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The Weaver

The Weaver


Estimated reading time — 18 minutes

My vision was hazy. I could feel warm liquid trickling down my forehead as I attempted to lift my head. The car’s blinker thundered inside of me like a heavy bass. I tasted the blood inside of my mouth, and the coolness of the night seeped into the cracks and crevices of the wreckage, surrendering me to its embrace. I mumbled, trying to feel for her in the passenger’s seat. I touched her arm, trying to say her name, but nothing escaped my lips, my blurry sight focused, searching for her eyes. I made out pieces of her face spattered with blood and her jaw crooked and protruding unnaturally. My heart thudded, and my voice cracked; with every ounce of my strength, I nudged her arm, trying to get something out of her. Anything. When the dizziness faded, I was met with a vacuous presence permeating her once lively, smiling eyes. As if she had seen something unfathomable. And, thinking about it now. She did. She saw what we all have yet to see in its purest, rawest form. Death. And it glazed over her with no remorse.

____

As I surfaced from my meditative state, a distorted voice came to me through static; how far will you run from your temple? U’eptreia is calling you.

I gasped. The voice has been familiar, traversing my brain like a faulty frequency on a lousy radio setup. I was stuck between unwanted wakefulness and petrifying sleep, which I had coined Insomnium. Haunted by that night and tormented by repetitive sounds of shattering glass and the buckling crunch of the car’s alloy chassis funneling into a machine-made tomb. I hunched over on the side of the bed, reaching for my phone. It was 3 o’clock already, and I hadn’t slept a wink. I had stumbled up and out of bed, forcing myself to keep to my plans of meeting a friend for coffee. At the very least, I could use the coffee over the company. The company was a mere side effect.

I avoided mirrors. I lost sight of my identity, and my appearance no longer mattered. Whenever I peered into the mirror, it would consume me in a never-ending cycle of disaster, a swirling picture of unkempt dusky hair, bloodshot eyes, and dark circles. And that terrible fresh scar rippling across my face like lightning against a beige sky. Outside was gloomy, suitable for my arrival. I avoided any form of transportation other than walking. I was safe on my own two feet. The city was bustling, per usual. Sirens blared, and people shuffled back and forth on the sidewalk. I wore earplugs to reduce strong reactions to my intensely loud surroundings, kept my hood over my head, and gazed out in front of me enough to see where I was going and avoid people. But enough to not meet glances with anyone or anything that I had recently been seeing.

Arriving at the coffee shop, I gave glances before entering, waiting until I saw the back of Rowan’s black-haired head and that ugly blue shirt of his. I stepped in and heard the TV rattling. After my anxiety settled, I stopped to notice people standing around, mouths agape, staring at the TV with little movement. Did the world stop? Or was it Insomnium? No–it was just this reality and its horrors. The TV released a jumble of reporters at a press conference with officials who were spouting off nonsense,
“The public has one question for you, is it a serial killer?”

The official leaned towards the podium, “We do not know at this time.” The sea of reporters went mad, and they attempted to calm them, “What we do know is the victims are killed in threes, and the posing of the bodies indicates a possible ritualistic killing.”

A reporter chimed in, “What people are endangered? Who are the targets?”

The official turned to other law enforcement personnel almost for a sense of support, “All victims were comatose patients.” The rampant reporters thrashed, and the official avoided further questioning, revealing a diagram, “To protect the identity of the victims, our forensic artists have reconstructed the symbol. If anyone has any information on such a design, please contact us—”

Static filled my ears, and my body shook, an intricate web constructed in a central spiral churning outward with chaotic and unsettling hooks. Woven together by the threads of the victim’s flesh, even within a detailed drawing, it churned and moaned. The voice summoned through me, the river of blood runneths from your cup. I broke away from the screen and realized everyone in the coffee shop was staring at me. Their eyes had been removed from their skull, and their mouths drooped unhinged from the jaw. A line of blood dripped from their foreheads. I broke into a sweat, and my heart rate shot through the roof. Their voices clamored, will you drink or will you drown?

