The Monster On The Window

Chapter 1

Evie Dunn sat in her bedroom, staring fixatedly at herself in the small mirror which sat on the desk in her bedroom, trying to conceal a small spot which had formed on her right temple with some make-up. Her long, light, brown hair was slightly in the way, but her piercing, blue eyes managed to aid her in finding the inconvenience on her head.

 

Evie was a thirteen-year-old, British girl, born to her father, Jason Dunn, and her mother, Maria Dunn. Her mother was half-English and half-Italian, making Evie one-quarter-Italian, but no-one could tell that she had Italian heritage from looking at her. In fact, Evie wasn’t even sure whether or not anyone outside of her family knew that she was one-quarter-Italian. She had slightly-tanned skin, some light, barely-noticeable freckles on either of her cheeks, and her teeth were teetering towards being stereotypically-British. She only had her father to thank for the fact that she was going to need braces soon.

 

Despite the fact that her family shared the same name, however, her father wasn’t around anymore. Evie hadn’t been told why, but one day, after having arrived at home from school, Maria had tearfully and shakily explained that the two of them would be moving to the state of Michigan in the United States of America, and that Evie’s father wouldn’t be joining them. Evie could only assume that her father had abandoned them for whatever reason, maybe that he’d been killed given that he was a police detective, and that grief was the thing which was keeping Maria from changing their last names to her maiden name. That assumption, however, had only formulated after three months of being father-less. Thinking about the lack of Jason in her life just pained her too much to allow for her to dwell on any ideas, no matter how farfetched they were, that also being the thing which was keeping her from asking her mother about the details.

 

A sudden, dull thud came from Evie’s window, making her jump lightly before she swivelled her head to the right, gazing at the suction-tipped, foam bullet which had attached itself to the outer-most pane of glass.

 

Tara.

 

Evie slid from the seat by her desk and opened the window, sliding it upwards, before reaching outside and grasping the foam bullet, taking a second to aim a moment before she tossed it back to Tara.

 

Tara was the girl who lived next-door to Evie. She was also the first friend whom Evie had made since having moved to Michigan, something which Evie was incredibly thankful of. Tara was a sweet girl and had made such an effort to indoctrinate Evie into her friend-group, having succeeded and provided Evie with the only thing which she’d been the most scared of being absent in her new life away from home: friends.

 

“Nice throw!” Tara exclaimed in surprise as the foam bullet bounced on her windowsill and into Tara’s bedroom, her green eyes wide in amazement, her bob-cut, neck-length, blonde hair bouncing as if she was a cartoon character. She quickly turned and yanked the bullet from the ground before sliding it back into her gun. “Better than it was a month ago.”

 

“Well, you know that I’ve never been into sports, so what d’you expect?” Evie replied, grinning, slightly smug at the fact that she’d made the shot. For the majority of the times when she’d previously attempted to do the same thing- which had been at least twice a day for what was nearing three months, almost the entirety of the time that Evie had lived in Michigan- she’d missed and either she or Tara would be forced to enter the side-stretches of either of their gardens to retrieve the bullet. Once, they’d never even found it.

 

Tara grinned back, aware of Evie’s glee, and so she quickly lifted the toy gun and fired another bullet- possibly the same one which had just been between the two houses- directly at Evie, barely missing Evie’s head as it shot past her and attached itself to her white-painted, built-in wardrobe.

 

“Nearly,” Evie commented as if she was some-sort of connoisseur of firing a toy gun, quickly darting to her wardrobe to grab the bullet before returning to the window and tossing it back, the bullet barely reaching Tara’s window and avoiding falling to the ground between the sides of their houses.

 

“You should really get one of these,” Tara stated, grabbing the bullet and sliding it back into the toy before holding the gun a little into the air as if needing to clarify what she was talking about, though Evie interpreted the movement as a light taunt, as if Tara was trying to say- in a friendly way, of course- “I have one, you don’t.”

 

Evie shrugged. “I’ll ask for one for Christmas, I guess.”

 

“But that’s months away,” Tara groaned. She’d been growing more and more anxious for the two of them to have a simulated war between the two houses, a game in-mind about how they could make a course between them with checkpoints, the objective for both of them being to advance into the other’s bedroom, every time they’d get shot by one of the harmless bullets pushing them back by one checkpoint. Granted, Evie did like the idea of it, but Tara only had one gun and Maria didn’t have enough money to spend on a toy for Evie.

 

Having been left husband-less and on the other side of the world, Maria had been starting to struggle financially. She hadn’t been able to continue with the career-path which she’d been following in England, and so she’d been forced to apply for the first job which she’d found: a bartender in a restaurant. As a result, though they could get-by somewhat reliably with the occasional hiccup, Maria didn’t have enough money to be able to rationalise impulsively spending more than twenty dollars on something which neither she nor Evie truly needed. She didn’t even have a car, being picked-up and dropped-off every day for work instead of being able to drive herself.

 

“I know,” Evie replied, shrugging a little. “We could set-up a way to get some money to buy one, maybe?”

 

“Maybe,” Tara replied, about to say something else before the door behind her opened and her father, Steve, walked into her bedroom.

 

“Breakfast’s ready, Tar,” Steve told his daughter, to which Tara nodded and smiled before turning back to Evie.

 

“Gotta go,” she said, flashing a smile as she placed the toy gun on the table beside her window where she always kept it, mainly so that she could fire it at Evie’s window without having to go to the trouble of retrieving it from somewhere in her bedroom. “I’ll see you in a bit,” she added before she pulled the window closed.

