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spider - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing

In that cooling lava was birthed the obsidian spider, each molecule carrying the memory of heat from her creation ever onward. In the dayshine she was an arachnid pane in a frame of light, casting sepia rainbows; but come the night she morphed into the huntress of demon-kind. They say she came to drag them back to the underworld, back to their metamorphosis of pain.
It was there amid the branches stretched outward by tall and confident trees that the spider made his web. He was the colour of the bark and about the size of an acorn yet so light that he could surf even light breezes.
The spider creates her web with such delicate and loving care, ever the artist of the woodland trees.
Upon her web of silver strand sits the huntress. She is the hues of tortoiseshell, deepening and lightening in orderly yet organic bands.
The spider walked over the tile as some NASA technology might travel over the moon with its precious pod safely tucked in the middle.
The spider was the colour of winter chestnuts and its body was just as generously rounded. Leo was amazed that the speed it could move on its eight stubby legs.
The spider wrapped his dinner in the neatest parcel of silk and set it to age in his web until he felt the need of it. Any human would have been proud of such fine craftsmanship, and so was he - "The King of Hunters," or so he liked to assume.
The spider walked on delicate tips over the dust leaving it as pristine behind as it was in front.
Many have heard of spider-man, but how many have heard of man-spider, the spider who gained the abilities of man?

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creative writing spider web

Laura Sassi Tales

Children's author and speaker spreading messages of hope and joy one story at a time

SPIDER WEBS: Thoughts on Weaving Stories


There’s no doubt that there is a universality to spider webs.  But look closely and you will see that even though they share many common characteristics, each web is also a unique creation.  Each web’s shape and size varies depending on where it was woven and on the delicate dance the spinning spider performed as she leapt from anchor point to anchor point. One web I saw was spun snuggly between two slender stems of Queen Anne’s lace, stretched oblong by early fall breezes.  Another was hung high among prickly pine boughs, round and tight, so as not to get prickled, yet big enough to capture a passing fly.

As writers, it sometimes seems that every story has already been spun and that there couldn’t possibly be a new way to tell anything. Yes, it’s true, like spider webs, most stories fit into plot types and there are common structures.  There are also universal themes.  And like spiders, who all use liquid silk to build their webs, our stories too, are created using the same building blocks – words.

But does this mean originality is impossible? Not at all. Like webs, the best stories do have a universal quality about them.  But, if we listen to our inner creative spirit, something unique will unfold within that universal framework.  A spider web’s uniqueness emerges as she weaves in response to the specific setting and conditions surrounding that creation.  She also leaps and dances in a way that only she can.  Another spider spinning her web in the same spot would create a different web altogether.

So take heart as you write and listen to your deepest inner voice, the one that expresses itself in a way only you can. If you do, then I am convinced that, like a spider weaving uniquely concentric circles, you’ll weave the story as only you can.

Happy spinning all!

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21 thoughts on “SPIDER WEBS: Thoughts on Weaving Stories”

Thanks, Iza. I wonder what Little Miss Muffett would think of this spider angle?

This was thought provoking, beautiful, and made me want to examine my story’s web…and

Thanks for stopping by. Examining our webs… what a lovely part of the writing process.

Beautiful thoughts, Laura! Who knew a spider web could inspire my writing?

That’s what we do, though, spin tales. =)

I love looking at spider webs, too. What a great analogy as we weave our own creations!

A fellow web lover! And you know, I’m always hoping Charlotte will turn up in one of those webs.

Great post and what a beautiful photo.

Thanks. I sure had fun taking my spider web shots.

You wove a fine blog post here, Laura! So true!

Thanks, BJ. Lovely to see you here.

The spider’s web is not only a stunningly beautiful endeavor to observe in nature, but a marvelous metaphor. I find it good to at least attempt personal humility and not be concerned with originality, but with authenticity instead. If the voice of the narrator is authentic, the story will invariably have value. Spiders laboring in nature are always themselves… 😉

Oh yes, authenticity is key. That’s when we really get to the heart of things.

Inspiring! Thanks for the beautiful post, Laura!

Thanks! Have fun weaving this week.

Nice post and photo! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by. I always love “meeting” fellow writers. Your debut novel looks interesting.

This is very reassuring! I often wonder if my web is unique enough to stand out among all the others. That should always be our goal….

I think if we right from heart, spinning as only we can, then we’re on the right track.

