A/N: This is a one-shot involving one of my characters, out of the view-point of another person. All settings and ideas are mine alone.
At first, when you woke up, you'd thought you were still asleep somehow. What should have been the safe, familiar walls of your room, were instead unfamiliar brick and stone, and you were no longer on your bed, with your warm blankets wrapped around you to keep away the cold winter.
And it certainly was as cold as winter here. You shivered, and wrapped your arms around yourself, half against the chill, and half for some sense of security, as you sat alone in this eerie place. There was cobwebs everywhere - HUGE cobwebs, in fact. Like in one of those games your brothers are always playing, where they go adventuring in crypts and things and fight undead and who knows what else what.
It was quiet, too, but somehow you took refuge in that. Maybe because it didn't feel like the creepy kind of quiet, where there's something lurking around the corner, but the kind of quiet that was reserved for Christmas and door mouses, where all was asleep.
Still, as you pondered these things, you also wondered if you should try pinching yourself to wake up. There was no way this was real, and you were pretty sure that this was some sort of nightmare. Even if this wasn't like any nightmare you've ever had, and even though you could feel the bite of a winter's chill, like you were standing outside in your pajamas, you didn't want to think about what it could mean if it wasn't a dream.
So you pinched yourself, hoping that would wake you up. When it didn't work, you started to panic, and you pinched yourself harder. Hard enough to tear your skin. But still, nothing happened. You didn't wake, and your heart rate picked up its pace in response, but you reprimanded yourself, thinking that there's no reason to be scared. So what if you didn't wake up? The pinching thing was really more like one of those tricks to solve things, that never really worked anyway, like drinking water upside down to cure hiccups! ... Yeah, and there was really no way this wasn't a dream. So there was no need to be scared, right..? You kept telling yourself that until you calmed down enough to think straight again.
You wondered if you should get up and look around. You figured that'd make the most logical sense, because instincts tell you that you'll freeze to death if you don't find something to keep you warm, and you supposed that you should continue on with the dream, even if it was possibly a nightmare.
You stood up slowly and glanced around your surroundings. There was at least three paths that you could see, and you weren't really sure which one to take. But one was much darker than the others, so you opted that one out immediately, not feeling like it would be the wisest choice. You didn't really want to aid the
So you turned your attention to the other two. The one to the side seemed to have a turn in it, and you couldn't tell where it went, but the one right in front of you was big and open, and it looked like it came out into a much bigger room. Feeling that this was the best choice, you slowly creeped over to the big entrance.
As you got to the other end of it, you ran into a web, and you stopped abruptly with a sputter and a flail as you attempted to get it out of your face. -- Wait, what was that? You thought you'd heard something just now, and you
Your heart began to pound in your chest, against your own will, as you glanced around the place you were in now. You couldn't really call it a room, as it was much too big, but you weren't really sure what to call it, because the ceiling was at least 30 feat above your head, and it was just as far down to the floor, and then much wider all the way across. There were many more entrances and holes, too, and cobwebs were everywhere. At least, you think they're cobwebs? If you were being honest with yourself, you'd admit that they looked like actual spider webs.
That train of thought was cut short when you thought you saw something move up in front of you on the wall. You sucked in your breath, but you soon forgot to let it out again when a gigantic spider poked out, and your heart skipped a beat as you stood there, staring, not truly daring to move. The thing was at least as big as a car, and suddenly you shared Ron's view (from Harry Potter) on spiders, and you appreciated his terror in the scene with the spiders in the second movie all the more.
More and more came out of their holes, and you got the distinct feeling that they had the inkling that you were there. You took a step backwards, hoping that maybe you could just sneak back and not be seen. Maybe you should've taken one of the other paths after all. You're pretty positive that they would've been better choices now.
As you took a few more steps backwards, a spider crept up and over the lip from the bottom side of the place, right in front of you, and you tried not to freeze in terror, because you knew it could see you. It watched you and you couldn't help but feel like a tiny mouse caught under the predatory gaze of a cat, and like a mouse, you bolted the other way.
Your heart pounded loudly in your ears as you ran as fast you could. It pounded so loudly, that you could barely make out the sound of their many legs scurrying after you. But you didn't dare look back, and you made the sprint towards the dark entrance, since you already passed the other one, and there was no way you were turning back.
You ran blindly through the darkness for a while before falling into a hole. You yelped loudly as you fell and tumbled down, but it wasn't long until the ground leveled out and you came to a slow halt.
