the soldier's crisis was brief, but cast a deep crack in the glaciar of his thoughts. he had seen the thing, dug it up from an unmarked grave while trying to bury himself in a foxhole, hiding from the fires that rained from the sky. there was the unmistakable clink of his shovel on metal, a brittle alloy that shattered at the insistant urging of his digging, & then all else was eclipsed by the creature. its languid, stately stride could barely be described as a scuttle, though scuttle it did, up out of the hole dug in the hungry earth & into the night air. he tried, now, to count the legs in his head, as he did then, but each time he came up with a diffrent number. ten? or eight, with a tail? or were all the legs really more like rigid tentacles? or were there six legs, & two claws, was it just some kind of crab? or probably just eight legs, no tail. just probably an oddity of a spider, catalogued long ago by science, too rare to warrent mention in high school science classes. except the soldier was certain that eight was not the number of legs it had possessed. but other than that niggling detail, almost certainly a spider. a spider, entombed in some ancient pewter coffin. buried in the middle of transylvania. because, like it or not, this cornor of eastern europe, he was now sure, was the haunt of dracula, werewolves, frankenstein. &, he supposed, spiders the size of a tank. it must have been crumpled up upon itself like a tangle of spagetti to fit into that casket.
when he tried to remember it unfolding out of the grave, like some insectile blossom, he started to sweat.