It’s my first day as a Cool Girl and I’m a little nervous. I double-check my outfit in the mirror, post a quick selfie for the fans, and head over to headquarters to clock in.
As I walk in, a balding guy with a big mustache in a Hawaiian shirt brushes past me crying.
“Fuck you, Chet,” he mumbles to himself.
Over his shoulder, my new boss, Chet, greets me with a hunky smile. He’s been cool for over 8 years and he is amazing.
“Sorry you had to see that,” he says, adjusting his 5-panel, “But you can tell why we had to let him go… I mean… crying about getting fired? What is he, 12?”
Chet goes on to explain that for the first couple days, I’m going to be shadowing him to feel things out before my first (supervised) day as a solo cool person. He tells me that he understands that I might be experiencing some strong feelings- such as nervousness and a desperate desire for approval- but that those feelings just aren’t cool and eventually I will be expected to completely repress them.
It’s only 10pm, so we spend a couple more hours killing time before Chet says it’s time to go check out a couple house parties. Chet tells me that house parties are “kinda lame and immature,” but he still goes to them because “whatever, you know?” I nod but I don’t understand what he is trying to tell me.
“Oh, swag,” I say. He seems satisfied by this.
When we walk into the first party, the first thing I notice is that there are cobwebs everywhere. The floor, the ceilings, and most of the people in the living room are completely covered in layers of gauzy stickiness. Oh no… I wasn’t ready for this. My anxiety rises as I see two super babes sprawled out on the couch. Their pupils are completely dilated. On the floor a few feet away, a man is ass-naked and passed out facedown on the floor cradling a trumpet.
“Chet,” I hiss, “dude… is this a spider party????”
Chet looks over his shoulder, annoyed. He is in the middle of a complicated handshake with a vague acquaintance.
“Yeah. Duh. Is that a problem or something?”
I blanch. This is bad. I’ve never done spiders before and Chet is totally going to know. I put on my chilliest facial expression, force a noncommittal shrug, and say, “Problem? What does that word even mean? I don’t speak German.”
Chet is not listening and already has gone into the next room, so I follow him. Ok, now I’m officially freaking out. There are spiders all over the place. Giant spiders are crawling up and down people’s bodies as they vogue so damn hard and shovel handfuls of spiders into each other’s mouths. The DJ is playing some bomb-ass future shit I’ve never heard before.
Chet walks over to a web and pulls off spider the size of my neighbor’s step-mom’s Pomeranian, then shoves it in my face. Before I can take it from him, he pulls it back.
“Whoa, psyche… This is your first time, isn’t it?”
I think about lying but instead I just nod, embarrassed. Chet smiles kindly.
“Dude, it is no big deal. Ok? Everyone has a first time. But this thing would totally fry you. Maybe just try an eighth for now and then we can work up to a quarter and go from there if you like it.”
I nod again, but I’m still obviously nervous.
“Hey man, the average person eats 8 spiders a year,” Chet continues. “That’s a number with like babies in it.
He looks at me suspiciously. “You’re not… a baby, are you?”
I shake my head, but my mind is racing. I remember crazy stories I’ve heard from friends and old schoolteachers about eating spiders- stories about people jumping out of windows and drilling holes in their head and completely losing everything to spider addiction- but suddenly, there’s a furry, crunchy chunk of spider oozing gut-juice in my mouth and then, soon after that, spider-chemicals flood my brain and wipe out all discernable thought.
When I wake up in the morning, I see the same guy from last night is still passed out hard on the floor. Otherwise, the apartment is totally empty. I shake my head to clear it and look at my phone. It’s dead. Shit. Chet was my ride here and he obviously left me. I’m probably fired. What happened last night?
Clutching my aching temples, I edge up to the guy on the floor and shake him a couple times while repeating “Hey… hey guy… hey” before I realize he is out cold.
At this time, I also realize floor-man is… well, beautiful. He’s a marble Adonis. Mesmerized, I find myself involuntarily leaning over further and further until, suddenly, incredibly, I am kissing this perfect, passed-out man. He wakes up, makes out with me a little while (which is super nice, btw) and then wipes his eyes.
“Where…. Where am I,” he asks.
“I was kinda hoping you could tell me that. My ride left me here.”
“Where are my men,” he asks.
“Idk,” I say, “probably wherever my men are. Do you have a Samsung charger by any chance?”
He stares at me. His eyes are like two very groovy, beautiful blue pools. I sigh again.
“Yeah, I know. But I’ve broken like 3 iPhones and I’m just not very respo-“
I’m cut off by the loud squeal of floor-boy’s trumpet.
“Whoa dude what the hell,” I yell, my brain exploding with pain, but I can’t focus on my agony for very long because suddenly a bunch of guys in ye-olde-esque military regalia are flooding the room and kneeling in a circle around us.
One of them, a stuffy type with a waistcoat (wtf, a waistcoat?) and a monocle leans forward and grabs floor-boy’s hand, clearly beside himself.
“Sire! Long and tirelessly we have searched the world for you,” he says, his monocle getting splashed by the giant tears of relief flooding his eyes. “We destroyed the foul witch, but alas, her dark and twisted magicks have long concealed the location of your Royal body from even our finest scouts. We beg your Highness’ forgiveness.”
I can tell they are having some kind of moment here, so I start edging away, but the floor Prince gently grasps my arm and pulls me close to him. He smiles benevolently at the crying man.
“Please rise, Chamberlain,” he says, pulling the man to his feet. “There is nothing to forgive. Even our finest court magicians could never hope to overcome Morgana’s complicated, evil curses of sleep and concealment. No, the only thing that could do that would be the true love’s kiss of Miss…”
Here he trails off, looking at me expectantly.
“Uhhh… Rainhead,” I croak.
“Miss… Rainhead,” he says, rolling my name over his perfect tongue like a warm caress.
Whether it’s from the painful fog that customarily accompanies spider-withdrawal or the happiness of stumbling into the arms of a royal stud, my memories of the events that follow remain hazy for years to come. What I do know is this: 1. I am living happily ever after, and 2. I am completely addicted to spiders.