8.2 – Come now, succulence

Twaaannnnnng.

„Come now, succulence,“ whispers the wind.

She is in the centre of things. The centre of things is a web, stretching out into infinity. The threads infused with silver light. She is stuck, can not move, like a fly in ointment, or a fly in…ah.

Twaaannnnnng.

A white shape dances slowly towards her, immense, chittering. One of its forelegs periodically strum one of the strings, producing a

Twaaannnnnng.

„Here now, sweet morsel,“ sighs the current.

The spider stops its approach when it’s close, so close to her. Its node of three blue eyes set close, so close together, organized in a triangular pattern, are about Brittle-sized. There is no fear. Brittle knows. Somehow.

„Hello, grandmother,“ she says.

She can see her own reflection in those cerulean orbs. Split in three. Of she that wasiswillbe. The child watching her mother die after bursting through the fearrowing. The young woman caught in a spider’s web. The elder looking into a scrying pool. And another split. Threeofthrees. An unchanged image – herself right now. The wood maiden bursting out of the stout tree trunk. And another, her face a mask of grim defiance, twisted with something she can not name, precariously close to a steep cliff edge in a raging storm, her back to the precipice, holding her hand aloft, a fist clenching something that emanates light.

The reflections wane, the eyes become opaque, the mouth pincers twitch. Two of grandmother’s jointed midlegs reach out to her, touching her chest, her heart.

„There there, luscious treat,“ moans the tremor.

„Brittle, why did you leave me?“ says a voice. Someone is behind her. She tries to turn but is unable to. The three eyes flimmer again, and this time all three reflect a haggard face with worry lines and unsmiling mouth. Even though she was far too young when she died, Brittle knows who this is. Brunt. Her actual grandmother. And mother too, apparently. The images refract and split, resulting in seven different faces. One in the topmost eye. Three in each of the lower eyes. All subtly different, but none more so than the upper face. This Brunt seems unburdened, serene, still rough and earthy, but not heavy with the crassness of life. They start to speak, and as before, the voices seem to come from behind her.

„To go forward, you must go back,“ says the first one.
„Brittle, why did you leave me?“ says the second.
„Brittle, why did you leave me?“ says the third.
„Brittle, why did you leave me?“ says the fourth.
„Brittle, why did you leave me?“ says the fifth.
„Brittle, why did you leave me?“ says the sixth.
„Brittle, she is hurting us, get it back,“ says the seventh.

„Get it back? Get what back? Go where?“

The eyes shift again. The topmost Brunt remains, while the left bottom one shows a heartbone clutched in a pair of gnarly hands. A fine silver mist seems to swirl around it. The third eye repeats an earlier image, that of the defiant Brittle roaring against the night.

„Our lost essence has latched on to it,“ says the first Brunt, „it needs to receive an answer to its question. And so do you. To go forward, you must go back.“

The images disappear. Grandmother’s eyes are empty, the only thing she can read in them is an unspoken question.

„Yes,“ she says and surrenders. Grandmother opens her mouth.

„Hush now, scrumptious nibble,“ murmurs the spark.

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