Web: A Short Story by Julie
TODAY’S BREW: Any caffeinated thing I can reach.
I wrote this little bugger this week in one of those “just write” moments. Have fun.
She was a black addiction that made me vomit inside. Every breath a miraculous barbarity, every touch full of sadistic affection. I would never want for anything with her. She was my everything and I was nothing in her eyes.
I didn’t know what she was, and I never bothered to ask. It didn’t matter when she had me pinned, a spider and fly, webs holding us together rather than words and names. I could feel her twisting black nails in my heart, and I loved it. I loved her poison more with every scream.
When we met, Chloe looked like every other Goth chick at the club, with her fishnets and shiny leather, hair dyed to match her eyeliner, to match her nails, to match her jacket. But when she looked at me, me who looked no different from her in black all my own, her eyes were the lightest green, like jade in the sun, and darker than anything I had ever known.
Even though I could do better I came back to her no matter how much pain wracked me. Maybe that was why I went back; I thought she would mercifully take it away. The most vicious of circles.
“Marcus, come inside.” Her voice was so ordinary, her body thin and small like just about any fifteen year old girl’s. She hung her head a little, embarrassed by acne, shy about her black lipstick, hiding in her screaming clothes. But once she caught me, I saw a thing so primal it was impossible to believe she cared.
“You don’t always need to tell me to come in; I know by now.” Chloe shot me a hard look and I smirked. I was all pomp and intimidation until she got me in her grasp.
No one was home but her, nobody ever was. We’d been doing this for weeks now.
Her room was predictably painted black, the predictable posters on the walls. I knew underneath that it meant we loved the same bands, the same scene, but since we started meeting like this, everything changed. All of that goth stuff didn’t matter. Only she did. And this.
My chin was in the air even now, even though I knew what was coming. She came in behind me, timid and quiet, still afraid of how “guidance counselor-abrasive” I was.
But we both knew who was really in charge here.
Her shoulders hunched still as she crossed the room, making her tinier. I put my shoulders back, pushed my chest out.
She turned around with a terrifying slowness, chin lowered, glaring up at me. I shook from that look in her black rimmed eyes.
“Tell me why you come here,” she said in the voice I’d come to fear.
“And who am I?” she asked, head cocked, lips peeled back into a disgusting smile.
My head hung, chest caved in, all that attitude withering in her wake.
“Who am I?” she asked again with a hiss.
“You are the Only One.”
A terrible clacking noise with her sudden approach, making me wince, fearing her touch. I knew it wouldn’t be the same soft hand that had held mine, such a short time ago.
A spiny, hairy talon sort of thing dug into my chin, forcing it up, to make me look at the eyes again.
Every time it got scarier. I was proud of myself that I only pissed my pants the first time. The creature Chloe became was a spider. There was no other way to describe it, though it felt ten times scarier than any spider I could think of, even those bird eating tarantula things. She was huge, black as hell, shark fin barbs on the eight legs clacking excitedly against each other. The bristly hair on its body stood on end, and it was hunchbacked, making it able to look me right in the eyes despite its size.
That face. All spider except for that face. A little girl’s, even younger than Chloe looked at school, like a child trapped in the monster’s body, made into a monster herself with her imprisonment. Finger-long fangs dripped. Chloe’s translucent green eyes bore into me, hideous, cold. Human, but no human ever wanted something so repulsive.
None of that was as bad as when it spoke.
“Do I need to make a new web?” Broken glass and fingernails on a chalkboard, a demon voice. That’s all this thing could be.
I shook my head quickly. Waiting for the web to be spun was agonizing, watching your torture chamber created.
“Get on the bed then.” I didn’t need to be told.
My wounds were itching, just starting to heal, but I resisted clawing at them under my tee shirt. They would be handled soon enough.
Before I could lie on the bed, the Chloe spider flipped me onto my back, crouched over me, venom raining on my face from its teeth. It ripped my shirt off with one of its awful talons, putting a new scrape on my chest. I cried out, and it laughed at me.
There was a mirror on the ceiling. It hadn’t been there the first time I laid here, but Chloe noticed how hard I stared straight up, trying not to know what was happening to me. Causing pain is more fun if your victim gets to watch. I saw six gaping wounds across my ribs, so big I couldn’t believe I survived them. But I did, over and over again. They hung open like smiles, scabbing over just enough to not bleed.
Faster than any bug I had ever seen move, it stood on its two back legs and slashed at me with the other six, simultaneously ripping open the cuts with its barbed legs. I screamed so loud my ears popped, and I could see straight down my throat in the mirror. My eyes were so wide, I didn’t miss a thing.
It hurt so much more than when I cut myself, what an idiot to do it to myself, what could it be in comparison to this, what could it mean next to this? What an ass to think I could ever find a way to feel. Searching through pain for something that would never be mine.
It was hers.
She hovered over me, sticky web wound round her limbs, and darted an all too human tongue into one slash, the venom stinging and breeding pain inside me. Her tongue was a hot knife to remind me I was alive. And alone, so alone, until she showed me that alone is the only way to survive.
After drenching my insides with her poison, the web was threaded into the wound, filling it and closing it, only enough to keep me alive. Her ice eyes on mine while the pain took hold. Finally, bound to something that would never let me go.
I screamed as the poison took hold, made me shake again, spit frothing in my mouth, my own eyes strangers to me. My own heart a stranger.
She leaned into my ear. “I will devour you alive.”
“Not fast enough,” I choked out. And no faster than I would devour myself.