Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Spider-wife


I am a spider. I stay here, stretched on my web, trapped. The sun reaches through the glass, but never warms. My skin is ice. The great black bird that guards me won’t let me light a flame.

I hate you. You lock me in.

Charms of my nurse, to make you sleep.

Creeping quietly more each day,

To sink my fangs on the icecold.

The key is heavy, I escape

Through the dark.

We spend our days guarding each other. I have forgotten how people look. Only the great black bird and the monster see me. His eyes make me mad. I don’t want him to look. Mad makes me colder. No sun. No sun but storms through the glass. I long for fire. I long to dance.

Traitor, you did this to me;

Shackle me to the monster,

Tore me from the sun,

The flowers, the warmth,

You pity me!

I’ll tear your eyes,

Wear them for jewels,

How dare you pity me?

I don’t want it.

I want your blood,

Warm and coursing,

To keep me alive.

The first time I leave the prison, I wonder in the dark. It’s colder and I don’t linger long. He scares me now. He’s brought the monsters everywhere.

You sleep. I tough you.

You are warm. Why am I freezing?

I need your warmth.

I’m freezing alive,

I’ll burn it out of you.

Your soul will fly,

Take the monsters away,

Your ashes left to warm me.

The monsters are scared of me. I was but singing to sunlight, trying to coax it to me. It loved me back home, the bright black salamander. Why does it hate me now? Does it not love spiders? He brought them here. One is ice-white. Did he touch her too? Is she going to be my sister-spider?

Run you fool.

Run from the demon.

See what he did?

He steals your life.

You’ll lose your blood.

Get out you silly, little snowflake.

Before you become me.

The snowflake left. The earth, the air are warmer. I walk more. My charms finally work. The bird sleeps, the key is warm, my hand human again. The monsters hide away. I steal a fire, hide it in my web.

When I was a child I read

The story of one who stole the

Fire of the gods to give to people

Light and was locked away for it.

The sun is warm today. I stretch on my web and breath. I strike the drooping bird with my eyes. It falls. The key clatters on the floor. The spider-shape melts, I am human again. I take my fire. The sunbeam dances on the wick. A song of victory. I break my chains. The wind kisses me on the battlements.

The flames, the smoke, the wind.

I’m warm, I breathe, I live.

No more a spider, I’ve wings.

I leap, I fly, I leave

The monster to burn, burn, burn.

The light embraces me.

I am free.

“Then Mr. Rochester was at home when the fire broke out?”

“Yes, indeed was he; and he went up to the attics when all was burning above and below, and got the servants out of their beds and helped them down himself, and went back to get his mad wife out of her cell. And then they called out to him that she was on the roof, where she was standing, waving her arms, above the battlements, and shouting out till they could hear her a mile off: I saw her and heard her with my own eyes. She was a big woman, and had long black hair: we could see it streaming against the flames as she stood. I witnessed, and several more witnessed, Mr. Rochester ascend through the sky-light on to the roof; we heard him call ‘Bertha!’ We saw him approach her; and then, ma’am, she yelled and gave a spring, and the next minute she lay smashed on the pavement.” (Jane Eyre, chapter 36)