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PETER AND SID • by Rena Sherwood

When Peter hit middle age, he was not so bothered by the chatter of insects. As a child, he’d learned really fast that no one wanted to hear his translations of what the bugs were telling each other. Over the years, he’d learned to tune them out the way other proper Englishmen could tune out trains, flatulence and the voices of their wives. But, just occasionally, he couldn’t help but listen.

He watched BBC news, sprawled out on his settee hoping to become a zombie. His roommate Sid rested on his web a few inches above Peter’s left elbow. Sid also liked to watch telly to relax and found a convenient remote control in Peter. Although Sid, a Missing Sector Orb Weaver, spoke arachnid, he knew enough insect for Peter to understand him. It was nice to have a roommate.

Then, the fly bopped in, buzzing, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” in the way flies usually do in summertime. Before Peter could warn the fly, it had smashed head first into Sid’s web. Sid started to instinctively truss the fly up for later.

Peter would usually ignore any bugacide in his living room, but tonight’s world news was full of rape, rampage and refugees. He winced at each new scene. He wanted to wave a magic wand to save all of these innocent victims, but couldn’t.  

And then he realized there was one victim he could save.

“Sid, let him go.”

“Aww, Peter!”

“I’ll give you a Twiglet.”

Sid sighed, “It’s not the same,” but released his supper.

The fly rested on Peter’s warm arm and happily trilled to his new friend, “Way cool! Let’s watch MTV! Britney Spears put out a new video!”


“Eat up, mate,” Peter said, handing the fly back to Sid.

“There seems to be a lesson here, somewhere,” Sid pointed out after supper.

“There most certainly is,” Peter said. “If you like crap pop music, you’ll be eaten by a spider.”

“Works for me, mate.”

Rena Sherwood has lived both homeless in England and homed in America. She has had numerous poems and short stories published in places such as Atomjack, From The Asylum and GlassFire. She hopes to be a white horse when she grows up, but in the meantime is a freelance writer and professional blogger.

GD Star Rating
PETER AND SID • by Rena Sherwood, 3.9 out of 5 based on 23 ratings
Posted on December 14, 2007 in Stories, Surreal

18 Responses to “PETER AND SID • by Rena Sherwood”

  1. Barak Korren Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 3:42 am

    Great story, it made me laugh, you got my stumble…

  2. Gerard Demayne Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 4:21 am

    Gimme more.


  3. Rena Sherwood Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 6:26 am

    Cheers! :-)

  4. Ellie Tupper Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 7:33 am

    That is a perfect hoot!!! Flies are so like that! Thanks for the morning laugh.

  5. dj barber Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 8:21 am

    LOL! Loved it!

  6. Jeanne Holtzman Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 8:38 am

    What an absolutely delightful story! I loved it, beginning to end.

  7. Oonah V Joslin Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Funny! :)

  8. Kevin Shamel Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 10:24 am

    I absolutely love this story. Thanks, Rena. And thanks, Peter and Sid.

  9. Rena Sherwood Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Thanks, everyone. And, Kevin, you are quite welcome. My pleasure. I’d speak for Peter and Sid, but I think they’d take it personally, so I’ll just guess that they thank you, too :-)

    And Jeanne, I never thought the word “delightful” would ever be applied to this little story. Thanks.

  10. Ryan Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    I’m am offended, Britanny Spears happens to be one of my favorites recording artists. That’s right I said artists. Ok, not really, I loved the story, and will spend the rest of my day looking over my shoulder for large arachnids.

  11. GL Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Hahahaha! That was great!

  12. Al Schindler Says:
    December 16th, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Great story! Loved it!

  13. carver Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 7:53 am

    enjoyed thoroughly.

  14. Interview with Rena Sherwood | Every Day Fiction Says:
    January 15th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    […] most read author, Rena Sherwood, is the author of “Peter and Sid” a short story that manages to blend humour with elements of the surreal, and also makes a […]

  15. Bill West Says:
    February 17th, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Nice flash, Rena.
    I like spiders!
    Flies … well spiders like them :¬)

  16. Rena Sherwood Says:
    February 17th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Anyone else rmember a great children’s book called “Be Nice To Spiders”?

  17. mail@jenniferwalmsley.co.uk Says:
    March 16th, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Like Bill, I like spiders and enjoyed your story.

  18. Max Bell Says:
    April 5th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Delightful! I’ve been blearily stumbling my way through stumbleupon’s media/writing category (the better to procrastinate on the short story I started three days ago), and admit I’ve clicked past a lot of cringe-worthy fiction.

    This is by far the brightest gem out of the few thousand odd clicks I’ve visited, though. Bravo!


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