Itsy Bitsy Spider
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Perfect Bound Softcover
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Jon Paul Gordon loses his wife to an auto accident. There is no way he can get over her while still living in their house, in their hometown. She was the love of his life, and now she’s gone. Jon Paul escapes, moving to Appleby, a remote town in West Texas. Even so, he finds that he needs the help of the liquor bottle to quiet his mournful mind as he does his best to go on without his beloved Dahlia.

He makes a new, devoted friend in Homer: a wandering, odd-looking dog. Through Homer, Jon Paul meets the local veterinarian, Dr. Nancy Reyna. Nancy lost her husband to a hunting accident years before, and the two build an immediate bond. As Jon Paul settles in, though, things get weird. Animals have been turning up dead, and now neighbors are seeing strange shadows in their backyards.

There are devious forces at work in Appleby, and they seem to want to communicate with Jon Paul. They prey on the weakness of his alcoholism and on his devotion to new friends. Jon Paul may be willing to lean on these mysterious, alien beings, but he must keep them secret before the animal attacks stop and humans become their next target.

“What in the world is that?” At first it looked like water on the floor, near the water well, but on closer inspection it had a darker color than water. “Homer, get in here!” Now Homer was a dog smart enough to know this tone of voice from his master meant something bad was about to happen. Instantly he made a run for the back bedroom and his favorite hiding place, under the bed. His master had not scolded him very often and hiding seemed to be the prudent thing to do until he decided whether or not he was in big trouble. “Homer, come here!” The voice had softened a little and the dog cautiously crept back into the kitchen and sat at his master’s feet. “Homer, did you wet on the floor?” Jon Paul asked. Sitting perfectly still, Homer cocked his head to the side and looked devotedly into the eyes of his master as if to say, “I don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.” Jon Paul could not bring himself to being angry at his best friend for the past three years. “You know old buddy this is really my fault. If I had not been so drunk last night I would have let you go outside and take care of your business.” Jon Paul thought to himself, “This is the first time since I've had this dog that he has wet on the floor. I think I remember hearing him growl last night but that half pint of whiskey I drank left my brain a little cloudy and I can’t be sure. He certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt and I’ll assume he tried to tell me he needed to go outside.” Jon Paul mopped up the wet spot on the floor as Homer sniffed around the base of the indoor well. The indoor well was one of the features Jon Paul had liked most about this house when he rented it. It was an older house, probably seventy to eighty years old, and he had been told that at one time an indoor well was a sign of wealth. Homer seemed to be very engrossed in the wet spots on the floor which made Jon Paul wonder if Homer had not wet on the floor then how did they get there. He looked at the ceiling and it was obvious there were no leaks and it certainly had not rained last night. He knew he had not spilled anything on the floor, especially not in the area of the well since it was on the back porch. Maybe he had been a little unsteady on his feet last night but if he had spilled any of his drink it would have been near the sink where he mixed his favorite beverage. As Jon Paul walked from the kitchen, he paused to look again in the direction of the well and the area where the wet spots had been. For just a moment he hesitated and thought to himself,“I wonder if some kind of animal could have come up through the well? I’ll have to ask some of the natives here and see if that is possible.” Jon Paul awakened from his sleep but did not open his eyes. He was aware that it was stilldark but he had no idea what time it was. With his eyes still closed, he had a strange feeling that someone was in the house with him. He listened very closely but heard nothing. He reasoned that if someone was actually there Homer would have heard them and either barked or growled. Homer hadone neither and he did not want to completely open his eyes and see someone standing there looking at him. He had a bit of a headache but could think well enough to know he was still under the influenceof the alcohol. With his eyes still closed, Jon Paul thought to himself,” I need to open my eyes just a little and maybe I can see enough to determine if someone or something is in here.” He opened his eyes ever so carefully just enough so that he could tell it was very dark in the house. Apparently it was a cloudy nightand the moon was hidden behind the clouds. He could see through the dining room, the kitchen and out to the back porch. There is a window in the closed-in back porch but with no moonlight, it provided no light to help him see. He opened his eyes a little more and squinted in an effort to see more