valued the sanctity of all living creatures indiscriminately. It was this reverence that made Martha sure she would meet her end. Martha did a bad thing.
I better cancel the roller derby, Martha thought to herself. She didn’t know exactly when she would die, but it seemed unlikely that she would last the week.
It had been an ordinary Wednesday. Martha prepared for her shower. As she turned to grab the faucet, she saw the blur that would ultimately be the undoing of her life: the spider. Martha never meant to kill it. Heck, she thought she was saving it, but Martha thought many wrong things during her time on earth.
Martha was afraid of spiders, but she didn’t think she was better than them. For this reason, she decided to trap and release the worthy little terror. She picked up a container ten times the spider’s circumstance and trapped it. It should have gone fine, but Martha, devoid of even average hand-eye coordination, sliced off its leg.
She didn’t realize it at first. She pulled out her phone and began triumphantly live-streaming. “I saved a spider!” She captioned the post. The spider itself seemed to be jubilant, dancing around its new little ring. Martha danced with it until suddenly, it tucked in all ‘seven’ of its legs and stopped moving. Hmm, must be the song. She thought. But when Iggy Azalea’s Black Widow failed to get a reaction, she realized what had happened. She had just watched a spider die in real-time, and filmed the whole thing. She smiled at a spider while it died.
So horrified at the atrocity she had committed, Martha accepted her obvious fate: karmic retribution. She knew she would die by spider. She deserved it. With that, she got her things in order.
The roller derby would be the hardest thing to leave behind, so she was glad she got that out of the way first. Next, she thought about her local library. I better turn in my library card. She had only borrowed a book twice, but it seemed unsafe to leave that account open, lest someone assume her identity, borrow, and keep Charlotte’s Web. The irony was too much to bear. She realized then too, that she had never joined a book club. She always saw herself as someone who would eventually do that. Realizing they could take her lack of participation personally, Martha decided to be proactive. She reached out to three local groups and two virtual, letting them know what was to come and why they would never meet her. It’s not you, it’s the spider, she explained.
Then she thought about her job. She had a big deadline on Friday and surely they would miss her. Consider this my seven(ish) hour notice. Martha was a big part of the team, after all, it was her company. Sure, she had institutional knowledge and access to vital documents that couldn’t be replaced, but she thought what they would miss the most was her wisdom. Remember to love your heart. Take your own breath away. She continued until the one-liners stopped flowing and ultimately sent a three-page long email without a single paragraph break. Noticing this, Martha reflected on her impending break, the break between her hip socket and her left leg, just like the spider. Martha couldn’t figure out how a spider was going to sever her leg, but nonetheless, it felt like poetry.
Finally, Martha thought about her family. What would they think when they inevitably saw her death live-streamed on a spider’s Instagram account? Martha gasped for a moment. What if spiders use TikTok? She thought of her teenage cousins and the blow they would feel. Martha reminded herself that the spider’s family probably felt that same way. She knew the best thing she could do for her family was to give them the peace of mind that Martha deserved her murder. She grabbed red lipstick out of the medicine cabinet and held it to her chest, manslaughterer, she wrote. In case this wasn’t enough, she grabbed cheese from the fridge. She wanted her family to remember that she still ate dairy and perhaps had this coming all along. Martha laid on the bathroom floor with cheese along all of her pulse points. “I’m ready!” She screamed.
Martha waited. She waited a long time. She waited so long that she became hungry. One final snack can’t hurt. Martha rose to her feet and began descending the stairs. She grabbed the railing and felt something furry. She jumped and screamed “Spide—!”
Jaclyn is a writer/producer with an obsession for all things funny. She lives in the greater NYC area and spends her days receiving unsolicited advice from her small children as to how she can make her jokes “punch harder”. She Directs and Produces for one of GOLD comedy’s Digital Sketch Teams and aspires to do exactly what she’s doing now.