Who decides what it means to be brave? Everyone’s definition of facing and enduring danger or pain is different.
Am I considered brave and casual—that I tackle bravery casually even though I may or may not be freaking out inside? Or is it the other way around? Like I’m a cool and casual guy, but also act brave?
I feel like I’m just casual and find myself in situations that require me to be brave—but does anyone really consider that I am being brave? Or do they just think that I’m living my life—casually? But that’s just the nature of my world.
I didn’t choose this life. This life chose me.
A casual act of bravery. What does that even mean? Wouldn’t it have to circumstantial to be an act of bravery? Or something exceptional?
Maybe it’s both?
Well, that’s exactly the situation I found myself in recently. And no, I didn’t mean when I was explaining it to you a moment ago, haha.
I was trekking through some humid and tropical terrain a week ago and found myself island hopping. I’m not exactly a nervous type, and I like to think I can handle things quite well, but so far the transportation was giving me grief. The rapid take-offs on the plane were one thing...
Currently, I was aboard a massive speed boat, getting tossed by waves, feeling like it could flip at any moment, my stomach clenching with each bump as we throttled over the ocean. Meanwhile the cabin crew was playing a cheesy movie called Kung Fu Yoga to keep the passengers entertained, or distracted.
Jeeze. So lame. But I had to admit, it was working. I was slightly less aware of my possible impending doom. It’s not like there was anything else to do on this boat except sit shoulder to shoulder to the other passengers. We were a giant can of sardines. But something did smell fishy…and it wasn’t any of the proverbial sardines.
Was it the ocean? No.
Was the question rhetorical? No.
Was it a metaphorical statement? Yes.
I just had this off feeling ever since I settled down in my spot. At first I thought that it was nervousness from an unfamiliar mode of transportation, but even when I was distracted by the movie and the ocean was relatively calm, my spidey senses were tingling.
I needed to address my feelings—knew I had to check things out.
I decided to scope the boat for any suspicious activity. Jumping down from my vantage point at the back, I scurried across the floor, trying to remain inconspicuous, dodging the odd passenger that happened to be standing—even though I’m sure the sign said that passengers should remain seated during the trip.
However, I too ignored the sign, but felt confident that I needed to investigate—some kind of trouble was afoot—and I’d say things might be a bit more dangerous in this part of the world. But what did I really know—I had only been here for about a week after all.
Knowing there was nothing strange going on in the cabin, I climbed the stairs to the deck. My little lungs were heaving—those were some steep stairs. Sometimes I felt out of shape, but reminded myself that I’m just small, and this is a giants’ world. And yet I still wanted to protect them.
The sun beamed over my body, warming me. It was quite relaxing actually, but I couldn’t let myself be distracted and succumb to its pleasant rays. It was only a matter of time before the heat would burn me up anyway if I was out too long.
So, which way? Left or right? I could feel the vibrations of the engines to the right so I decided to turn left and visit the bow. Maybe I’d be able to eavesdrop on the crew, see if they knew anything about anything. To see if they knew what was going on today.
Scouting the deck, I saw the lane was clear and I hurried forward, making sure that I didn’t lurch into the ocean. But I was confident, my feet had pretty good grip—if I do say so myself. I didn’t encounter anyone.
I supposed that was a good sign. If no one was loitering around, that narrowed the risk factor a bit, and would make my job easier to solve the mystery.
I finally reached the bridge, practically, wheezing, so I decided to cool off a bit before began to infiltrate. Hmm, no one in sight except the captain.
Hmm, where was the rest of the crew? I hadn’t seen any members in the cabin earlier.
I inched closer, pressed against the glass, scoping out the surroundings.
AH! We hit a wave and I hurtled to the floor tucked in a ball. Thankfully my legs sprung to catch me—told you I had good grip.
I crawled to the crack of the door and tried to listen for voices but only heard the sound of the hull pummeling each wave as it rode over it. And, I noticed, I felt calm.
The only conclusion I could make was that everything on this end was A-OK.
Alright, it was time to check out the back. I inched along the floor, close to the wall to avoid drawing any attention to myself. Again the path was clear so I was safe.
The vibrations from the engines intensified. I had to practically cling to the walls for support. I crossed the entrance to the cabin stairs and headed to the rear. I was bound to find something there.
I stumbled upon a door that was slightly ajar. Should that be so right now? Why wouldn’t it be closed?
My spidey senses tingled.
I knew at once I had to see what was behind the door. Carefully, I slipped in between the small opening and into the compartment.
Huh. I was greeted by piles of luggage. I understood. This was the cargo hold—where all the backpacker and tourist bags were stored for the voyage.
A laugh caught my attention and I froze. What was going on in here? I poked my head up and saw a couple of crew members tossing something to each other. What the?
I couldn’t hear what they were saying over the noise of the engines, but I could see that they were rummaging through personal belongings and stealing!
