I’m back and with an actual prompt. I took a break from them mainly cause I had other topics on my mind. When I saw this one, I thought, great, what am I supposed to do with that? So I read it again, and again, and by the third or forth reread I got my mini scene. It’s not for the easily offended. That said, here’s the prompt:
“A wasp called the tarantula hawk reproduces by paralyzing tarantulas and laying its eggs into their bodies. When their larvae hatch, they devour the still living spider from the inside out. Isn’t that fucked up? Write a short story about how fucked up that is.” – Dan Wiencek’s Thirteen Writing Prompts from McSweeney’s
There’s nothing more cementing about your own death than the death of another. You’d be surprised how much tomorrow matters to you after you start watching insects. Yes, insects. What did you expect? Another prisoner? Ha. I, like every other prisoner, belong exactly where we are. Held up in perpetual darkness till it no longer paralyzes you but shelters you with its vacant presence. You never know what may come out of it.
For that past week I’ve found myself watching the death of a spider. One of the guards must have released it in here to scare me. I’m no easy scare though. I’ve killed a fare share, reveled in some good, blood rushing screams, smiled in memory. Fun times. Sadly, I won’t be doing that anymore. Like the spider, I was caught and trapped in a place where I get to be paralyzed. Not so cruelly of course. I have chains where as that little guy got stung by some wasp, had eggs laid in it, and now it’s being eaten by the hatched parasitic family. At first I thought the thing was dead but one day I saw a few of its legs twitch. It’s one hell of a way to go, being eaten alive and from within at that.
I had to look up through the small hole they called a window and smirk. That wasn’t my fate. I’d get shot execution style just like the greats or maybe lethal injection. Oh, ho, ho, that would be a rush. Strapped down, bound to the inevitable, and then the needle. That liquid grim reaper would creep through my veins and kill me.
My eyes returned to the tarantula buffet. The larvae squirmed around in the openings they had created. Lifting a finger I crooked it in a little wave. They were survivors. They knew what it took to make it to the next day and how to take down another. Such natural killing at its finest. I tried a man’s heart once…..wonder if a spider’s tastes the same to them. I almost regret limiting my knowledge to human anatomy. I could have had creative fun with bugs.
I saw one of those animal things when I was young. There are these poisonous frogs that don’t look so deadly from up top but on that tender underbelly, instant death. Maybe it was delayed? I don’t know. Memory is fuzzy from the lack of water in this place. Who knows, that could be how they want to kill me. No food or water for that one. We want to see how the animal likes it. Well, if they asked me, I would have said bring it on. But nobody wants to talk. I don’t know why, I’m a fantastic listener. Not once did I gag my prisoners. They were people too.
I think the spider is dead now. A thin ray of sunrise passes through the hole and I can see the stuffed parasites. Soon they’ll be big boys and girls. They’d mate and their offspring would start the murders all over again. Hope my kids are so in tune with my side of the gene pool. But if they decide to be prey, guess they weren’t strong enough to survive. Not like me though, I’ll never die. They’ll remember me. I am immortal. I gave them something to feed off. I embraced a primal urge while others suppressed theirs. Suckers, all of them. They’ll never know what it’s like to really live and die. I know though and I’ll take that with me right to my last, gasping, pained breath. Won’t that be something.