I screamed and fell to the ground, as he dissolved, laughing, and fell away into thousands of black obsidian beads, scattering across the ground and into the grass; except they weren’t beads, they were spiders.

            I screamed again and struggled to get up, my whole body soaked with freezing dew, my legs tangling in the tall grass. Thousands of black spiders crawled over me, were holding onto me, their legs like thousands of claws digging into my skin, stinging me like nettle, freezing my skin and muscle and sinew and bone and marrow so cold, so cold. They were wrapped around my legs, were dragging me to the center of a mass where most of the spiders were gathering, tumbling over themselves, falling in waves, forming a giant maw that would eat itself and form again even larger…

            I was hauled towards that maelstrom of a mouth, the flurry of legs and fangs and bodies blotting out the stars like a swarm of bats, swallowing all light into an infinite glistening blackness, swallowing my light too, and through the whole thing, the pounding, that pounding in my head. Then silence.

            After what felt like eternity, I opened my eyes, but they were not my eyes that I opened. The world was fractured, a patchwork of eight dim screens flickering with places and people I did not recognize. I tried to call out to them, but my voice was gone, mixed in with thousands of other voices, and I could not separate mine from theirs. I tried to move my arms and legs, but they were frozen, still frozen. My sisters and brothers sensed my anxiety and told me not to worry. We will be able to stretch our legs again soon. Our last meal was so small, so insignificant; she could not fill the voracious hollow. Who these people are does not matter to us. Whether they are the wolves or the lost little girls, all that matters is that we are ravenous.

The End

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