Huntsman Arachne

Feb 27th, 2021
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  1. Melody's delicate leg hairs stood on end. She smelled something delicious. A cocktail of everything she loved; ham, chicken, and roast beef accented with sharp smelling cheeses and sweet, jellied fruits. The source of her pleasure was not too far off. Rain dampened her mood, but Brisbane was her hunting ground. The delectable scent was only a few blocks away at the most. She would be knocking her own pride if she did not investigate. The arachne trailed the scent upwind, through cluttered, drowned alleyways, and under noisy vinyl awnings. She tracked it to a two floor apartment building in between an insurance office and hugging a sparse parking lot like a tilting drunk. Melody's hunt took her up and along the apartment complex that resembled two suburban homes stacked like sandwich bread. Up and up, to a window adorned with faded halloween stars over a naked radiator.
  2. A vent at the bottom of the windowsill was like a tap connected to the scent she craved more than anything else. She took a deep whiff with her human sense of smell. A relaxing, warm sensation spread from her mouth and lips out through her human torso, and down her massive spider body. Every hair of hers stood at attention. She wet her lips. Her calloused fingers tested the window. It was old and stubborn, but with finessing she cracked it open. Chips of paint flakes washed away in the downpour. Melody needed only a small opening. She was almost 3 meters tall, and leg to leg twice that wide, but she was a Huntsman arachne and with a little effort she compressed herself down and through the less than a meter gap.
  3. Her joy was in a plastic basket. Dark colored clothes piled to the brim overflowed with the rank, decaying smell of discarded prey. She lifted the full basket, then buried her face into the pair of soiled blue jeans on top. The rough surface delighted her pores and the pervasive stink tickled her fancy. She was totally engrossed. Without thinking, she hugged the basket, grabbed for more to smell and feel, then gave up any pretense of restraint. Melody dumped the dirty laundry over her head and fell flush to the tile floor in a collection of briefs, collared polos, and heavily stained work pants and immersed herself totally in a web of blissful, filthy apparel.
  4. Calvin woke up at 0600. He was up earlier than he originally anticipated. His four day long absence from responsibility or social obligations was over. Work was at 0800, and the walk there was only twenty minutes. The repercussions of his previous night's escapades followed him as he sat up. He gripped his head and mild hangover, then turned and wretched into his pre-prepared rubbish bin. He rolled forward. The roil in his stomach eased with the excess fluids purged. He did not debate going back to bed. He was up, he conceded, and the lingering taste of bile on his tongue needed to be addressed first. He disabled the alarm on his charging phone and made his way into the living space.
  5. A clutter of half finished projects jumped in his way. “What the fuck was I doing last night?” He questioned his reflection in the empty tv screen seated at the far side of the room. A shelf propped itself against the entrance to his bedroom. The legs were missing on its left side and its instructions poorly folded and set on top. A dining chair parked in the walk space between his living room and the tiny square he called his kitchen. The seat itself was unlatched from its cushion, and a mishmash of loose screws strewn about its feet. Last, Calvin marveled at his fire alarm and its condition. In his drunken stupor, Calvin took out the batteries, unscrewed the guts, and let it hang from the standing table he kept his keys and wallet on by the apartment door. The breadth of his destruction impressed him.
  6. Whatever, he'll sort it out later. He turned on his coffee maker, popped a pod, and started making his toast. He acted on autopilot. The long weekend ruined him. There was no livable space in his head. His hands worked on cleaning dishes while he waited. Calvin dosed his coffee with just a touch of cream and took a sip. The strong, dryad-based brew cleansed his palate and warmed his waking bones.