I felt a hand on my shoulder and flinched. It was Rowan. He looked normal. Good. Better than I. He handed me a warm cup of coffee, “Ezra, you alright? You’re not looking so great, maybe you should get some sun. Take a vacation. You’ve always wanted to visit those mountains.” He, oh so delicately, stated as he fixed his thick-rimmed glasses and parted a gracious smile that sparkled in contrast to his deep bronze skin tone. I tried to clear my head of its temporary disturbance and followed him back to the table. He surveyed me as I sat across from him, gripping my coffee like I would never get any more. The warmth grounded me. He questioned, “Have you been sleeping?”

I huffed, popped the lid off my to-go cup, and checked the coffee. “I try to.” The coffee was black. Simple, precisely the way I like it. I took a gracious sip, peered into its depths, and saw blood bubbling up. Instead of getting drawn into it, I glanced up to Rowan, placing the lid back on the coffee and taking a sip, a nice medium blend easy on the tongue with just a bite to keep me here. He started on about a trauma support group and told me I should try to attend one of these days. I cleared my throat, “I’ve got a doctor’s appointment here in an hour.”

He checked for any signs that I might be lying. I knew that look of his. But my insomnia made any statements of mine seem like lies. I was well aware of my weary eyes and tense shoulders. He broke the silence, “I can drive you.”

I was curt, “No cars.”

“Ez, it’s been a year.” His eyes winced, and his voice lowered, “It wasn’t your fault.”

I stared at him, searching for anything else other than sympathy. He pitied me, and that was evident. “Yeah.” I eyed the door. He picked up on my sudden impatience.

“Look, I’m not holding you hostage. If you want to leave, don’t stay just to humor me. I’ll come by tomorrow and check up on you.” He sipped his usual caramel latte. His face began to warp into something inhuman, and the strange crunching rattled my eardrums; his eyes melted from his skull. The resonating voice droned through, but Rowan’s lips didn’t move. Here, in my ossuary. You are trapped. A fly with broken wings attempting escape. But, you, Ezra. You will never leave the confines of my embrace, for you are my burden to bear and mine alone.

The coffee in my cup began to overflow, dripping blood down my hands. My surroundings began to waver like a ripple in a pond. Nothing but desolation and ruins. Rowan was no longer Rowan. He was a melted corpse holding onto a coffee cup. I panicked, flying out of my chair and dropping the coffee.

Black roots formed before me, twisting and turning into a portal-shaped entry, crackling before me—the entrance throbbing. It released a low bellow. Here it was again. Insomnium. The inbetween, the mountainous ravine. I frantically ran, hearing Rowan yell at me from all directions. But he was nowhere in sight. As I burst through the portal, I was struck by the busy streets and stumbled into a few people who became angered and cursed my name. I whimpered. I needed to make it back to my apartment; there, I could retreat from Insomnium and come back to reality.

My feet pounded against the pavement. The air felt thick and heavy. The sky darkened with an eerie indigo. Invasive whispering thrilled the space around me, distorting the buildings and streets to bizarre alien vistas of grandeur. The burst of churning clouds poured in as if the entire city was getting hit by a thick gust of smoke.

I glanced behind me to see it. The fathomless gaze gulped up my every ounce of sanity. The inky sideways third eye gaped open with a violet glisten that sliced through the smoke. It spoke to me in overlapping foreign tongues from a great distance.

My muscles contracted, but my movements were slow. I was freezing, and I couldn’t run fast enough. As I took in the city, I knew bleeding back through comb-like threads of its weave. I saw my apartment building and released the rest of my reserves just to enter the lobby. I ran up the stairs, feeling as if I teleported every which way until I fused into my apartment door and felt myself collapse onto the tile floor in front of me.

Ezra. Your kingdom crumbles. And what of your people? With their mocking tones and suspicious eyes. Ezra! My eyes shot open, and I was breathing heavily. My head and hands were bloodied. I regained a sense of awareness and pushed myself up. Was I asleep or did I fall and hit my head? The pounding sensation proved this conjecture, and I scrambled up against my apartment door, wheezing. The blood stain on my hands terrified me as I considered what I might have done, but when I observed the small pool of blood before me, I let out a breath of relief. The symbol was etched into it with absolute precision. I felt the icy froth emanate from its inner weaves. It was like a frequency had been intertwined amongst its design, releasing slow pulses to rampage my brain.

