I guess I should probably get to posting my own response for this blog challenge #1, shouldn’t I? The prompt was to write a story including the following three elements: A stolen ring, a fear of spiders, and a sinister stranger. So… let’s get to it then, shall we?
–WARNING: Mature Rating–
“You shouldn’t have taken it, Kaleigh!” My voice was damn near an octave higher than usual, and I could hear the fear tremoring through the tone in nearly palpable waves. I knew it was stupid — legends were just that, stories that had no proof of truth. Maybe I was superstitious, or maybe I was smart. I wasn’t sure — but my girlfriend was looking at the ring that she’d snatched with reverence in her eyes. The stone was almost garnet, but the color was even deeper than that.
It almost swirled red like blood. From the moment that I’d seen it, I knew it was trouble. Every story that I’d ever heard as a child said that to take anything from the catacombs was to court a demon. The fact that we’d even come down here at all was almost more than I’d been willing to do, but Kaleigh had wanted to, begged me to… and in the end, I’d given in to her demands.
“Oh, Sarah, stop it. Nothing’s going to happen. See,” she wiggled her curvaceous body back and forth, “I’m still alive and kicking. There’s no demon.” And then, with a happy grin, she picked my hand up before I could stop her and slid the ring onto my left hand. “And now you have the prettiest damn engagement ring that anyone could ask for.”
I opened my mouth to protest, and I started to yank the band off… and then what she’d said hit me.
Engagement ring. My eyes widened, and my breath caught in my throat. She was asking me what I thought she was…
“Really, baby?” My nervousness was still there in the background, but I couldn’t hold back the smile that split my features. Suddenly, the whole idea of the curse wasn’t so bad.
“I love you, Sarah.” And her lips crushed against mine in a hot, excited kiss that made me all but forget the sensation in the back of my mind that something was going to happen.
I didn’t notice him until the next day. I was walking home from work when it happened; the dark shadow was a few blocks down, making sure to stay in the darkness so that I couldn’t make out his face. I had to assume that it was a he, because the figure was big and hulking. It was either that, or some Amazon Warrior had decided to follow me. My eyes continued to flick behind me, and I twisted the ring on my hand nervously. With my other, I quickly reached into my purse and wrapped my fingers around my mace.
I’d use it if I had to. Hopefully, whoever it was following me was just walking the same way that I was, and there wasn’t anything to worry about.
When I turned around again, the figure was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief, but it quickly turned into a scream that caught in my throat when I turned back in the direction fo my path. Before me stood the man that had been following me — of course, saying the word man was a very loose term.
The creature hulked at eight feet tall, and its skin was a solid, liquidy black that left him looking like he’d rolled in wet ink. Its eyes were slits, pointed and catlike, though blood-red in color.
The same red as the ring that I wore, which burned hot on my finger.
Its body was huge, though it wasn’t muscle so much as presence — and its spindle like fingers that stretched out towards me had two too many digits. I stepped back, raising my mace and spraying it, though I already knew it was pointless. Whatever I was seeing, which threatened to tear the sanity away from my mind altogether, wasn’t human.
I was hoping I’d simply gone crazy, but I could smell sulfur in the air and feel the cool sting of the night air sucking out the oxygen in my lungs from terror. I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t crazy.
The thing didn’t flinch when I sprayed it. Those long, needle-like fingers wrapped around my throat and lifted me into the air as though I was nothing more than a rag doll.
“You are the one who took my ring.” And though he spoke, the words that he said were whispered in my head. What came out of his mouth was dark, vicious speech that no human had heard before.
“N-no. I–” I struggled to choke out the words around its grip, to let it know that I hadn’t taken the ring at all… but my fiancee’s face sprang into my mind, and I knew that I couldn’t betray her. “Take it back.”
My hands struggled to pull the ring off, but it wouldn’t budge. It felt glued to my skin, and I yanked and pulled until my finger was raw and bleeding, and the thing was laughing richly in my face again.
“It’s too late for that now.” It leaned in, inhaling my scent and grinning — its teeth were stained the same inky black as its skin. “You smell like fear. I want more.”
Those red eyes flashed bright, and for a moment nothing happened. I felt it slowly — a soft trickle of eight legs trailing along my neck. I knew the sensation, and I brought my hand up to smack, a scream trying to rip from my chest around the choking sensation on my neck. I saw the fat, black spider a moment before another crawled along my arm. I tried to scream again, and I flailed in his arms like a thing on fire, a wild cat caught in a trap. I wasn’t afraid of many things, but spiders… spiders were on the short list. I screamed again, and felt something tickling on my tongue. Huge, fat, it crept from my throat and against my lips, all fangs and legs and itching, scraching hair.
I screamed over and over again, but the creature holding me seemed to drink the sound down, and soon there were spiders pouring out of my mouth, my nose, my ears. I could feel them trickling from between my legs — they were coming from everywhere. And then, with a rip of pain, they began to spill from beneath my nails, until every part of me was alive and crawling with them.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think — terror made my heart throb so painfully in my chest that I thought I would die from it; the hot stream that soaked along my leg was evidence to that fear… and just as I felt I was going to faint from it… suddenly…
They were gone.
I was limp in its arms now, and it brought me forward to cradle me almost affectionately against its chest. Its words were a dark rumble, and its fingers held me tight when it spoke.
“Oh, this is going to be so much fun.” And, paralyzed by his touch, by my fear, by my trembling body and my aching throat, I couldn’t manage the strength to break his grip and get away as he took a few steps and walked into a swirling dark shadow, passing us through the world of humans and into his realm.
Uh… dang. That was dark guys. I apologize. Still, really fun prompt! I hope that you guys enjoyed it! I am going to be running this challenge for the foreseeable future, so if you want in on this awesomness, just start responding and link back to my page! You’ll get free shares out, and become part of our writing network for better exposure, blog comments, and just all around fun!
My Awesome Participants!!!:
Stay tuned for the next portion of my blog challenge! I’ll be getting it up tomorrow! Until then,
Author Amanda McCormick