Spider Trap

A dinner-plate sized black hole opened in the air next to Alan Crane’s seat. A black cat with a white fur stain atop its head stepped out of the hole and looked up at the thin, lanky man. The white splotch on its head resembled a skull.

“New pickup,” the cat spoke with a soft, feminine voice. Alan’s head dropped as he released a heavy sigh. He felt relieved it was only a “pickup”.  “Check your node for details. Usual drop off,” the cat stood and turned to enter its hole again. It paused halfway in the hole, then turned to face Alan. He saw golden eyes staring at him from inside the black hole.

“Yes, Janet,” he mumbled. The cat’s head bobbed in a faint nod, then she disappeared along with her black hole. Alan reached into his coat pocket and retrieved a small, transparent rectangle. He woke it and a picture of a dark-haired girl wearing a black visor appeared on the display. He glanced down at the only information provided.

  • Abby Araña: Unique #33 – La Araña. Unique ability – Swarm Summon

“Damnit Janet,” he grumbled at the empty air where the black hole was. “Better get started.” Alan placed his hands on each empty seat next to him and closed his eyes.  “Everybody out,” he thought. A small, bright purple scorpion climbed out of his cuff on one hand. A dark black scorpion crawled out of his other cuff. After that, dozens more scorpions in varying colors and sizes followed out of his sleeves. Once he released them all he sat up straight in his chair and waited for the next stop.

A small crowd of ten people, including a girl with a black visor, boarded at the next stop. Alan breathed out in relaxation, it seemed luck was on his side for once. Once the train left the station, Alan’s scorpions knocked out all the other passengers. Abby did not seem to notice that almost everyone else was unconscious. The girl’s attention seemed focused on her node. Alan sent a single scorpion to sting her to test her reaction. She did not move at all, but Alan felt the nameless scorpion die.

Did anyone see what happened?” he mentally asked his minions.

Spiders crawled out of her skin to kill him. A lot of spiders,” one of his scorpions replied into his mind.

Okay. Get ready,” Alan reached into his coat pocket. “Rush her!” he gave the command and stood from his seat at the same time. He pulled a tazer out of his pocket and fired it at the young girl. Two large, furry tarantulas jumped out of her skin to intercept the electrodes. They exploded as the current ran through them, but Abby did not flinch. She remained focused on her node.

Alan watched his soldiers crawl at Abby from all sides but spiders poured out of her skin like water. Her spiders protected her like living armor, they assaulted anything that got too close. Alan dashed across the subway car towards Abby, his skin hardened and became purple chitin to protect him from spider bites.

He grabbed her hair to pull her out of her seat and dozens of black widow spiders crawled out of her hair to climb up his arm. He felt the spiders attempt to sting him, but his carapace kept him protected. Abby’s black visor fell off when he yanked her hair, and Alan paused at the sight. Behind her visor, her eyes consisted of two black holes in her head. Abby giggled as two giant, softball-sized spiders crawled out her eye sockets and leaped at Alan.

Now, Sleepy!” he commanded the purple scorpion that crawled along the ceiling of the subway car. While Abby’s hundreds of eyes focused on Alan, Sleepy landed on her head and sunk his stinger into her neck. She fell unconscious immediately.

Without her controlling them, the spiders crawled away. The swarm dissipated, but the two largest spiders that crawled out of her skull returned to her eye sockets. They bothered Alan enough that he put her black visor back on her face before he lifted her over his shoulder.

Strength and Numbers (4-2-18)

[WP] A spider dangles down from the ceiling in front of you, but just out of reach. You hear a quiet voice say, “So what are you going to do now?” [Link to post.]

Abby walked out of the shimmering blue portal and stared at her large pink and white house. She saw no sign of her parent’s car in the driveway. The dark haired girl smiled at the tall woman with horns exiting the portal behind her. 

“See? No one’s home, I’ll bet they’re out looking for me,” Abby smiled, then ran to her front door. She tried her house key, but it did not want to fit the lock. The tall woman caught up, and spoke up from behind her.

