Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Because of the title Arachne, I knew it was a spider who pricked her arm.

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Yes, a spider bite. But why had the pain suddenly disappeared? Or was she in a coma?

Taylor Lanson Taylor Lanson
Recommendations: 13

Perhaps it was just May adjusting to the changes inside her body...

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Aha, Mrs. Muffett, a recent widow, or black widow spider? ,ok?' (no ! mark)

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

I had to look up 'cogitations' for I wasn't sure what it meant. (thoughts/meditations/ponderings)

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

A clue? 'The only young person in the area?'

Taylor Lanson Taylor Lanson
Recommendations: 13

She is an innocent little fly indeed.

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Oh dear! The house from the Addams Family or Phsycho!

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Good description of the atmosphere and of the feelings she encountered.

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

This paragraph is telling me something like in the story of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'. Seems like she has been around, forever!

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Determination for the sake of money or just to prove herself?

Taylor Lanson Taylor Lanson
Recommendations: 13

The latter I would hope. For her sake, at least.

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Mrs. Muffet is flowing, gliding? I am getting suspicious here.

Taylor Lanson Taylor Lanson
Recommendations: 13

As you should... As you should...

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

So is this a nightmare? Sounds like one!

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Yukky and more Yuk! Horrific! I can almost feel their presence. well done so far!

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Are these your words of poetry? or is it real? Whatever, it is so in character.

Taylor Lanson Taylor Lanson
Recommendations: 13

This is actually a famous poem by Mark Hewitt written to describe the nature of being fooled by someone who boasts of lavish experiences. I thought it was fitting here simply for its context.

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

What fear will make one do!

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

This is giving me the heebie-jeebies and will give me nightmares tonight!

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

I knew it! She was a Black Widow Spider!

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

This last paragraph/poem is in the shape of a spiders head? was this meant to happen?

Taylor Lanson Taylor Lanson
Recommendations: 13

Completely unintentional...although I must say that I like the way you think!

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Taylor Lanson Taylor Lanson
Recommendations: 13

Arachne


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She had a friend.

      May awoke to a sharp pinch on her right arm. She dismissed the stimulus gradually as her eyes slowly drifted from the covers that concealed her body to the slightly agape window on the far side of the room. May's window looked directly onto the house across from hers, almost as a painful reminder of the the possible turmoil to come in the next day's labor. A cool breeze flowed from the uncanny opening to the outside world and a mysterious yet deadening aroma of dust filled May's nostrils. Realizing the gravity of the situation, she once again shifted her vision to observe the adjacent clock on her bedside table. It only took a second for her distorted eyesight to focus on the numbers staring back at her, but when May saw that it was close to midnight, she started to feel rather agitated at the brooding aroma of fatigue that engulfed her psyche. In no less than six hours, she was supposed to roll out of bed in order to start the long day of work ahead of her; it was no surprise that such a thought alone was enough to drive her to moan quite extensively, but even the promise of financial stability over the summer was not enough to quell her emotions. She felt alone and slightly concerned at her inability to fall back asleep, despite her obvious exhaustion, but May was used to ignoring disconcerting signs in order to stay on task. 1 comment


       "Nothing is wrong - I am just stressed out," she thought. However, the longer her mind pondered on the subject, the more anxious she seemed to become. It wasn't long before she surmised her "one-night insomnia" as incurable and so May decided to just lay there - hopefully so that her apprehension would dissipate of its own accord. Suddenly, May's right arm started to itch profusely and the distinct feeling of a rash breaking-out started to overwhelm her senses. Just when she thought her discomfort couldn't get any worse, the irritation suddenly and unexplainably ceased. May sighed with relief and continued to lay in her bed for what seemed to be only a few minutes; however, when she felt a ray of sunlight creep upon her visage she realized that morning had come a lot sooner than expected. May rose from her warm encompassment and spent only a few fleeting moments to get herself ready for the day; she then proceeded to walk down into the hallway in order to reach the household kitchen for breakfast. The inescapable "debriefing" her mother would give, however, would be an unfortunate consequence. 2 comments


"Now Mrs. Muffet is a recent widow, so you must be cordial," exclaimed Mrs. Parker. "Do not bring up the funeral or anything like that, ok?" 1 comment


"Yes Mother," May said in a mocking tone.


