The sun was shining, the heat was sweltering and the streets were deserted. While the humans were having their siesta, conditions were ideal for my many six-legged brothers and sisters to go hunting for a picnic. We emerged from in-between the sewer grates by the hundreds, spread our wings, and rose up into the warm summer sky, swarming the market. Just like every other day, the scents and the smells were rich and enticing. The humans had gathered all kinds of fruits of the land in one place for us. Rice, from the far orient, a delicacy our forefathers could not even have dreamed of. Wheat in greater amounts and of higher quality than any human could have produced before the industrial revolution. Barely, rich and musky, a few seeds at the bottom already lightly fermented. Many of my relatives had already settled on them and were having a feast, but I flew past it all. I had a particular treat in mind. I had scouted it a day ago, at the far end of the market, but not been able to indulge in it yet. The smell had been unimitable: red beans, a little dusty, in a woven basket, baking in the sun. As I flew across the market my many siblings abandoned me one by one, seduced by the many other delicacies that could be found, but I had already made my choice. I was not going to be distracted.
By the time I landed on the basket I was alone but still undeterred. I crawled up the side of it, squeezing in through a generous gap at the top. My superior weevil eyes needed no time to grow accustomed to the dark inside, I could dimly make out the contours of the beans resting at the bottom. Their hard outer shells, hiding the wonderful musky softness that was just below the surface, were beckoning me towards them. I could already taste them as I crawled down, the air was rich with their aroma. My mouth already clicking in gluttonous anticipation.
Inches away from my quarry though, disaster struck. For a second I thought I had gotten stuck on a rogue strand of the basket, but when I tugged my leg, I found it to be something much more sinister. I was caught in a spider's web. Horror seeped into my mind. I tugged harder, but the web was unrelenting, my meager forces not strong enough to tear away from its silky strength. I tried using my middle leg to help my hind leg free itself, but rather than kick loose I got stuck with that leg as well. A few instants later I wished I hadn’t tugged as hard. A hum was going through the web, followed by steady vibrations. Something was moving along it. I tried keeping my calm, tried to think my way out of it, but then long bristly legs and four bulbous eyes appeared out of the dark and I lost all composure. I kicked, struggled, tugged, and clicked furiously as the spider slowly but surely traveled along its web towards me, but with every jerk of my body, I bounced back and got stuck even further. By the time the spider had reached me, I had already done most of its work for her. I was wrapped up tight like a Christmas package, only my left middle and hind leg were still able to twitch. All I could do now was hope against all odds, that something would happen, anything, that would save me. Humans hated spiders, right? Any second the human who liked to sit next to this basket would open it up and the sun would come flooding in. She would see the spider and crush it without a second thought, leaving me to retreat back into the safety of numbers among my many siblings. Yes, that was how it was going to go if I only wished it hard enough!
The bite of the spider cracked through my chitin armor like it wasn’t even there. I felt no pain, just numbness, spreading out from the bite across my body. My end was pure irony. I had survived so many brushes with death down in the sewers and now I was dying in heaven, inches away from the tastiest treat I could dream of. As the numbness reached my head, the darkness inside the basket became darker until I was enveloped in pitch black, seeing nothing, feeling nothing, being nothing.
To my surprise, out of the darkness, space suddenly ripped open in an uneven tear and I could see light at the end of a tunnel. I could also feel my body again, but it was so much bigger than it ought to be. The space I was in was too tight for my new size, squeezing my limbs into my torso. First, it was just a little uncomfortable, then painful. If I wanted to or not, in spasmodic squeezes I was pushed through the darkness towards the opening. My head emerged and as soon as it did, the appendages of a giant, even bigger than my massive head, wrapped around it and pulled. I had no armor anymore, no glorious chitin, only naked pink flesh covered my body. I felt hurt and disoriented, the giant's hands were still holding me, cradling me even, not letting me go. Now that I had left the warmth of the darkness, the air felt unpleasantly cold on my skin. I clicked out of confusion and pain but instead of a click, the room was filled with a high-pitched scream. Something was moving inside my mouth as I screamed, a large organ, covered in slime. I was somehow able to move it outside of my mouth but quickly decided that it was supposed to rest inside of it. The lights were bright and unpleasant and when I stretched out my limbs I found that I only had four of them, with the same odd appendages at the end as the ones that had pulled me out and were holding me now, only that mine were much smaller. I was still famished, but the thought of dry beans failed to entice me now. I wanted something warm and fragrant. Even stranger, I had a gut instinct that if I kept making sounds with the flesh-hole in my face, someone would take care of me, so I kept doing it, quickly becoming comfortable with this new way of signaling as I went on.
“Congratulations, it’s a beautiful, healthy baby boy.” I heard a deep human voice say from somewhere in the room. I tried to remember how I had gotten here or why it had seemed strange to me, but I couldn’t. Being held by the giant didn’t feel too bad though, warm even. When he handed me over to the giantess it was even better, I felt instinctually drawn to her. After she had held me and fed me with her soft skin and her weird, bulbous but somehow loving eyes, I felt like I could stop screaming for a while. There was not a single thing I could possibly want right now. I snuggled into her chest and closed my eyes.