The Hour-Glass Figure

Submitted into Contest #203 in response to: Start your story in the middle of the action.... view prompt

77 comments

Science Fiction Speculative Romance

This story contains themes or mentions of sexual violence.

The Hour-Glass Figure


Her eyes popped open. Someone had their lips on her mouth. Kissing her. Oka-ay. Kissing... She let her eyes drift shut to enjoy the sensation. It must be her mate. What? Wait. No! It can't be...

She had the overwhelming need to cough. She couldn't help it. She coughed. Turned her head to the side and coughed and… Eww. That had to be a turn off! She spewed out even more. Poor fellow trying his best to make passionate love to her coming in again to close his mouth around hers just got spit on instead.

He turned her towards him and patted her back. “There you go, Your Highness. Good job. Keep spitting it out. You're coming around now. You'll be fine. Good. Good.”

She kept coughing and sputtering. “Wh-what..? W-why..? Who..? Who are you? What are you trying to do to me? Why are you kissing me? Get away from me! You can't be...” She raised her arm to take a swing at his smoochy face but he was faster and already had a firm grip on her wrist and had it under control.

“You are okay now. Take some deep breaths. I am trying to save your life. Giving you my own breath. You swallowed an ocean and wasn't breathing. Keep spitting it out. Good. Good.”

“Who are you and why are you out of...? Why are you out of any...?”

“I thought you needed it more than myself at the moment. Seems you lost most all...”

She looked down at herself seeing only a flimsy sheet covering her nearly naked body. That means he must have seen her. All of her.

“Maybe we can discuss this after I try to save his life?” He pointed at a lifeless looking body nearby.

She tried to watch as he bent over the body and started making kiss-y sounds. Over and over again. She thought he must be trying to force air into the man's lungs. Exactly as he had been administrating to her lips. She brought trembling fingers to her lips remembering the connection. Not unpleasant at all. Life-saving! That was...different.

She tried to move closer but pain shot through her and a whelp of agony escaped her involuntarily. She felt like something was tying her down. His eyes shot towards her, “Don't try to move yet until I can see how bad your injury is. One thing at a time, please, Your Highness.” He proceeded with his fruitless task.

Think. Think. What happened? Where were they? How did they get here? Was that her lover he was working on? Her mate? She didn't see how it could be so. He didn't survive the coupling did he? No. Not one ever had before.

She strained to see whatever she could around where she lay on her back. Everything looked out of context. Something had gone terribly wrong for them to wind up here. Wherever this could be. As leader she was the one who should be leading but how when she couldn't move. And why couldn't she move. What had happened? How many other survivors were there? Only three? Two if the hapless gent didn't start responding soon. Shouldn't he be responding by now? How safe were they laying here? Were there predators lurking nearby?

Her breathing quickened. She must conserve her energy. Wait. Just wait for his help. She took some deep breaths trying to get the pain to subside. And remember. She must remember. Why couldn't she remember?

He sidled back to her side. “I'm afraid my efforts are to no avail. He was too far gone. I can't bring him back. I am so sorry. Now, if I may, I must attend to your condition.”

She squeezed her eyes tightly shut. “I-I don't know what to say. Who was he? Do you know?”

“You mean you don't remember? Yes, yes of course, I knew him well. We were working together.”

“Really. What, what is your position? Why don't I recognize you?”

“You took a mighty fall. You've suffered a blow to the head and other injuries. It is no wonder your memory is fuzzy. Relax and trust me to administer to you how I must and perhaps it will all come back to you. Don't worry. We will get to know each other very well.”

He started soothing her head then moved downward, down toward her swollen abdomen and kept massaging and -- and, what felt like stitching with ever so soft silkiness, over the sore spots. It was easing her anxiety so she let her vision drift upwards.

There above was... what was that up there? Was it night or day? Something way above was blocking out the light source. It seemed heavy with intricately crossed sections creating a structure for support. She was peering at the underside. The side that was decorated with shimmery delicate webs. Webs? Yes, webs! Her kingdom of webs! That's where she fell from. That's where she belonged!