 

Evie closed her window, too, before returning to her mirror to gaze at herself quickly, wanting to make sure that she looked presentable. She had a small crush on one of the boys in her and Tara’s friend-group, so she didn’t want to get to school to find that she looked like an idiot. That wouldn’t leave a good impression…

 

Evie moved to the door and strutted out of it, still feeling odd to be going to school in her own clothes. She'd gotten so used to having to wear a uniform while living in England that every school-day since moving almost felt special to her, like every day was one of those random days where the students would be allowed to wear their own clothes instead of the school's uniform. She didn’t know how long it would be until the blissful, uplifting emotion which came with the simple act of wearing her own clothes would fizzle-away and be replaced with the inward-groan which had come with every school-day in England, but she hoped that it was ages-away.

 

Turning to the right and nearly bouncing off of every step while descending the staircase, Evie came into the open-plan living room and joint kitchen, strutting past the couch and taking a seat at the small dining table which was slightly too-big for the small area which the kitchen took-up.

 

“Good morning, Evie,” Maria breathed, seeming exhausted, light-but-noticeable, dark rings staining the underside of the eyelids which protected her hazelnut-coloured eyes. Her dyed-blonde hair which traced her oval-shaped face even seemed more lifeless than it had three months before. Evie noticed all of this but kept-quiet, ignoring it, not wanting to mention it and make Maria feel self-conscious about how she looked- not that she needed to, however, as she always seemed to look gorgeous no-matter the state which she was in.

 

Maria had been losing a lot of sleep, mainly because of their financial issue. Even though they weren't living in poverty, or anything, Maria was still worrying about it. She'd been so used to being able to live comfortably, both her and Jason working decent-paying jobs. The change to living off of the wage of a bartender alone was still shocking her a little. Granted, she was earning a little extra than any bartender would because of how impressive her CV was, but it wasn’t a luxurious amount of extra cash.

 

“Morning,” Evie replied with her usual, cheery tone. She'd been somewhat lively and upbeat every morning since moving to Michigan, something which was quite different to how she'd acted while in England. She could only attribute it to the change in scenery and the slight alteration in the surrounding culture. Everyone around her just seemed so much happier than they had in Britain.

 

Maria popped some toast from the toaster, spread some butter onto it, then dropped it onto a plate and passed it to Evie, who immediately took a bite and sighed comfortably. She hadn't realised just how hungry she'd been.

 

Breakfast passed in near silence before Evie checked the time and realised that it was nearly time for her to leave. She quickly hugged Maria, moved to the front door which sat just a little past the base of the staircase, pulled her shoes on, grabbed her bag and left the house.

 

It only took a minute of Evie leaning against the wall which separated the front garden- or yard- of her house from the slightly-busy but usually not too-bustling street, for Tara to emerge from her house, to greet Evie, then for the two of them to begin walking to school. They had the option to get the bus, but neither of them wanted to. Everyone who was on the bus was always fairly loud, and it was awkwardly full to the point where the two of them would almost definitely have to split-up to sit-down. It had just become easier to walk instead of gambling every morning. Their school was close-by, too, only a few minutes away.

 

“Did you do the English homework?” Tara asked after a moment, to which Evie glanced at her, knowing what she was trying to do.

 

“Yeah,” Evie replied slowly, knowing what was about to come.

 

“Could I copy it during homeroom?” Tara quickly, excitedly, asked, to which Evie giggled a little.

 

“Yeah, fine, but you really need to start doing it yourself,” Evie lectured, Tara mocking her as she spoke in the way that any child would have done at some point in their lives, miming talking, faking looking annoyed or pulling a silly face, making seemingly-random hand-gestures to emphasise the “importance” of what was being said.

 

“Yeah, yeah, okay, Mom, I'll study every night and make sure my next report card will have straight A's,” Tara joked, rolling her eyes. She had a small issue when it came to getting good grades. She'd told Evie that she'd barely managed to advance to the grade which they were in, almost having been stalled by a year to re-do the curriculum. Evie knew that it was just that Tara couldn't be bothered to do the homework and to revise for the exams, and she'd told her multiple times that there was a risk of them being separated by a grade if Tara wouldn't be as lucky this year, yet Tara hadn't listened to her.

 

They continued to walk, talking about a few things which came to mind. Tara asked whether Evie was going to make any moves on the boy whom she liked, to which Evie promptly snapped-back by questioning Tara as to who she had a crush on, something which left Tara feeling embarrassed after Evie had suggested multiple people, one of them possibly having been correct, too, but Evie didn’t know exactly who it was and was left with the task of trying to decipher that mystery over the duration of the walk.

 

Once they'd made it to the school, they walked through the gates and into the building, beginning to head through the various hallways to get to their homeroom class. It was lucky that the two of them shared homeroom and, furthermore, every lesson during the day. Well, Evie thought that it was lucky, but she didn't know how the classes were split-up throughout the school. Having arrived from England, a place with a different system for school, and having only been to one school in the entirety of the United States, Evie didn't know how things worked, what was common-practice, what wasn’t. Even after having spent three months there, she still didn't have much of an idea.

 

Getting into homeroom, Evie dropped into her seat and took a deep breath, preparing herself for the day, while Tara slumped in her chair and let-out a sigh which almost sounded like a groan.

 

 

The day passed quickly for Evie and slowly for Tara, something which was fairly usual. The two of them separated after returning home, heading into their respective houses.

 

“Good day?” Evie asked herself quietly while walking through the door, immediately feeling fairly downbeat. She still hadn’t gotten used to the fact that, every day after getting home from school, she was alone until seven in the evening. When living in England, Maria had almost always been at home to greet her. If not Maria, then Jason… But now, neither of them were there to greet her, to ask her if she’d had a nice day, to remind her to do the small amount of daily homework which would be set for her to complete and turn-in the next day.

