99-Word Flash Fiction: Eminent Domain (Or, Why I’m Moving Out Of My House)

Flash Fiction With A Tarantula Twist!

First of all, thanks to Charli Mills and the Carrot Ranch Literary Community for allowing me to participate in a great bit of “flash fiction” – each week, Charli sends out a call for submissions, and the rules are easy: use the prompt word in the story in some way, and make the “flash fiction” 99 worlds on the dot (story title and your name don’t count).

This week’s word is “eminence”, which is defined as “fame or recognized superiority, especially within a particular sphere or profession”.

Which leads me to the “recognized superiority” of a Tarantula that terrorized some friends once.

There is also a hilarious spider story that Charli shares on her blog before she gives out the word challenge, and that reminded me of something that happened to our friends John and Jill – so here is my “flash fiction” challenge:

Eminent Domain (Or, Why I’m Moving Out Of My House) by John Rieber

I was just stepping on the front porch when Jill screamed: “SPIDER!”

The Tarantula was a BIG one. I instinctively jumped backwards as it raised itself up on eight powerful legs and announced its eminence. Jill raced to the back of the house and grabbed a bottle of bleach. I poured it on our guest. It got angrier.

In a panic I called Animal Control. “We have a Tarantula on our porch!”

“No you don’t”, the voice calmly replied.

“Yes, we have one!”

“No,” they said again, “you have many. They never travel alone.”

I still miss that house.

And that would have been me the next day: finishing packing and moving out of the house forever. Our friends Jill and John, however, fought back and still I’ve in the house to the day.

Over at the Carrot Ranch website, there is the HILARIOUS story that Charli tells about her spider problems, and I am amazed how she has handled their eminent domain:


I love writing these 99-word fiction challenges, and reading all of the other submissions as well.

Here is a recent one I took part in – the prompt being the word “chisel”:


Earlier I took part in another 99-word flash fiction challenge, which I also blogged about – using this selfie as a way into the story:

Intrigued? Well, I was by the prompt word “sign”, and remembering my selfie and that “Thing” sign, I got 99 words out – you can read it here:


Let me know if you have any spider stories to share!

Categories: Books / Media, Memoirs, nature, Pop Culture

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 replies

  1. I think I would have had the creepy crawlies too bad to have stayed in that house! Very well told!

  2. Ha, ha! What an awful reply, “No, you don’t.” Realizing they don’t travel alone would freak out any new homeowner in such parts. Great storytelling, John.

  3. Ha ha ha. That was hilarious, and scary 🙂

  4. Yeah, I’d probably move, too. Nice job, John.

  5. Haha, John. A jolly good story. You have given me an idea.

  6. Lol, enough to make me pack up too! 😉

  7. We have no spiders like that here, John. If we ever did, I doubt my wife would want to live anywhere in this country! Nice work with the story. We can indeed be driven from our homes by fear of things so much smaller.
    (Like a wasp nest)
    Best wishes, Pete.

  8. Wasn’t expecting that ending! Great flash.


  1. Eminence « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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