Lisa Buffaloe lives in the DFW area with her husband and teenage son. Her writings appear regularly in The Christian Pulse online magazine and has been featured in Guideposts Online magazine, Angels on Earth magazine, and several other e-zines. She’s a leader for one critique group, attends several others, and is an active member in American Christian Fiction Writers, North Texas Christian Writers, and American Christian Writers. Lisa has led Bible studies, spoken to writers’ groups and women’s groups, and been interviewed on “Today’s Breathing Room.” Her novels have won first and second place for the last two years at the North Texas Christian Writers conference.
Convertible top down in her brand-new red mini-cooper, Ann maneuvered through the rutted dirt road leading to the rustic cottage she’d rented for the summer. Oak trees hanging with moss and a pond home to mallard ducks made for the perfect setting to write her best-selling novel—a romance with knights, maidens, and castles, but definitely no creepy dragons.
She pulled in close to the front door, parked, and breathed deep the fresh country air. Cell service didn’t reach this far, and her land line phone wouldn’t be in until next week. Blissful isolation.
After dinner, she settled in the rocker on the front porch with her laptop and typed away on her latest ideas.
Her knight would bear a striking resemblance to Matthew McConaughey. And of course, her fair maiden, Ann of Brown Gables, would look like herself. Sir Hancelot, a.k.a. Lots of Handsome, would rescue the beauty in distress from the tower where she’d been locked away by the evil stepmother. They would then live happily ever after in their castle by the sea.
She sighed and wiped a tear from her eye. How could a publisher resist such a treasure? With a prayer of gratitude for her incredible God-given writing ability, Ann locked up for the night and put on her silk nighty just in case Sir Hancelot might appear. After a thorough pillow fluffing, she sank into the comfort of her bed and flipped off the light.
Jolted from sleep, Ann’s eyes flew open. She blinked at the night’s darkness, and let her gaze sweep over the bedroom. What had awakened her? The numbers on the nightstand clock glowed 2:13. Her heart slammed against her chest, every muscle tensed.
She wasn’t alone.
Sweat sprang on her forehead. She sucked in air and froze as fear pulsed through her veins. A sensation of slow, steady movement crept up her lower back. Clutching the sheets, she willed herself to be still.
The thing crawled against her bare skin . . . inside her nightgown. She lived in the country, far from the other houses. No one could hear her cry. The feathery touch of the intruder sent terror pounding through her.
It had to be a spider, a big spider. Silent screams laced with prayers for help echoed through her mind. If she rolled over, perhaps she could crush the intruder, but then again, what if it bit her, sank its venomous teeth into her skin? She’d be trapped with some eight-legged fanged monster against her.
The creature stopped. Ann concentrated on slowing her breathing, and hoped the pounding of her heart didn’t alarm the creature. Was it looking for a good place to bite? Panic threatened to send her screaming out into the yard. Oh, God. Oh, God, please help!
The prickle of tiny feet started up again. Another step, then another, moving closer to her neck. Gargantuan spider paused as though getting bearings, pondering where to go next. Would it get tangled in her hair? Or was it going straight for the jugular?
Ann held her breath as the spider paused on her neck, her pulse rushing in her ears. She could feel, hear, sense the thing moving
from her skin to the pillow. How long before it would be far enough away? Tiny thumps, thump, thump, thump, then silence.
With a scream, she shot out of the covers and sprang for the light. Shuddering, she scampered off the bed, swept her arms, legs, body, her hair, and tore off her nightgown.
Where was it?
She yanked up her pillow and banged it against every inch of her bed, then jerked back the covers.
“Help me find it. Please, oh please, God don’t let it get away.” Heart racing, she found the flashlight. She steeled herself, knelt on the floor, and shined the light under her bed. A Smattering of dust bunnies and a web reflected like silver threads. In the corner, something twitched, jolted.
Jumping to her feet, she moved the bed away from the wall, and then searched for a weapon. Where was a man when you needed one? She grabbed a tennis racket and threw herself across the bed.
Her visitor lay on the floor twitching—a wolf spider—big, hairy, non-deadly, but a bite that could pack a painful punch. Racket held high over her head she screamed a war cry. “I’ll show you painful.”
Ewwww! Screaming, she jumped onto the bed.
What was left of the blob on the floor had the audacity to move.
Woozy and a touch nauseous, she swayed and tried to catch her breath. Maybe country living wasn’t such a good idea.
A knock at her front door sent her heart skittering. Racket held high, she wobbled forward on rubbery legs.
“Ann, are you okay?” The voice came from her front porch. No, it couldn’t be. She threw open the door and faced Matthew McConaughey. Sir Hancelot stood there smiling just like he did in his last movie.
But what was that annoying buzzing noise?
Alarm ringing in her ears, she forced open her eyes and blinked in the morning light. Sitting up, she surveyed her surroundings. Relief and disappointment filled her as she fell back on the pillow. At least the spider wasn’t real. As for the knight in shining armor, obviously that would have to stay on the pages of her book. Maybe a dragon wasn’t such a bad idea. A tiny one named Spider, who loves to torment villagers late at night.
How could any publisher resist such a story?