I wiped it away with my sleeve in a moment of clarity and trembled. I knew I was teetering on the edge. It felt like, at any second, I could jump and fully submerge into the depths of this psychosis—never coming out of it for a breath, but instead, letting it take me, sending me to eternal rest. I felt feeble and sickened. I trudged into my bathroom, started the shower, and stripped myself of clothes. I stepped in, letting the water wash away the blood and impurities that seemed to be oozing from my pores. Perhaps it would cleanse me of this nightmare. But who am I kidding?

______

I stared at the ceiling, lying in my bed and swatting away flies. My eyes burned. After downing a few bottles of sleeping pills with coffee, I was unaware if I had slept or not. Counterintuitive? It might have been, but it was all I could stomach anymore. In fact, I didn’t know how long it had been since I’d seen Rowan, nor how long it had been since I left my apartment. I wasn’t sure how, but I felt safe here. Safe from Insomnium, safe from whatever that thing is that has been hunting me for months anytime I’d set foot into the outside world. Even so, I could sense it inside my head—probing as if trying to pull me into its realm.

I heard a knock rattle the front door. I sat up, disheveled. I didn’t know if it was day or night, for if the sun or moon were to be shining through, all I had seen was an indigo haze. I wouldn’t dare look outside, for I knew it was looking for entry. I inched across the wooden floor, avoiding the creaks I had memorized so I wouldn’t feel obligated to answer the door. I heard him talking and felt comforted by his empathetic tone for a second.

“I don’t want to force you, Ez. But I think you should really try talking to a psychiatrist. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but–” He stalled, “Look, after what happened yesterday at the cafe. I’m worried as hell about you. It was like you weren’t even there.”

I stared down the hallway, seeing the light flickering underneath the door. The color shifted. Rowan was gone. Whatever was knocking on the door wasn’t him. The curdling blood snuck through the cracks of the door, and slithering bandages wrapped around the door. Its voice came to me, Driven away by the flood. The emptiness quivers, waiting and wishing for you to return home. Drop to your knees and consume the ichor. I felt the blood grace my feet, and I backed up, tracking it through my apartment as I hopped into the bathtub. My chest pounded, and I couldn’t catch my breath. I turned on the water, cleaning my feet of the blood and scrubbing and scrubbing them repeatedly until the dissonance whispers halted.
I thought about what Rowan had said about yesterday. Yesterday? That couldn’t be. I had been here for weeks. When I returned to my living room, I eyed the empty cans of food, confirming my suspicion. I stopped needing to eat two weeks ago, and the food cans added up to that. I backed away from the kitchen and began to hear voices from the other side of the wall. My neighbor listened to that contraption yet again, and every time it was turned on, my unplugged TV would light up the room with moving shadows and squabble nonsense. Again, with the same two talking,

“Back with Serial Chatter. This is Emily and Sophia, chatting about the Weaver, the supposed serial killer weaving their way through the headlines known for bizarre ritualistic killings.”

“Comatose victims, I don’t believe it.” Sophia stated, “How do they get to the sights? The Weaver couldn’t drag them all the way there.”

“So, do you think there is something that law enforcement isn’t telling us?” Asked Emily.
She confirmed, “As usual.”

“A viewer posed a theory, wondering if the Weaver is even real at all, thinking that the victims come to, meet up, and engage in ritualistic suicides.”

Sophia laughed, “If the comatose victims gained consciousness all of a sudden for some reason and they engaged in a ritualistic mutilation of the skin–I mean, everyone has seen the leaked crime scene photos. How can they tie pieces of their skin together like that before blood loss?”

“The design is the same in every scene and always, always finished, too,” Emily added.
Sophia’s shadow leaned in, and her arm flew up, “Tell me how that is possible! We are talking about a killer obsessed with detail and surgeon-like precision. Whether the comatose victims survive the skin flaying is irrelevant. The killer is there to weave together the symbol. It means something, but what?”

Emily scrolled through what I could only assume was a laptop, “No one knows. Some suggest it could be of a lesser-known religious or cultist group, but nothing has come to light yet. Still waiting on any leaked footage from hospitals to back up the claim of comatose victims walking out on their own.”

Sophia sighed, leaning forward with apparent displeasure. “At this point, all we can do is consider the possibility our Weaver is a doctor or other staff that has access to the victims. Yet, still no footage.”