Excellent analogy, Laura! Thanks for these thoughts.

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The Better Blog

How to brainstorm article topics with spider webs, by neil kokemuller on 09/03/2020.

creative writing spider web

With a bird’s eye view, it may seem like the topics around a particular subject are endless. However, as you get closer to putting pen to paper, even the most experienced writer can struggle to come up with fresh, attention-getting ideas. Developing spider webs, or what is sometimes known as mind mapping, is one excellent approach to generate a fruitful supply of quality articles related to a given theme.

Understanding the Spider Web

A spider web approach to brainstorming begins with a primary theme or central topic. For instance, content development is a major topic in the broader marketing category of content marketing.

The evolution of the spider web takes place as you come up with article topics or titles tied to content development. Another way of looking at it is that the article topics are subtopics of your major topic.

Building the Article Spider Web

The first step in the spider web approach to brainstorming article topics is to place your theme in a circle in the middle of a paper or on a whiteboard.

Next, add several lines or branches from the center circle to smaller circles or boxes. If your goal is to generate eight fresh article ideas, create eight branches.

Article Spider Web Example

There is nothing magical about the structure or format for an article spider web for brainstorming article topics. What matters is the visual illustration that drives your creative juices.

Here is an example of a spider web of article ideas on “content development”:

creative writing spider web

Focusing on theme-based article topics can cause a snowball effect with ideas.

From Brainstorming to Title Creation

It isn’t necessary to firmly commit to writing an article on each idea. The point of brainstorming is to quickly get ideas from brain to paper. After you develop a list of topics, decide which ones to incorporate into your content schedule. Then, craft captivating and search-friendly article titles that drive purposeful writing.

Benefits of Visual Brainstorming

Brainstorming article ideas visually, such as with spider webs, has several advantages over trying to stimulate concepts mentally. The Purdue Online Writing Lab notes that a writer can come up with more ideas and understand better how ideas relate to one another with a visual map.

Additional benefits include:

  • Thematic organization of ideas
  • An opportunity to review ideas for best quality topics
  • Potential development of article categories or a series

The spider web approach also works well in group brainstorming sessions , such as when content marketers and clients collaborate on a article topics. A facilitator can set up a web layout on a whiteboard and encourage participants to shout out ideas as they come to mind.

creative writing spider web

A whiteboard for group brainstorming sessions enables participants to feed off the ideas of others.


Spider webs are just one type of visual approach to brainstorm article ideas. Some content marketers and writers prefer to write a theme and develop an article list. Regardless of your methodology, getting ideas on paper stimulates your blocked mind and leads to a natural flow of related topics.

Media Shower writer Neil Kokemuller is a full-time college marketing professor and MBA with an extensive background in marketing, content marketing and freelance writing. You can follow him on his website,

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Spider weaving together ideas

Weaving ideas with spider diagrams

Reading time: about 4 min

What is a spider diagram?

A spider diagram is a visual brainstorming technique. Like the name suggests, you lay out your ideas to look a little like a spider, with a main idea in the middle and lines that branch out to add more insights or connected ideas.

When your brain feels full of brilliant ideas, but you’re not sure how to get them out, diagramming can unlock new insights and help you understand new concepts.

Whether you’re cramming for that last final, taking frantic notes at a business conference, or brainstorming a new project proposal, a spider diagram can be just what you need to remember complex concepts or turn your ideas into actionable objectives.

spider diagram

A basic spider diagram starts with a main idea or topic in the center circle, with all subordinate ideas branching off of it. To add more details, you can further investigate certain aspects, make connections between ideas, and fill in the gaps.

Spider diagrams are very similar to mind maps . The main differences between the two are that spider diagrams do not always use color, and there are no specific rules on how to structure a spider diagram.

Benefits of making a spider diagram

  • Think quickly and visually: Spider diagrams are quick and simple to make. They are easy for our brains to understand because, unlike linear notes, they closely reflect how our brains are structured.
  • Increase focus and comprehension: A spider diagram forces you to focus on the overarching topic, review existing knowledge as you organize it, and assess comprehension to determine where you need additional learning or information.
  • Spark creativity: A spider diagram prompts you to actively sort through information as you craft your diagram, make new connections, increase understanding, and surfaces additional ideas.
  • Remember more: These diagrams are memorable thanks to their colors, pictures, simple keywords, and spatial structure. Plus, the act of building a spider diagram helps you more easily recall the information.

