All week long Wiki hunted the spider. He knew its scent, dry and desiccated like a cicada casing, faintly ashy from hanging out in the flue. He searched, he stalked; he lay in wait still as a statue for hours near the fireplace, by the dining room window where he'd picked up the spider's scent Wednesday afternoon.
Friday morning a hastily spun web caught his right ear as he shook his paws stepping out of his litter box in the back hall. He whirled, ready to pounce, and heard only an echo of Eight Eyes' laughter coming from -- the sun porch!
The door to the sun porch had a glass top half. The tallest thing in the hallway was the old microwave cart Cary parked outside the kitchen. An ivy plant in a blue ceramic teacup sat on the top of the cart. It was a tight space, but if he gauged it just right....
Wiki dug his back claws into the braided rug in front of his box and vaulted onto the cart. He turned carefully to avoid knocking the plant onto the floor and saw the spider swinging by a thread of silk from the ceiling in the sun porch.
How did you get out there? Wiki growled.
Wouldn't you like to know, furball?
Little chilly out there for the likes of you, isn't it?
I find it bracing.
The furnace cycled. The blower came on, and warm air fluttered up from the wall vents in the hallway. From the vents Cary kept open all winter on the sun porch, too, stirring the silk suspending Eight Eyes on the other side of the window.
I've got the world on a string, the spider sang, his voice raspy enough to pass for Frank Sinatra past his prime.
Wiki hissed. If I promise not to eat you will you stop singing?
Eight Eyes started on the second verse. Wiki raced into the bedroom. He snagged the spread with his claws, tugged it down and stuck his head under Cary's pillow to drown out the spider's voice.