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Black Widow

Black Widow

Eve Hodgson


The man really loved his wife. She was tall, and slim, and blonde. She had looked beautiful in her wedding dress, radiant and charming – even more so than usual. Her face was pretty, and normally, so was her heart, but her temper was short. Venom could creep into her words, making them sharp and biting.

One day the man returned from work early, with a pounding head and a dry, sore throat. On his way upstairs to the bathroom, he passed the kitchen. On impulse, he glanced in, looking for his wife. Instead, his eyes found a sight that almost killed him with fear.

A spider, eight or nine feet tall, was squashed into their smaller-than-average kitchen. It was slurping loudly from a large pot that was sitting on the hob. Although the hob appeared to be turned on full blast, the mixture was not bubbling over as it should have been. It was not even simmering. It seemed to be doing quite the opposite, building up a thick crust of revolting looking brown ice that the creature crunched down greedily. The man gasped, and the spider turned. Its eight eyes, met his, and he blinked in shock.

The spider and the pot had disappeared.

He blinked more vigorously, thinking his headache must be truly dreadful, and headed upstairs to find some aspirin. His wife was in their bedroom, painting her nails a deep black that would look striking against her pale skin. She looked pleasantly surprised to see him, and reached her face up to kiss his cheek. As their faces brushed, the man had to fight not to pull away from the prickles he felt scratching his face. He was confused. He had shaved that morning. He looked at her in puzzlement, but she simply beamed. Her teeth were fang-like, and they glinted, sharp and lethal.

He turned away from his wife.

When he turned back, mouth open to speak, he was swallowed whole.


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