It was all coming back to her! Betrayal! Her lover. Her chosen mate. Every detail was well planned. He had brought her an enticing offering of soft-bellied beetle. They had started enjoying it together. She was willing to share. She was no longer ravishingly hungry. He entertained her with a skillful courtship dance. He had been so good looking and such a virile choice she had no intention of cutting the ritual short. It was going to be an awesome night of mutual copulation. Maybe, maybe even multiple times. They were both going to get lucky. She was looking forward to it being so sublime. So fulfilling.

She was bulging with a ripe egg sac perfectly spun and all that was needed was his speedy sperm and the deed would be complete. The pheromones were reading ready and she was welcoming his pedipalps to unfurl within her. Suddenly, a piercing stab to her hour-glass figure jolted her and made her lose her grip causing them both to spiral down; down into a great abyss ending in murky blackness gasping for breath beneath a watery grave. If not for this life-saver...This pale, skinny wanna-be...

“No! You are no life-saver! My spidey senses failed. They should have warned stranger danger! You are the one that pierced my center. You are the one that caused our fall!”

“Ah, I see even with half your brain eaten you are beginning to remember. Yes, I am but a puny, pale male. But we males all have an instinctive drive to pass on our unique DNA to a new generation. I find myself extremely drawn to an older more voluptuous female specimen such as yourself. The chance for one like me to attract one of your royal class and desirability is near impossible. Much more probability I would be eaten for trying. I could have resorted to the suicide sacrificial effort of simply throwing myself directly into you waiting maw while delivering my seed to your quivering underbelly epigynum. At least my legacy would live on.

“No, instead I chose to work with Mister Big, Strong, Brown Body and let him take the risk of your rejection and act as a distraction for him. He was actually fairing pretty well for a first timer. He was ready to take the plunge but I beat him to the punch, so to speak.

“So, yes, My Pretty, it is my heritage your precious sac will carry. I will guard it with my life now after I hoist it back to the rafters above. I assure you, the coitus has been captivating. The bonds that bind your legs have obviously left you spellbound. Strictly a self-preservation tactic. I have plugged your riveting receptors so no other male can have the pleasure. But it wouldn't matter anyway. Your lover's guts gave me the fortitude to get you prepped. Now I'll have to devour you, My Sweet, to have the nourishment necessary to complete the hefty job before me.

“I admit mating with you has provided ecstasy beyond compare. I will cherish the memory. Once I'm finished wrapping our fertile sac in silk for transport I'll dive into your attractive red hour-glass figure to feast on that tasty shiny black buffet of bulbous abdomen you brandish about so temptingly. Sure, sure I stalked you. I wanted you. You would have devoured me. I planned, I betrayed a friend and I have been victorious. So sorry, Your Highness, but what would you expect in this mate-eat-mate world of ours?”





June 21, 2023 03:33

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77 comments

Evelyn Griffith
22:19 Jun 21, 2023

Wow. What an entirely unique story! I have to admit I didn't pick up on the fact that they were spiders until the word "pedipalps", which I had the unfortunate experience of looking up, (I am also unfortunately horribly arachnophobic, haha). I really liked how out there it was, and it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time while simultaneously making me terrified to find out what happens next. Awesome job!

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Mary Bendickson
22:33 Jun 21, 2023

Wow back at ya. Thanks for such nice praise. Glad you liked it while not liking it.

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Michelle Oliver
14:15 Jun 21, 2023

This was so creepy. I am so arachnophobic that it made me feel so uncomfortable, which I suppose was your intention, so well done there! You twisted the story midway and our hero turns out to be a villain. And what a creepy villain… ew! Fancy feasting “on that tasty shiny black buffet of bulbous abdomen you brandish about so temptingly” the alliteration is great!

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Mary Bendickson
15:18 Jun 21, 2023

Should that have been big behind instead of abdomen?

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Wally Schmidt
14:12 Jun 21, 2023

Nope. Didn't see that coming. No spoilers for readers of comments here. But Yes! Mary you told a wild one here.

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Mary Bendickson
15:16 Jun 21, 2023

Now for something completely different...

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Amanda Lieser
16:22 Jul 16, 2023

Hey Mary, What an interesting take on the prompt. I loved that you chose spiders to help you tell this story. It was positively creepy and frightening. However, you did a great job humanizing them. My favorite part was the great dialogue. Nice work!!

