Teen-Age Spider-Girl Part 1

Josephina Johnson was an average High School student. She was one of the unnoticed kids with an knack for staying in the shadows. But that's all about to change her Senior Year when she finds herself with unnatural powers like sticking to walls and shooting webs. Can she manage to keep her status as the quiet girl, but get the boy of her dreams to take her to Homecoming, all while battling a chain of bank robberies led by someone she may or may not know? Join Josephina and her friends in their quest to find answers.

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5. Practice

“Like spider webs?”  By this time, our other three friends had gathered around to see what was up.

“Yeah, I think so,” I replied.

“It’s coming out of your hand--”

“I know.”

“Don’t you hate spiders?”

“Yeah, I--”  I stopped and looked up at my friends.  The six of us had known each other longer than any of us can remember.  I rubbed my neck where the bite was.  “I woke up with this--I guess it’s a spider bite--and strange things have been happening all day.”

I told them the whole story.

“I was wondering if your hair was lighter,”  Tyler said.

“You’re turning into a human spider!”  said Kyle.  “Hey, that rhymed!”

“Yeah, that part, I don’t really get,”  I said.

“What, the rhyming?”

“The hair--it has nothing to do with spiders.”

“Actually, if you look at it a certain way, it kind of looks like spider webs,”  Colleen said, looking at my hair and tilting her head different ways.

“Thanks,” I said sarcastically.  “I feel much better knowing my hair looks like a giant nest of cob-webs.”

“You’re welcome!”

I rolled my eyes at my friend.  “You guys have to promise me you’ll never tell anyone about this.  Not even my mom--and ESPECIALLY not Pete!”

“We promise,” they all said, almost in unison.

“Besides,” said Sammi.  “Why would we tell Pete anything?  It’s not like we’re tight with him or anything.”

“I don’t know.  I just don’t want him to think I’m a freak is all.”

“It’s okay,” Colleen assured me.  “It’s not like anyone would believe us anyway.  Plus, we’re practically invisible to most people, so don’t worry about it.”

“I don’t know if I’m going to stay very invisible with this hair.”  I don’t really know why, but I don’t like the thought of being seen.  I’ve always been one to stick to the shadows.

“No one will notice,” Trish said.

“Actually, I think it’s gotten lighter since we got here,” Kyle told me.

“Great.  My mom’s probably going to think I dyed my hair.”

“Bleached, actually,” Tyler said.  “Hey, since your hands stick to things, do you think you could climb up walls like a real spider?  ‘Cause that would be AWESOME!”

I laughed at the thought of me scaling a wall like the very creature I despise.  I also had to laugh a little at my friend.  Tyler was always making comments like that--totally off topic, sometimes.  “Tyler, I don’t think I’m gonna--”

“Actually, he has a point.”  I was surprised to hear Colleen say that--she was always mocking Tyler’s random comments.

“Colleen, people aren’t meant to climb up walls like spiders,” I said.

“This, coming from a girl who just shot a spider web from her hand.”  I hated it, but she was right.  I hadn’t actually considered wall-crawling.  But now, to be honest, I was kind of curious.  I walked over to the wall, feeling all of my friends watching my every move.  I looked at them, then at the wall.  “Here goes nothing,” I whispered and took a deep breath.

I placed my right hand on the wall.  A chill ran down my neck as I touched the wall with my left hand, about a foot higher than my right.  I let go with my right and reached up above my left.  Hand over hand, I climbed the small interior wall.  I tried to use my feet, too, but my shoes just slipped off of the smooth surface.  When I reached the ceiling, I looked down.  My feet were about a foot and a half off of the floor.  I looked at my friends; Sammi, Colleen and Trish looked as shocked as I felt.  Kyle couldn’t stop smiling, and Tyler looked all too pleased with himself.  “Told you it would be awesome!” he said with a grin.

I jumped down from the wall.  As I took my shoes off, I said, “I wonder if my bare feet would stick?”  It took some effort to peel my socks off.

“I’m guessing ‘yes’,” Sammi said.  I walked back over to the wall and put my right hand on it again, followed by my right foot.  I pushed up and grabbed on with my left.  I found it was much easier using my feet; almost as easy as crawling on the floor.  The only difference was the way gravity was pulling at me.  When I reached the ceiling, I looked at my friends again.  This time, I was the one smiling.

“I’m enjoying this,” I said.  “Probably too much.”  I jumped down again and looked at my friends.  “I wonder how permanent this is?”

“Yeah, that’s a good question,” Colleen said.

“If it is permanent, you might want to get used to it,” said Tyler.  “I say you should practice shooting webs or something.  That’s what I would do.”

“Yeah, you’d do a lot of things.”  Colleen was back to being annoyed with Tyler.

“I’m just saying it might come in handy.”

“What do you think she’s going to be doing, building a house out of spider webs?”

“Duh, of course not.  But maybe she wants to pull something from across the room to her, or maybe she needs to get away from bad guys quickly.”  He turned to me.  “Maybe you could be like, a superhero!”

“Ha! Hardly,” I scoffed.  But Tyler looked serious.  I thought about it for a minute.  I laughed at the image of me fighting criminals.  “No,” I said, shaking my head.

“Awe, c’mon, Jo.  That would be so cool!”

“Besides,” said Kyle.  “With great power comes great responsibility.”

“Where have I heard that before?” Sammi asked.

“I don’t know, but I am NOT a superhero.”

“Not yet,” said Tyler.  “You still need a costume.”

“What?!”  Colleen cocked her head towards Tyler.

“Superheroes have costumes,”  Tyler said and shrugged his shoulders.  He was going too far.

“Whatever,” I said.  “You were saying?”  I gestured towards Tyler, eager to change the subject.  “About shooting webs?”

“You should practice,” he said.

“How?” I asked.

He looked around, then grabbed a plastic cup off of the counter.

“Here--try and take this from me,” he said, holding it up a few feet away from me.

I couldn’t help it--I was a smart aleck.  I reached out and took the cup away from him.  A couple of my friends laughed.

Tyler just stood there and said, “Really, Jo?  Really?”

“Oh, okay,”  I said, handing the cup back to him as he took a few steps back.  I felt silly holding my hand out in front of me.  Everyone was looking at me, at the cup, in anticipation.  “I don’t even know how they work,” I said.

“I don’t know, just focus, or something,” Tyler told me.  I thought about webs shooting from my hand.  I tried to imagine them grabbing the cup and pulling it towards me.  I don’t know how long we all stood there, but at some point, Tyler ended up with spider webs all over his face.

The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “I’m so sorry, Tyler!”  Everyone else just stood there with their mouths wide open.  Sammi and Trish had covered their mouths with their hands.  Then we all started laughing, including Tyler.  Colleen grabbed the cup from his hand as he pulled the webbing off of his face.  She set the cup on the counter and everyone stood behind me.  I took my second deep breath of the day as I aimed my hand at the cup again.  I closed my eyes for a second, then opened them as a strand of webbing shot out of my hand and grabbed the cup.  Everyone cheered.

“Now pull it to you,” I heard behind me.  I wrapped my fingers around the string and pulled.  The cup flew through the air, but I missed it with my hand.

“Ow!”  It hit Tyler right in the eye!

“Oh!  Tyler!  I’m sorry!  Again,” I cried out.

“Man, Tyler.  This is just not your day,” said Kyle, patting him on the back and obviously suppressing the urge to laugh.

I practiced with the cup for a few more minutes with my friends watching from behind pillows and books to shield their faces.  I was about ready to give up the time I finally caught the cup in my hand.  Everyone cheered again.  It felt good to accomplish something; no matter how weird it was.

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