"You know it is only by sheer luck that you got this summer job! I am just trying to make sure you don't do anything to jeopardize your good-standing," she further expressed


"I am not completely incompetent Mom! I can handle this," May furiously asserted.


"Fair enough, just make sure you follow her every order. It might be a tad labor intensive, but the house is old and it needs a little refurbishment," said Mrs. Parker.


       May began to think to herself how this summer-job was beginning to seem more like a curse than a blessing, but she kept her cogitations to herself as not to upset her mother further. She furtively walked out of her "humble abode" as to avoid any more argument with her mom and stepped out into the radiance of the sun. Mrs. Muffet's house was just across the street and it occurred to May that she was the only young-person in the area for quite some distance. The "sheer luck" her mother was screaming about earlier started to remiss in legitimacy. There was literally no other convenient person for the job and although May was happy to help, she had some trouble shaking the notion that the summer employment she now found herself in was actually orchestrated. The implication didn't really seem to bother her though and it was moved into the corners of her subconscious, never to surface again. May surely would not let some arbitrary idea prevent her from reaching her monetary freedom and so in the very same time it took her to reach the sidewalk across the street, she had already assured herself that such a belief was simply absurd. 3 comments


       She approached the almost gothic looking house with some concern. It was darker than the other houses on the road and exuded a very solemn redolence. It seemed out of the era, almost as if it had been transported from some ancient time-period. There was a considerable amount of space between it and the adjacent houses; it stood out like a cold-sore on an otherwise perfect complexion. May had never been overly fixated on the aesthetic design of the house before, but as she was closing in on the front door, she felt a very sickening consciousness flourish within her organs. Approaching nausea, May braced herself against the door and regained her composure. She knocked three times with considerable force against the closed threshold;  for the premonition of Mrs. Muffet's recessed hearing called for such a blunt pounding. May heard a faint call from inside house; at first it was indistinguishable, but thankfully Mrs. Muffet verbally motioned May to come inside a second time. 1 comment


"Come in Miss Parker! I'm in the study across the main room and the door is open," declared Mrs. Muffet. A noticeable urgency was apparent in her calling.


       May briskly paced herself as she walked through the dimly lit house. It was surprisingly cold for the season and the musty atmosphere gave May a prominent headache. It became obvious that such movement wasn't common in the house, for every step seemed to plume a explosion of dust and every turn produced an intense creaking in the floor-boards. As May hurried to the study she began to think of Mrs. Muffet specifically. She knew that Mrs. Muffet was an elderly woman, older than anyone else in the area by far, but apart from that she had only herd rumors. Mrs. Muffet was a woman of legend; the neighborhood associated her with wisdom and talents considered long forgotten by the modern age. It was common to respect a person who had remained prominent throughout the years and so by extension, it was not a surprise that the community regarded Mrs. Muffet as something akin to a seer. People would go to her for advice and she always seemed to know exactly what to say for any predicament. A distant family member of Mrs. Muffet would come every so often to the house to drop off food and other necessities. Since her husband's passing, she lived alone in the house and it did not seem to mind her in the slightest. The house was to some degree unsightly and disgusting, but the people in the surrounding neighborhood ignored such details. They knew that Mrs. Muffet was a frail lady; how could anyone expect her to keep the house in a pleasing condition? Mrs. Muffet clearly needed help and May would fulfill her need. 1 comment


      As May approached Mrs. Muffet, she was taken aback to the contrasting colors presented before her. Mrs. Muffet was blindingly pale, but her floor-length dress was jet black. She had snow-white hair and her wrinkles covered her entire visage. She had no jewelry on except for a single golden necklace that came down to the middle of her chest with a ruby gem fixated in a hourglass shape. Mrs. Muffet sat in a rocking chair, but she moved only her hands. She was intensely at work on a very large tapestry that seemed too intricate to be real. Mrs. Muffet was talented, this was for certain; however, she was aware of this fact as well. She had no problem with admiring her own works and if given the chance, she would talk often of her art for as long as the listener would allow. Sewing was her passion, it had always been for as long as Mrs. Muffet could remember. She had an entire room devoted to housing her creations. Everything from landscapes to geometric designs; from people to raw emotions and colors were presented to the mind's eye admiring her devotion. Each depiction was a reflection of another's beauty, it seemed, and May felt that she could never fully comprehend the artistic prowess Mrs. Muffet held. They were truly stunning, May thought. She had the longing inside her that maybe one day she could have as much talent in sewing as Mrs. Muffet did. 1 comment