My TV crackled, and the feed stopped; the symbol rotated through the interference. I began to see the victims lying in a lateral position, forming a circle, their heads at one another’s feet. The delicate slices on their skin tugged out and tied together. An obsidian liquid thrummed between the weaves of flesh—droning out to me. It was painted before my eyes like a macabre portrait, one of which I could smell its fresh, coppery varnish. I stumbled to the floor, trying to rid myself of such horror. And then, its voice came to me again: Open the gateway to U’eptreia. My temples throbbed, and I shook my head, trying to eliminate the noise. Open the gateway. I stumbled towards my coffee table, arranging my supplies for brewing coffee. I was compelled to. It seemed the only thing that warded away its voice and kept my focus.

I grabbed the coffee bag, the finest brand anyone could invest in. These glossy beans were scintillating with a purple hue unique to their location and were smuggled in with no remorse. Gathered in the mountains of U’eptreia, a place that had stuck with me since I last visited it and enjoyed the ultimate cup of coffee. The Omniscient Brew was by far the smoothest and most decadent cup anyone could ever grace their taste buds with. There was a reason these beans were highly sought after and praised by many coffee enthusiasts. Thinking of this calmed my mind and put me in a state of relaxation.

Preparing a divine cup was a meditation. I slowly ground the beans no larger than medium-coarse, inserted a thick, pointed filter at the top of the hourglass-shaped glass, and boiled, purified water slowly poured over the grounds. I was patient as the nectar dripped into the bottom of the glass.

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Whirring and clicking from the flies swarming at the cans became heightened to me, irritating my senses. I looked up at the counter, witnessing the flies clashing. The light peeked through the curtains of the kitchen window, engulfing the flies. Each one had liquified. It spoke, You rot amongst your filth, hiding your decaying vessel. May it be that the flies lead me to you. They, too, are simply refuse.

I removed the coffee filter and took the container, scuttling back to avoid its light trying to pull me out of my apartment. I didn’t know what it wanted from me. I thought it would disappear if I held out long enough, proving I wasn’t worth the time. But, whatever this was, it had shown me it could pursue me for ions. I feared I would never rest and I would die of sleep deprivation. Perhaps then, it would win. I was unsure. My hands were shaky, but I sipped the steaming coffee with a lavish froth. It calmed my nerves and racing heart, and with the flies gone, I had nothing to keep me company—no absolute annoyance to keep my wits about me anytime I was close to slipping into its lure.

The coffee had been my only solace, and soon, I knew I would run out. I kept an eye on the tiny glint of indigo scanning the surroundings. Its sonorous voice came to me—shaking my entire apartment: Come, gaze upon the structures of your nativity and rescind the declaration that this is theirs. Or shall you choose to cower until you cease to suspire?

All of the whispering rumbled from the cracks of my floorboards. Open the gateway, transcend! Open the gateway! They sounded desperate, begging through a droning chant. I heard their fingernails scratching underneath, easily peeling up the moldy wood. Their meager frames sprouted from my floor, gasping and moaning. When I had seen her a part of their ranks and the death that had consumed the integrity of her bodily frame. I shuddered. The guilt drenched me. She has spoken too, not asking but telling.

It was a matter of fact that I had begun to feel the chords of my empathy whistle in tune with their grief and pleas for mercy. I, too, felt the same. This thing, trapping me like prey. Mocking me. It does the same to every victim; her among them scream out at me—beseeching—Open the gateway! It hath come! I analyzed the coffee left in the beaker, its dark violet froth swirling. It might have been that I finally went mad, but what of the coffee? Could that be what is staving off its control over me, its ability to break the bounds of my apartment despite its old bones?

Then, the mountains of U’eptreia were calling me, soothing me—singing to me. I could fully submerge into Insomnium and save them all. Free them from the bounds of the Weaver. The beans that had lapped up U’eptreia’s nutrients emboldened my pathetic vessel and provided me an escape from its grasp. I was frantic about crawling over to the beaker and emptying it onto the floor, afraid it may not work—but I was sorely wrong. It was effective. The luscious coffee formed a churning portal. An entryway. A gateway deep within Insomnium itself. Its fog boiled into my apartment, and I dove in, feeling the liquidy essence grace every crevice of my body.

As I surfaced, the realm was colder. Imbibed with vibrating hues of colors, both dark and others, emanating a psychedelic presence. I stood in the chasm of a great ravine between towering mountains spinning through spectrums of blues. I knew this was both reality and Insomnium woven into two. I felt a moment of freedom, leaving my apartment without giving it a chance to pursue me. But, I knew tiptoeing around on its spindles and stitches. It would undoubtedly sense me, and I would feel it on the back of my neck like an impending doom.

