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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Writing Prompt 45: The Nightmare

Prompt: January 8- Magic in the Details
"Imagine being inside a scary place. Use specific sensory descriptions of  smells, sounds, images and physical sensations.)

I walked along the cavern wall. My hand never left the rock as the gritty substance scratched my palms and made a buffed scraping sound. I knew what was waiting at the end of the cave, but I tried not to think about it. Letting fear take over would not be wise. I focused instead on the light in the cavern. It was dark, but not dark enough to see the glittering webs that now surrounded me.
Steps. Small steps.
I heard a scuttle in the distance, but I knew that nothing would come near me. Although I was lonely in this cave, I knew I wasn't alone. Every step I took was watched by more eyes than I would dare count.
The weavers, some called them. I focused on facts now. Anything to avoid the stench of rotting flesh and poisonous barbs.
I stopped. So did the scuttling. The ground was changing around me, but I could not see how flat or smooth the surface was. My eyes, now aware in the darkness, noticed patterns on the walls. Faded, but obvious. Patterns of the weaver, and her story.
More time. I need more time.
But there was no time, even shrouded in fear, my mind could pull the logic that I was not the only one depending on this mission.
Rocks, small rocks.
I slipped but caught myself with a large scrape on my knuckles.
I must do this.
Finally I was there. The scuttling stopped, and I heard large doors swing open. I was expected after all.
I noticed a wave of moving blobs crawl along the ceiling and into the doors.
"My children escorted you here."
The voice was a hum, with a strange slithering sound mixed in.
I knew that I should bow.
"Lady Arachne." I tried to sound normal, but noticed a squeak at the end of my words.
She laughed. A strange sound that buzzed and echoed through the cavern.
"Welcome to my home." Spite echoed in the voice. Spite that I recognized.
"My children will only harm you if I command them."
Something was coming. The doors swung shut behind me and I tried to focus on the dim light, that now grew. I wished and did not wish it would grow brighter and reveal the monstrous creature that addressed me.
"So you are here to see my collection."
I saw the tapestries before I saw Arcahne.
They were beautiful. Spun with a delicacy and detail that I had never seen before. The colors were bright and vibrant with a silky sheen.
"You made all of these?"
My voice sounded more normal as I stared at the extravagant works of art.
"All of them." She replied, and I heard loud taps on the floor in front of me.
"Some of them were made with the help of my children."
Her children I could now see, hanging from webs with eyes staring at me.
A shiver ran through me as the tapping grew closer.
"But you have come for something far more valuable than my work."
The tapping sounded faster.
"Actually I find your work to be beautiful."
The tapping stopped. I took a breath.
I knew that she was still advancing toward me. This time on a web.
Inches from being poisoned, I clenched my fist, and looked my fear straight in the face.
A face that was upside down, twisted and stretched. Her pointed teeth were smiling, in a shape that looked like a frown. Long wiry hair fell from the forehead, pointed like pincers with a large red mark glaring between them. Her barb, poisonous, deadly and terrifying.
"I'm here to see Athena." I said, proud of my words.
"Brave demigod." She taunted, swaying her head back and forth in a mocking way.

(Inspired by fear and a chapter in Rick Riordan's Mark of Athena)

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