 

Evie slid her shoes from her feet and dragged her bag upstairs with her and to her bedroom, intending to get the homework done later. After all, it was only a small amount- so little that it wouldn’t take more than thirty minutes to complete and to check-over. She could leave it until just before going to bed. Plus, she’d heard that studying before bed was the best thing to do because it was the first information to be processed and made into long-term memory, so if she needed to rationalise her decision further, she had that fact to base it on.

 

Time passed incredibly slowly. Tara had been scolded in English because she hadn’t been bothered to even copy Evie’s homework during homeroom, and when marking Evie’s homework during the lesson- the teacher having given them a task which he could simply oversee instead of lecturing them for the entire session- he’d realised that the previous few pieces of homework which Evie and Tara had submitted were incredibly similar. Evie had barely managed to avoid being lectured about the importance of refusing to allow for her friend to copy her homework because of Tara’s quick lie, Tara having said that she’d copied it without Evie’s knowledge. As a result of the whole ordeal, Tara had been given the task of actually doing the past five homework assignments for the next day, along with the new one which had just been set, leaving Evie friend-less for the rest of the day while Tara was no-doubt trying her best to procrastinate quietly in her room, even with the mountain of work to finish. Evie didn’t know if Tara’s parents had been told about what had happened, though, but, most likely, they had, meaning that Tara had almost definitely been grounded or, at the very least, told that she wasn’t allowed to leave her room or to do anything else until she’d finished all of the work which had been set. That was the only thing which Evie could think of to explain the lack of a suction-tipped bullet on her window.

 

Evie laid on her bed for a while, her earphones plugged into her phone while listening to and singing the songs which blasted through the mini speakers. Once she’d grown tired of doing that, she slid from her bed and moved downstairs to watch the TV in the living room.

 

And that was where Evie remained until Maria returned home.

 

“Hey,” Maria greeted, smiling at Evie as she walked through the door, two bags in her hands which she rested on the ground before hanging her handbag on the coatrack and sliding her shoes from her feet. “I’ve got dinner.”

 

The restaurant which Maria worked in was very sympathetic for her financial situation. The manager understood that it was difficult for her to be able to comfortably survive on only the wage of a bartender- plus a little extra and tips- and so she’d allowed for Maria to take the leftover, unserved food from the kitchen. It would typically be cold food that could be safely reheated in the microwave- things like pasta, for instance. It made everything a little easier for Maria, especially considering the hours which she’d have to work to be able to make enough money to pay for the rent, the bills, the shopping…

 

Maria quickly reheated the food and served it, bringing it to the living room so that the two of them could watch the TV while eating. It was something which they rarely did, but it was comforting to do every now and then.

 

They ate slowly, more intrigued by the show which they were watching than the food on their plates, though once they’d finished, Evie realised that she needed to do the homework which had been set that day and begrudgingly slid from the couch, carried her plate to the kitchen to place in the sink, then headed upstairs and into her room.

 

The homework was easy. Evie began to write, knowing that she was going to breeze through the assignment, lyric-less music coming from her phone as she worked, writing, knowing full-well that any lyrics in the songs which she was listening to would only result in her singing and pretending that she was performing in front of the millions of people instead of working.

 

Then a thud came from the window.

 

Evie rolled her eyes, knowing that Tara most-likely hadn’t finished her homework and was taking the chance to procrastinate after having noticed that Evie had returned to her bedroom. She knew that it would be for the best for her to ignore it. After all, she didn’t know what type of punishment Tara would receive if she didn’t finish the extra homework which she’d been given, but she was scared that it would be a slurry of detentions, separating them in school to prevent Tara from copying her, something like that.

 

Then again. Another thud.

 

“I’m not giving you the answers,” Evie mumbled to herself, a small smile on her face at the amusing, mental image of Tara getting more and more frustrated with every shot of her toy gun, more and more bullets clinging to her window. She then had the amusing, mental-image of her window looking like a glass porcupine with an abundance of orange quills sticking out of its back.

 

Thud.

 

 “Come on, stop it alrea-” Evie began, though she cut herself off with a scream as she turned to look at the window and saw a giant, gangly spider clinging to the outside of the glass.

 

Evie stared at the gargantuan-sized spider on her window, speechless. She'd never seen one so large in her entire life. Were spiders like that common in the United States? She could have sworn that places like Australia were the only places on Earth with massive, window-sized spiders.

 

Cautiously, without really thinking, Evie slid from her chair and began to slowly approach the window, keeping her eyes on the creature. What could she do to get rid of it? She didn't have anything in her room which she could use to kill it- well, without risking breaking the window, at least. Besides, how would she kill it? There was no way in hell that she was going to put her hand within an inch of that thing without something strong in-between her and the monster, meaning that she couldn't even open the window to nudge it off of the side of the house.

 

Evie froze when a metre from the window, her body unwilling to move any closer than she already was. She was arachnophobic. It wasn't an incredibly strong fear, but it was strong-enough to make her jump in freight at the unexpected sight of an arachnid. Part of her wanted to rush to Maria and to beg for her to deal with it. Then again, though, she didn't want to bother her mother after what had almost definitely been a long and possibly stressful day at work.

 

Still trying to conjure an idea as to what to do, Evie slid her phone from her desk and opened her camera, taking a picture of the spider. If she was going to brave getting it off the window, she at least needed some evidence to show Tara that there had really been a massive spider. One photo would be enough, right? Then again, though, what if the size was incredibly unprecedented? What if a spider of this size in Michigan was a sought-after treasure for some people? Maybe taking a few more pictures would be a good idea...

 

The quiet, built-in sound effects which played from her phone as Evie took three more photos from various angles were the only sounds in the room. The music which had been coming from her phone had turned off as soon as she'd left the app which had been playing it, and Evie reckoned that it was better that way. She could focus on her movements. She really didn't want the spider to touch her if she'd have to open the window and nudge it with something.

