• Arachnia, part 5

    Kali sat still and quiet in the traveler’s sitting room, her black gown spread out around her, while the traveler himself paced across the room in front of her. “I keep telling you to leave,” Kali said. “You can avoid the mental anguish if you would just leave.” Seth turned flashing blue-gray eyes on her. “I can’t.” She leapt up and grabbed his arm. “Seth. You have to tell me. Now.” He shook his head and laughed. “Oh, you don’t understand it anymore, Kali. I’ve been here for months, torturing those poor men day after day. I’m getting quite good at it. Enjoying it, even.” Kali released his arm and…

  • Arachnia, part 4

    Ebony was waiting for him in the chamber of chains the following morning. She wore the same red gown as the day before, but her black curls were tied back this time. She looked refreshed and vibrant. The same couldn’t be said of the half-naked man tightly chained to the wall. Traveler studied this man carefully as the guard pulled the door closed. His shaggy blond hair fell across his dark eyes and his face looked tired, haggard, and thin. He was a tall, slender man with long limbs. He was gazing defiantly at Ebony and hardly seemed to notice the man standing by the door. “Traveler, this is former…

  • Arachnia, part 3

    “Very impressive,” Ebony murmured as they walked through the palace courtyard. Night had fallen and the air was fragrant with nightflowers. The red and silver flowers were in full bloom this time of year and the garden was full of them. “Thank you, my lady,” Traveler murmured. “It is only what I learned from the masters, and not even everything I saw.” “I look forward to watching more.” And I look forward to turning it on you, the traveler thought as he smiled into the dark, grateful for the hat’s wide brim and the moonless night. “I can teach you a great deal so you may continue it when I…

  • Arachnia, part 2

    “What?” Kali burst out. “You can’t!” Traveler glared over at her. “I have no choice, Kali.” She paced across the airy sitting room of her palace chambers. Black and red silk billowed out as a breeze wandered in from the balcony. Her black gown trailed on the red carpet as she paced. Traveler, now dressed in black with an equally black cloak and hat, reposed on a black and silver upholstered couch. Ebony’s younger sister whirled on him, distress clear in her black eyes as she stared at him. “How could you do this to me?” she whispered. “Those people she has imprisoned are my own agents!” He bounded to…

  • Arachnia, Part 1

    Dusk was falling when he entered the sprawling town of Arachnia. The cobbled streets were dark, lit only by street lamps placed at every thirty feet. The gable roofed buildings, the outermost ones being residences and the innermost ones places of business, were all painted a dark gray and blood red flowers bloomed in the few window boxes he could see. The flag of Arachnia, a red hourglass on a black field, hung above every door. The streets were empty as he wound his way to the heart of the town, his way lit by the dim street lamps and the pale light spilling from lit windows. There was a…