Sacre du Council

On Easter day I went to visit my friend to celebrate together in a silly, agnostic fashion while overdosing on vegan chocolate eggs. We agreed to do it behind closed doors as we did not want to be associated publicly with anything famously Capitalist or Christian.

My friend and I met at university during a Social Studies class. We had an idea to start volunteering together, but our schedules never aligned.

When I opened the front door, I noticed that her usually chaotic, yet cosy living room has been rearranged into a conference room setting. There were no used panties on the floor or half-stuck art cinema tickets on the walls. Instead the walls were stripped naked and revealed their original off-white color with mustard yellow streaks. All the second hand furniture has been thrown away and was replaced with a wooden table as long as the room.

Around the table there was a neat lineup of identical office chairs, but only one was left empty. The rest were taken by spiders. Spiders of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Most of them were native to our land, I recognized their species from cellars, gardens, and abandoned libraries. Some were barely noticeable, while others were much larger than a regular human, sinking into the chairs with their fat bodies like a pudding fits into a plastic cup. The fattest one, a regular birdeater, addressed me first.

“Oh narrator, finally you arrived, please have a seat.” I sat down hesitantly. The room smelt of animal sweat and dried blood. I politely covered my nose with my blouse, focusing on the scent of artificial flowers.

A cellar spider jumped up from its chair and ran out of the room. It returned with a mobile TV cart. The spider turned on the screen and slowly a presentation loaded with the title “Why it is important to eliminate the use of pesticides.”

The cellar spider started to timidly present. When it reached the second slide my friend entered the room in a cheeky, bunny-patterned apron and put down some Easter eggs on the table. A big and hairy tarantula slapped her butt as she walked past. I was going to raise my voice and defend my friend, but I was too new to my position at the Spider Council to risk anything. Instead I diligently took notes and avoided eye contact.

I remained concerned for my friend, but since it seemed that it was her idea to invite the spiders, I presumed she was fine with the situation. I copied the other spiders and unwrapped a pink Easter egg. As I bit into my egg, millions of tiny spiders crawled out from the chocolate shell. A black widow sitting next to me whispered into my ear.

“That one tastes like corruption, it’s my favorite.” I did not try to eat it.

Soon my friend returned, wearing a sheer, nude dress that exposed her whole body. I have never seen her dress so scandalous, but I was proud of her noticeable bulking progress.

My friend revealed a red cloth from hidden parts of her body and graciously placed it on the conference table. As a well-memorized ritual, the spiders started to pass the cloth around hastily. Once it arrived at the black widow the rush stopped. She held the cloth in her spider leghands for a brief second and turned to me. She opened my palms and gently placed the cloth in my hand. “There you go sweetheart.”

A moment of silence.

Hundreds of bestial black eyes fixated on me. I began to sweat, unsure how to act.

“Get on the table,” a voice whispered, so I did.

When I climbed on top, bright reflector lights beamed on me, burning my eyes. The tiny spiders ran out of my pink Easter egg and grabbed some tiny instruments in the corner. A tiny spider conductor waved around with a tiny stick, then the orchestra began to play a famous composition by Stravinsky. It was all surreal.

I felt exposed by the light, by the attention, by the music. The red cloth was still clinging to my hand, I wrapped it around my body like a shield. The rhythm was ever-changing, but it awakened a deep desire to dance. I began to move. Somehow it felt natural, but perhaps I was just ovulating.

My friend reappeared with a tray of pesticides. The members of the Spider Council each grabbed a bottle and started to spray the deadly liquid on me while I was dancing myself to exhaustion. A misty cloud of chemicals formed around my body. I couldn’t see from the light, couldn’t breathe from the pesticides and couldn’t understand. Why did the spiders invade my friend’s apartment? Why was my friend doing this to me? Why me? Am I the pest in this situation?

My skin was oozing liquid as my flesh burned and sizzled under the pesticide cloud. My vision remained damaged and blurry when the cloud dissolved. The cellar spider spoke again, now with great confidence. “Who votes for making pesticides illegal?”


“Who votes for keeping pesticides legal?”

The room cheered and screamed “I do.”

The music stopped.

The audience cheered.

The room emptied.

Only my body remained.

Sára Bányai

Sára Bányai is a Hungarian performer and writer who earned their degree in theater and creative writing from Lancaster University. Her works are published or awaiting publishing in Fleas on the Dog, Pulp Poets Press, Hobart, Rejection Letters, and others. She is currently based in Malmö, fighting the wind on her heavy city bike.