  7. It rained all weekend. He only went out in the drizzle Saturday to pick up Chinese down the way. The pitter-patter of droplets beating against the living room window competed against Calvin's dull migraine. The black umbrella he stole from his ex was still hanging with his windbreaker by the door. He finagled the black-brown toast onto a porcelain plate and made his favorite; a touch of butter and a healthy smear of strawberry jam. The acidic, sickly sweet tang teased his nose as he took a crunch-filled bite. The bitter, burnt bread mixed with the sweet and danced on Calvin's tongue. He wordlessly scarfed down his meal. He wanted to get shit done and check in with family in Perth. Mom caught a cold, dad was living on bacon and hamburgers. Clavin finished in a minute and with carbs in his stomach, he powered through cleaning his dishes and retired to the bathroom. Take a shower, brush his teeth, and…
  8. A giant spider woman was naked on the floor of his cramped bathroom and covered in his days' old laundry. He saw her through the cracked door, and to own his credit, held his scream in his throat. Calvin jumped back. The Mythfolk scared the hangover right out of Calvin. He slowly, carefully beat a retreat to his bedroom. "The fuck, come on," he whispered to himself. "No way. Nah ah.” Wild Mythfolk were not uncommon in Brisbane, although few would approach a human or a Mythfolk contemporary. If Calvin were to assign a single value to the wild ones it would be a universal suspicion. They loathed attention and abhored the unknown. Back home in a town orbiting Perth it was enough to bang pots or honk a horn to scare off trespassers like dingo and insectoid Myths. The majority of wild Mythfolk preferred non-confrontation and retreated. A wild Mythfolk invading an apartment was not a situation Calvin was prepared for.
  9. Melody heard him, but disregarded the man’s muffled bleating. As far as the master hunter was concerned, she was safely concealed under the clothes she claimed as her turf. She nuzzled the arm of a polo. Go away noisy human. She was busy and tired. The sun would be up in minutes and she needed to nest. A long leg closed the door and she got cozy on top of the fabric bed she made for her upper body. She closed her two human eyes and six, symmetrical ruby eyes and did her best to fall asleep.
  10. Calvin doodled his passcode and opened Google. Spider mythfolk in house what to do? He did not have time to deal with Mythfolk Services. The top banner ad, of course, was selling arachne silk lingerie, followed by two numbers for MS, then videos titled Caring for Lots of Legs: Spider Mythfolk Spa Care or What you can do with discarded Cobwebs. Clavin ran his hand over his face. He tried adding wild to his search. Roleplay pornsites like the Spider's Web filled his search listings. Frustrated, he tacked on Reddit to the end. The lingerie ad was still brazenly stapled above, but he did find a promising lead
  11. A spider woman is in my closet. I can't call the police because reasons. How do I get her to leave? Calvin scrolled through. The highest rated comment was listed at the top. Arachne dislike the same things normal spiders do too. If you have a spray bottle, fill it with either OJ or vinegar and spray her. She might hiss and complain, but it works 100% of the time.
  12. Calvin did not have a spray bottle, but his year and a half at uni taught him many practical skills. One was using a pen to poke holes into a water bottle cap for an emergency wet t-shirt contest sprinkler. At the start of his bender he tried to stay hydrated, but that fell apart day two. Lucky him that he had plenty of bottles to fill. He poked holes with a dry pen from his corner computer desk, then peeked out at the living room. The door to the bathroom was shut. Perfect, he thought as he crept on the solid, stone floor, he could get to his fridge uncontested.
  13. He was not as stealthy as he thought. The man skulking like a termite was of no concern. Instead, the wild Mythfolk rolled onto her side and continued to get comfortable. The floor was flat and cool. The damp, dark room delighted her skin and furry abdomen. She spun over and flopped back. Truly, this was the perfect den. A high ceiling to retreat to, access to water dripping from one of the human fixtures, and a plentiful supply of vermin not too far below the apartment. There were few other competitors for her turf. She fought off a cantankerous vulture harpy last month and chased away a swarm of oily cockroach Myths from her favorite dumpster. The only ones she tolerated were the acrobatic, feral catgirls who left plentiful carrion for Melody to enjoy.
