The Piper

She is broken. There is little left to say about this, now, isn’t there?


For the longest time, she stood — transfixed by his words and his eyes touching her and all of the threads he had woven around her. He had become both the largest and most fearsome monster that her mind could conceive, and he was the tiniest of spiders, creeping across her flesh with a constant thread trailing behind.



The silk became a little tighter. The binding was firm, and soft, and gentle. It did not give. The silk did not relent. She felt all extremeties gather closer and press against her flesh. Tighter, tighter.

His eyes never left hers. He did not move. His lips were relaxed. His eyes bore holes into her own and she was frozen, and broken. The invisible creature, that tiny spider, continued its trek across her body, up to her throat. The silk was jerked…once, twice…cutting her skin with such delicacy that the blood barely peeked through. It was a hint of blood, the merest of introductions.

She stood before him and her bare feet began a kind of trembling unsteadiness. Her knees were shaking, the tiniest indication of this loss of control. Her hands, pressed tightly at her sides, were white knuckled and bloodless. Her chest rose in small, shallow quiet breaths.

Her face was wet. Those eyes held her captive even if the silk did not. The silk was not real, the spider was not real. Was he real? Did he exist?

He stood very still and watched her reaction to the gentle hum floating from the inner core of his darkest crevice. It floated in lazy circles in the breeze, and seeped quietly into her ears. Tiny musical notes floated around her head and drifted up into her nostrils and her mouth opened, involuntarily. The hum drifted into her mouth and down into her body, seeping into every organ. It filled her and she began to weep in earnest.



The silk faded away. The spider…gone. She fell to the ground, a broken heap before his feet. He did not touch her. Her hair cascaded around in dark ringlets; her face was pressed against bare earth and the tears invited the dust from the ground to mingle and smudge against her cheek.

For the longest time, her only movement was the gentle shaking of her body as she wept. She made no noise. She did not attempt to pick herself up from the ground.

At long last, he crouched down beside her. He watched her with the slightest satisfaction playing across his face. Through all that had transpired, his stance had been unrelentingly relaxed. His hand moved down and touched her hair. It was covered in dust now, the pale tan of the earth mingling with her natural dark tresses. He spoke.

“Now you know. You are mine.”

Standing, he turned and walked away, humming.




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