I witnessed the slithering roots forming corpses that held onto a goblet full of blood, and I stumbled through the center. Their hands tipped, pouring the blood onto the ground, creating an unbalanced walking platform that submerged my bare feet into its bloody innards. They led me toward the foot of the mountain, and an embellished grotto was revealed through a tirade of shifting colors. I whisked away the damp vines to smell the thick scent of wet wood.

I heard it as I approached a wooden door, tugging it open and stepping inside the whorling tunnels. The Weaver’s chattering came to me as I traversed the glossy, smooth limestone stairway. You have come to the temple. With which intention have you come? I cannot predict every micromovement they perform or consume every trickle of another useless neuron firing off. But, with the decadent desire of destruction, you, Ezra, I feast. You are blind and starving, stuck in a place you cannot fully grasp. Can you truly trust what you are seeing, aware of the knowledge that your own mind has fed you nothing but deceit for your entire futile existence?

It was a tremendous ascent, or so it had felt. The walls were monstrous, appearing to writhe every step I had taken. I could feel the Weaver stalking me, but as I kept onward, I saw glimpses of them constructing out from the walls, beckoning me–showing me where I had to go. I beheld the tremendous threshold once I had made it to level flooring. My feet shuffling on the elaborate prismatic mosaic, I could not cease my incessant staring as I traced my fingers on the grand spiral pillars supporting the rotunda above that was etched with a surreal mural of amorphous and geometric anomalies— I stepped over to the single statue of a woman garbed in a robe, her hands withholding a large goblet.

A third eye opened the closer I looked at her, and I could no longer control my actions. My eyes stuck with the void swirling upon her forehead as I kneeled before the statue. She spoke to me, “Ezra. You must die before you are to live again.” My brain pressed against my skull, and a stabbing pain affected me terribly. The stone grated, and her hands tilted, pouring on me the blood from the goblet until I couldn’t breathe.

My lungs felt like they could have exploded until I could discern myself disentangled. I wheezed for air, feeling the frigid sweep through and engulf me. I opened my eyes and was within the vestibule—within the temple, I had traversed the stairway. I glanced behind me and stumbled forward in the treacherous temple of U’eptreia. A black void glistened; something stepped through.

The thing that had been speaking to me was stalking me, weaving in and out of realms—gliding towards me effortlessly. Its tall, wiry build, at first, seemed human. But as the darkness settles into its empty eye sockets and gaping third eye stirring in blackness, it frightened every aspect of my being. Enrobed in haphazard bandages around its head and body with loose, light-colored robes, it stepped after me barefoot. Its veins pulsed underneath its pallid skin. I caught its lips forming a fiendish smile as it distorted towards me. The Weaver’s utterance rotated inside of my head like a perpetual siren: Within every thrum of thread, you contort—attempting, so, valiantly for escape. But what makes you believe that you are free from the instructions of the wet mass of matter within that meager prison of bone? Convincing yourself that you are the one in control. How can you skitter upon the grounds of what is mine without losing your wings?

I began to run with no chance to steady my heaving breath. I cut through the winding corridors, listening to it mock me as I attempted to solve its manipulation. The temple forfeited to its true master. I had yet to learn what I was looking for and why I was here. Why did I decide to plunge head-first into the belly of the beast? I had no control here, no grasp. I had submitted to Insomnium, and it was trying to eat me alive. Are they, too, a part of the Weaver? I had been tugged around, a pathetic puppet dancing with no fundamental concept of the truth.

Your struggle weakens, your corpse—it decays. Ezra, it is here you are to be a part of me. Surrendering to that of which you do not know, yet what you seek.

I jerked my head around as I reached the sanctuary, which was dim and damp. Indigo light streamed upon the walls, reflecting from the kneeling benches. I slowed as I got closer, studying the source of the light. In kneeling, humans were wrapped tightly in bandages soaked in bitter, pungent liquid. Their hands were in prayer, and upon their foreheads was a perfectly bored hole projecting light. Chanting cascaded through the space around me as I approached the center of the aisle between the rows of prayer benches.

