The Mate

The rain passed, and winds brushed the clouds from the moon. The silken strands of her web glistened with raindrops like crystal beads on a necklace. The male spider peered with an octet of eyes from the moonshadow of a wet leaf. With her legs extended in eight directions, She occupied the center of her web like a queen draped in diamonds.

Creeping one leg at a time, he inched from hiding. Compared to her colorful, bold patterns, his stripes were dull, and he was small, his life insignificant, reduced to the one, essential act he lusted with every hair of his segments to perform. With a tentative legtip, he touched a thread. She remained motionless, but tension filled the night like that moment a violinist raises his bow to a string.

He danced closer, shaking the web, courting. When she turned, he froze, another star on the necklace. But she stayed, her feet poised on the web, her feelers extended.

All starts and pauses, all adoration and avarice, he approached in a fraught, erotic ritual. For this night, for one ecstatic moment with his queen, he would sacrifice anything, a limb, his life.

She let him draw near. Stiff, jointed legs entwined. Her caress was like steel; her hairs like feathers. The crystal raindrops capered in the moonlight as male and female joined until his palp was ripped from his body. A grisly gift to his mate, mother of his offspring.

He flinched to run, but she leapt upon him and stabbed with her fangs. His initial, excruciating pain dissipated in paralyzing numbness, and the tingling spread like fire.

The consummate weaver, she wrapped silk around his expended body, lashing, stroking, binding her lover in soft, sticky strands.

Fading…fading… The moonlight dimmed. The night grew silent and still.


Meta-story:  I watched several youtubes of mating spiders to get the details, and I enjoyed writing this piece, first place in Arakun’s writing.com daily flash fiction contest.  The word limit was 300, and the required words were thread, necklace, and stripes.