 

After sliding her phone back onto her desk, Evie took a deep breath and sidled towards the window as slow as she could without taking hours to move a metre. She really didn't want to deal with the spider. What if it was poisonous? Venomous? Hungry for a human hand to munch on?

 

Unsure as to what else she could do, Evie tapped on the window lightly, hoping that the vibrations on the glass would surprise the spider and make it jump or move at the very least, but it didn't budge.

 

Again, Evie tapped on the glass, a little harder this time, using the knuckle of her right hand, but the spider didn't budge.

 

Then it tapped back.

 

Evie yelped and surprise and threw herself backwards, landing on her desk chair which, as it was on wheels, carried her backwards until the back of it bumped into her built-in wardrobe. How had it tapped back? Had it just moved and coincidentally seemed like it had been responding to her?

 

She remained where she was for a moment, psyching herself up to slide from the chair and to attempt to get rid of the spider again. Her instincts were screaming at her to get her mother, but she really didn't want to bother her.

 

After a few more deep breaths, Evie forced herself from her chair and marched towards the window, bending-over slightly and knocking on the window harder than both of her previous attempts.

 

The spider didn't budge.

 

Then it stabbed one of its legs into the glass, the area around the impact-point cracking slightly.

 

Evie screamed and threw herself away from her window before fumbling with the door, throwing it open and storming down the stairs and to Maria who’d been sitting on the couch, doing something on her phone. It didn't matter that her mother was probably very tired and would be extremely annoyed with her for bothering her with the issue of a spider being on her window. The spider had hit back and had damaged the window! It shouldn't have been able to do that…

 

“Evie, are you okay?!” Maria gasped, rushing to the bottom of the stairs to meet her as she bounded down them and crashed into her mother, clinging to her, tears beginning to fall from her eyes. “What's wrong, sweetheart?”

 

“S-Spider...” Evie responded weakly, burying her head into Maria's shoulder. She felt so stupid to be whining about a spider. Then again, though, it was a reasonable reaction concerning what had actually happened.

 

“Aw, it's okay,” Maria breathed, grasping Evie around her waist and hoisting her to the couch, dropping into the seat beside Evie, her daughter huddling into her mother. “It's okay, it's not going to hurt you.”

 

Evie shook her head lightly, the mental image of the spider smacking the window and cracking it replaying over and over in her mind. “It's... massive.”

 

Maria smiled lightly and began to stroke Evie's back, soothing her almost immediately. It had been Maria's go-to move for years and it had always worked incredibly well. It had been what she'd done while breaking the news about their move to Michigan. “I'll deal with it for you, and I'll prove that it's not going to hurt you, okay?”

 

Evie lifted her head from Maria's shoulder to gaze at her mother. Her wavy, dyed-blonde hair, her deep, hazelnut-coloured eyes, the beautifully-calm expression on her face... “Okay,” she whimpered in response, trying to tell herself that, maybe, she'd imagined it. Maybe the crack had already been there. Tara fired that toy gun at her window at least twice a day on average, so maybe it had cracked upon impact from one of those, light, harmless, squishy, foam bullets?

 

Maria slid from the couch and gently pulled Evie with her, beginning to make her way up the stairs at a pace which suggested that she wasn't about to see a window-sized spider.

 

Evie walked slowly behind her mother, shaking a little. She felt cold.

 

Maria made it to the top of the stairs and she turned left, turning to face Evie's room, when she froze. Evie realised that she hadn't closed the door, so her mother was probably standing in shock at the clear sight of the massive arachnid.

 

Then Evie reached the top of the stairs and turned to look through her open door.

 

A part of the window had been smashed into the room, somehow without either of them having heard it.

The spider was gone.

 

Frantically, petrified, Maria darted towards Evie's doorway, gave the room a quick sweep with her eyes, then gasped and hastily yanked the door closed.

 

“What?” Evie asked weakly, unable to believe what was happening.

 

“It's in your room,” Maria breathed, her eyes wide from panic. “Sleep with me tonight, okay? I'm not letting you sleep with that in your room…”

 

“Can’t we… get rid of it?” Evie asked, hoping that Maria would decide that they could, but her mother simply gazed at her daughter.

 

“I… don’t know,” Maria replied honestly.

 

Evie nodded very slowly, very weakly, before Maria pulled her into a tight hug.

 

“It's okay,” Maria assured, though the shakiness of her voice wasn't doing the best to convince Evie that everything would be fine.

The Monster On The Window













 

Chapter 2

Morning came, the sun shining brightly through the window, Maria's alarm beeping, the noise gradually getting louder and louder until both Evie and Maria had awoken and slid out of the bed. Despite what had happened the previous night, Evie had slept… fine. She’d had some trouble getting to sleep, but she hadn’t had any nightmares- at least from what she could recall- and she hadn’t awoken in the middle of the night at all. In fact, she’d even forgotten what had happened for a moment after having awoken, having wondered for a second why she was in her mother’s bed.

 

“What do I... do for my clothes?” Evie asked slowly, yawning in the middle of her sentence, before a light surge of panic overtook her. Her clean clothes were in her room. So was the giant spider.

 

Maria glanced at Evie and shrugged lightly. “Can you wear yesterday's clothes?”

 

Evie didn't know. She scooped them from the stool by the make-up table and gazed at them. They could last another day, right? She definitely didn't want to venture into her room just to get some new clothes from her wardrobe. In fact, she wasn't sure whether the thought of anything else was scarier than that.

 

Deciding that returning to her bedroom would essentially be suicide, Evie pulled the clothes on.

