Life is random, or something…
Or more to the point it is time for another random title over at Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds. Pretty straight forward this time around. Just a couple random die 20 rolls (if you don’t have polyhedral dice I have to ask, what the heck is wrong with you?).
Anyway, turns out we have an appearance of Nick the Superhero again. If you don’t know who Nick is I invite you to check out one of his other stories, Blade of the Broken Phoenix.
The Case of the Hissing Widow
Webbing, everywhere. You may not realize it but this stuff is super sticky. I grew up watching the old Spiderman cartoons. This was before the change. Now, no way you’d get something gimmicky like that on TV. Real life just blows it all out of the water.
Wait, where was I? Oh ya, the webs. A while back Annie convinced me I should set up an office. Said it would help attract some clients. Maybe even bring in a few bucks here and there.
I know, I know, seems like the old detective thing is overdone. But that ain’t me. See, Nick the superhero doesn’t have the time or patience for searching out clues and what not. I am a bit more of the in your face type of super. I get things done, usually with my fist.
Sorry, I got off track again. It happens. See, I have some issues right now. And they’re all centered on this office that Annie told me to get.
Well, the problem started a couple days ago. Jimmy called me up with a cry for help.
“She’s getting scary,” he said. Static cut across the phone connection. Jimmy hadn’t moved into something better than a house phone yet. “She keeps leaving me stuff. Sets it down right outside my door.”
“What, like cookies?” I said. Jimmy got himself an admirer, a bit unusual but nothing for me to get involved in.
“At first, sure it was a few cookies. I thought she baked some raisins into them,” he said. “But it was the last batch, flies. Nick, the woman baked flies into the cookies.”
I had to pull the phone away from my ear. The man sounded hysterical at this point. It was cookies, cookies are harmless right. Now whether or not she was doing something odd with them, that remained to be seen.
Protection, something I can understand. I may not be much for sleuthing and what not but I can take a hit. Probably helps when your body is impervious to most anything that can be brought against it.
This didn’t help much in Jimmy’s situation. Sure, he’s a normal but from the sounds of it all this isn’t much more than a domestic problem. After he hung up I dialed up my friend Sgt. Harrod.
She told me they could send a cruiser out to check on him. She’d let me know if there were any issues. This wouldn’t do much to bring me a paycheck but at least I did my civic duty.
I thought it was all going to blow over, and then I got a call last night. “Nick,” Jimmy said. “Can you pick me up? She’s flipped, I don’t know what else to do.”
“Sure, Jimmy, I’ll be right over.” This is where I start to earn my living mind you, I had work to do.
The guy, he didn’t have a stitch of clothing (picture that running around town), laid out on the couch with a bottle of hooch spilled on the floor beside him. Not at all what I expected to see. I woke him with a cup of water to the face and threw a pair of slacks and a shirt I found lain across the back of a chair at him.
After he dressed I took him back to the office. I figured it’s as good a place as any to keep an eye on him. Hell, maybe the whole thing would blow over when he sobered up.
It must’a been about midnight that I heard a knock at the door. Hell, I jumped out of sleep with its insistence. I checked on Jimmy before I went to the door. Still asleep, the smell of booze oozed from his pores.
The lady at the door, she was a looker, long legs, hourglass figure, long wavy black hair. She had it all. Though I could hear the voice at the back of mind scream not to, I invited her in.
“I have a bit of a problem,” she said. The voice carried on honey and lavender perfume tendrils straight to my gut. “Have you seen my Jimmy? I heard that he has spoke to you recently.”
“Sorry, I haven’t seen him in a few days.” An outright lie, I know, maybe it was just a defensive habit. Something about her though, she drew me in and pushed me away at the same time.
A few bottles clanged to the floor in the back office. She looked at me, icy blue eyes that cut deep. She knew I lied. “Jimmy,” she said. “Jimmy, are you ok baby?”
“He’s had a bit too much,” I said. “Let him sleep it off. I can take care of him till tomorrow.”
She slipped past me, faster than I expected, and she scurried into the back room. I should have gone straight back there. It seems obvious right? But I couldn’t move. Something about that perfume she wore left me paralyzed, my legs refused to move.
Sweat beaded across my brow as I fought my own body to get it to move. It took everything I had just to budge my left foot an inch. But after that it was like something snapped. I could move again, well when I picked myself up from the floor. I lay there for a minute panting and sweating from the effort.
A muffled shout came from the back room. In my fight to free myself I had forgotten all about Jimmy and his erstwhile paramour. I rushed into the back and stopped short of the gossamer strands of webbing that blocked the door into my back office.
Something had changed. The woman who had just been in my office had been replaced by a creature of nightmares. Remember those long legs? She had six of ‘em. Her belly had morphed and elongated. Oh the hour glass was still there, but it was a red mark across her black abdomen.
She webbed him. Sticky gossamer strands wrapped him tight like a Christmas package. In the process she shot strands from the ceiling to the floor, and attached his cocoon to the webbing.
Sure I was hired to protect the guy but they just brought their private intimate moment into my office. I don’t know about you but I was torn. I mean sure I had my professional interest in the situation, but I mean I felt a little uncomfortable about the whole issue already and now this. What would you do in this situation? Well no, I didn’t do that.
“Would you two like to be alone?” I figured it paid to at least be polite. It has to start somewhere. I can’t really blame them for their rude behavior if I go right along with it.
This was when she turned to look at me. Let me tell you for what I saw earlier, I wasn’t prepared for the full frontal assault at all. Womanly parts in multiples, the poison fangs, long angular face, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Her eyes, my god those eyes, I saw myself reflected in every facet. They drew me in and repulsed me all in a single glance. I fought the urge to turn away.
And then she spoke. Her voice cut me, sweet warm, it cut straight to my core. I can withstand quite a bit. I mean seriously, I can take bullets, even tank rounds straight to the chest. Nothing had ever pulled at me quite like this. “Why hello pretty,” she said.
I wanted to run. In my mind I heard a voice scream at me to run. My feet were glued to the floor. I wiped at the drool on my chin and closed my mouth. I had no response. Sure in hindsight a line like Hello dreadful or something of a similar nature would have been great. But right then, I had nothing.
She rubbed her hands against each other as she crossed the room toward me. She didn’t so much as scurry as she glided across the webbing. Even in horror she had a beauty, if I wasn’t about to die this would have been quite impressive.
It is moments like this when I have to remember just how good Annie really is to me. I turned away from the widow to brace from her attack, and I spied a brown bag with a yellow sticky note on the desk. Annie had picked up a couple bug foggers for me at the hardware store.
Ya so it isn’t the best office, it has a few issues. But that was irrelevant at the moment. I forced myself to the desk and pulled a bottle out of the bag. With a couple shakes of the can I pressed the button and chucked it as hard as I could through the webbing into the other room.
Amazing stuff that webbing, it slowed the missile down enough it landed in the center of the room, directly under the widow. I heard her screams as I raced through the front door and slammed it shut behind me.
Now I know what you’re thinking. How could I have left Jimmy in there with her in the poison fog? Well, that webbing is some amazing stuff. It acted as a filter and blocked all the poison from getting him too. The widow though, she took the poison full on.