“I’m sure it’s very common to change the locks before searching for a beloved missing child,” Ballisea said. She drenched the word “beloved” in sarcasm. “You’ve only been missing for a few hours, they must have been in a hurry to keep you out.”

“SHUT UP!” Abby yelled. She vented her anger by punching the door. To her surprise the punch broke the door off its hinges. It flew backward in pieces. 

“Oh I forgot to tell you. You’re a lot stronger now,” Ballisea commented. 

“What? How?” Abby asked. She brought her hands up to admire them. The door may as well have been tissue paper, she did not have a single abrasion on her knuckle. Ballisea chuckled.

“Really? With everything that’s happened to you today, your strength is what surprises you?” 

“Good point, I guess.” Abby stepped over door pieces and into her home. Everything looked like it should, but in the back of her mind she could not shake the feeling that something was wrong. “I’m gonna go check my room.” She ran through the dining room and down a long hallway past two bedrooms, the den, and a bathroom to the other side of the house. Ballisea followed close behind. Abby turned a corner to her door, then screamed the moment she reached it. A sign hung on the door to Abby’s room. It said “JANET’S ROOM. KEEP OUT.” 

“Janet? Isn’t that the name of the girl that left you out in the forest after cutting a 33 into your arm?” 
Abby punched through the door and discovered several boxes inside the otherwise empty room. No bed. The dresser her dad built for her was gone. “They sure didn’t waste any time finding a new daughter.” Ballisea chuckled. Abby hung her head. 

“It’s true. Everything you said is true.” Tears rolled down her bright red cheeks. Heaving sobs wracked her body. A single house spider drifted down from the ceiling in front of Abby. 

“So what are you going to do now?” The spider asked.

“I don’t know,” Abby whined at the spider through her tears. The sound of a car driving up the gravel driveway caught her attention. She dashed to the window. Her parent’s car turned into the long gravel driveway that led to the house, though they would not see the broken door until they drove all the way in. She caught a glimpse of Janet, the last person Abby saw with her own eyes, sitting in the back seat of the car. All three occupants wore smiles on their faces. Abby felt a soft hand on her shoulder.

“It almost makes you wonder if they put her up to it. Do you think they told Janet to take your eyes too, or was that her acting on her own?” Ballisea said, then squeezed Abby’s shoulder with a firm grip. “I know you’re upset dear.” Ballisea pulled on Abby’s shoulder to turn her around, then pointed to a side of the room. 

She made a gesture with her hand and a pitch black hole appeared, floating vertically. “My offer still stands of course. If you stay, whose to say how they might react to you being here. Come with me, and you’ll have a fresh start. School starts in a few months, and I know you’ll have new friends by then. Friends that care about you, and want you around.” Abby looked up at the woman. 

“Why is that portal black?” Abby asked, scared that she could not see anything past the hole in reality. 

“It goes farther than the shortcut that got us here,” Ballisea said. Abby still felt unsure, she looked up and focused on the pair of bone-white ram horns curling out of Ballisea’s head. 

“Where? You know a lot about me, are you a demon?” Abby asked, unsure what answer she wanted to hear. Unsure that she would choose to stay with her parents if the woman was a demon. 

“WHO’S IN HERE??” Abby heard her father’s voice from the front door.  “I HAVE A GUN.” She knew he didn’t have a gun. 

“The second question is complicated, we’ll answer that another time. As for where…” The corners of Ballisea’s lips turned upward into a sharp smile. “An alternate Earth. Come with me and leave this world behind entirely. No matter who you were here or what you do, no one will be able to find you.” Ballisea brought her hand up to her chin and rolled her eyes upward, as if she were thinking. Then she gave a soft, pleasant chuckle. “Why, with you being in a different universe entirely, you could easily get away with murder. I’m sorry, that sounds horrible,” Ballisea covered her mouth with mock embarrassment, then smiled again. “I meant to say revenge.” 

“JANET! Stay out of your room until I check the whole house!” Abby heard her father’s voice again. She turned to face the single spider hanging in the center of the room. 

