Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 2



Spiders on Goodrich Avenue

Zach Murphy


A fine mist lingered as Dao went for an early morning run on Goodrich Avenue. The only problem about running before the sunrise is that she was the first person to brush into all the spiderwebs that formed overnight. It isn’t a particularly comfortable feeling — sticky strings clinging to your face when you’re going full speed. Dao didn’t fault the spiders, though. In fact, she admired their ways. How did they spin such stunning webs of intricate beauty?

On the way back to her small art studio full of vivid acrylic paintings and meticulous clay sculptures, Dao noticed that one of her shoes became untied. After tying the laces in a tightly crafted knot, Dao popped back up and gazed upon an imposing mansion. The thing looked more like a castle than a home. Ambitious vines sprawled across the bricks, as if wanting to smother the enormous structure into oblivion. Dao stood there and wondered how much it would cost just to heat the inside of the place, especially if the people living there had cold hearts.

Just then, an elderly man who was wearing a painfully obvious wig and a bitter scowl on his face poked his head outside of the lumbering front door and yelled “Do you have a problem, miss?”

“No,” Dao answered, quietly.

“Then why are you standing there staring at my house?” the old man asked.

Dao paused.

“It’s ugly,” she said.

Dao sped off with a satisfied smirk on her face. I am a spider, she thought to herself.



Zach Murphy: "I am a Hawaii-born writer who somehow ended up in the often chilly but charming land of St. Paul, Minnesota. My stories have appeared in Peculiars Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, WINK, and the Wayne Literary Review. I live with my wonderful wife Kelly and love cats and movies."




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