"Ow..." You whined as you tried to stand up, hurting from head to toe because of the fall. You glanced behind you, afraid that the spiders were still following you, but they weren't anymore for some reason, and in seeing this, you let yourself collapse to the ground, and you tried to catch your breath. You didn't know why they stopped following you, but man, were you glad for it. There was no way you could've kept that up, between the injuries you got from the fall, and your lungs feeling like they were on fire.
You sat there for a while, needing the rest, but because you were no longer moving, the cold came back in full force, and you began shivering once more. So now you hurt all over and you were freezing cold and shivering. You were seriously starting to question whether or not this was truly a dream, but that idea scared you far too much for you to even begin considering it fully. Of course this was a dream. It just had to be a dream. It's not possible for someone to end up in a strange place in their pajamas where it's freezing cold and there's GIGANTIC SPIDERS trying to eat them. It was just a really bad and highly realistic nightmare.
That's what you kept telling yourself, anyway. Your more logical side was telling you it was a load of bullcrap, and that you should stop kidding yourself, but you still weren't ready to accept this terrifying reality, so you continued to cling to what you were coming to understand to be delusions.
You let out a shaky breath and contemplated if you really wanted to continue or not. You knew that you really needed to find something to keep yourself warm, but you really, really didn't want to run into anymore spiders. You didn't have arachnophobia before, but you were almost positive that you did now.
None the less, your self-preservation prevailed. You used the wall beside you to help yourself get up, and you paused when you felt it's course texture. It was like something wrapped in tons of yarn, but you couldn't tell what it was made out of in the darkness, and it didn't really feel like a web. It wasn't sticky like a web should be, but then, your knowledge on spiders was pretty limited. Still, after everything that's already happened, maybe you should be careful.
Using the wall as your guide, you continued forwards very slowly, but that didn't last long as the tunnel started to seem never ending, and you picked up your pace. A few minutes later, which seemed more like hours, you came out into a rather large room (but at least it could still be deemed a room), dimly lit by a single candle that was on a small table, accompanied by a chair, near the back to the right, and next to a bunch of shelves filled with books.
Thanks to that candle light, you could make out the basic layout of the room. The wall opposite of you, on the right, continued as it was into the room. It was the same wall that the bookshelves resided on. But your wall cut off and opened up to the rest of the room, and it looked like it continued for quite a ways. A few supports stood here and there, and one in particular blocked your view of the far left corner, but you could just make out the corner of another shelf sticking out from behind it. There was also a nook with a bed placed in it a couple feat to the left of the table with the candle, and -- actually, wait, was there someone sleeping in that bed?
You crept slowly forward, your curiosity getting the better of you. But it wasn't a spider or anything, so it'd be alright, right? Maybe whoever this is made this place as a refuge from the spiders or something. Either way, you were positive that it was a person, a real human, and not some monster that was going to try and eat you, and that was enough for you. Your assumptions only became more affirmed the closer you got to them.
You nearly jumped out of your skin as someone to your left spoke, "You are fortunate that I've already eaten, otherwise I would consider you my prey, but as it is, I am well and full..." It was a man's voice, stern and slightly grizzled.
You stumbled slightly and turned towards the direction the voice came from, only to be greeted by another gigantic spider. You guessed that it was even bigger than the others you encountered. But was it really what just spoke to you? As far as you knew, spiders didn't talk, but then, maybe it was like that one from Harry Potter. Not that relating it to that made you feel any better, but it made it a little more comprehensible to you.
Your breathing had hitched and you couldn't bring yourself to do anything but stare at the thing, wide-eyed. When it made to move closer, you flinched and closed your eyes, shrinking back just slightly. But nothing happened to you. No terrible pain, no fangs being driven into you, no webbing being wrapped around you and encasing you. Nothing at all, until you felt a hand grab your chin and tilt your face up, and you opened your eyes to see a tall, ginger-haired man with black marks all over his face and arms (possibly his entire body). His eyes were a steel gray and they had a very piercing quality to them. You gawked, absolutely confused about everything suddenly.
"Arachnophobia?" He asked vaguely, and you only stared, trying to figure out exactly what he was asking as you couldn't seem to quite grasp it. He seemed to notice this and he elaborated as he let go of your chin, "You're afraid of spiders." You swallowed and half nodded as you were unable to find your voice.
He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his trousers and took a step back, appearing to size you up. "So what, pray tell, brought you to my home?"
