by Michelle Muenzler
She dreams she is a spider. Words sail from her spinnerets, casting traps about the space she occupies and capturing the pale gray moths that formulate her entire diet.
Except… she doesn’t just dream she is a spider.
She is a spider.
She is vast. Her abdomen bulges with words. With worlds.
The universe quakes at her passage, bits and pieces crumbling into the void. Without her span, there is nothing. Formlessness rules. But she has given order to the chaos. Has bound meaning to shape, intent to result. The laws of nature wrap themselves about her eight monstrous legs, caught in the tiny hairs along their breadth.
Her abdomen ripens with passage. She soils the stars with her castings. With the corpses of moths.
When her abdomen is finally ripe enough to rot, distended a stitch away from bursting, she pushes forth the fruit of her labor, a sticky mass of eggs, glistening and wet into the cradle of threads she has woven.
Done, she allows herself to drift into the void’s inevitable embrace.
And then she wakes.
Or perhaps only now does she sleep.
Whichever it is, the desk before her is crowded with papers. With pens.
So many dead moths, their corpses hollowed as though sucked clean through a straw.
She does not remember writing the beautiful and terrifying words still wet upon each page, but they can only be hers. So she gathers them up, sifting through them to find order to their meaning, and prepares herself for the labor of creation.
Because she is a spider dreaming she is a woman dreaming she is a spider, dreaming.
And there is so much more yet to dream.
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About the Author
Michelle Muenzler, known at local science fiction and fantasy conventions as “The Cookie Lady,” writes fiction both dark and strange to counterbalance the sweetness of her baking. Her short fiction and poetry can be read in numerous science fiction and fantasy magazines, and she takes immense joy in crinkling words like little foil puppets. Visit michellemuenzler.com to find links to more of her work, or if you are feeling especially brave, check out the squidgy weird adventures of Hetha and her shark-man companion Mobi in The Hills of Meat, the Forest of Bone on Amazon. She promises it won’t bite… much.