 

After having tidied herself up and had a quick breakfast, Evie left the house, her bag on her back without her unfinished homework. She was worried about what she'd do regarding it. After all, though she had a good excuse as to why she hadn't finished it and why she didn't have it with her, would anyone believe her? Though, she did have the photos of the spider on her phone, just none of the broken window…

 

While waiting for Tara, Evie walked around the side of her house cautiously- aware of the fact that the spider could have left her bedroom and could have been resting on the wall- and once she was close-enough, she snapped a picture of her bedroom window, the sharp shards of glass which stuck out of the window frame in clear view. Now, at least, she had some evidence as to what had happened.

 

Once Tara had arrived, she and Evie began their walk to school, but it wasn't exactly quiet.

 

“What the hell happened to your window?” Tara exclaimed almost immediately upon seeing Evie.

 

“You're not going to believe this,” Evie began, wanting to have a jokey tone but the words coming-out much shakier than she'd expected. “A massive spider broke it and might be living in my room now.”

 

Tara's eyes widened, presumably out of fear. She was also arachnophobic. “Is it still in there?” She almost shrieked, glancing back at Evie's house as if trying to give an x-ray scan of the building, searching for the spider.

 

“I don't know,” Evie admitted, the shakiness of her voice overtaking any other tone as the fear of what she'd find when checking to see if it had left returned. It had been something which she'd considered over breakfast, having wondered whether her room had been filled with webs, the walls connected with the silky thread, making it look as if the substance was keeping the walls standing upright. She'd also had the thought of the spider having laid eggs, more, disgustingly-large spiders imminent to hatch and transform her bedroom into a giant nest...

 

Both of them went silent, their minds racing as to the possibilities of what Evie's bedroom looked like.

 

“Didn't you see through the window this morning?” Evie asked curiously, wondering how Tara even knew about her broken window, though Tara shook her head.

 

“I was too busy finishing that homework. I only noticed when leaving the house,” she explained, to which Evie's stomach dropped as the realisation that she didn't have her homework with her struck for the second time.

 

They continued walking to school in near silence, both of them petrified at the thought of the spider.

 

 

Upon arriving at homeroom, Evie and Tara walked into the classroom to find that everyone was standing, waiting, their teacher prepared to tell them all something when the time would come.

 

“What's happening?” Evie asked Tara as if her friend would know, to which Tara shrugged and made a guess.

 

“Fire drill?” She suggested, though Evie had no idea.

 

They both made their way to their seats, standing by their desks and waiting.

 

Once a few minutes had passed and more students had arrived, the teacher began to explain.

 

“We have a school-wide assembly in a few minutes, so I'm going to need you all to follow me quickly, alright?” He commanded, to which everyone nodded, some mumbling beginning to spread throughout the room as everyone discussed how unnatural that was. They only ever had assemblies on Friday mornings, and that was just for their grade. Evie hadn't seen or even heard of a school-wide assembly in their school, and though she'd only been there for three months, it was clear that it meant that something incredibly important had happened, was happening or would happen. It was the type of thing which she’d expect to happen upon the death of the President, or something. What had happened?

 

As soon as the homeroom teacher had checked to see who was present, he led the class into the hallway to join the massive crowd of people who were approaching the auditorium, everyone buzzing about what the purpose of the assembly could be.

 

The walk to the auditorium was slow because of the volume of people who were cluttering the hallways. Once Evie, Tara and the rest of their homeroom class had arrived, though, they slid into a long row of seats, following the rule that the whole homeroom class had to sit across the length of a row, any stragglers who couldn’t fit onto the row moving to the one behind the rest of the class.

 

Time ticked-by at a pace which seemed to be too slow while the other students funnelled into the auditorium and took their seats. Evie's mind continued to race, trying to guess what the purpose of the assembly was for, though her thought-process was finally interrupted by the principal as he walked onto the stage and behind the movable lectern which had been placed there prior to Evie’s homeroom class arriving.

 

“Good morning, everyone,” the principal began, his voice booming as it echoed from the two, powerful speakers which sat at either side of the stage. “You may already have realised that this isn’t an ordinary assembly. In fact, it’s almost an emergency.”

 

The entire auditorium started to buzz as people started whispering and muttering to each other as to the possibilities of what the emergency was, but after a few hisses from all of the teachers who were leaning against the walls at either side of the rows of seats, the students quieted, allowing for the principal to continue.

 

“Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you that something horrible has happened… I just need to… warn you of the possibility of something happening if you’re not careful,” the man continued, to which, again, a light buzzing began as a few students whispered or muttered words which Evie couldn’t make-out, though the sound of the suppressed words faded to silence fairly quickly. “Over the last two days, there have been a few reports of oddly-large insects throughout the city. No-one knows why they’re so big, but some local biologists have theorised that they’ve somehow had a sped-up evolution rate compared to all of the other insects in the world. We don’t what’s caused it, but the size of these insects is… alarming. A housefly has been described to be the size of a bird.”

 

Again, muttering and whispering vibrated through the auditorium.

 

“That giant spider…” Tara began, leaning closer to Evie as she spoke. “You don’t think that was one of those insects, do you?”

 

Evie shrugged lightly, staring at the principal as he patiently waited for the noise to die-down, seemingly having accepted the fact that the students were going to audibly react to what he was saying. She was dying to hear more information. She wanted to know why these insects were the topic of the emergency assembly.

 

Then Evie remembered the fact that the spider had smashed through her bedroom window.

 

As the noise in the auditorium fizzled-away, Evie’s face paled slightly, waiting for the principal to continue.

