Spiders and Flies (Part 2)
SPIDERS AND FLIES (The last part)
I stepped after him, breath held, imagining arms reaching out to grab
me, or a skeleton wearing the tramps clothes, mouth wide, neck broken,
I stepped into the room, palm raised to ward the light, watched Henry
turn, and saw a figure move to my left.
Something was thrown over my head, and before I could respond in any
way something else hit me in the chest. I fell in this sudden darkness,
struck my head against what I thought was the floor, but kept falling,
then hit my head again. I started to rise, but something pushed me
down. I heard my nose break, white light flowered. I tasted blood, felt
cartilage scrape together, screamed.
'Shut UP!' A voice commanded.
The scream, and my breath, held. Padding rain filled the silence.
Something warm ran down my face, and I tasted it. More blood. The
throbbing in my nose was like the unbearable pain that comes, if you're
a man, right after you've been kicked in the balls, right before your
agony centres are thrown into overdrive. I lifted my hands to remove
whatever covered my head, but realised with horror that it had drawn
tight about my neck. None of that light was making it through the rough
material, but I could hear. I could hear shuffling.
Now coming closer, now stopping.
'HENRY!' I shouted.
'Dennis?' said a voice. Henry's voice.
He doesn't sound scared, I thought, then, close behind this, Why
doesn't he sound scared?
'Dennis,' It was Henry's voice, for certain, and he was breathing fast
between words, and behind his breaths - I now slowly realised - were
others. 'You are to be the first in a long line of revenge.'
More shuffling. There were other people in the room. I twisted my head,
brought my hands up to my face, touched what felt like sackcloth above
my shattered nose and winced. I caught another movement to my right,
then a purring noise. Something bumped against my arm. Before I could
recoil, there came a hissing scream, accompanied by a soft thudding
noise, followed by a louder crunch somewhere to my left. Laughter,
three people, maybe four. And one of them was Henry?
'I hate cats.' Henry's voice, laughing. I could feel him above me,
leaning over. 'And Dennis, I hate you . . . What I just did to the cat
is nothing compared to what we're all going to do to you. You and all
the others who've kicked us, and spat on us, and -'
'Henry,' I raised an unsteady finger and hoped it was pointing at him,
'What is this, "Revenge of the Nerds?" ' At the edges of fear something
was trying to make itself known, some understanding of why this was
happening, trying to tap its way into the forefront of my brain the way
the rain was trying to tap in through the roof. 'Why're you doing
this?' Warm blood was trickling into my collar, the grey edges of
'Why am -?' There was a pause, then, 'This is for my tie, you
And, just before the first of many boots connected with my crumpled
form, I understood.
What followed was pain, and the sound of the thunder rolling. Then