       Mrs. Muffet observed May with a keen holding of perception. She looked over every facet of May's being slowly and deliberately. She stood up from her rocking-chair and almost seemed to glide across the floor in a single fluid stride. Mrs. Muffet's billowing dress made her movements indistinguishable and the fact that her face was entirely blank made May quite nervous. Mrs. Muffet had a abrasive voice, it was antiquated with the curvature of time and it was elevated with a slight elitist tone. Although her posture was somewhat skewed, she never seemed to loose balance. Her presence was somewhat intimidating, but it was hidden under the symbolic aura of a rusty wheel that seemed to be struggling to turn. Every second that Mrs. Muffet analyzed May would last for an eternity. May began to sweat, but she tried to hide her discomposure as to not offend Mrs. Muffet. The dusty bouquet once again filled May's conception with a magnitude as painful as a nostalgic memory to which will never cease. Mrs. Muffet's gaze was intoxicating and it put May in somewhat of daze. However, May shrugged it off as quickly as it pierced her cognizance. The otherworldly invigorations she was experiencing were surely of her own apprehension.


"Hello Miss Parker," Mrs. Muffet suddenly pronounced; "I hope you aren't too squeamish, because your first and only task for today is rather ... well, too be honest it is quite unsettling."


"I'm sure I can handle it," May said with confidence; "thank you so much for giving me this job over the summer, by the way, my family and I really appreciate it."


"I knew you would be perfect for the task dear, I was actually afraid you wouldn't come!" Mrs. Muffet was almost whispering now, as if she wasn't meant to say too much.


"Well, here I am!" May was shaking off her anxiety now, things were finally starting to seem normal. Except for the fact that the itching on her right arm was now growing more intolerable.


"Ok, dear. Your first task is to go into the cellar and see if you could get rid of the spider infestation I seem to have overlooked. It won't be pretty, but I trust you can handle it."


       May's heart stopped. In an instant, the comfort she had built up shattered into a million pieces. May was not a coward by any means, but spiders were just something she could never confront. It was as if Mrs. Muffet had picked the one task that would be insurmountable for May to complete on purpose. May nodded slightly to show that she had understood the order, but she was dreading the task almost to the point of refusal. How could she possibly give up on her first day? Her mother would be infuriated to say the least, and the thought of being penniless for another summer was horrid enough on its own. May weighed the options in her head to the point of debility. Was it really worth her sanity to have spending money? She felt weak and petty, but soon her feebleness gave way to determination. May would not let this defeat her and even though the nature of the implication she faced might seem trivial to someone else, it was truly a insuperable hindrance in her mind. May took a long inhalation and began to descend the stairs into the cellar. Just like before, each step set off a burst of dust along with a screech in the floorboards; the sensations May felt coupled nicely with the increasing darkness to produce a very inexplicably dreadful beauty. 2 comments


       May steadied herself at the door to the cellar. She turned around to look up at the threshold from which she came and observed the silhouette of Mrs. Muffet blocking most of the light billowing from the study. May was startled at how Mrs. Muffet seamlessly descended the stairs. Not a single disruption in the integrity of the steps was audible and she progressed down the stairway with an uncanny speed. Mrs. Muffet stopped several steps above where May was standing and bent over in a surreal manner to hand her a very old-looking flashlight. Mrs. Muffet didn't say a word and turned, as if on a dime, to ascend back to the study. May stood statuesquely with the flashlight in hand. She checked to make sure it worked and held her breath before placing her right hand on the knob of the cellar door. She pressed her ear against the door and heard slight clicking noises, she thought to herself that there must be hundreds of them. The tension building up within the psyche of May was reaching its peak and she realized that she had nothing for which to rid the spiders with. Quickly, May improvised with a old board leaning up against the narrow staircase; she took one last look up the passageway to freedom, observing the contradictory images of light and darkness. 2 comments


