#11 The Spider and the Wire Wool Madness

by Suzanne Conboy-Hill

Since you found me, I have often been a spider, scuttling across blackness and rolling up tight in the brighter spots until you have gone. I hid in cracks and dusty corners while you searched. Then I scaled the walls, inching upwards to cross the ceiling and abseil back down. I was aiming for your shoulder as you sat by the stairs like a sphinx, considering your next move.

I knew what mine was: I would hang and drop, hang and drop, until I was level with the warm cavern of your ear - pulsating and pink – into which I might crawl. I would burrow into your head and gnaw at your thoughts. I would split into fragments and these would spin sticky webs behind your eyes, and tangle your mind in balls of wire wool. You would go mad.

But it was too abstract, and anyway you could never be madder than you already are.

I graduated then to parasitic wasp, imagining how I would thrust my ovipositor into the secret space between the vertebrae at the top of your neck. I planned to sit in your hair and measure your fading convulsions through my feet as the poison slowly immobilised you. The idea of my babies eating you from the inside out and flourishing on your nutrients while you sat awake and cognisant was an attractive one.

Oh, but I will not give you babies.

Tomorrow I will become a scorpion.

11 comments:

Lisa Pellegrini said...

This is wonderfully written! As a person with arachnophobia, I can tell you that this is almost like a psychological horror story, with the imagery as intense as it is here. It reminds me a little of Franz Kafka's novella "The Metamorphosis." Bravo!

DP said...

Love this. All that simmering underneath! Great metaphor, and beautifully written, Suzanne.

Deb said...

Fascinating. Terrifying. Brilliant. You know how to choose words and make every one of them count. Great work!

Irena Pasvinter said...

Very interesting. Upside down Kafka.:) By the way, I'm already a scorpion.

TracyFells said...

Love this, Suzanne. Worrying how easily you have climbed into the mind of a spider. I like to think it was taunting a cat.

Ines said...

Very disturbing and fascinating - great work!

conboyhillfiction said...

Thank you - I'm not a fan of spiders myself but I do try to be kind to them at least! This one requires some sympathy, which is a first for me!

conboyhillfiction said...

Thank you - I'm not a fan of spiders myself but I do try to be kind to them at least! This one requires some sympathy, which is a first for me!

Jonathan Riley said...

How terrifically horrifying! Nothing but praise for this one.

Anonymous said...

Knowing Suzanne well, the thought of anything she created being able to do evil (not that I believe in that concept), is anathema to me. But - having read The Spider and the Wire Wool Madness, now I am not so sure... Kafkaesque indeed - but perhaps potentially even more scary. Another great Sz. AW

Gail said...

Wow! is all I can think. Speechless.

Fantastic!