clearly. His eyes adjusted to the dark somewhat but he could not see well enough to determine if anyone was there. He opened his eyes just a little more until they were about half open. Doggone it, he still could not determine anything. If someone was there, they didn’t seem to be moving. He knew his thinking was still cloudy and he wondered if maybe his sight had been affected also. Because he thought maybe his sight has been impaired, he made an extra effort to listen closely to try to hear anything. No, wait, he thought he did hear something. It sounded like a tennis shoe squeaking on a gym floor or a wet linoleum floor. He thought to himself, “Maybe I’m dreaming all this.”He did not have a sense of fear and yet he did not want to move and startle the person if they were there. He slowly and painstakingly opened his eyes completely and he could see no one was close by. He thought that if he had night lights in each of the rooms he would be able to see enough to know if someone was there.Jon Paul continued to stare though the dining room, the kitchen and to the back porch. He became aware that he was very cold, whereas he had not been when he first sat down. He could tell that goose bumps had arisen on his arms and yet he felt that his forehead was sweating. Ashe continued to strain to see, he thought he could make out the silhouette of a head framed against the back porch window. It could be a head but it was too close to the floor to be an adult unless they were on their knees. Maybe it was a small person or a child. The outline of the head seemed to be swaying from side to side but was not moving any closer. “Oh my god”, he thought,“I think I see two of them.” “Homer”, he thought to himself, “Why aren’t you in here.” It was as if he had ask that out loud. He could hear himself speaking but in reality he knew he had spoken nothing orally. Jon Paul was scared but he was not terrified as he thought he should be to wake up and find these people or things in his house. He spoke to Homer very quietly, “It’s okay Homer.” The dog did not quit growling but did quieten down some. He still had his hand on Homer’s head and could feel the deep guttural growl resonating through the dog’s head. He asked again, “What do you want?” He was amazed as to how calm he was and reasoned that whatever these things were, if they had wanted to they could have gotten him while he was asleep or with three of them, they could have gotten him at any time. He certainly did not want to talk loud enough to startle the things nor did he want to make any quick movement that these things might construe as aggressive. For a few heart pounding moments, nothing nor anyone moved or made a sound. Jon Paul made an effort to communicate by asking again, “What do you want?” There was no response. “Do you understand me? Do you speak English?” Again there was no response. At this point, one of the things moved slightly in the direction of Jon Paul and this made Homer begin to growl again. He pushed his hand down harder on Homer’s head, “Hush.” He looked back toward the things and could not believe his eyes. The thing, or person, or creature, or whatever it was had moved directly into the glow of the night light. It stood about four feet tall and the first description that came to mind was that it looked like a little hairy penguin. It had very short legs and at the top of the legs it had what could be called broad hips and the rest of the body tapered as it neared the top. There was an area that could be called shoulders with a head that sat directly on the shoulders. The appendages that resembled arms were very much out of proportion for the body and extended almost to the floor. The entire body, arms, legs and head were all covered with coarse light brown hair about two inches in length. There appeared to be two areas under the hair in the head region that were probably eyes and then a mouth directly under the eyes...
Dale L. Pitts was an educator for forty-four years and also served as a special agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He holds a bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s and doctorate from the University of Houston. He lives near Houston, Texas.
Like riding a roller-coaster while watching an Indiana Jones movie, Itsy Bitsy Spider will shake, rattle, and roll you all the way to the end. This is a great story if you have a quirky sense of humor, an imagination willing to accept the impossible, and an appreciation for good Texas story telling. This is Dale Pitts' first novel, and it's a darn good one at that. Grab your popcorn and Dublin Dr.Pepper, settle down in your favorite reading chair with the best light on in the house, and buckle your seat belt. Be prepared to laugh, cry, cringe, scream, giggle, and gallop through the pages of this successful first novel. Let's all vote for a sequel! I want to know more about Jon Paul Gordan and Homer, the bravest dog in the world. Oh yeah, and I want to know more about the "mydahs." I'm not telling you anything more. You must read this entertaining novel ASAP. And give a Shout Out for Dale Pitts.
Deborah Hollister 

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