The smart phone lying on the bed rang, a loud nasally, sped up chipmunk-like rendition of an inappropriate rap song began blaring. Something that it could only possibly be about is a rainy day in gym socks, according to the lyrics. Just an incessant repetition of something being wet and gushy. She had just stepped out of the shower, dancing around the room to the noise for a bit. She paused in front of the full-length mirror hanging from the back of her closet door, opening up the towel quickly while sticking out her tongue and winking at her nude reflection. She wrapped the towel around her once more before sticking out her backside, making it move up and down a few times, before squatting on the floor while continuing that absurd backside movement. Finally, she was on her feet after what felt like forever before answering the annoying ringing.
“Hey, girl, hey,” she quipped into the large rectangular contraption, sticking her tongue out on the last ‘hey’ stretching it out obnoxiously.
“April, girl,” the voice on the other end sounded slightly annoyed. A long inhale was heard through the speakers before she began again, “what on earth took you so long to answer the phone?”
April giggled, “girl, you know WAP is my J-A-M. I had to dance it out a bit before I answered, chill.”
The girl on the other end sucked at her teeth, “are you forreal right now?”
“AND, I just got out the shower, stop trippin’. I don’t even have my draws on yet,” April huffed while poking out her bottom lip ever so slightly. In a sing-song voice she gave a response to the weighted silence, “come on Lea, you know you love me.”
“I do,” Lea sighed, “and that’s why I’m callin’ you with a heads up. Darryl is bringing some new chick to my birthday party Friday night.”
April gasped while dropping her towel simultaneously with her jaw. Tears began to well up in her eyes as she croaked, “Lea stop playin’ that’s not funny.”
“I’m not April, sorry but I thought you should know.”
“Can’t you uninvite him Lea,” she pleaded quite loudly into the phone as the tears streaked down her cheeks.
“Girl,” Lea began slowly, “I would if I could… but I can’t. Mike and Darryl have been boys forever! I’m not gonna do that to him.”
“Seriously,” April’s voice became tight and strained, “you really gonna do me like this? I’ve known you way longer than you’ve known Mike!”
“April, pause,” Lea’s voice was short and biting, “yes, I love you, yes you’re like family to me, but don’t make me choose between you and my fiancé because you ain’t gonna like my answer.”
April sucked her breath in, tears coming much faster at this point, “then what am I supposed to do about it? Just not go to my best friend’s 21st birthday bash? The Freaky Friday we’ve been planning for a year now?”
“Look, I’m sorry,” her voice was quieter now, “of course I want you to come. That’s why I called you. You’re my girl.
“If you thought I would let you come out looking like Boo-Boo the fool at my party, just so you would leave early or start swinging, then you don’t know me at all. April you’re beautiful. Dry your eyes honey, pick yourself up and slay honey.”
April sat down on the bed, it squeaking beneath her, glancing over her shoulder to the mirror on her right. Earlier her face had enjoyed what she was drinking in at her reflection and now her gaze was filled with self-pity and disgust. She looked away from the closet door whispering, “Lea, I don’t wanna go by myself, I’m gonna look stupid.”
“So, don’t go by yourself, duh!”
“Well what on Earth am I supposed to do then,” her voice shot up in the air along with her phoneless hand in a semi-shrug. Her voice began to crack a bit as she spat out, “make a freaking scarecrow? Drag it around all night?”
Lea burst out laughing on the other end, causing April to frown profusely in a way that can only be interpreted as she wasn’t joking. Lea must have heard that she was alone in her laughter, “no dummy, download Tinder or something its free.”
“I don’t do all that online dating crap, that’s how you meet up with an axe murderer.”
Lea groaned, “you’re not gonna meet up with an axe murderer stop bein’ extra all your life. You’re a bad ‘B’ remember? You can have anyone you want.
“Just find a date before April 2nd and woman up,” Lea was interrupted before she could finish.
“April comes first,” April chimed in with a very short stiff laugh.
“See, that’s the spirit,” Lea’s voice was the equivalent of an audible eyeroll, “as I was saying, get the swipin’ find yourself a sexy dude, and bring him to the party! Meet up with him first though honey, can’t show up Darryl with a dud.”
April sniffed, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand before nodding her head, “okay, I got you. Don’t forget, Saturday you’re s’posed to help me kill that damn spider that ran in my vents. Still, thanks for lookin’ out girl, love you heifer.”
“I didn’t forget, I’ve been busy! Somebody has to put in those hours to pay for this thing! Love you too, now stop being stank and make things happen,” Lea concluded. A beep could be heard before the screen went black and the phone grew quiet.