"These sort of things only happen in nightmares," May whispered to herself. 1 comment


       The handle on the door was rusted and hard to turn, but May forced the door open with a single intense push. The aperture into hell was now agape and May was ready to enter. She took a few steps into the darkness, cautiously closed the entryway behind her with her foot, and readied the wooden board for impact. Finally, May clicked the flashlight into action and perceived nothing but an ordinary looking room with shelves and a few cardboard boxes on the ground. She stood in place waiting to detect any movement, but soon grew tired of her sight perceiving only still air. Just as she was beginning to give up, a solitary and minuscule spider crawled out from behind the nearest cardboard box. May cringed for only a second and then preceded to kill it with a single stomp. Afterwards, May's fear was considerably deadened, she felt so silly for being as afraid as she was. The evanescence of her trepidation was poetic; May was very content with herself. She closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh, but as she opened them again she realized her most ghastly reality was still in existence.


       The floor was covered in tiny spiders all rushing towards May's feet. She compressed herself against the doorway leading to safety, but she soon understood that escape was impossible. The spiders on the walls and on the door behind her had already engulfed her entire body by the time she realized that she was cornered. May frantically swung herself about sporadically to free herself from the web of spiders she found herself caught in. The arachnids were everywhere and May knew she had no choice but to scream for help. She smashed her body up against the walls to kill as many of them as she could; the blood and guts of thousands of small spiders covered her body. They were in her hair, her eyes, her mouth, and her clothes; the almost inaudible clicking noises of their crawling rose to a roar in May's ears. She let out several blood-curdling screams as to drawn as much attention to herself as possible, hopefully Mrs. Muffet could get help in time. May's hope lessened as she discerned the reality that she could only glance at her surroundings when the spiders removed themselves from her line of sight. May's situation was the epitome of terror and she knew that this was a nightmare to which she would never wake up. Even so, she still clung to life as tightly as the spiders wrapped themselves around her being. She understood that she no longer knew where she was in the cellar and succumbed to the contours of the room to keep herself from falling over. She dropped her flashlight and with a single crash, the light flickered away. May was in the dark, surrounded by fear and submerged in desperation. Succumbing to death, she willingly fell to the ground, yet to her surprise, the floorboards beneath her gave way under the magnitude of her body dropping. She fell downwards into infinite darkness. 1 comment


May awoke to a catacomb illuminated by a green ethereal light. She could not find the crevasse from which she fell and quickly noticed that the cave she found herself in was covered in cobwebs. Her eyes adjusted to the light and she noticed that, on the chamber walls, a message was written in blood.


                                 “Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
                                       'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
                                             The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
                                       And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.”

                                         “Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
                                                  For who goes up your winding stair
                                                      -can ne'er come down again.”
3 comments


       May was paralyzed. She was trapped without any cognizance of her surroundings and her heart pounded against her chest with such force as to burst out from underneath her sternum.  Standing up to find a plethora of dead spiders on the ground beneath her, May started to walk down the long and narrow passageway to discover more messages written in fresh blood. The most common phrase distinguishable was "Indra's web,"  but May knew not of what it meant nor of how it pertained to her situation. However, she did observe the fact that it was written all over the walls more-so the farther down the passageway she went. May shivered when she saw that there was enough blood on these walls to bleed a river red and she couldn't help but tear up at her own impending doom. The blood on the walls spelt-out her demise in a profoundly harrowing manner.