This was wrong! I knew I had to stop them. Those poor giants were helpless in defending their belongings. How long would it be until they realized something was missing? I wouldn’t stand for it! Even if they hadn’t always treated me the greatest…
It’s OK. I’d just be an invisible hero. I’d be fine with that.
My only real options was to alert the passengers. To do that, I’d have to be brave. I focused myself and began to crawl toward the two crewmen. I knew what I had to do. I would have to ambush them.
Now that I was closer, I needed a vantage point. Just a little higher so I could drop in and scare them.
I began to climb, slowly, steadily, patiently. I was a speck on the while white wall, so I had to be extra careful to not be spotted.
Their voices in the background told me they were still caught up in their own world. Perfect. They wouldn’t suspect me.
My spidey senses jolted me as another jeer from a crewman echoed in the cargo hold. This time, the hairs on my body stiffened and I braced myself against the ceiling. We were still being tossed about in the ocean after all, and I would likely have only have one chance to catch them off guard. One chance that could lead to my demise. What else could I do?
But it would be worth it. I was getting old, and it might be worth it to go out with a bang. But, I could also live to tell the tale. I would be a little dare devil.
Why not? Life was too short—and plus, I had to stop the ongoing looting. Oops, my bad for getting distracted with the meaning of life.
Alright, update: I was tethered to the ceiling, mounted perpendicular to the floor. Ready to drop in, Tom Cruise Mission Impossible style—to the best of my ability. But I think I could swing it. Agent Hunt, to the rescue.
I positioned myself optimally making sure they still hadn’t seen me. Excellent. I was ready.
Dropping in 3, 2, 1.
I pushed off, still tethered to the ceiling as a safeguard. I was free-falling. My legs were spread as wide as possible. I scanned for the optimal surface. I had to make the landing impactful. My target presented itself at once.
The flesh was sensitive enough to feel my agile touch, which would certainly cause alarm. I just had to be smart about my move after that. I could easily fall victim to death if I wasn’t fast enough.
Bracing for impact in 3, 2, 1.
I landed on the crewman but he wasn’t aware of me yet—this is where I had a second or two. I had to scurry across his neck, then leap off before he could swat me.
“Aaah!” A high-pitched scream ripped through the hold, about four octaves higher than his regular voice.
I felt the swing of his arm even before he did. I gathered all the momentum I had and sprung sideways to safety.
The air his hand sliced through attacked and propelled me farther than anticipated. I almost slammed into the wall. But, as that happened, the crewman fell backward.
“What is it?” the other asked in a panic.
“Spider!” my victim cried, continuing to swat at himself, adding a yelp with each slap.
I latched onto the nearest wall, thankful I’d avoided the Hand. I hoped that my actions had been enough to spur interest in what these two were up to.
The other crewman started howling, but to me his laughter sounded more like bloody murder. “I don’t see any spider.”
“I felt it!” the first man insisted and the other kept laughing.
Drats! I thought and scurried up the wall. Maybe, just maybe…
Kowabunga! I lunged again, this time aiming for crewman number two. He would feel my wrath, too!
I landed in his hair and scrambled to find my grip. It was so shiny. My feet slipped a few times before I was able to get a proper hold. I did a quick check to ensure I was still undetected. Then, I rappelled down to his neck, also skirting across and tickling his exposed skin.
Another scream ripped through the chamber as I fired a thread of silk at the wall to help me escape the human. I immediately scrambled to nearest corner. It was time to camouflage or get out. Judging by their reactions, they hadn’t seen where I’d flown off to. Phew.
BANG! The door crashed open and a couple of tourists appeared.
“Is everything alright?”
“We heard screams!”
“Are you going through our stuff?”
There was some heated discussion to follow, but I knew that my job here was done. I caught my breath as I inched across the ceiling, hoping to remain anonymous. Once I got out of here, I could find a better hiding spot until we were at the destination island.
As I perched atop the deck and the salty breeze caressed me, I thought about my act of bravery. Had I been brave and faced fear because I could? Had I done it in service of others? I mean I was feeling pretty casual, but who was there to tell me what was what.
Brave and acting casual, or casual but acting brave?
Who really knows—but this spider has other things to think about now. So I’ll let you be the judge of that.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.
I like that it’s a prankster spider. I knew something was odd from about the middle but it took me a bit longer to work it out. Great story. Spiderman fan?
Thanks for checking it out! I'm not really a superhero fan, actually. I just wanted to write something ridiculous and that's what came to me first :)
I loved the imagining of the spider as Tom Cruise Mission:Impossible. Awesome!
Hahaha thank you!
Fun story. You have a unique style and voice, it’s great. The ‘Kowabunga!’ was enjoyable, among lots of other things. And very cool you released your book on 2/22/22 - I’ll be checking it out.
Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you found it amusing. 2 is my favorite number, so it had to be done! I appreciate you taking the time to get curious :)
You’re very welcome! 7 is mine, but waiting for 7/7/77 could prove problematic lol. My pleasure :)