  14. Humans sucked. They chased Melody with brooms, bats, and other scary things, intruded on her nest, and messed up her hunting with poisons and traps. She wanted to be left alone, preferably with the good smelling clothes. She harrumphed. It was late. Melody wanted to sleep, yet a restless annoyance flew around her head like a dumpster flying too quick to snack on. The human was of no concern. It was him calling for others that bugged her. Melody was jealous of that community. A Huntsman spider was not like other spiders, and Melody instinctually craved the community her kind formed in the Outback. If the weak, soft, smelly humans and other Mythfolk could do it, she wondered why she was still alone. Her eightfold gaze fell to the door.
  15. Calvin loaded his makeshift spray bottle with fresh OJ and himself a swig of flat Crown Lager. It tickled the fear he felt and smothered whatever reservations he held. She would run at the first spray back out wherever she came from, and he could take a nice, long, hot shower before he had to get to work. He got close to the closed door and peeked inside.
  16. Melody’s eyes met the human’s. He was going to try and get rid of her. Fear was plainly written across his unshaven, disheveled face with a twinge of contempt. She was slow to move at first. Hidden in her nest, Melody assumed the human would search for her. She was shocked when a spritz of acidic and awful smelling fluid shot out at her upper half. The human slammed the door shut and left her to freak out. Orange gunk clung to her nostrils and sensing hairs and drove her to panic. Manic and desperate, long legs lashed loose and loud off the loo. Melody used her precious bedding to scrub the eye-wrenching juice off her body. The blue jeans worked best. She wiped it off best she could, but the stink stuck. Tears streamed from all her eyes.
  17. Calvin clutched his gut and winced. This was a mistake. He ran to the kitchen again and this time loaded up an empty tea pitcher. He filled it with water from the tap to the very top. Dangerous as it was, he would rather risk injury than let her continue in pain. Calvin tossed the door open wide and soaked her where she writhed. The splash of water hit the girl’s upper body and soaked her naked skin totally. She sulked and glared at him. Calvin realized how fucked he was.
  18. Melody jumped on her attacker, pinned the little man under her larger forelegs and arms, and bared her two elongated fangs. The man squirmed. He was helpless underneath her. Melody considered giving him a bite just to put him in his place. The man audibly groaned when a drip of venom fell from her teeth and onto his clean shirt. The poison would give the upstart human an unpleasant rash at worst. Huntsman venom was ineffective against anything larger than a mouse. She got close to his shoulder when he spoke.
  19. “I’m sorry,” he whimpered. She observed him with a distant caution. Remorse. His dour expression was devoid of the antipathy she sensed when he sprayed her. Instead, he avoided her gaze and showed meekness. She hissed at his vulgar display. He only reacted to the bits of spittle that wet his face. He dare show deference to her after attacking her nest. She grabbed him by the collar and lifted the human up like a child disciplining a misbehaving doll. Melody lacked the words to speak to her absolute frustration. ‘This is a good nest. Let me live here. Don’t spray me. Get a spine.’
  20. Calvin, hoisted into the air and reasonably terrified of his fate, was happy he relieved himself sometime last night. He couldn’t remember when exactly, but the image of holding onto the porcelain sink and washing out the vomit with tap stuck in his hazy thoughts. All things considered, it could be worse. She hesitated mid bite. That was progress, he noted as the arachne Mythfolk literally manhandled him. Calvin also applauded his restraint. The bare chested woman, with her olive skin and shapely, plentiful breasts, was his type from the waist up. Silky, chestnut hair shook back and forth she juggled him. Gorgeous, red-hazel human-like eyes examined him up and down. The other six followed him with suspicion.
  21. Limp, soft, and flabby-cheeked, Melody did not understand why huntresses abandoned their dens in the wild to mate with these disgusting two-legs. The recent drought and fire drove her into the concrete jungle, but the appeal was lost to her. Perhaps others found them charming, like pets, or perhaps pitied the lesser creatures. She set him down, satisfied in her superiority once more. This nest was hers. Melody hissed, then turned.