“Go round up some of your friends. You guys are going to have a feast tonight,” Abby said. Dozens of different types of spiders began crawling out from under her clothes. She looked to the doorway in time to lock eyes with Janet. Abby’s swarm of spiders flowed toward the screaming girl in the doorway. 

“Skeeter, Lefty, you guys go too. I want to get a good look at this,” Abby added. Skeeter, a large black widow crawled out of the empty eye socket, and down the right side of her face. Left, a large brown furry wolf spider crawled out of her left eye socket. She watched through their eyes as they rushed towards Janet’s ankles. 

“I’ll wait for you on the other side. Join me when you’ve had your fun. No rush though, enjoy it,” Ballisea said.

Web of Lies (3-25-18)

[WP] Sunday Free Write [Link to post.]

Abby practiced switching views from spider to spider while they tended to her. She named the large black widow that spoke to her first “Skeeter”. Her parents promised her a dog after they got settled in their new town. She planned to name it Skeeter, but Abby decided having a pet black widow that she could talk to was way better. Thinking about her parents made Abby realize the sun was starting to dip below the trees. She needed to get home.

“Alright guys, that’s good enough. Let me up,” Abby said to her spider pit crew. A mixture of wolf spiders, tarantulas, black widows, brown recluses began undoing the webs that held her down, she watched it all from Skeeter’s eyes. She moved to stand up, but Skeeter stood on her chest. His view disoriented her, and she fell on her butt.
“Ow.” She thought for a second, then decided on a solution. “Hey Skeeter, get in my eye hole.”
“Yes.” Skeeter’s small voice said in her mind. She felt the light pins of Skeeter’s spindly legs climb up her bare neck and onto her face. It crawled up her cheek and settled into her right eye hole, turning around to face outward. Now she could almost see normally. The left side of her view was still blank, as if her left eye were closed.
“Good enough,” she said. She stood and dusted herself off as as a reflex, even though the spiders had already cleaned her off while she lay on the forest floor. “C’mon guys, let’s go home.” The spiders climbed her legs and disappeared under her skin. She took a single step forward, then stopped. “Uh, any of you guys know the way out of here?” Abby realized she didn’t know where she was. She did not have time to pay attention to any landmarks as Janet and her group of friends chased the new dark haired girl into the forest.
“I can get you home, Ms. Araña” a female voice said. It sounded loud and clear, not like the spider voices in her mind. She turned toward the sound and took a step back. Immediately the spiders on her skin popped crawled out, ready to defend her. Through Skeeter’s eyes she saw a tall, pale woman wearing a long black dress with slits cut up to her hips on both sides. A pair of bone-white ram horns curled out of the top of the woman’s head, adding to her height. “But you won’t like it,” the woman added with a sad look on her face.
“Who are you? What do you mean I won’t like it?” Abby asked. Her spiders did not lower their guard. Abby realized this woman was talking to a girl covered in spiders, and did not seem bothered, nor surprised by it. “How long have you been there, why didn’t you help me?” Abby added. The tall woman shrugged.
“Those are all excellent questions, Abby. My name is Ballisea. In some ways I’m like a fairy godmother, you could say. I help lost,” Ballisea nodded towards Abby. “…or unwanted,” she stressed the word and met Skeeter’s eyes.”… kids. In your case, can you imagine your mother or father hugging you, or kissing your cheek when you have a black widow spider sitting in your eye socket? You know why you moved to this town, right? Lower cost of living. Your parents are struggling financially, and a special daughter would probably make a great sale to the government.”
“THEY WOULDN’T DO THAT TO ME!” Abby screamed. Hundreds of spiders crawled out of the surrounding trees to stand around her. Ballisea shrugged.
“I understand you don’t believe me. It’s okay, you’ll see soon enough. Your mom is pregnant again, your replacement is already on the way. But let’s get you home.” Ballisea waved her hand at the air and it rippled like water. Bright blue light glowed behind the ripples, then Abby saw her house on the other side of the portal. “This is a short cut. I’ll go with you because I know you’ll change your mind. By the way, I saw the whole thing. I was going to help when Janet pulled her knife out, but I heard her say she wanted to carve your favorite number in you. I needed to let that happen.”
“Why?” Abby asked.
“That’s going to take more explanation than we can do here. Let’s get you home first, and see if you want to stay.” Ballisea gestured towards the portal, and Abby walked through it.