After a few hours of what can only be described as a makeover and a photo shoot while April teetered between words of encouragement to herself and a slew of curses at Darryl. The air hung heavy with many, ‘he must be dumb if he thinks he can replace me I’m the baddest’, to, ‘Darryl how you gonna replace 2 years in 2 weeks?!’ It went on like that until she had transformed herself into a completely different being, which was actually very impressive. Now that the endless selfies and posing had finished, the interesting part began as she opened her app store and downloaded the dating app. She looked quite awkward lazing on her stomach on the bed in a full ‘Glamazonian’ costume. Her probably uncomfortable 3-inch stilettos stabbing the air as she swung her legs back and forth bending and relaxing her knees. After every prompt was followed, her new photographs uploaded, and a quick biography hastily typed out with several spelling errors, she began to peruse the online dating scene.
“Ugh, left,” she exclaimed every now and then. Followed by the occasional, “ooh,
Mr. Swipe Right. I see you, sexy.”
Finally, she stopped her inane muttering as she came to what was undeniably the most attractive creature on the entire site. The photographs were magnificent, the dark-brown cocoa skin was radiant even within the context of that absurd device she used to witness such divine beauty. The hair hung in long dreads that fell around those well-toned biceps. Every picture of this stunning beast was on some small Caribbean isle with white fluffy sand and clear turquoise waters. Those oiled muscles gleamed and rippled, while those curious green eyes seemed to stare into the depths of her soul. April was indeed entranced, how could she not be, with a specimen like this there was no choice but to become ensnared. She tried to pronounce the name she read off of her phone to no avail, she shook her head letting those synthetic blonde ringlets fall around her heart-shaped face. She swiped right. A small screen lit up showing a match with her photograph beside those mesmerizing green eyes.
“Oh yeah,” she squealed seemingly delighted. Before she could type out anything her cellular phone chimed: Hello there, beautiful.
She beamed widely, “mhm and he ain’t playin’ no games?! Go, April.”
She sat up quickly texting back: Hey, sexy.
Her phone chimed again, she blushed and tittered like a fowl in heat, then grinningly replied with fervently fast fingers. Another chime would predate an eruption of nonsense and giggles before another reply was made. This went on for some time. It was very tedious, however necessary. She needed a date before April 2nd of course, her eyes grew heavy towards the end of the conversation. Slowly she typed in: I’m getting tired sexy. How about we meet up tomorrow night for dinner is that cool with you?
Her phone lit up letting out the final annoying ding of the night: That sounds like a tantalizing offer. I would love to have you over for dinner. What would you say to my place at dusk?
She yawned widely before smiling, “I love the way he talks, so educated and sexy, he’s perfect.
“Darryl’s gonna be so mad,” she smirked while typing back in agreeance. The date was set. She closed her eyes smiling to herself, mumbling about how fun her Thursday night would be tomorrow.
The following evening April had readied herself while sitting in her car. She took a deep breath looking up at the small house in the middle of nowhere. She seemed nervous, which was only to be expected but she shook her head firmly before setting her stilettoed foot on the curb outside of her old rusted jalopy. Humans seem to have such odd priorities these days, everything on her body head to toe was designer however her apartment was a hovel and her car seemed to be on its last leg. She smoothed her too short dress down revealing rather appealing legs underneath before she sashayed her way up the cobbled path. The first woman to ever make it without so much as a stumble, impressive.
She rang the doorbell and looked about ready to lose her nerve before the door opened.
She smiled, “Hey Anazy nice to meet you.”
“It’s Anansi, April,” I grinned back at her, “and the pleasure is all mine.”
“Wow,” she tilted her head back admiring my cozy little lair, “nice place, Ananzy.”
“Thank you very much,” my voice never faltered as she butchered my name again, “and it’s pronounced Uh-Nan-see, Anansi.”
“Sorry, Anansi, but dang that accent is sexy, where you from?”
“I just recently moved here from the Caribbean,” I bared my teeth in a non-threatening way as I stood back and gestured for her to come in. Then without skipping a beat I lied, “your accent is quite unique as well.”
She stepped in admiring all of the artwork and antique pieces of furniture I had accrued throughout the years. A small whistle escaped her lips like a cartoon wolf admiring a sheep. I could almost see the dollar signs glowing green within those eyes of hers. However, that was none of my concern.
“Didn’t you say that you were making dinner Anansi? I don’t smell anything cooking.”
