“C’mon, Eric! You’re going too slow!”
“Yes, Maim!” I cried out looping the silken thread my boss produced. It was all part of the routine; my boss, an Arachne would spin her silks upon a branch, turning it over countless of times, then I would unravel it into a thread usable for her business. It was mind numbing work, and many people flushed out, as being distracted could ruin an entire spindle of silk.
I was the first person Madam Yunha employed, who wasn’t an Arachne that could keep up with her.
“Boy! Seriously! You’re moving too slow!”
“I only have two arms, maim.” I called out, finishing another spindle, already beating my previous record, and there was still a few hours left in the day.
“Aye! That’s true!” She boomed, tossing another spindle ready to go at my head, which I caught and started to unravel it. “You’re just lucky all my girls have husbands, or I’d spin you up in my webs as a tasty treat for them.”
“As you told me many times before.” I said, returning her cheeky grin. It wasn’t a threat. She really was actively seeking to pair me with with another Arachne, as she didn’t want my talent to go to waste, but no one in her family was single, and so I was safe… for now.
“Hey Yunha, still slave-driving the boy?” Jack called out, Yunha’s husband. A former adventurer, now retired. He was the only reason I was here in the first place, wanting to learn from the triune path master swordsman himself. Their fee was plain and simple, a summer of work for a winter of lessons. A more than fair trade if my first sparring session was any indication of his skill level.
“Don’t you think for one moment I’m going to go easy on the boy! He’s almost worth his weight in silk- which aint much, but still.”
“Daaw, sure it is. Your silk fetches great prices!” Jack said patting me on the back.
“Tsssch!” Yunha scoffed. “The clothes fetch great prices. The silk just has potential, a true master unlocks that potential.”
Jack gave a boisterous laugh and stretched. “Just don’t work him to death, eh? By the way, the wind changed last night, guess what I found while hunting?” He produced a pouch and handed it to Yunha.
“Moth dust? Aw, seriously! Those airheads are going to ruin all my traps for game!” Yunha shouted as her legs chittered about on the wood platform she was on. She paced, restless and pointed to me. “You, boy! I want you to follow the game trail and cut down all my webs. With all the dust around, even you can’t miss em. Do it quickly, or we’re gonna spend all night listening to mothgirls screaming their heads off as they get stuck in em.” She tossed a dagger to my feet. “Hurry back, oh! And don’t forget this.” She took some of her silk and shaped it into a scarf. “Wear that over your face and mouth, otherwise they will get their hands on you, and dust all over your mouth.”
“Right!” I said without hesitation and hurried off, determined to never complain in Yunha’s presence, determined to never let her know she was getting on my nerves. I also felt a strange curiosity; I’ve never met a moth girl before, and was wondering what they looked like.
Indeed, finding Yunha’s webs was easy work. They glittered from the dust moth girls would shower the air with, making them beautiful structures.
After I was satisfied I covered the trail adequately, headed back.
“What took you so long?” Yunha scoffed.
I shrugged, “You didn’t say how many you put up, I had to be thorough.”
“Tsssch! You didn’t ask, boy!” She looked up to the sky, “And there’s not enough daylight to go on.” She tapped her finger to her chin and sized me up. “You did good work today though.” She stretched and yawned, even her tiny fangs showed. “Get something to eat and rest up, boy. We are really going to go at it tomorrow.” She started to go in, but whirled around. “Oh! And by the way, if you hear any of those airheads tonight, I want you to cut them loose.”
“Don’t worry, I got all your webs.” I said.
“Peh, I’m sure you did, but who knows how many old webs my daughters spun out there for fun? I tell you, I keep running into their stuff, even after all these years.”
I sighed, “Of course maim.”
“Waaaa! Oh! Oh! Waaaa!”
I woke with a start, hearing a frantic, desperate cry, wondering for a moment where I was.
Oh, right… how could I forget.
“Yes maim!” I called out, shuddering as I head a rhythmic creaking coming from my boss’s room and jogged out into the night, following the sound of a young girl crying.
“There you are.” I said, looking up into a large tree.
There, silhouetted against the bright moon, was a small winged girl, caught in a rather lop-sided web. Why on Earth did spider girls put their webs so high? I grumbled as I readied a bundle of silk, got on my scarf and began to climb the tree.
“Oh! Oh! Huh?” The girl stopped crying as she saw me come into view.
I gaped, she was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. She had long, pale-pink, almost white hair. Her eyes were a blood red, and she had fuzzy purple-pink markings everywhere on her body, giving modest coverage, and making her appear so vulnerable.