  22. The spider woman shut herself in the bathroom again. Calvin breathed easier. It seemed she was only interested in the small, 5sqm bathroom. Defeated and shaken, he got ready for work as best he could. No shower, and using the little deodorant left in a stick he tossed in his trash two weeks ago, Calvin left for the deli.
  23. Getting back to the job after a long break was always a hassle, and doubly so after a near-death experience at the hands of a wild Mythfolk. He worked for a Japanese immigrant, a green haired fox spirit Reiko and her half-human, half-eldritch, star-spawn husband. The man defied nationality or description. He stood like a rippling shadow at the deli counter, and greeted Calvin with a mishmash of reverb and goat-bleating. The meaning passed through and into him. “Welcome back! The Missus is out.” A list of tasks inserted itself into Calvin’s head.
  24. “You got it Stefan. I’ll help out at the front when I’m done.”
  25. The day flew by. Calvin’s primary job was prepackaging meats for customer pickup. The task used to take an hour, but Covid meant many repeat customers preferred the faster, low contact prepacks. He cut a lot of meat, folded them in paper, and stuffed stacks in plastic bags to be set out for customers in a fridge near the deli’s entrance. When he waited for orders, he cleaned the small workstation afforded to him, and when noon rolled around he took lunch in located behind in an extradimensional space Stefan called “the Break Room.” It was air-conditioned, well-lit, and besides the blinds which were never to be opened, a comfortable place to kick back and spend thirty minutes. Stefan even kept a fridge stocked with Vanilla Coke, only and always Vanilla Coke, for employees to enjoy.
  26. The day ended at 1500. Calvin waved to Stefan on his way out. “Take it easy buddy.”
  27. Pictures of Stefan and his spectral wife at the local bistro imposed themselves on Calvin’s nervous system, then fizzled away like a carbonated beverage as he walked out into the summer heat, armed with what he thought was the answer to his deleterious living situation.
  28. Once home, Calvin cleaned up. The clutter in his living room was organized. The unfinished projects were stacked neatly against the wall by his bedroom. The mess of discarded beer bottles and trash all disappeared quietly into a black bag. He did a little research on his break. The arachne Mythfolk in his bathroom was a wild Huntsman, he did make the worst possible choice spraying her and then helping her, and that Calvin may have committed a felony. There were laws to prevent humans from abusing wild Mythfolk; laws against harming them, laws against destroying their habitats. Best Calvin figured, he dug his own trench of shit and needed to claw his way out of it. The first messy step out: he placed his deliverance onto the dining table. Cheeses, deli slices, and crackers in an almost expired display piece he bought.
  29. Hours passed into the evening. Calvin soaked himself in the sink, ordered pizza, ate, and added the leftovers to his peace offering. TV sucked. The latest medical dramas weren’t doing it for him, and the crime shows were all repeats.
  30. Calvin settled for local news. The weather was on and a blue scaled dragon woman stood in front of a map. She wore a platinum mircoskirt that showcased the Mythfolk's legs and scales, and a white, ruffled blouse. "The rain will let up around midnight tonight, followed by high winds. If you happen to be out watch for debris and-" a gust of wind tempted fate and nearly displaced the weather anchor's skirt. The studio cut back to the humans at the main desk.
  31. Melody heard the human retire to his private room. She woke up near dusk, but refused to leave until her trespasser was no longer a threat to her nest. She observed him lounge about, another human deliver him food, and then more lounging. His eyes occasionally glanced to the bathroom, but he made no decisive move towards the door. Melody concluded he was submitting to her. She scoffed mid drink. She had no need for a pet or mate.
  32. Or, at least that is what she thought before the human uncovered a platter of intoxicating meats and… left it there, exposed. The human went to bed. She crept out, silent as could be, and examined the dish. There was a paper next to the buffet, an apology and truce Calvin wrote in the off chance the spider woman could read, but Melody disregarded it. She was enamored by the thin cut ham, the boneless chicken, and the miasma of cheese cubes. The crackers were of note too. She picked one up and gave it a probing lick. Salty, dry, and crisp, it crumbled in her mouth.
