Spider man

They called him the spider man. This was back before everything else, and not for the reason you might think. Kids are cruel, especially on this apartment block. He was a little guy but his limbs belonged on a basketball player. Might’ve had a disorder. Polite guy, all things considered.

I don’t know what got him started, but before long we saw it everywhere. It wasn’t weaving, more like a mixture of crochet, knotting, and netting. We found them in plain cotton, jute, even plastic clothesline at first. He branched out. Some people woke up to cars completely wrapped. The path out looked like a suspension bridge. We were uneasy, but thought it was a public art thing. Lord knows he could blow off steam, the kids were getting worse. Spider man had his groceries delivered, and that’s where they struck. Hard.

Even if he was a bad kid, I don’t think Leon deserved it. He might’ve instigated things, but like most teenagers he was more talk than anything. When people with commutes walked out that morning, they smacked right into Leon’s corpse, dangling in the pre-dawn light. Sewing thread. Whoever got him up there did a meticulous job.

The cops knocked on his door, but he wasn’t living like a man anymore. We’d find traces of him in the vents, must’ve lost a lot of weight to get in there. Nights we’d hear him thumping around, propelling himself along with his limbs. The air stank like a hamster cage. We found the super stitched to his recliner.

Folks panicked, packed U-hauls. The night before the mass exodus we kept our curtains closed as we listened him scuffling around the outside of the building. The next day never came. We woke to dark and pulled the curtains back to find his masterpiece.

People tried everything, even the roof access, but whatever he worked with held pretty damn tight. Folks in 31-C tried smashing a window, but that only let him in. We kept their door barricaded after that.

Every day gets a little darker, bringing more threads and the sight of him crawling on the sides of the building, finally at home.

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