Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

Zero hour is struck on an instrument of time beyond the grasp of mortal men. Above the sky over the northern pole of the earth, a great creature slowly shakes off the remnants of a rather lengthy slumber.

Eight bristling legs unfold and stretch, then hoist aloft its swollen belly after having lain dormant for three hundred and sixty four revolutions of its ward below. Plucking silken web strings like a harp, the guardian navigates a path along the lines of longitude, effortlessly traversing the vast distances around the globe, from one pole to the other and back again, pausing only to check the latitudinal lines for damage or intruders.

The reflected moonlight shimmers and dances across eyes of a billion facets or more. In each of these facets, were you to get close enough to look, one would see a life reflected from the planet beneath. Through the sleeping months, the spindly spider sated itself on the love and loathing of the broken beings of the earth below, growing fat on the endless feast of emotions, and now, its web once again secured, she begins to weep. A single tear falls for each human being, tears cascading in sheets as she traverses the planet once more with meticulous care. Billions of droplets plummet to the earth as she covers every square mile of the globe, traversing the latitudes slowly so as to stay always in the hour of darkest night. As the slow moving blanket of astral droplets fall, each passes from the ethereal to the real, trailing behind a spiral of silken fiber, coiled and shimmering through the sky. Upon finally reaching the earth, each unfolds and on eight tiny legs of its own delivers its own self by following a signature trail of emotion to the place where the life of its origin sleeps. The tiny creatures negotiate a passage in through letterboxes, open windows or down cold chimneys to arrive at their predetermined destinations.

It is here that, were anyone present to see, one might question whether one was really awake, or simply in a state of childlike dreams. In each house, the tiny creature shakes rhythmically, drinking deeply of the wants and desires of their chosen one, fattening themselves on raw emotions before transforming themselves into some meaningful token to leave in their place, first spinning themselves into a cocoon of coloured silk and then metamorphasizing into some little trinket of deep personal meaning.

Having traversed the whole world again, and with her work now done, the guardian lumbers to the top of the northern pole once more, emotionally and physically spent, to slumber again, until another year has passed, and the time should come for her to awaken and restore the balance of wakeful dreaming once more.

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