This story is about Mister, and goes back to my happy childhood. We lived in NYC in Manhattan on 130 something street, in a three story brownstone that housed many of my relatives. At this time I was not yet five years old. When we lived in this neighborhood I had not yet started school and I started kindergarten at five. By the time I went to school we had moved to another neighborhood.
On the corner of 130 something and Amsterdam was a combination Pharmacy and Soda Fountain store. It was owned by Mister.
He was a Jewish man and a could not get my immature tongue around his name so I just called him Mister.
The building my family lived in was on the same side of the street, three buildings east of Amsterdam which ran north and south. Mister was a dapper little old man maybe in his late sixties. In the winter his uniform at the pharmacy besides his white pharmacy overcoat was a flannel checkered shirt, with matching vest, tie, slacks and well polished penny loafers in black or brown depending on the color combination of the day. He had beautiful skin, with rosy cheeks, blue eyes, rimless round bifocal spectacles, resting on the tip of his nose. He smelled like Allspice. The top of his head was shiny and bald with a pure white fringe of abundant shiny hair around the sides of his head. He also had beautiful white teeth. Today, I wonder if the teeth were false. He always had a big smile and a warm welcoming handshake for anyone who came into his store.
If you had a problem he would listen and try to help. He was very kind to his two employees. He loved children. He always favored me with a piece of caramel, mint, or lollypop when I came to his store. Saying "Here is a sweet for the sweetest little girl in New York." Lifting me up by my hands and spinning me around, to my delight. Mom would always stop by his store just to say hi or to pick up the seemingly endless supply of medications for my asthma. I loved Mister I thought he was wonderful. And I will never forget him because as far as I'm concerned he saved my mother's life, from pure evil.
One night I had a nightmare. I dreamed that my mother and I had just gotten off the bus and were walking home past Mister's store. As things are in dreams. I saw in my minds eye a spider on the roof of the building Mister's store was in. Suddenly the spider began to grow until it's body was about five feet long, add to that the legs and you have a gargantuan arachnid, and I knew it wanted to kill my mother. In the dream I screamed, "Mommy the spider wants to kill you pointing at the roof". My mom looked in the direction I was pointing in time to see, two huge hairy legs step over the ledge of the roof. That was all she needed to see, she picked me up turned around and started running for Mister's store. She didn't see the whole spider but I did. It was so big it's body completely covered one of the windows on the side of the building. In addition it was headed diagonally toward us with amazing speed. Mom, got into the store and locked the door behind her. Mister, was surprised, she would do this but could tell she was terrified. What's wrong Mrs. S, why are you so pale? My mother was primarily Spanish speaking. So what she said was, "This big black thing, it try to kill me and the baby!!" Mister, was confused but he thought my mother was talking about a black man. He said, "Now Mrs. S. it's not nice to refer to people as things. But I will call the police." Mom said, "No people, no people, big black many legs, it kill, it kill!" Now while this confusing conversation is going on, I can see in my minds eye what the spider is doing and sense what it's thinking. It's thinking it can't come into the store, someone might actually see it. Usually, it can only be seen by it's intended victim. But for some reason it could not understand or explain, it knew I could see it and I should not have been able to. I had a psychic link to my mom and despite the inconvenience of my ability to see it, the spider knew it had to complete it's mission of killing my mother.
It was walking back and forth on the wall of the building over the door to Mister's store. And getting very angry and impatient. So far it seemed to be invisible to everyone else. However, through the glass door of the store I could see people walking by and they would look up over the door of the store and shiver and move away from the door. I could also feel that it was terribly evil.
By this time Mister had called the police. Than he said, "I'll just go out there and talk to the man and tell him I called the police, maybe he will go away, and no one will get into trouble." My mother grabbed his arm and said, "No man, no man big black thing, it kill, it kill, no go out, it kill you!!" My mother got between Mister and the door, by this time the employees and two customers in the store were getting alarmed wondering what my mother was talking about. I was crying and pushing Mister back saying, "Please, don't go, don't go wait for police!!" He unlocked the door, moved me and my mother aside, and started to walk out, my mother again got in his way, and I was in the back pulling on his pants, trying to keep him from going out. My mom was now, just outside the door to Mister's store and the spider thought it had it's chance to kill her and got ready to spring. But at that very moment, Mister exchanged places with my mother to go out of the store first saying, "I will take care of it, I'm sure he won't harm me." The spider jumped and it killed Mister, as the police sirens could be heard in the distance. I woke up screaming at the top of my lungs, "No, don't kill him, don't kill Mister, don't kill Mister!!!" continuing to sob uncontrollably. My mother was already awake as she realized I was crying in my sleep. Honey, it's a bad dream, it's a bad dream don't cry. I said, "No, no it's not, Mister is dead, Mister is dead." My mother got me to go back to sleep by promising she would take me to visit Mister in the morning.
As soon as it was light, I was anxious to see Mister, and mom true to her word took me to Mister's store as soon as we finished breakfast. We walked into the store and found everyone crying, Mister had died of a heart attack that very night. I knew that horrible evil spider had killed him, and if he had not gotten in the way it would have killed my mom instead. Now I believe that spider actually represented death, and that it had come for my mother, but Mister saved her life by giving his.