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Mary Bendickson
17:03 Jul 16, 2023

Thanks. A lot of people were creeped out with the spiders.

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Sarah Saleem
08:52 Jul 01, 2023

Your writing style is cool and the way you keep your reader guessing what is exactly happening and the twist and dialogue in the end, makes it a great read!

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Mary Bendickson
15:05 Jul 01, 2023

Thanks. I'll have to read some of yours. You have been busy for only being on here for two months.

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Ken Cartisano
05:56 Jul 01, 2023

Hah. Great fun. I knew what she was as soon as she was on her back. (It was either that, or a turtle.) Great fun and extremely yucky. Some great terms in there. Like epygnum and egg sac. (At least one of those could have been made up, but I'm sure you've done some research.) I'm one of those weird fans of spiders. The spiders don't care though. They're like pirates. 'Arr, let me go so I can bite you again.' Or, 'Let's have sex and then I'll bite your head off.' I think the moral of this story is clear, don't have sex with spiders. I totall...

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Mary Bendickson
07:30 Jul 01, 2023

Most people mentioned they don't like spider (or snakes) but that's not what it takes...oops that's a song. Anyway glad you liked the stars. I did question how or if she could see above her if on her back since eyes are in back of head but I took a few other liberties giving her lips and wrists, etc. so had to set the scene.

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C. Charles
01:08 Jun 30, 2023

Terrifying allegory. I thought I knew what was happening and then was very confused and then surprised and delighted (in a really unsettling way) at the reveal. Creepy! Nice work!

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Mary Bendickson
01:38 Jun 30, 2023

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. I wrote it to be confusing then icky. Glad it got to you that way.

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Susan Catucci
17:46 Jun 29, 2023

Ah, a kindred spirit, I'm thinking. Mary, this is perfection. (And my kind of story) You have writing chops that shine here. I'm actually allergic to spiders and once blew up like a balloon as a child (that's one way to find out you're allergic) - and I absolutely devoured this! Nicely done and well woven. :)

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Mary Bendickson
19:27 Jun 29, 2023

Thanks for liking. Better stay clear, though.

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Susan Catucci
19:45 Jun 29, 2023

I have a cabinet filled with Raid - come and get it!

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James Larder
09:39 Jun 29, 2023

What a cool idea- A spider 'love' triangle! Enjoyed reading this and seeing how it unfolded

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Mary Bendickson
11:25 Jun 29, 2023

Thanks for reading and liking it See I can do weird 😏

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Chris Miller
22:09 Jun 28, 2023

A very creative idea for quite a unique story, Mary. Interesting, enjoyable and downright strange - but in a very good way.

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Mary Bendickson
22:52 Jun 28, 2023

Thanks for liking it in a very good way!

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Philip Ebuluofor
12:26 Jun 28, 2023

Wild, wild west.

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Russell Mickler
05:00 Jun 27, 2023

Hey Mary! Okay, looks like a mouth-to-mouth-misunderstanding, happens all the time. The story takes a dark turn with a kingdom of webs - queendom? Spidey-senses? Pow, right on the nose. We're not at an ocean. We're spiders! Of course, in my head, the dialogue becomes more sinister at the end. I liked the title and the relationship to the reveal. I'm left feeling ... ich! R

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Mary Bendickson
06:36 Jun 27, 2023

Perfect. More like a muddy pond/lake bank but never said it. Thought about a boot coming along at the end and grinding them all into the mud. Would that have made everyone reading more comfortable with it? Glad you liked it.

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Tommy Goround
01:57 Jun 27, 2023

Clapping for opener. 56 comments already? Nice. I read the twist and still find it good... Willy Smith wrote "Spider F-ck" back in the 90s but this has a nicer angle. Almost spider erotic. (Willy wrote about a lonely engineer that loved spiders and invented a new vacuum mate). Theme: sex sacrifice and commingling. Narration: good pace. Good evolution. It is difficult to translate spider world into human. "Wrist" and "sheet" Best parts? Opener. Seemed like she liked being taken by a stranger. Importance? Black widow POV is interestin...

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Mary Bendickson
02:27 Jun 27, 2023

Thank you, Tommy. Always interesting to get your take. I don't do dark usually so this was different for me.