“Something along those lines yes,” I smiled as I shut and locked the door, “I believe my exact words were ‘I would love to have you over for dinner’ though I did not say that I was cooking.”
Her face dropped a little disappointed, “so what, are we having salad or something?”
I couldn’t control myself any longer, laughter bubbled up from inside me as she nervously laughed along, not at all getting the punchline.
“You know,” I finally managed to squeeze out between the booming laughter, “I like you April, and if it wasn’t for time constraints, I believe we would get along famously. You are a riot.”
“I don’t understand,” she chuckled slowly.
“You don’t, April,” I began to relax my human form letting my true one take hold, “and that’s what makes you so beautiful. A beautiful fool.”
She shrieked while falling over backwards, then began scurrying further into the house the best she could on those ridiculous shoes. She was clearly terrified, as she should be, no matter how foolish one was there was no denying my divine visage was terrifying to behold. Her eyes grew wider as I grew taller, my perfect lips becoming pincers whilst my green eyes multiplied upon my spreading face. My second pair of arms sprouted first then my second legs, as I followed her retreating form I called to her, “April, most people try to escape out of the house, where are you going?”
She was screaming now, all types of body fluids flowing from her facial orifices. Humans are disgusting, but necessary. She was stumbling through the house, throwing my things at me but with four arms it was simple to grab them and set them down unscathed. Still, that isn’t polite behavior, “Please stop throwing things, that last vase was older than your entire nation.”
“Leave me alone,” she screeched, her entire frame shaking like a leaf, “please let me live, please don’t kill me! Oh, my G-… “
“Yes, foolish girl, a god. Now be blessed and bow before the divine.”
“You’re a MONSTER!”
“No, my dear, I am a god. Behold Anansi in all his arachnid glory,” I proclaimed before her blank face made me continue, “Spider. Arachnid means spider. I’m a spider god. Don’t they teach you anything in Black History Month?”
“No! They teach us that we were slaves and then some white man in a top hat freed us and MLK had a dream!”
That was more disarming than anything else she had thrown at me so far, “they don’t teach you much of anything, do they?”
She whimpered backing up away from me into a dark room, shaking her head furiously alluding to me being right. Still it was too late. She tripped and screamed once surrounded by the darkness, but no thud rang out. I entered the room, sighing, seeing that she had backed into the intricate web that I had formed. Her feet hovered above the ground as she struggled, there was no escaping now. I glanced at the time again while groaning, “April my dear, you’ve taken all the fun out of this. It was supposed to be a little joke with myself but now? Just depressing.”
Her confused face streaked with tears, makeup, snot and sweat opened its foolish mouth, “so, you gonna let me go?”
I scoffed, “no, fool.”
Her wailing, which normally would have been music to my ears, was grating like nails on a blackboard. She certainly did suck all of the fun out of this immediately.
“April,” I shouted over her as her cries died back down to a whimper, “look, if I could, I would let you go but I cannot. SHUT IT! Listen to me, it’s either you or me and it definitely is not going to be me.”
Before she could go back to her banshee like screams I covered her mouth with my silk, “long ago at the dawn of this world I was cursed, played one too many tricks on the other gods… did not go over so well.
“My curse is for 364 days a year I must remain a poor helpless spider. I must stalk my prey through various means, the world wide web has made things much easier I must admit, brilliant idea. I do everything telepathically, my dear, you see what I want you to see.
“When they eventually recover your phone there will be no trace of me on it. In the olden days it was much harder, took all year and sometimes I would have to find new prey as the others were branded witches and burned. In the times leading up to this convenient invention they were deemed insane and lobotomized. However, nowadays when a man is ranting on the corner to no one in particular they assume he’s rich and screaming into a Bluetooth device.
“Sorry my love, stop squirming you will never break my silk, I’m getting off topic. Where was I? Ah yes, the curse. So, all year a spider, one day a man. On this day I must lure a person to my lair and sacrifice them on my silken altar. I must consume all of them, mind, body and soul, or else I cease to exist.
“Your eyes are looking as if you are wondering, ‘why April, why me,’ well I can tell you why. I thought it would be funny. When my curse began, it was long before the Romans started slapping names on everything but that certain day just so happens to be today, April 1st. Then I believe around the 1500s, I could be wrong since immortality makes time meaningless, they started the tradition of April Fools’ day. A joke started by the gods, another knife in my chest. They want me dead, is it not obvious?
