Polly arrived home exhausted. She slumped into a chair fully determined to read the first three chapters of the newest best-seller entitled Prey Love, Eat. It was the first (and hopefully last) novel written by the Entomological Society of America that chronicled the romantic adventures of an oft-marrying female preying mantis named Nancy during her sojourns through the Olympic Mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Five minutes later she fell asleep and dreamed she was walking through the largest house she had ever seen. The number of cobwebs seemed a bit much and with each passing minute her apprehension grew. Somebody in the house needed her help. She felt the desperation and waning hope of somebody she knew, and as she explored the rooms, the sense of that somebody drew her like a magnet.
She came to a room full of books and an enormous hand-carved wooden table in the center. Beside the table was a chair with purple velvety cushions. She pulled a dusty book from the shelves. It contained nothing but blank pages. She took another and discovered it was blank as well.
‘How remarkably,’ she thought.
She flipped through three more books and discovered they too were blank.
“I must fill these books with words,” she said and sat down to write.
‘Hmm…what to write, what to write?” She thought. “Let’s see. Once upon a time…” Her mind drew a blank. The cobwebs, she noticed, were increasing in number. Her anxiety increased. She started anew and felt something tickle her foot. It was a spider inscribed with the letter E on its abdomen and it was methodically wrapping silk around her toes.
“Eek!” she screamed and beat the creature with the book. Polly carefully tossed the dead spider into the trash only to discover it was not quite as dead as she hoped. Nor was the creature happy. Furthermore, the letter E had been turned upside down, (or she had been looking at it wrong), and was now twice its size. The E was really three letters written in calligraphy and read,
L T J
“Enough is enough,” she said and ran out of the room only to trip over the body of Maurice, laying in a coma, and covered with cobwebs.
She awoke in a cold sweat. The clock read 3:33 A.M. and tears filled her eyes.