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Laurel Hanson
15:43 Jun 26, 2023

Yikes! This is intense. Great opening and certainly engaging. Very out of the box here. Kudos.

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Mary Bendickson
15:51 Jun 26, 2023

Thanks 🙏. Be careful opening boxes. Maybe spiders lurking or mating.

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Martin Ross
14:14 Jun 26, 2023

Fantastic!!! Despite me being a first-degree arachnophobe😉. One of my absolute surprise favorite sci-fi novels was a BookBub freebie where the horseshoe crab was the sole evolutionary basis for an island’s ecosystem. That sounds ridiculous, but the virtually unknown writer knew the science, built a horrifyingly plausible plot with practically apocalyptic implications, and SOLD the thing. Wholly original thinking, versus the repetitively stale but crowd-pleasing stuff the best-selling guys crank out. You have that kind of freshness here, and ...

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Mary Bendickson
14:32 Jun 26, 2023

High praise means a lot from a guy with your talent. I think I could have added some more tantalizing tidbits about their mating rituals but the piece got nearly immediate approval. Is that good or bad? Have to look up those frisky horseshoe crabs.

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Martin Ross
14:57 Jun 26, 2023

It’s an astonishingly terrific, Michael Crichton level novel — even what could have been a ludicrous evolutionary development came across credibly. I’ll try to find it on my overloaded Kindle and let you know. I think the story works and snaps just fine, as is, without the spidey sex, but with more words, I think it would make a neat sidenote. Think you got it in reverse — its very rewarding and warming that authors like you and Lily and Russell and Graham, who possess such range, read and counsel me on my goofy mystery stories. I’d love t...

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Mary Bendickson
15:08 Jun 26, 2023

See, that's just what I am talking about. Anyone else would say 'playing horseshoes', you say 'throwing horse foot wear at metal stakes'. Turn of a phrase and witty outlook make you and Mike lift off the page. I had a b-day a week ago which makes me ancient compared to you. Other than my unpublished novel the extent of my writing experience is displayed on my profile here. Any previous writing was eons ago with no formal training like I read on some bios here. So thank you for the compliments.

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Martin Ross
16:17 Jun 26, 2023

Happy belated birthday! Myself, I have three rejection slips from Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine over a 30-plus-year period, 50 X-Files fanfics 2000-2010 on obscure sites, one really crappy derivative attempt at a detective novel from 1983, the unsolvable 2014 novel fragment I’m now parting out and rewriting for the Tinkering stories, and the completion of a “lost” Ellery Queen novel outline by co-creator Fred Dannay. Three pro mystery writers read and gave me positive reviews for the EQ pastiche, but Dannay’s son gave me a cheerful cease-a...

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Mary Bendickson
16:30 Jun 26, 2023

Oh,wow! Totally impressive resume. Something has got to click eventually. You have too much talent. I see others out there succeeding and think why or what is so special about their writing? Guess it has something to do with what you said about the EQ debacle? Write on, my Friend. All I seem to get done anymore is read people I follow. I need to get back working on my 'novel'.

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Krystal Brown
22:52 Jun 25, 2023

I didn’t see that coming at all! It was great

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Mary Bendickson
00:15 Jun 26, 2023

Thanks 🙏

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Ian James
12:50 Jun 25, 2023

Love this!!

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Mary Bendickson
13:07 Jun 25, 2023

Thank you! 🙏

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07:25 Jun 25, 2023

Hmmm… another anthropomorphic bug tale. Is this a new genre? You know I love this type of thing!

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Mary Bendickson
12:36 Jun 25, 2023

Another one? First one I wrote. Others out there?

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12:55 Jun 25, 2023

You read and commented on mine a few weeks ago: a fairytale about fireflies

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Mary Bendickson
13:08 Jun 25, 2023

Oh, yeah, it's all coming back to my bug brain🤔

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Ellen Neuborne
01:50 Jun 25, 2023

Highly original and thoroughly creepy! Well done.

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Mary Bendickson
02:17 Jun 25, 2023

Glad you liked it.

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John Siddham
00:59 Jun 25, 2023

Wow, it was gripping from the start and then the twist. Like others, I did not expect it, but very clever how you led us to it. Well done!

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Mary Bendickson
02:16 Jun 25, 2023

Thanks for liking it.

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