 

“Because of the new size of these insects, they’ll obviously need more food to survive and, as a result, they may turn to attacking and eating larger mammals like our pets or, even… humans,” the principal explained, pausing before the last word, seeming unwilling to utter it, and it was clear why. As soon as the word had come from his mouth, had graced the microphone and had been amplified by the speakers, everyone within the auditorium- including the teachers- either went pale and silent in shock and freight, or began to murmur to the people beside them.

 

Evie remained completely silent, Tara next to her in a similar state before she finally broke the silence; “Did that spider leave your house?” She asked, to which Evie turned to her and, slowly, petrified, she shrugged.

 

 

Evie waved at Tara as they separated, heading into their houses. The day had been slow and dull. Everyone had been talking about the evolved insects, and that had only made Evie feel more and more afraid. She’d told her English teacher about what had happened, then had ended-up displaying the photos which she’d taken of the spider and of her broken window to the entire class. Needless to say, after what had been said in the assembly regarding the insects, the English teacher had let her off the fact that she hadn’t done her homework, and because of her encounter with the massive spider, the class had almost interrogated her about it. Tara had managed to get everyone to stop the questioning, but that didn’t stop the news from spreading beyond the English class and to other students. Evie had been stopped in the hallway a total of eight times that day, and with every person who’d asked about the spider, a hoard of students and even a few, curious teachers had surrounded her to listen to her story. She’d hated the attention. And, now, even when at home, she couldn’t relax. The spider hadn’t left her bedroom to her knowledge, meaning that it was still in the house, possibly having ventured to other rooms, somehow. How was she supposed to relax and try to forget what was happening when there was the possibility that she could turn-around and be face-to-face with the gargantuan arachnid? And, furthermore, she couldn’t just spend as much time as she could away from home. There had been multiple reports of these insects, so there was a chance of her being in even greater danger by roaming the streets, unaware of what was around the next corner.

 

Exhausted, Evie dropped her bag beside the door and slid her shoes from her feet.

 

“I’m home,” she called-out jokingly as usual, though her voice was much flatter than usual.

 

“How did you know that I’m here?” Maria called in response from upstairs, making Evie freeze in surprise.

 

“I… didn’t- why are you here?” Evie questioned, almost marching up the stairs and into Maria’s bedroom to find her laying on her bed, seeming exhausted and worried, watching the TV which sat on a small cabinet by her door.

 

“I’ve had the police around today,” Maria began, gesturing for Evie to close the bedroom door, to which she did, confused by the motion, though more concerned about what her mother had just said.

 

“Why?” She asked quickly, worrying that she’d accidentally done something illegal, worrying that something awful had happened to someone whom they knew.

 

“Nothing serious, don’t worry!” Maria assured hastily, realising that the statement which she’d given wasn’t the type of thing to just throw into the atmosphere of the room. “I was scared that someone would break-in through your window if I left for work, so I didn’t go, and I was worried about that spider, so I called the police for them to come and to kill it.”

 

“And?”

 

Maria sighed lightly. “They didn’t find it,” she stated. “It’s gotten out of your room, somehow… They assured me that it shouldn’t be able to do too much damage if it is still here, but they said that we should kill it if we spot it. Otherwise, it probably left through your window again.”

 

Evie remained silent, debating inwardly whether or not it would be a good idea to tell her mother about what the principal had told the school. But, then again, the police had probably already had to deal with some of the insects, so maybe they knew that they weren’t actually that dangerous, after all? Maybe the principal was just trying to be on the safe-side, wanting to scare everyone away from approaching one of the insects if they’d see one of them. That was a possibility. Then again, though, was telling an entire middle-school that there were suddenly, massive, carnivorous insects a good idea if it wasn’t at least somewhat true?

 

“What’ll we do about my window, then?” Evie asked after a moment, aware that the cost to repair it was probably out of their budget. If they were to just dish-out the money to have it replaced, they’d probably be slightly short on money for at least two weeks.

 

“Steve boarded it up for us,” Maria stated. “Just to be on the safe side.”

 

Steve- Tara’s father- was a plumber, so he was pretty good with DIY. Only a month before, he’d fixed a problem with their boiler which had, at the time, been making it occasionally clang incredibly loudly, and he’d even fixed it for free.

 

“So, yeah, you can sleep in your bed tonight,” Maria continued, smiling at Evie, though Evie shook her head lightly, making the smile on Maria’s face fade. “You don’t have to, but the option’s there.”

 

“I don’t want to,” Evie responded immediately, her voice somehow simultaneously meek and adamant.

 

Maria nodded slightly. “That’s fine, I don’t mind you sleeping with me.”

 

Evie smiled weakly. She simply despised the thought of returning to her bedroom when there was the chance that the spider was lurking beneath her bed, waiting for her to fall asleep. There wasn’t any proof to say that the spider had left, so why should she risk sleeping in her bed?

 

“Want to watch a film?” Maria asked after a moment, perking Evie’s interest, making her raise her gaze from the floor after it had drooped without her realising. “We could even order a pizza to eat while we watch it.”

 

Evie nodded lightly, then flashed a small smile as Maria slid from her bed and grabbed her phone from her bedside table before leading her out of the room and down the stairs, telling Evie to choose a film for them to watch while she’d sort-out the pizza.

 

For the first time all day, Evie’s mind drifted away from the spider and her broken window.

Morning came, the sun shining brightly through the window, Maria's alarm beeping, the noise gradually getting louder and louder until both Evie and Maria had awoken and slid out of the bed. Despite what had happened the previous night, Evie had slept… fine. She’d had some trouble getting to sleep, but she hadn’t had any nightmares- at least from what she could recall- and she hadn’t awoken in the middle of the night at all. In fact, she’d even forgotten what had happened for a moment after having awoken, having wondered for a second why she was in her mother’s bed.

 

“What do I... do for my clothes?” Evie asked slowly, yawning in the middle of her sentence, before a light surge of panic overtook her. Her clean clothes were in her room. So was the giant spider.