Seeing Spiders (3-22-18)

[WP] you were left for dead in the middle of an unknown forest, you pass out thinking this is it. All of the sudden you wake up and all your wounds are stitched with what looks like spider webs. [Link to post.]

Abby woke up in darkness. Despite opening and re-opening her eyes several times, her vision remained pitch black. She attempted to wipe her eyes clean, but discovered she could not move her arms. She felt a tightness around them, as if something kept her tied down. She tried to move her legs, but found them bound as well. Abby pulled at the soft bindings, then discovered she lacked the strength to free herself.

“Hello??” She questioned the darkness, unsure whether she wanted to hear a response or not. She received one.

“Hello,” a small voice said to her right. She turned her head toward the sound, but no light met her eyes. She did not know who spoke. 

“Hello? Who are you? Where am I?” Abby asked, facing the direction of the first response.

“Hello.” the voice said again, further to her right than she could face. Abby felt a feather touch tickle her earlobe. She flinched, but remained tied down. Her body shuddered as a result. “Who am I?”

“Help me,” Abby said. Asking for help triggered a flash of memory. She remembered pleading for help as Janet, a dark haired girl, and her friends bullied her. They chased Abby into the forest, just because she was the new girl. 

“Initiation!” They yelled over and over as they kicked her curled up form. Then Janet pulled out a switchblade and popped the sharp end out.

“Help you.” The voice squeaked. Dozens of other tiny voices around her echoed the first. “Help you,” they all said. She felt tickles moving, skittering over her body. Abby let herself relax, somehow the sensation comforted her. 

“Why can’t I see?” Abby asked. The pins crawling over her body settled into a pattern. She felt them moving back and forth across her upper left arm. More memories formed in her mind. Her arm is where Janet left her mark with the blade. Abby remembered searing pain before she blacked out. 

“I can see,” the main voice said, as if taunting her. The rest of the voices agreed. “I can see,” each voice said.

“I can see.”

“I can see,” over a dozen voices informed her they could all see. The situation began to wear on her. Abby remained unconvinced the unknown voices meant to help her. 

“I want to see!” Abby yelled. Then she could see. Her body remained unable to move, but her vision floated across a girl’s body. She saw a bleeding 33 on the girl’s arm, then recognized it.

“That’s my arm!” Abby shut her eyes trying to make the vision go away, but closing her eyelids did nothing to block the confusing view. She remembered Janet laughing while cutting the number, Abby’s favorite number, into her arm.  

“My arm,” each voice repeated. “My arm.” “My arm.” …  Her vision moved back and forth across the wound. each pass left behind a white silken thread. She noticed her vision darkened before each turn, and paid attention to why. Whatever she looked through appeared to burrow into her skin then out again, though she did not feel any pain. During one pass she caught sight of a spider and her arachnophobia kicked in. 

“Spider!” she screamed. Her body wriggled frantically. 

“Yes.” The main voice said. “Yes,” some of the other voices said. “Spider,” the rest added. She realized the situation. 

“Show me my face,” Abby said. She had to know why she couldn’t see. Her view crawled up her arm, she understood now that she peered through a spider’s eyes. Her perspective crawled up her cheek; she felt the light, pin touches moving up the side of her face. It climbed up her nose. She gasped when she saw her eye holes. White webbing sealed her empty black sockets. Sobs wracked her body.

“My EYES!” she yelled. 

“Your eyes,” the main spider said. Her spun on her nose to see the rest of her body. Dozens of different spiders crawled over her body, cleaning her wounds and sewing her clothes back together. 

“But you’re spiders,” Abby said, the hopelessness heavy in her voice. 

“You’re Spider.” the familiar voice said.