This short story is in response to a writing prompt on Reddit. The original prompt is - The spider that bit Peter Parker gets Peter Parker powers.
“This is it.” he thought and closed his eyes. All eight of them. He had been standing here for more than an hour now, not that human units of time mattered to spiders. He had tried jumping many times over but stopped himself at the very last moment. This time he did it. As soon as his feet, all eight of them, left the branch instincts kicked in. Pure primal survival instincts. He realized what was happening. That’s what you do when you have super sharp reflexes. He started working against the instincts and pulled his libs inwards to turn himself into a ball. He needed to gain momentum and enough speed to make sure that he breaks through the surface tension of the pond and drowns. Yes, drowns. That’s important for this to be a successful suicide. Suicide. That’s a funny word. Until last week he did not even know it existed. Until last week everything was different. He was just another teenager. A little rebellion here, a little angst there but nothing out of the ordinary. Just like any normal teenage spider. School was good. Webbing was his favorite subject. Because MJ was there. Beautiful MJ. What? Who’s MJ? I meant Silky. Yes. Silky. The most beautiful spider in the whole world. She was the reason he took Webbing. What kind of spiders needs to study webbing he used to think. Things were going great. Until last week. Now he can’t live with himself. Live with this guilt. Uncle Ben’s death was his fault. He could have saved him. How could he face aunt May every day? She didn’t know that I was there when Ben was shot. She couldn’t know. She would not be able to live with this knowledge. He couldn’t live with this. He had thought a lot about it and suicide was his only option. Yes. This is the only way to rid himself of this agony. “I should have impacted by now. Or maybe I did and died and didn’t even feel it. Maybe I am in spider heaven.”. He opened his eyes and he saw water. “I must be drowning. But I don’t feel wet. And I can see water. I should be in the water”. He uncurled his first left leg and reached for the water. He touched it. Yup! Water. He was confused. He uncurled his body to try to figure out what was going on. “Why am I hovering over water? Are spiders repelled by water? I should have paid attention in the physics class. What now?”. He twisted his body around to see what was going on. Nothing. It’s just his luck to be stuck like this. He just wanted to die. Was that too much to ask? “How am I turning around? What am I pivoting against? Don’t tell me”. He turned around to see his back side. “Spidergod damn-it!”. He could see a thin shiny strand of silk going all the way from his back side to the branch from which he had jumped. “Fuck this habit” he muttered as he pulled himself up by the silk strand. “I can’t go through this again.”. “Oye fly-fucker! What the hell do you think you are doing?” someone yelled. He turned around to see who it was. Steve, his best friend. He can’t deal with him now. He will be all questions now. He just can’t. Steve was already there by the time he reached the branch. “Did you not hear what I said?” asked Steve punching him on his third right shoulder. “What are you doing hanging here? We are not supposed to be near the pond. What’s going on?”. He will have to tell him now. “I’ll tell you everything but you will have to promise that you won’t try to stop me. I could have saved uncle Ben that day. The day he was shot, I was there with him. And I didn’t do anything to save him. He will never be back and I can’t face Aunt May anymore. I just..”. I was interrupted mid sentence by a jaw breaking smack right across my face. My vision was hazy in 6 of my eyes and I tried to concentrate on Steve with the remaining 2. He was yelling at me. “Are you on drugs? What is the matter with you? You tell me what have you been doing these days? We are spiders. We come out of eggs. We don’t have Aunts and Uncles. Who the fuck is this Ben who you are babbling about? I knew something was wrong with you. You have been acting weird, weirder, ever since you went into that building on the dare. Did any of those humans do anything to man? Tell me what happened”. Recollections started dawning on me. Yes, I went into a building last week. I did not want to but I was dared and I didn’t want to be called a weakling for not completing a dare. I had to bite a human there and come back. Yes. That’s what I did. I found the scrawniest, most loser looking kid and bit him. He was the runt of the litter. All other humans were mocking him and teasing him yelling “Keep up Peter Parker.”.
If all this is happening to me I wonder what’s going on with him.
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