"I-I.. uhhm.." You started, licking your lips. ".. I-I was chased here." That was the most you could bring yourself to say. He didn't respond to you and actually walked away from you, leaving you feeling somehow dejected. But he only went so far as a shelf. He took one of the folded blankets off from it before returning to you and giving it to you. You were a little surprised, but you felt very grateful for the warmth.
"By the others, I would assume." At first, you weren't really sure what he meant by 'the others', but it wasn't long before the connection clicked in your head, and you could only stare at him, once again aghast. You weren't sure how it was possible for a human to turn into a spider, or vise versa. But you could see his resemblance to the spider that had greeted you and you couldn't deny that he was, in fact, the very same being.
You blinked and glanced over to the sleeping form in the bed, suddenly questioning whether it was really human, like you'd first assumed. The man... thing chuckled, "Yes, she's like you; human."
You gave him a quizzical look and muttered, "Why..?"
"You mean, 'why her' or 'why would something like you protect a human'?" He supplied, and you nodded, vaguely recalling what the man had first said to you.
"I did it to repay a dept I owed to an old friend," he answered, with a sparing glance to the sleeping girl, "and I've since grown fond of her."
You stared at him - hard - in an attempt to discern whether this was the honest truth or not. It seemed truthful enough, but you didn't trust him. You mean, he isn't even human, he's some strange
He stared back, and there was a short period of silence where the two of you just stared at each other. You found his stare to be intimidating and you started to feel like shrinking back into a corner when he asked with a raise of his eyebrows, "You hungry?"
You blinked a few times, surprised and completely taken aback by the sudden question. "I-I.. yeah, y-yeah I am." He turned around almost immediately and waved his hand, beckoning you to follow. "Come on then." You just stood there for a moment, still quite confused by the turn of events, but it occurred to you that this
Although, you still couldn't really bring yourself to trust
When you got close enough, you noticed that he'd gone into another room that resided at the very back. You stopped in the doorway of the room and took a look around. It sorta looked like a storeroom with various barrels and sacks, and cans and things stacked around. There was a table with chairs in the middle, and he was standing next to it, cutting an apple into slices, and there were many more apples on the table in a bowl.
"It's better known as a spider nest, but it used to be something of a.. grand temple." He murmured, with his attention on his handy work. You stared, just blinking at him for a few moments, before realizing that he had answered your question. You frowned, not really sure what to make of this information. "But.. how did I get here?"
As he finished with the apple, he held out a slice to you and replied frankly, "Search me." You continued to frown, not happy with his unhelpful answer, but you stepped forward and took the apple slice from him and bit it in half. You were a little surprised by it's flavor, as it was unlike any apple you've ever had. But then, you'd only ever had red delicious and granny smith, which were the most common apples in a grocery store.
He bit a small chunk off of his own slice as you were finishing your first one, and you grabbed another and began munching on it, and, seeing as there was chairs, you pulled the one in front of you out and took a seat. He followed suit and crossed his arms over the table, leaving the apple hanging from his mouth. You watched him as you took and ate another slice. He seemed to be sucking at the apple slice, rather than eating it. You shivered, getting the mental image of a spider sucking the blood out of its victim. ... Ugh. Spiders.
Thinking on what was already said, you knew that you couldn't have been the first.. human to have come here, and you wondered just how many more had, and just how many had died, or worse, been eaten. Then you became aware that somewhere along the lines, you'd subconsciously accepted the fact that you weren't really dreaming. Your stomach still did a flip at the idea, but you couldn't deny it any longer.
"So.. uhhm," You started, but then paused because you had no idea what you were actually going to say, and you bit your lip. "No worries," he responded dully, and half mumbled, thanks to the apple, and you glanced up at him as he continued, "I won't eat you at any point. She wouldn't let me, anyway."
"O-oh..?" You asked, not sure how to respond to the statement, although by 'she' you assumed he meant the girl sleeping in the other room, and you were actually surprised to hear that she had any hold over him. He simply half shrugged and put the rest of his apple slice into his mouth, crunching it and swallowing it.
Then he stood up and headed back out off the room, saying, "You'll have to sleep on the floor, of course, because I don't have anything else for you.." He glanced back over his shoulder when he reached the doorway, and you
"But you're welcome to stay here as long as needed." He told you, and then paused, like he was considering something. You were about to say something, like 'thank you' or at least something, when he spoke again,
"You can call me Nero."