I'd like to get off now, please
Thu Nov 30, 2017 22:05

“She’s racist against tarantulas.”

The first thing that Russell processed in this sentence was that Kit did not in fact have a pet spider, but a pet tarantula, which was literally infinite times worse. Spiders had an essence of fragility, easily trapped under a cup or swatted away by a newspaper, and the size of her spider was unsettling but it was still just a spider. But now it was actually a tarantula? How on Earth was that even an acceptable pet to keep at school? Tarantulas were, in his admittedly limited but no less valid knowledge, supposed to be not only bigger than spiders, but smarter and more vicious hunters, not to mention having a longer lifespan than the average spider, whose trajectory was more ‘grow up enough to make your own web and thus attract attention by predators and/or humans and be smushed’. And pets kept by magical owners had side-effects or something, he was pretty sure - cue owls delivering post, or even the (relatively) old age his mice consistently reached. So a magically influenced tarantula? Jeepers.

The second thing that he processed was the meaning of Kit’s actual sentence. “You can’t be racist to tarantulas,” was his confused response. “I mean, tarantulas aren’t a race. Races are for humans. Like, um,” oh no this was a dangerous territory he was being forced into, race topics were so sensitive and had different interpretations and he wasn’t comfortable talking about it, he was well aware that just because he’d kissed a black guy didn’t give him any right to educate others on racial tensions and oh no why was he thinking about kissing, help he was going to start blushing again but he couldn’t stop talking now, “like, you and I, we’re both Caucasian - white - that’s a race. At least according to some people. But there are lots of different races, for example… your other Lyra Beater, Marley Chapman, she’s black. And if you thought that being white made you a better person than her because she’s black, and if you were mean to her because of it, that’s what being racist means.” That was a good explanation, right? Or good-ish? “So if Darlene was being mean to Darby, that’s not racist, because Darby isn’t a human race like Darlene is. Tarantulas are a different species from humans. Maybe tarantulas have their own races and can be racist to each other, but humans can’t be racist to tarantulas… Anyways, I guess you could call Darlene species-ist, but not racist,” he concluded.

A movement caught his eye then, and Russell in turn felt his own eye twitch after noticing how the spider tarantula was acting. It was rubbing its front legs back and forth, like how a human might rub their hands when waiting with decreasing patience. Then it started clicking its giant teeth. The combination of that creepy sound and Darby’s apparent focus on Jaws led Russell to the quick conclusion that Darby was hungry for mouse. He watched in something resembling horror as Kit began petting her tarantula in much the same way one might pet a cat. Petting a cat was somehow a classic pose for comic book villains, but he was pretty sure that Darby was the evil guy in this particular scenario.

He’d missed most of what Kit had said in this time, but caught the tail end, and vigorously shook his head. “No! ...Uh, no thanks,” Russell backtracked, trying to sound polite instead of freaked out, which he was. He was pleasantly surprised to find himself able to pull a decent excuse out of thin air despite the creeps and continued eye-twitches that the hungry, hungry tarantula was causing him. “Mice are sort of nocturnal, so, well, it’s time for Jaws to have a nap now. Nighty-night, buddy.” Reaching up, he tucked Jaws back into his shirt pocket, and did up the little button flap on top for good measure. “I’m gonna go find my books now,” he announced to Kit abruptly, unnecessarily whispering so as not to disturb the mouse, whose ability to fall asleep seemingly on command was probably already being put into use. Nope, the real reason for the whisper was to sneak away from the tarantula. “See you later, I guess?” Offering a very small wave and forced smile, Russell began backing away slowly, one step at a time.

  • Let's enjoy the journey - Kit, Tue Nov 28 10:28
    “She’s racist against tarantulas ,” Kit said, with a tone of patient exasperation. It was a very simple thing to know and Kyle was older than her so he should definitely for sure know that. “Grandpa... more
    • I'd like to get off now, please - Russell, Thu Nov 30 22:05
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