***Please be advised that this slightly longer than normal blog post may contain spiders, if they’re still there.***
A short time ago, Diane mentioned her imaginary closet, and what it contained, and she asked her visitors what would or wouldn’t be in their imaginary closet.
This Mansion of mine has such a huge closet in one of the Faraway Wings I simply had to investigate. It took me a while to find it, but when I did I was somewhat surprised.
It was over in the East Wing, in one of the rooms that were on two levels. What I mean by that, is after entering the room through the door, a few steps over to the right there are three steps which go down to the lower level of the room. I needed to stay on this upper level, however, as the closet I was looking for was over to the left.
Huge double doors, made of some ancient kind of dark wood, stood out like sore thumbs in the middle of an otherwise plain wall. I say plain, but the faded floral wallpaper would once have been somewhat more vibrant. This room itself has been used as a storage room for the last few years, most probably because the space behind the old dark wooden doors had been strangely forgotten about.
I was here to investigate the closet, so, and with a slight trepidation, I turned the creaky wooden handle on the left door, and gently at first, and then firmly as it wouldn’t budge, pulled the door open. The right door then opened with it, as they were both locked together. I watched the broken lock innards fall to the floor, and realised why the closet hadn’t been used for storage for some time.
I moved the broken lock pieces to one side, making a mental note to try and fix it later, and walked inside the vast cavern before me. Just inside the door there was a pull string, used for switching on the lights, which I pulled, and was then dazzled as rows of lights came on in steps moving away from me. I imagined that thudding noise you hear when they do this in the movies; these lights, though, were silent.
The space was huge.
Huge and empty, that is, apart from a small cupboard over on the far side of the closet.
I walked over, each footstep echoing around the vast emptiness. I coughed to clear my throat, and that too reverberated into the enclosed distance rhythmically. The sound, that is, not the – ah, never mind.
This cupboard within the closet was covered in cobwebs. I kid you not. A cobweb-covered-closet-cupboard. I had to tear away some of the cobweb to find the handle, which disintegrated to dust. The cobweb, I mean, not the handle. Before I could even hold the handle, well, you can imagine what happened next, I’m sure. Broken cobwebs need repairing, so the sturdy critter that lived there came out all huffy and set to work weaving her web again. She was the size of an egg – and by that I mean an ostrich egg, certainly not a quail, although a spider the size of a quail’s egg would be quite formidable all the same.
Ostrich spider had muscles upon muscles which I could see straining as she pulled and threaded her almost invisible silken web, and I’m pretty sure she was rolling her eyes at me as I stood and watched. I felt like saying to her that I’d be willing to help, but I’m not as dainty at web-weaving as she, when I realised that she was about to cover over the whole door to the cupboard again.
Swiftly, with a quick apology, I gently knocked the spider over to one side, away from the cupboard. Her landing echoing around me. I could hear her legs scuttle across the floor when she’d righted herself, so I had to act quickly. I opened the cupboard door, which caused more of the remaining web to come away, and I quickly darted inside, pulling the door shut behind me. That spider was now going to be furious.
Inside this cupboard, I realised my error.
I was now trapped inside a cupboard, with a mad, monstrous, web-weaving arachnid just outside, inside the large Mansion closet, with the doors there broken and wide open. I could hear the spider clambering up the outside of the cupboard, and through the really dull light, her legs were casting shadows in all kinds of strange angles around me.
I looked at the back of the cupboard, and could make out what looked like a loft flap in the ground. I lifted it up, and beneath it there was a set of steps going down or coming up, depending upon your perspective. To me, they were going down, so I decided to as well. Thick green curtains hung on each side of the steps, and when I reached the bottom I had a whale of a time trying to find the break between the curtains. Eventually, just by the back of the steps I found it, so stepped through.
It was another of the Mansion’s Nooks and Crannies, which led to and from the Entrance Hall, by the Vestibule. The Stairs were ahead of me, and I was pleased to see the Landing at the top.
At least I now have a shortcut to get over to the East Wing, should I need to go there again. But with spiders of that size residing there I may give that a miss.
Oops. Once again, I’ve remembered the closet door’s still open. That spider could be anywhere now.
And with this Mansion of mine, nothing is more true…