Maman looms next to the National Art Gallery, in that funny position between sitting and standing that spiders often assume. She must be cold, but she doesn’t shiver.

As I venture directly beneath her, her spindly legs, all length and no girth, form a prison around me. They leave smaller footprints than the giant boots worn by the tiny humans quickly walking by in the absurd cold. A cage of 26 white marble eggs hovers above me, attached to her underbelly. I wonder what might hatch from them.

Her black bronze skin reflects the light from the late afternoon sun, which sits low in the sky as if it’s trying to warm us poor freezing tundra dwellers. So low in fact, that the shadow cast by Maman is even larger than the giant arachnid herself. The shadow sits like a massive ghost in the centre of the nearby road, trying in vain to swallow the cars that drive right through it.

There is something sinister looking about Maman, but then again it must be quite hard for a giant metal spider to look well intentioned.

Her intentions are in fact unknown. She has the perfect poker face because she has no face. Is she attacking or defending the Gallery?

The mechanical creature is frozen now, but I can imagine her exploding to life on the first warm day of spring, devouring the silly little bureaucrats below. She needs to feed her children after all.

Who would save the people? The Madonna and her child standing between the shining silver spires of the nearby church? I think not. Maybe the bronze soldiers standing atop the peacekeeping monument across the street? No, they wouldn’t stand a chance. Perhaps the angel by the Beaux Arts Centre could call for help with his horn. Or maybe the Americans in their gigantic fortress nearby could offer the people refuge.

I sigh as I imagine such a horrific onslaught. At least it would be interesting.


Written as a descriptive assignment.


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