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In the Tangled Web

Ebens existed in a numb void of unawareness.  His eyes were open sometimes, but he possessed neither comprehensive nor sensation.  Only in his dreams did he feel the spiders covering his body, squirming under his skin. Only there could he scream and try to dig them out with his nails.  There was no relief from his torments.  Struggling only made the spiders more aggressive, swarming over and under his skin.  The worst was when the wicked creature with glowing red eyes laughed as she used her legs to entrap him all over again.

 A sharp ripping pain at his mouth suddenly woke him from his stupor.  Ebens screamed with his own voice for the first time since his capture.  He looked about the cave in his daze, unsure of what had just happened to him.   Several large spider legs were removing him from his captivity.

 He dropped to the cave floor like a lifeless doll.  Towering over him the creature leaned in close and whispered something unintelligible before she abandoned him.  As she departed the spiders began to close on him again.

Ebens tried to sit up, but his body remained paralyzed.  His thoughts were clearer, if panicked, and he could see the other lads trapped on the ceiling.  Webs covered some of their mouths while others were left to drool obliviously.  Spiders crawled over all of their exposed faces, even passing over unblinking eyeballs without protest.

Ebens shivered, knowing that he had been in the same state only moments ago.  He could hear the spider talking with someone at length.

Oh, you really do not want to do that.”  The creature said with demonic joy.  “You are welcome to enter our home.  You can join the boys in keeping us warm, and then I am certain to have your ‘sanction’.”  There was only a brief silence before she continued, “I have made my deal and it is not with you. Not with the violent young thieves or untrustworthy humans.  It is with the clockwork Doctor.  I have no need to trust your kind.

She paused once again, Ebens strained to listen to the whole conversation but failed.  The creature spoke once more, this time speaking seriously.  The doctors taught me that in this world you are either the killer or the victim. We are done being the victims.  Attack us and they die.  Keep us here and your boys will remain ours. Goodbye.

There was a loud bang and the spider slowly crept back to the cave.  She approached Ebens, still helpless, and reached for his arms with her upper legs.  She raised him slowly, his body hanging limp in her grasp.

Good news little thief, you will not be needed today and you may soon earn your freedom.

He tried to respond, but he did not posses the strength.  She reached for his mouth with one of her legs and placed it on his chin.  She manipulated his mouth and began to speak for him. “But we have been very ungrateful and unwelcoming.

True, little thief,” She said as she carried him up the wall back towards the ceiling.  “But with your help we will make it to the warm south.  We’ll escape those that want to use us. We have been most generous keeping you alive and comfortable.  Now you will repay our kindness.  Is that not fair?   

Ebens wanted to protest, he didn’t want to return to the ceiling and spiders.  All he could manage was to cry.

Oh, it is too late for that.  Is not prison exactly what little thieves deserve?  The monster cackled and reached Ebens former webbing.  She wrapped him with four of her free legs.  She started to sing a twisted lullaby to him as the numbness returned and his awareness faded.  The last thing he comprehended was her final promise,  Struggling is fruitless, child, but do not worry.  When we no longer need your precious warmth your suffering will end.

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  1. Loki Gearhead Loki Gearhead January 4, 2016

    That is one spider that is very desperate and very sadistic, I don’t know weather or not to offer her a warm spot, or jes destroy the cave …. kidding don’t do the last

  2. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 6, 2016

    Bookworm sighed in frustration as she exited the Power Station.  Nothing about this situation had gone as she’d’ve liked it, when Beryl first proposed showing her where the giant spider was holed up.  First, she’d only wanted to scout out the area, but the spider had heard her quiet probings at the steel plate that blocked the entrance, and had demanded to talk to the Doctor of the Power Station.  It had said that it would release the body of poor Ben if that happened – perhaps even release the other boys.

    With that inducement, Avariel had agreed to go.  She’d entered, and, some time later, exited safely.  And the spider had shoved out Ben’s body.  But that, so far as Bookworm was concerned, was the end of any positive outcomes.  For Avariel told them that she’d made a bargain with the spider – transport all the spiders to someplace warm, and in return, she would release the boys.

    Bookworm had objected strongly to this – there was nothing in the bargain to show that the spider would act in good faith.  They didn’t even have any proof that the other boys were still alive!  But as much as she objected, as much as she tried to have her questions answered, it was all to no avail.  The two had struck their bargain, and would admit no other to it.  True, the spider had retreated momentarily, and there had been a scream that sounded human, but that did nothing to allay Bookworm’s concerns.

    So now Avariel was making ready her airship to transport the spiders – and the boys.  Or the boys’ bodies.  And there was nothing Bookworm could do.

    ‘Sometimes, I wonder why I even try,’ she thought with a mental growl.

    • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 6, 2016

      The spider lady really did not want to talk to you, she has no real trust for authoraty and if what she says about her creators is true I can understand her point of view.

      I have sent telegrams ahead to Doctor Westbridge in Aquila III. If we find any signs that the spiders have broken the deal during the two day airship flight he will meet the spiders with our team of aetheric riflemen.

      Let us hope we get a good outcome, I would like to see those boys released alive.

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