Episode Twenty: Ghosts: Scene 22

It was Mike who had the idea. “Okay, so spiders.”

“It’ll only work if she’s in the US, and who says it’ll be that easy?” My initial hope had drained away.

“Not that many people keep them. And even fewer are serious about it. My ex collected them. She said they’re harder to keep than you think. Tarantulas die if they fall any distance… Also, not necessarily the US.”

I shuddered. “Okay, so spiders are more fragile than we thought. I guess its cockroaches that are tough.”

He laughed. “But she said that the serious spider collectors talk to each other and know each other. Not as much as snake people, mind, with all the weird colors they breed.”

“Weird colors?”

“Yeah. Go online and look up ball python morphs some time. Snakes are basically decorative, so they’re always looking for ways to make them extra pretty. Spiders are creepy. People want the creep factor.”

I considered that, and then nodded a little. “Okay. So…”

“So…she might be my ex but we’re still on speaking terms.”

“Is it wise to tell her?”

“We tell her we’re looking for somebody else’s ex girlfriend who collects spiders,” Mike said, firmly. “African, right?”

I nodded. “Or African-American, but I’m pretty sure she won’t be white.”

“That should narrow it down. Even if she’s in Europe or, heck, the richer parts of Africa, Juvie might be able to find her on the internet.”

“Thanks, Mike. I love you.” I meant it in a platonic way, a friendship way, but I definitely meant it.

“The other approach would be to advertise something rare and African. Getting her to find us does seem more likely.”

I frowned. “That’s of doubtful legality.”

“Then I’ll find somebody who has something rare and African.”

I grinned. “Alright. Are there African tarantulas?”

“She had one. A king baboon tarantula. She was huge. And I was cautioned never to touch her; they have a nasty bite, apparently.”

I hrmed. “Okay. I think that’s enough about spiders.”

He grinned at me. “Why do you think she’s my ex?”

I managed a laugh at that, but I still didn’t want to think too much about huge spiders.

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