 

Maria glanced at Evie and shrugged lightly. “Can you wear yesterday's clothes?”

 

Evie didn't know. She scooped them from the stool by the make-up table and gazed at them. They could last another day, right? She definitely didn't want to venture into her room just to get some new clothes from her wardrobe. In fact, she wasn't sure whether the thought of anything else was scarier than that.

 

Deciding that returning to her bedroom would essentially be suicide, Evie pulled the clothes on.

 

After having tidied herself up and had a quick breakfast, Evie left the house, her bag on her back without her unfinished homework. She was worried about what she'd do regarding it. After all, though she had a good excuse as to why she hadn't finished it and why she didn't have it with her, would anyone believe her? Though, she did have the photos of the spider on her phone, just none of the broken window…

 

While waiting for Tara, Evie walked around the side of her house cautiously- aware of the fact that the spider could have left her bedroom and could have been resting on the wall- and once she was close-enough, she snapped a picture of her bedroom window, the sharp shards of glass which stuck out of the window frame in clear view. Now, at least, she had some evidence as to what had happened.

 

Once Tara had arrived, she and Evie began their walk to school, but it wasn't exactly quiet.

 

“What the hell happened to your window?” Tara exclaimed almost immediately upon seeing Evie.

 

“You're not going to believe this,” Evie began, wanting to have a jokey tone but the words coming-out much shakier than she'd expected. “A massive spider broke it and might be living in my room now.”

 

Tara's eyes widened, presumably out of fear. She was also arachnophobic. “Is it still in there?” She almost shrieked, glancing back at Evie's house as if trying to give an x-ray scan of the building, searching for the spider.

 

“I don't know,” Evie admitted, the shakiness of her voice overtaking any other tone as the fear of what she'd find when checking to see if it had left returned. It had been something which she'd considered over breakfast, having wondered whether her room had been filled with webs, the walls connected with the silky thread, making it look as if the substance was keeping the walls standing upright. She'd also had the thought of the spider having laid eggs, more, disgustingly-large spiders imminent to hatch and transform her bedroom into a giant nest...

 

Both of them went silent, their minds racing as to the possibilities of what Evie's bedroom looked like.

 

“Didn't you see through the window this morning?” Evie asked curiously, wondering how Tara even knew about her broken window, though Tara shook her head.

 

“I was too busy finishing that homework. I only noticed when leaving the house,” she explained, to which Evie's stomach dropped as the realisation that she didn't have her homework with her struck for the second time.

 

They continued walking to school in near silence, both of them petrified at the thought of the spider.

 

 

Upon arriving at homeroom, Evie and Tara walked into the classroom to find that everyone was standing, waiting, their teacher prepared to tell them all something when the time would come.

 

“What's happening?” Evie asked Tara as if her friend would know, to which Tara shrugged and made a guess.

 

“Fire drill?” She suggested, though Evie had no idea.

 

They both made their way to their seats, standing by their desks and waiting.

 

Once a few minutes had passed and more students had arrived, the teacher began to explain.

 

“We have a school-wide assembly in a few minutes, so I'm going to need you all to follow me quickly, alright?” He commanded, to which everyone nodded, some mumbling beginning to spread throughout the room as everyone discussed how unnatural that was. They only ever had assemblies on Friday mornings, and that was just for their grade. Evie hadn't seen or even heard of a school-wide assembly in their school, and though she'd only been there for three months, it was clear that it meant that something incredibly important had happened, was happening or would happen. It was the type of thing which she’d expect to happen upon the death of the President, or something. What had happened?

 

As soon as the homeroom teacher had checked to see who was present, he led the class into the hallway to join the massive crowd of people who were approaching the auditorium, everyone buzzing about what the purpose of the assembly could be.

 

The walk to the auditorium was slow because of the volume of people who were cluttering the hallways. Once Evie, Tara and the rest of their homeroom class had arrived, though, they slid into a long row of seats, following the rule that the whole homeroom class had to sit across the length of a row, any stragglers who couldn’t fit onto the row moving to the one behind the rest of the class.

 

Time ticked-by at a pace which seemed to be too slow while the other students funnelled into the auditorium and took their seats. Evie's mind continued to race, trying to guess what the purpose of the assembly was for, though her thought-process was finally interrupted by the principal as he walked onto the stage and behind the movable lectern which had been placed there prior to Evie’s homeroom class arriving.

 

“Good morning, everyone,” the principal began, his voice booming as it echoed from the two, powerful speakers which sat at either side of the stage. “You may already have realised that this isn’t an ordinary assembly. In fact, it’s almost an emergency.”

 

The entire auditorium started to buzz as people started whispering and muttering to each other as to the possibilities of what the emergency was, but after a few hisses from all of the teachers who were leaning against the walls at either side of the rows of seats, the students quieted, allowing for the principal to continue.

 

“Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you that something horrible has happened… I just need to… warn you of the possibility of something happening if you’re not careful,” the man continued, to which, again, a light buzzing began as a few students whispered or muttered words which Evie couldn’t make-out, though the sound of the suppressed words faded to silence fairly quickly. “Over the last two days, there have been a few reports of oddly-large insects throughout the city. No-one knows why they’re so big, but some local biologists have theorised that they’ve somehow had a sped-up evolution rate compared to all of the other insects in the world. We don’t what’s caused it, but the size of these insects is… alarming. A housefly has been described to be the size of a bird.”

 

Again, muttering and whispering vibrated through the auditorium.

 

“That giant spider…” Tara began, leaning closer to Evie as she spoke. “You don’t think that was one of those insects, do you?”

