It was like waking up a moment before your alarm; that relaxing, easy moment when your eyes flutter, and your mind and body are in a perfect state of rest and consciousness. But the scene to meet her eyes was not the fuzz curls of four warm blankets, the wincing jab of the seat buckle, or the fingers of frost digging at her through the windshield. It was nothing, and not middle of the night, no lights on kind of nothing. No far off car alarms, no dotted street lamps in the distance, not even a hint of the bone-cold blizzard outside what should have been her tinted windows. Just nothing.
“Well, there you are.” The jolt of sensation in this void was orgasmic, yet she felt oddly still as she watched her vision shift behind her to the one beacon in the dark. Within the spear of light, there sat a stool, a plain stool – likely made of oak or maybe pine – and upon the stool there sat the most eruptive spider she had ever seen. He was like a peacock of eight-legged magnificence, his abdomen radiant with colors beyond her comprehension, perched on his nimble, furred toes, eyes glinting like gems of moonlight in all directions.
“You took a bit of reeling in, I must say. What a resilient girl you are. Invigorating, if I may say so. Oh, do not take that to mean I am taking your situation lightly. It is simply refreshing to experience someone worthy of my attention for once.”
The deep, rumbling sounds of the spider hit like a bowling ball into a down comforter against her mind. It was as if all sense were drowning around her, while she sat still and healthy. The spider’s mandibles shuffled patiently.
“So many questions, I see, and so few words. Expected from mortals in this realm. Poor little soul, you don’t even realize you’re dead yet, do you? Well, I suppose now…”
Her heart wasn’t there to stop beating at the spider’s words.
“Ah, not as hard-hitting as you’d expect, is it? No, there is a stifling of yourself here. This is no place for frailties such as emotions and reactionary habits. You’d be broken far too easily. Judging by your tenacity in resisting my invitations for so long, though, I believe you will get used to it easier than most.”
The feeling of a weight lifting came to her as she found herself coming into the light. The spider’s eyes drew to her, lighthouses of all sizes beckoning her into the web. His curled claws shifted on the edge of the worn wood.
“Now you are here, my darling little struggler, I have a proposition for you. I do not offer it to all my guests. As you can see,” a long, prickled leg stretched out toward the void; she could barely make out the edges of white strings and woven nests suspended from nowhere, “I do not converse, let alone make dealings with my prey very often. But you,” as the two claws of his extended foot came within an inch of her presence, “are different. You have come to this place in misfortune and in abandonment of all those others who could have taken you in death. I have brought you to my humble home in intrigue and possibly pity, if it is possible for me to express such a thought anymore. I offer you a task, as either an opportunity for release or a release from boredom in your eternity here. It is your choice; my own choice is the latter. Your task is this: beat me in a staring contest. You may try as many times as you desire, and should you by some chance win, I will open the worlds beyond this realm to your investigation. So my dear little insect, shall we play?”
So a good friend of mine sent me a link to some writing prompt generators, and I took a stab at the Three Noun Prompt Generator. My first set of words were ‘spider,’ ‘hell,’ and ‘stool.’ And there you have it! I’m quite happy with this piece. Part of me thinks I should have continued the story, but I’m quite content with the cliff-hanger style for this one. Let me know your thoughts.
And in case you were wondering, the spider in this story is a peacock spider, a strong muse of my imagination lately. If you don’t know what that is, search it. SEARCH IT NOW! Cheers. 🙂