“Oh? Man? Person?” She said, her tear stained face glistening in the moonlight along with her fuzzy antennae.
“Yeah, hold on.” I said inching closer to the branch the web was attached to.
“Stuck.” The girl said, looking up at me with a hopeful expression.
“Yeah, I know. Don’t worry, I’ll get you free.”
Damn, there was no was to reach her directly. I thought for a moment, and climbed higher, tying the silk rope to a higher branch and rappelled down.
“Handsome, beautiful, husband.” The moth girl said with a shy smile and a blush to her cheeks.
“Uh- um, no. I’m not your husband. But uh- lemme get you outta there, okay?”
The moth girl pouted, but nodded. “Okay.”
Attached to the rope, I leaned forward and gingerly released one of her arms, which she wrapped around my neck, then the other arm. I worked on, freeing her wings, body, and then legs.
“Thank you.” She cooed, holding onto me as we were suspended in nothing but air, and the light of the moon making the dust on her body sparkle as it it were crushed diamond.
“Uh, you’re welcome.” I whispered, feeling her heart thunder through my clothes, feeling her press her body against my pelvis, feeling her vulnerable abdomen and chest swell with each breath and relax with each exhale.
I hung there, spellbound by her eyes, the delicate nuance of her face, and her absolute vulnerable bearing.
Still holding onto me with one arm, she reached up with the other, and tugged at my scarf.
“-No!” I protested, grabbing her arm to stop her. It was useless, she was too strong.
“No- Please- Don’t!” I said, desperate to keep the scarf on, but she tore it from my face with minimal effort.
“Face.” The moth girl said with a dreamy smile. “Handsome, husband. Breathe.”
I shook my head, and tried to let her go, to let go of the rope, but she held on, keeping me in place.
At last, I couldn’t hold my breath any longer and breathed- nothing. I glanced at her wings, they remained still, and her dust remained on her body.
“Trust. Willing. Husband. Love. Please?” She said timidly, her eyes begged wordlessly to me as she caressed my face and hair with her fingers and palm.
I stared into her eyes, with a new perspective. She wanted me to be hers willingly. The wind blew, causing us to sway from the rope. She looked about, and placed the scarf back on my mouth as some moth dust drifted by. She looked back into my eyes, still smiling and removed the scarf again.
“I… love… you…” She whispered.
In all the moments in all the world, I wondered what made this one girl, this one moment so special. I could just as easily let her go, say goodbye and move on with my life with her fading into a distant memory. What was it about moments like these? Suspended, as if in a dream with the moonlight making this one girl sparkle and shine, like a light that I had been missing all my life; presenting a dream I never even knew I wanted. A dream that made sacrificing the chance to learn sword skill, and become an adventurer myself seemed so… easy?
“Kiss me…” She whispered.
I brought my lips to hers, feeling her tongue swirl around mine. In the mindless euphoria I let go of the rope- but it didn’t phase me one bit, as my wife opened her wings, bringing us down in a slow, circling descent.
My mind went wavy, almost like in a dreamlike trance. We broke the kiss just as we landed. My moth girl helped me undress and lowered to the forrest floor.
Her wings, fluffy body, and beautiful hair seemed to be everywhere as I laid on top of her. She reached up and caressed my face, keeping her half-lidded eyes upon me, and a dreamy smile upon her face.
“Husband. Oh! I love you!” She moaned as we moved together in incredible ecstasy.
She cried out as I unloaded into her, her entire body shook and convulsed with each pulse. It seemed as though she struggled to keep her body under control, to keep her from releasing her dust.
“No! It’s okay! Please!” I cried out, feeling an impossible second wave of ecstasy flow, bringing us both to climax again.
My moth girl screamed, and beat her wings so fast and strong, they became a blur as did my thoughts.
“Boy! Hey! Boy!”
I woke with a start, Yunha was nudging me with her foot.
“Looks like you’ve got yourself a wife there boy!” Yunha said from behind a scarf.
I looked about, the forrest around me was dusted, Jack shook his head, but I could tell he was smiling under his scarf.
“Daww, leave the kid alone. He’s done a lot, I think he deserves some happiness.”
“Happy.” My moth girl sighed, pulling me back into her embrace.
“Tsssch!” Yunha scoffed. "Seeing as how there are two of you now, I suppose it’ll all work out. C’mon boy."
I stood, grinning ear to ear, and took my new bride by the hand. “Say, what is your name?”
“Meela.” She said, patting the top of her head. She then patted mine. “Boy?”
“What? No!” I patted the top of my head. “Eric.”
She tilted her head and smiled. “Eric, I love you.” She sighed, following me as we went back to the house.