 

Evie shrugged lightly, staring at the principal as he patiently waited for the noise to die-down, seemingly having accepted the fact that the students were going to audibly react to what he was saying. She was dying to hear more information. She wanted to know why these insects were the topic of the emergency assembly.

 

Then Evie remembered the fact that the spider had smashed through her bedroom window.

 

As the noise in the auditorium fizzled-away, Evie’s face paled slightly, waiting for the principal to continue.

 

“Because of the new size of these insects, they’ll obviously need more food to survive and, as a result, they may turn to attacking and eating larger mammals like our pets or, even… humans,” the principal explained, pausing before the last word, seeming unwilling to utter it, and it was clear why. As soon as the word had come from his mouth, had graced the microphone and had been amplified by the speakers, everyone within the auditorium- including the teachers- either went pale and silent in shock and freight, or began to murmur to the people beside them.

 

Evie remained completely silent, Tara next to her in a similar state before she finally broke the silence; “Did that spider leave your house?” She asked, to which Evie turned to her and, slowly, petrified, she shrugged.

 

 

Evie waved at Tara as they separated, heading into their houses. The day had been slow and dull. Everyone had been talking about the evolved insects, and that had only made Evie feel more and more afraid. She’d told her English teacher about what had happened, then had ended-up displaying the photos which she’d taken of the spider and of her broken window to the entire class. Needless to say, after what had been said in the assembly regarding the insects, the English teacher had let her off the fact that she hadn’t done her homework, and because of her encounter with the massive spider, the class had almost interrogated her about it. Tara had managed to get everyone to stop the questioning, but that didn’t stop the news from spreading beyond the English class and to other students. Evie had been stopped in the hallway a total of eight times that day, and with every person who’d asked about the spider, a hoard of students and even a few, curious teachers had surrounded her to listen to her story. She’d hated the attention. And, now, even when at home, she couldn’t relax. The spider hadn’t left her bedroom to her knowledge, meaning that it was still in the house, possibly having ventured to other rooms, somehow. How was she supposed to relax and try to forget what was happening when there was the possibility that she could turn-around and be face-to-face with the gargantuan arachnid? And, furthermore, she couldn’t just spend as much time as she could away from home. There had been multiple reports of these insects, so there was a chance of her being in even greater danger by roaming the streets, unaware of what was around the next corner.

 

Exhausted, Evie dropped her bag beside the door and slid her shoes from her feet.

 

“I’m home,” she called-out jokingly as usual, though her voice was much flatter than usual.

 

“How did you know that I’m here?” Maria called in response from upstairs, making Evie freeze in surprise.

 

“I… didn’t- why are you here?” Evie questioned, almost marching up the stairs and into Maria’s bedroom to find her laying on her bed, seeming exhausted and worried, watching the TV which sat on a small cabinet by her door.

 

“I’ve had the police around today,” Maria began, gesturing for Evie to close the bedroom door, to which she did, confused by the motion, though more concerned about what her mother had just said.

 

“Why?” She asked quickly, worrying that she’d accidentally done something illegal, worrying that something awful had happened to someone whom they knew.

 

“Nothing serious, don’t worry!” Maria assured hastily, realising that the statement which she’d given wasn’t the type of thing to just throw into the atmosphere of the room. “I was scared that someone would break-in through your window if I left for work, so I didn’t go, and I was worried about that spider, so I called the police for them to come and to kill it.”

 

“And?”

 

Maria sighed lightly. “They didn’t find it,” she stated. “It’s gotten out of your room, somehow… They assured me that it shouldn’t be able to do too much damage if it is still here, but they said that we should kill it if we spot it. Otherwise, it probably left through your window again.”

 

Evie remained silent, debating inwardly whether or not it would be a good idea to tell her mother about what the principal had told the school. But, then again, the police had probably already had to deal with some of the insects, so maybe they knew that they weren’t actually that dangerous, after all? Maybe the principal was just trying to be on the safe-side, wanting to scare everyone away from approaching one of the insects if they’d see one of them. That was a possibility. Then again, though, was telling an entire middle-school that there were suddenly, massive, carnivorous insects a good idea if it wasn’t at least somewhat true?

 

“What’ll we do about my window, then?” Evie asked after a moment, aware that the cost to repair it was probably out of their budget. If they were to just dish-out the money to have it replaced, they’d probably be slightly short on money for at least two weeks.

 

“Steve boarded it up for us,” Maria stated. “Just to be on the safe side.”

 

Steve- Tara’s father- was a plumber, so he was pretty good with DIY. Only a month before, he’d fixed a problem with their boiler which had, at the time, been making it occasionally clang incredibly loudly, and he’d even fixed it for free.

 

“So, yeah, you can sleep in your bed tonight,” Maria continued, smiling at Evie, though Evie shook her head lightly, making the smile on Maria’s face fade. “You don’t have to, but the option’s there.”

 

“I don’t want to,” Evie responded immediately, her voice somehow simultaneously meek and adamant.

 

Maria nodded slightly. “That’s fine, I don’t mind you sleeping with me.”

 

Evie smiled weakly. She simply despised the thought of returning to her bedroom when there was the chance that the spider was lurking beneath her bed, waiting for her to fall asleep. There wasn’t any proof to say that the spider had left, so why should she risk sleeping in her bed?

 

“Want to watch a film?” Maria asked after a moment, perking Evie’s interest, making her raise her gaze from the floor after it had drooped without her realising. “We could even order a pizza to eat while we watch it.”

 

Evie nodded lightly, then flashed a small smile as Maria slid from her bed and grabbed her phone from her bedside table before leading her out of the room and down the stairs, telling Evie to choose a film for them to watch while she’d sort-out the pizza.

 

For the first time all day, Evie’s mind drifted away from the spider and her broken window.

The Monster On The Window