       May started to hear the all too familiar clicking sounds behind her, she abruptly turned to find that she was being stalked by a monstrously colossal spider. It had been inching its way closer to her steadily, just waiting for the perfect moment to strike and it wasn't but an instant for May to decide that running away with every primal fiber of her consciousness was the only option. She slipped and faltered a few times, while trying to escape, but never allowed the beast behind her to gain enough leverage. The pathway May was racing through decreased in size to the point where she had to wedge herself sideways in order to progress into the next area of the catacombs. She desperately pushed herself in-between the walls, scraping her flesh in the process. She knew that if she didn't clear the opening, the monumental arachnid behind her would surely grasp her and suck the lifeblood from her limp body. The pain she was experiencing was excruciatingly disabling, but when the alternative is death one tends to push oneself to the limits within the realm of impossibility. May was no exception to this rule and so she pushed out the air in her lungs, nearly suffocating herself, in order to compress her mass and make it into the opening. She fell to the ground on the other side and saw the behemoth spider trying its best to push one of its legs through the clearing in order to snatch May's leg. May crawled backwards with haste and barely had enough energy to retreat effectively before the fiend lost interest. 1 comment


"Relentless." May thought to herself. "What magnificent creatures."


       May rested for only a moment before realizing that the source of the light that was guiding her was merely a few feet behind her. She faced the origin of her saving grace to find an elegantly brilliant cobweb that emitted and shimmered in an sickly green light. In front of the cobweb, stood the silhouette of an elderly woman. Mrs. Muffet slid across the ground to place herself directly before May and spoke with a voice not of her own. May could hear a faint clicking noise emitting from beneath her dress that was not apparent before.


"I knew you would be perfect for the job. I had so much faith in you," Mrs. Muffet said.


"What are you talking about?! What is this place?" May said with much hysteria.


       Mrs. Muffet contorted and twisted her body in positions that were clearly inhuman. Her arms bent backwards and her upper-body expanded, pushing her once loose skin to fit the contours of her new shape. Her jet black dress deteriorated in front of May's eyes to reveal eight elongated appendages under her waist. Her pale skin darkened into a black as void of color as the deepest extremities of space. Her hair fell to the ground in a single lump and her eyes divided across her face emitting a red glare. Mrs. Muffet's back swelled up and a crimson hourglass formed in its center. Mrs. Muffet's upper-torso hung backwards so that her head was dangling upside down. She let out a laugh that felt as if it was coming from another dimension. 1 comment


       May looked past the unsightly image before her in an attempt to maintain her sanity, but perceived an even more disturbing sight. A cocoon was present on the aforementioned uncanny cobweb that she had not noticed before. The blood in May's face streaked within her body, leaving her countenance as empty as her hope to escape.


"Ah, I see you've found Mr. Muffet. He didn't struggle much, but you won't have to worry about such things," Mrs. Muffet cackled.


"Just do whatever you want. I won't fight it. I know I am defenseless." May sighed as she faced the wall, unable to stare death in the eyes.


"What ever do you speak of child? I am not here to harm you, only to pass my wisdom and power," Mrs. Muffet expressed; "You have proven yourself worthy of my gifts."


       May was confused. It hadn't occurred to her that she was not in any danger from Mrs. Muffet. She started to accept the fact that if Mrs. Muffet wanted to kill her, she could have done it ages ago. May faced Mrs. Muffet once again, unsure of the future, but willing to accept it. She echoed Mrs. Muffet's words over again in her mind to unearth the truth that they seemed sincere and without malice. Her fear was still peaking, but May could not breakthrough the stupor she was entranced by. Her only choice was waiting to hear what prophetic contingency Mrs. Muffet would speak.


"I am getting old dear and I want you to be my successor. You faced your fears just as I did mine and I can see you are capable of so much more than I," screeched Mrs. Muffet.


"I don't want anything to do with this! I decline your offer, now please let me go!" May screamed with all her strength hoping to paradoxically show Mrs. Muffet her weakness.


"Child ... I am truly sorry to say that you simply have no choice in the matter. You cannot fool an old widow like myself; had you come here and failed to conquer your terrors, I would have had to kill you like so many others. However, not only have you broken the mold from which so many are cast ... but May, my dear, you have vastly superseded my most wild expectations. Last night, I came to your bedroom and bit you upon the arm. You have already received The Venom. Now sleep my child ... " 1 comment


       May looked at her right arm to see the now festering wound. The bite marks were glowing with a green hue and May suddenly fell to the ground. As she faded out of consciousness, she could hear the elderly woman whispering.


"Little Mrs. Muffet,
       she sat on a tuffet,
eating of curds and whey;
       there came a great spider,
who sat down beside her,
       and motioned Mrs.
Muffet to stay." 2 comments


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