Step 3: Make Every Element a Metaphor for Your Regret
Regardless of what you end up constructing from your pile of animal sheddings, remember that the point is always amends. That means every piece you add should mean something to the person to whom you're apologizing. Also, you're working with the expired bodies of living creatures, and they deserve to be treated with reverence.
I chose porcupine quills, a natural defense, as the legs of my creature, because there were exactly eight in the box and because they made a nice symbolic gesture of disarmament when I snapped them in half. I wanted to prove that my intentions with this gift were anything but hostile while simultaneously making a poignant statement about the Middle East, probably.
The insides of the quills were similar in texture to packing peanuts, which made them easy to stab with angled wire before gluing them back together to give articulation to the legs. The glue, of course, acted as a representation of our repaired relationship. Obviously.
Finally, I made a wire circle for the undercarriage of the spider head so that all the legs could join together on one solid fixture. The steel circle represented ... a, an upside-down halo to symbolize ... a confused innocence? I don't know, I'm beginning to think that maybe this step was bullshit.
Step 4: Just Make It Look Rad
You want to know the best way to make your new species look terrifying? Shove shrimp claws in its face. They make great mandibles for a spider, or really any creature, now that we're no longer bound by the shackles of symbolism or anatomical correctness. I experimented briefly with shark teeth as well, but I sensed that I was flying too close to the sun. Instead, I fixed a single shark tooth to the back of the abdomen as a stinger and hot glued python ribs along the sides like spines, partially because I thought the back body segment needed to look a little fuller, and partially because by that point I was drunk with the power of a god.
Lastly, don't bother trying to introduce wings. I entertained the idea of giving it butterfly wings, but regardless of where I put them, it changed the whole feel of the creature from menacing to infuriatingly festive. In the end, I stabbed one of the wings with the front leg (despite the deweaponization comparison I worked so hard to construct earlier) and poked the other into the mouth of the spider. It turns out that the only way to make butterfly wings look cool in a craft project is to dangle them from the jaws of a vicious predator.
Step 5: Take Pride in Your Creation
Once your creature is complete, give it the proper context of an environment. I opted to display mine on a hunk of wood, towering over the shredded body parts of its prey. My particular monstrosity clearly eats rodents, birds, insects, and probably small children. I also determined it's aggressively territorial and merciless in its insatiable thirst for blood. Oh yeah, it also drinks blood, at night. I don't know exactly how yours will turn out but I can't get over how completely and unapologetically awesome mine is. There's no way I'm giving this thing up. If anything, it is the opposite of an apology now, it is an attack on the senses. Yes! It is an aesthetic attack, that doesn't say sorry, it only screams incoherently while slipping up your calf and injecting enough venom in you kneecap to kill twelve men. Man, this must be what new parents feel like. I just want it to be so happy.
Maybe I'll send ShiniesAhoy a card or something.