“What better way to rid the world of poor old Anansi? Take the one day I have as human and turn it into an absurd holiday centered around tricks, pranks and mistrusting others! So, I have struggled ever since it caught on. Well in my morbid wallowing I decided on a whim, ‘would it not be funny if on April Fools I ate a fool named April?’ Which was easier said than done may I add.
“With you it was too easy. Absolutely zero fun. I still have to eat you dear, and I am sorry about that, truly I am. However much you soured my appetite, if I do not eat then I shall die. There is no possible way I could find someone else on today of all days and you are already prepared. No one trusts anyone today. You should have killed me when I was in your vents.”
Her eyes widened as I continued, “I would have reincarnated with a new target, no exceptions. Kill me in my spider form and you are forever protected from me. Most Aprils’ killed me but not you. Farewell April, you beautiful fool.”
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I just finished reading this about 20 minutes ago... and I just can't stop thinking about how amazing this story is, like seriously! The part that really hit me was when he said "You should have killed me when I was in your vents." I was "OH MY GOSHHHH, so that's how he knows everything that she was doing after she got out the shower." I can't forget to mention this, I also love how you mention the spider early but allowed the readers to think nothing of it until later in the reading! 10/10 no doubt.
Thank you so much. Sorry I Haven't been able to say anything sooner I've been sick this week. I really appreciate the praise.
First of all, BRAVO!!! This story was written so beautifully it just flowed with ease. The start of the story threw me off a little bit. It seemed maybe too coming of age but I understand the approach you were trying to go. Then when you switch over viewpoints, it really started to speed up and it was PERFECT!! I wish I had a spider joke but this WEBsite won't let me😂😂
Thank you so much i really appreciate the compliment. I wish I had more words allowed to expand this story lol Anansi did too as he pointed that out. The beginning is a little weird and i was worried that while constructing it, it would not come out right as the entire story is told by Anansi in 1st person. The start is very voyeuristic as Anansi is watching her through the vents. He doesn't call the girls by name until he hears them say their names. Just a little twist that isn't realized until the end but again i wish i could have went ove...
No problem :DD
Such a cool twist! I didn't expect it until he said his name out loud (like pronouncing it) and then I was like "Oh... april...". You definitely made it easy to love and hate April, which made her death all the more interesting! Amazing use of dialogue as well!
Thank you so much! Well you definitely inspired me to go head on with dialogue and shy away from the silent story. I wish I could have had a longer story. Lol so did Anansi. He mentions time constraints and how much fun they could have had. I had fun with this one and April was interesting because I also loved and hated April as did Anansi. Even he didn't like killing her but as he said "it's you or me"
Yeah, lol. Anansi was super interesting too! I love the gods like that, and it's amazing how you didn't just take it from an overused culture as well!
My roots trace back to West Africa, Louisiana and the Caribbean(also a little Norwegian but I'm sure alot of people are going with Loki because he's awesome) I decided to put a little of myself into the mix once again. Lol the dialogue is a little exaggerated but not unlike how I talk with my best friend. Idk I really like this one much better than my other one thanks to you. Now I wonder if it comes across that the entire story is told in 1st person POV the entire time? Or is it too confusing? Lol you know how sometimes things make sense to...
I mean, yeah that part with WAP? I mean, of course, you had to include the truest art form to make it realistic, lol. I think it's better, and I love your first-person writing! Of course, it's healthy to write in both too! And now, it's not confusing at all! It's fun to write in more than one tone.
Lol I felt WAP would help tell us more about April. It shows that she's just your average person. Anansi is watching her in her room from the vents so she thinks she's alone. We're all a little different when we think no one is watching. Now when I went to school I used to write like this and get bad marks for switching the POV even though I didn't it was another hidden POV 1st person of a monster who was just a human who snapped. That teacher ripped me a new one. I never got good scores because I didn't follow the rules. So I'm self conscio...
There was a fun throw in about black history month and how had it been a little more in depth she would have definitely heard the name Anansi before since he is quite a well known deity in West Africa and Hoodoo/Voodoo religions.
I was wondering when you are next posting! You're one of my favourite writers on here and you haven't posted in a while! ☺️☺️
I'm giving this story with a disclosure: I was very intrigued with this weeks concept and prompt. As an African American woman however, I didn't want to choose Loki as my trickster god, instead I picked a trickster from my own heritage, Anansi, the spider god. Without the 3 thousand word writing constraints I believe I could have fleshed this out a bit better, as a usually descriptive writer adding dialogue in a short story hinders that a bit. I feel as though I had to rush the ending no matter how badly i wanted to savor it and make it a mo...