  33. Melody scarfed down the buffet, crackers and all, in a half hour. She was stuffed. Perhaps the humans were not all useless. She retired back to her nest and did her own lounging. Not having to hunt, she could daydream. She thought of her warm dirt burrow in the distant woods, the shadowy canopy in which she slept, and the old borders of her territory. In the city, she managed with a few blocks of ranging. There was plenty of refuse to choose from. In the wilderness though, Melody roamed for kilometers. The night air was fresher. The sky, more beautiful. She missed it.
  34. The pair danced this tango for a while. Calvin took his showers at a public shower on the beach, went to bed early and left snacks for his guest. Melody remained suspicious. The abundance of food left her restless. She sulked around alleys and rooftops the following nights after gorging on the different platters the human brought. If she did not need to hunt, she would protect her territory. Her range was six blocks of busy intersections and quiet side streets, apartment blocks and department stores. When she tired of scaring feral, rodent rat girls she went back to her nest and slept.
  35. A week and a half later, Calvin repeated his new routine, but planned to properly introduce himself. Like the nights before, he left out a plate of deli meats, but slept on his couch instead of his room. He waited until she was half into her meal when he sat up.
  36. The human surprised Melody. Her mouth was stuffed with ham when he sat up slowly. Half her eyes watched him. She bit down. This was it. He was going to try and expel her again. Ruin her nest. Hurt her. She stuffed more meat down her gullet, but the human remained in place. Curiosity got the best of Melody. She skittered to the living room couch and over the silent, still human. He was making a conscious effort to avoid her inquisitive stare, or rather, avoid gaping at the pair of mammaires hanging over his head like a sun hat.
  37. Calvin let the Myth sniff around him, but he couldn't escape her own subtle scent. Oily, heady musk like a shot of spiked cider sat on Calvin's frontal lobe. It wasn't unpleasant, nor was the girl's cautious, gentle poking with her arms and fore legs. Clavin suppressed his laughter as furry legs tickled under his arms and her ham breath bothered his left ear. This was torment beyond any walk to the public shower or venomous bite. He thumbed his knee when she fluffed his black hair. The motion spooked the woman, and she fell back to a safer, meter long distance.
  38. The human looked at her. Unsettled, Melody gripped her arms and shielded herself with her forelegs. Shed fled to her nest and slammed the door. She realized it too late. The human shared the same scent as the clothes she used for her bedding. Her contempt kept her from the truth, but now she could ignore it anymore. Everything smelled of him. The house, the room, the air, and everything else. Melody grabbed her hair and pulled. The sobering pain grounded her. The human knocked on the door. She hissed back. 'Leave me alone,' she intended.
  39. Calvin, uncertain of what overcame the wild Mythfolk, attempted to explain himself. "I wanted to apologize for spraying you… and everything else. I shouldn't have done that. I should have just called MS. I-" Calvin's back thumped against the thin door. He sunk down and grimaced. "I will get in trouble if I get help. I can't even own up to it." A listless, dry chuckle escaped his lips. "You wouldn't understand anyway. So, here's the deal. Keep the bathroom. Eat my food. Stefan gives me a discount on the expiring stuff, so it's not a big deal. I'll go about my day, and you can have the run of the place at night. If- if I just got the right help to begin with, neither of us would be in this situation. It's my fault."
  40. "I'll drink less. Moderate, or whatever. Shit's expensive anyway. I'll see about a doctor. Mrs. Reika likes me. Maybe she knows someone. I'll cancel my parent's visit. Been meanin' to head home. Then you can have the whole place to yourself." The spider Myth was quiet. He did not know if she was even there. "It's not much, but you and I could share the place. Get to know each other, or not. It's not. It's… time for me to head to bed. See ya."
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