Dream of: 29 October 1999 "The Queen Spider"

I was walking through one of the large rooms of the old frame house where my wife Carolina and I were living (the house vaguely seemed like the Gay Street House in Portsmouth). The room was completely empty, no furniture, just the dark hardwood floor. Abruptly I noticed something on the floor along one wall, something which looked like a clump of dried mud. I immediately thought I knew what it was and I gave it a kick, knocking off part of the lump. Just as I suspected – termites! Not just a few termites either. Under the dried mud I could see a hole in the wall, about the size of a golf ball, and hundreds and thousands of termites seemed to be moving through the hole. I could hardly imagine so many termites filling up the walls. They must be completely destroying the house.

I had to do something immediately. I remembered that I had had the house sprayed for termites several years ago, and that I had subsequently paid a yearly fee so I could have the house sprayed again for free if termites were to reappear. Unfortunately I had let the termite policy lapse. Now I was uncertain what I would do. Perhaps I could find a termite company which would simply come there and spray this section for a nominal fee.

Meanwhile, I thought I needed to do something myself and I decided I should pour gasoline on the termites. I quickly went outside and retrieved a red plastic gas container which I kept in the garage for the lawnmower. I met Carolina on the way and told her about what I had discovered. She also became concerned, and when I returned to the room, she came back with me.

Back in the room, I found my brother Chris (1957-1974) who had walked in and was looking at the termites. He was wearing a white tee shirt, and looked as if he were 7-8 years old. He was walking around and he didn't seem to have muscular dystrophy. Suddenly he screamed out and backed away from the termites. I saw what the problem was. Apparently we weren't dealing with termites at all, but with hornets. At least one hornet clearly had stung Chris and several more were swarming around the room.

As gingerly as possible I eased up to the hole and began pouring gas onto the hornets. Now I could see them more clearly. Thousands of hornets were wriggling and dying from the gasoline. They now looked more like honey bees than hornets.

Except for one … one insect resembled a black spider about five centimeters in span. I excitedly thought that the spider-like insect must be the queen! If I could kill the queen, I could destroy the whole nest. I aimed the long yellow plastic spout of my gasoline container at the spider and I pressed down on the spider's body with the tip of the spout. I smashed the spider down into the mass of the hornets until I could no longer see the spider. I was uncertain whether I had actually killed the spider, but I hoped so.

I wondered if I could somehow get a better view of the hornets. I looked around until I noticed another big hole in the floor, about 30 centimeters in diameter. I looked through the hole and could see down into the basement. There before my eyes was a most disturbing sight. A long clear tube, about 30 centimeters in diameter, rose from the floor of the basement up to the first hole which I had seen. The tube almost resembled a gigantic intestinal tract. It was filled with hornets, thousands of them, wriggling and squirming, some dying from the gasoline, some still alive trying to make it to the surface. Only they didn't look exactly like hornets now. They looked more like green olives. I knew, however, that they were hornets, and I knew that the house was infested. I had to do more to get rid of them.

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