On the fractal patterns on the sanctuary wall, I eyed the light, revealing different perspectives of people performing mutilation of their flesh, creating the symbol with weaves of their flesh attached to another’s. Ezra. I jumped, swinging around to see the Weaver standing before me. The confines of the temple are never-ending. All those who worship have sacrificed themselves to the eternal. I kept stepping back, witnessing its forehead begin to pour profusely with crimson liquid, staining its pale form. From the top of its skull, something burrowed out. Two elongated hooked appendages sprouted out, and the creature grew in size, rippling profusely with a red sludge. As the sharp ends of its appendages tapped the floor, its timbre lowered. Have you wished to meet with your ascended form? Beyond the truth and lies? The Weaver towered above the humanoid form, yet halting from its torso, it appeared—much like a decaying corpse. It came towards me in slow, deliberate movements.

The feet of the humanoid body were in compliance with the front of its horrendous, gangly arms. Ezra. Judgment awaits. Give yourself unto me, and I will serve you, just as you have served me. Kneel before me and surrender; it is then that this temple will become yours, and you will have the viscera of U’eptreia at your fingertips. The Weaver leaned in its faceless head as it closed in on me. I didn’t know why I didn’t run—I couldn’t, I didn’t want to. I may have urged myself into this place in search of deliverance for what I had done. But, whatever reason I convinced myself of—she was only a hallucination, feeding me my own delusion to keep me hungering for more. And not even my own detachment and suffering could aid me in making sense of this.

It was prophetic and liberating. As the Weaver stood before me, I trembled, dropping to my knees in a quiet sob. Insomnium was to become mine. I knew it better than my own reality. I opened my arms, and the Weaver raised its razor-sharp appendage and thrust it into the center of my forehead, drilling into it. The blood gushed down my face. My eyes, sprinkled with blood, observed its gaping eye peel open on its head, and it lifted me up, the blood dripping from my toes and drenching my clothes. Its repulsiveness faded, and its hideous visage became familiar, swallowing me whole.

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_____

I gasped, waking up—disheveled. A warm hand touched my arm, and beeping sounds invaded my eardrums. “Hey, Ez, Ez. It’s okay, I’m here.”

I squinted, making a comforting face from my returning sight. I reached out for his face, touching his glasses, and he laughed. My voice wavered, “Just making sure you are real.”

“Real as ever. Glad you are back. The doctors told me they weren’t sure when you’d come out of a coma.”

I wiggled my toes, feeling the hospital blankets atop me and examining the IV. “Is she alive?” I felt anxiety swell up inside of my stomach as my eyes darted at him, searching for an inaudible response. He appeared uncomfortable.

“Who?” he asked.

“You’re kidding me,” I was in disbelief, “Don’t do this to me, not now.”

He shook his head and assumed a neutral tone, “Ez. Let me get the doctors—”

“Tell me, Rowan,” I demanded.

He rested back, “They said with your brain trying to fill in gaps of the incident, you might mention things that never happened. You know, mixing real and imagined experiences.”

I narrowed my eyes, “What–”

“There is nobody else, Ezra. You were in the car alone. I don’t know who this person you are talking about is, but when I got here, They said it was just you.”

My entire body shuddered. I sat up and felt nauseous, “What of the Weaver?”

He looked baffled, “What? The serial killer? Ez, what the hell does that have to do with anything?” Rowan endeavored to comfort me even though he was just as bewildered as I was, “Hey, c’mon–”

I moved away and got off the bed, ripping the IV out of my arm. He stood up, and I raised my hands, “Just stay away from me, okay?” He stopped giving a shrug of defeat, still appearing genuinely worried. I sprinted to the bathroom, locking the door. I could barely breathe. From underneath the cracks, the blood wet my feet, and bandages slithered around me. I skimmed the mirror and wiped away the condensation; then, I heard it pervading through my flesh.

You will never elude me. I am, but a part of your reality—and you wondered to your infantile self, am I just a figment of your sick, infected hunk of cerebrum? Or is it just a waking torment in which you will never claw yourself out? The mirror burst, and the Weaver fixed its appendages beyond the mirror, its eye wrenching open to gape into me. Do as you were summoned to do, for these are your people, and this, your kingdom! I blinked, and it was gone, but when I peered back into the mirror, it divulged to me—that fathomless gaze, an inky abyss that tore open upon the center of my forehead.

Credit: JD Fox

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