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The Widow MAG
As beautiful as the desolation was, she could stand it no longer.
The hideous yet melodic heartbeat of the clock; the way spiderwebs bloomed like roses; the tears that smelled of the ocean.
It was too quiet, no too loud.
Too many thoughts, not enough to think about. Tick tock tick tock... Yes but what does’ tick tock’ mean? Was it counting down till she too would tick away? Did it stand for something? Morse Code? Was it a spirit trying to catch her attention? Was it him?
This woman had no name as far as anyone knew. She was always called the Widow, or more often, the neighbours vaguely described the widow as ‘her’.
It was hard to speak of such a creature. So incredibly dissociated. No interaction. One would feel guilty to call her by name… if they knew it.
It felt strange when she would trip and hear herself yelp in pain. Did she actually do that? Was that her voice? She forgot she had one. The pain reminded her of the body she carried.
It had been so long since she’d held a conversation, and no one ever gave her a reason to speak anymore. The mailperson came and went. Dinner was prepared in her isolated kitchen. No one solicited. There was only Silence.
Death. Oh so much Death.
In a way, her husband had broken more than just her heart when he finally croaked.
He had taken her acquaintances, friends, and family members. After locking the door, she never once unlocked it for more than a few minutes.
Only to retrieve the vittles from her porch did that mass of oak sway forward, suddenly jerk back, and then be tightly sealed once more. Everything in that house was shrouded in dust and decay, which fluttered out of the entrance like the swirl of sunlight she desperately tried to avoid.
After opening the door on a day similar to this, she dreamt into a fitful sleep where creatures shimmied over her. They bit her bones and cursed her for letting him go so soon…
I suppose the ancient woman and her tendencies were what shocked everyone to see her at the church on a sleepy sunday morning.
She was still all in black.
Her now-wrinkled face was covered in a layer of crape.
To a new onlooker, this Widow would appear to have been in no state of mourning other than deep. Deep and grief stricken and freshly scalded.
But there were no new onlookers save the few curious children that had never had the joy of seeing her. They knew who this woman in the third pew was. Everyone did.
There she stood, not returning the stares so graciously afforded her way. The Widow watched ahead, and went through service. After it ended, she made no hurry, nor any delay in leaving. It appeared almost forced mechanicalness. Trying to hard to be normal and carefree.
The preacher waved at her with a sincere smile, grayer than it had been the last time he’d caught her sight. She looked through him, blank. He put his hand down and turned to greet the others.
There was something not quite natural about the Widow as she made her way across the room.
It was… inhuman. Different than what you might see anywhere else.
She walked as if she had gears rolling around inside of her, forcing her body forward like bulldozer’s wheels. The very muscles in her face, torso, and arms shifted. They bulged in different places. She looked like a sock full of marbles, rolled down a stairwell or slanting hallway; convulsing, twitching, making sporadic motions and hesitating. She skipped out the doors.
Under the crape, it was hardly noticeable. But someone did indeed notice this grotesque bodily horror as they passed her. She had hit a curb in the road, and dragged her heel forward. A lump swelled and fell again.
This person, a boy of about thirteen, bent down to help her up, thinking she had been hurt. He should have run, far far away. But he outstretched his hand.
After offering up one of her signature bleak faces, she lifted her veil. The glassy stare pierced into the poor child’s sternum, giving him a nauseous, light headed sensation. His face contorted as hers could not, and he stumbled back.
As she stood, her face changed. The eyes in her skull rolled back, her mouth opened up, the bones and muscles rolled. Her neck flung itself back like a door on a hinge. Spiders spilled out of her eyes, nose, mouth, and from all around her. They curved into the figure they once possessed within their host, then dispersed, covering ground fast.
Men and women alike jumped and screamed, running towards the nearest high-spot. Of course this was useless. The spiders easily overtook them, their skellic legs pressing into the skin of their victims, digging holes and forcing openings through their bones.
Everyone cringed, writhed, ran. It was horrific, like watching an animal die from some sort of electric pulse. They stuttered.
There was no blood. Only webs.
Webs in their eyes, on their teeth, in their hair. It choked out the last air in the lungs of the poor citizens.
The Widow slowly rose back up, this time with fluidity, with grace. Her old skin peeled off and was set upon the ground as a garment might be. The webs underneath solidified into a curvaceous woman, and her hair darkened with the color of Death.
She was ready to call her husband back, and this time, there would be no hangings or burnings or stone-throwings. Only him and her and the corpses full of webs.