Spider (story)

Article

August 11, 2022

"Spider" (German Die Spinne) is a mystical story by Hans Heinz Evers, written in 1908 in the French Olt and published in the author's collection Possessed (German Die Besessenen) in the same year. Evers describes the development of a dangerous relationship between a demonic temptress and a medical student watching her from a window for three weeks.

Plot

At the Stevens Hotel, located at 6 Alfred Stevens Street and owned by Madame Dubonnet, in room number 7 for three consecutive weeks - every Friday - three tenants in a row commit suicide. All three hung themselves on a hook sticking out of the window bar, on a red cord, while kneeling on the floor. A black spider with purple spots was seen next to all the hangmen. After these suicides, all the guests leave the hotel. Medical student Richard Braquemont moves into the vacated room 7. Almost the entire story is occupied by Brakemont's diary, in which he writes down almost every day everything that happens to him. The first entry is dated February 28 - it was a Monday. Bracquemont declares to an unnamed police inspector who is investigating suicides in a hotel that he has a "plan of action" for the execution of which he refers to the Revelation of John the Theologian - and unlike everyone else, the inspector does not refuse him. The Inspector orders Madame Dubonnet to fully support Bracquemont. In the window of a house across the street opposite the hotel, Brakemont notices a stranger whom he calls Clarimonda. He considers her the reason why, no matter what, he does not want to move out of the room. Clarimonda is engaged in spinning, but over time she begins to flirt with Bracquemont: she keeps looking at him from the window and repeats all his actions. The rest of her apartment is filled with impenetrable darkness, because of which Braquemont does not dare to visit Clarimonda. Clarimonda always wears the same black dress with large purple patches and black gloves. Over time, Braquemon becomes attached to Clarimond and realizes that he is in love with her. He abandons his studies and spends whole days only doing what he stands in front of the window and "plays" with Clarimonda - performs various actions that she exactly