When to use a spider diagram

Spider diagrams can be useful for many activities, especially when planning or coming up with ideas.

  • Writing: Create an overview of your subject matter and sort through your best ideas while also facilitating the discovery of new ones. You can also use it to organize your final ideas to streamline the writing process.
  • Studying: Understand and stay accountable for what you already know. The areas where the web diagram is hard to fill out indicate where you need to study harder. The act of creating a spider diagram will help you recall the information later on.
  • Brainstorming: Get your creative juices flowing by throwing out any and all ideas and organizing them in a spider diagram.
  • Note taking: Make sense of the information you read or hear by putting your notes in a spider diagram, making it more digestible and memorable.

How to make a spider diagram

  • Write the main topic or concept in the middle of the page and draw a circle around it.
  • Draw lines from your main idea that lead out to each subtopic. These lines can have arrows or a circle at the end—there is no set structure to a spider diagram, so do whatever works best for you.  
  • Add subordinate ideas to your subtopics until you have all your information present in the diagram. Feel free to add color or customize the diagram any way you please.

To make things even easier, try starting with a Lucidchart spider diagram template. Open the template and fill in your own information, and then customize it to fit your needs.

spider diagram example

Don’t want to start with a spider diagram template? You can start with a blank canvas in Lucidchart and drag and drop shapes to build a spider diagram of your choice.

How to make a spider diagram in Microsoft Office

What if you want to add a spider diagram as part of a business case, a school project, or other documentation? Because Lucidchart is integrated with Microsoft Office , you can easily insert your spider diagram in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Learn how to make a spider diagram map in Microsoft Word with our free add-on.

So next time you’ve got so many ideas that your brain feels like it’s bursting at the seams, remember that there is a quick and easy solution to give your thoughts a new and more effective home. Start with a spider diagram template or build your own, and never lose sight of any of those winning ideas ever again.

creative writing spider web

Explore more brainstorming techniques to encourage creativity and innovation.

Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit

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Mind maps can help you brainstorm ideas, see new connections, and retain information. Start out with one of our mind map templates in Lucidchart!

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creative writing spider web

A Creative Writing Online Magazine

Cobwebs by Richard Hooton | Shortlisted Entry Short Story Competition 2020

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What’s the difference between a spider’s web and a cobweb? One’s a sticky trap to catch prey, the other abandoned to dust. Such clean creatures, spiders, their surroundings neat and tidy. Only when they’ve departed does their web degenerate.

You can learn so much when you’ve only your computer for company. She’s gone. Everyone I’ve loved or hated leaves in the end until I’m left with just indifference.

I sit silently in the stale air with cobwebs snarled in my pixie cut and clinging to my ripped tights. The contrasts of an open-plan office are vast: either a crowded, claustrophobic hell or an empty, desolate shell. Around me slouch three drained bodies wrapped in pure white chrysalides they’ll never emerge from. I dragged them from storeroom to exposure while awaiting my capture. Through the translucent material of the nearest, I can make out once glossy blonde locks and a slim face. As the lights flicker then fade, I stare into vacant eyes and contemplate how it came to this.

I remember the scream that first alerted me to her presence. An office is a maelstrom of noise: the clack, clack, clack of keyboards, the printer’s clunk and whirr, the annoying hum of chatter. The scream ripped through it all, reducing the room to silence…

 …The scream reverberates. A flash of movement. A chair clatters to the floor. I can’t tell what’s happening from my desk in the corner.

‘Get it away from me.’

Anne’s on her feet, hands shielding her face, one leg slightly raised as if ready to run. Ryan dashes towards her. An urge to investigate bites me. I leave my sanctuary.

‘I can’t stand them.’

Ryan’s holding a glass tumbler in one hand, a cardboard coaster in the other. Something scuttles across Anne’s desk. Peering through bottle bottom glasses, I make out a diminutive creature, its long, elegant legs curving from its spherical body.

‘It’s tiny.’ I shrug. ‘It won’t hurt you.’

Anne looks at me as if I’ve crawled from a cave. In such situations she reminds me of a frowning horse, but it’s the slenderness and attitude that make her attractive. With his oil slick hair and well-nourished cheeks, Ryan’s nothing special, though no-one appears to have told him. He fancies himself way more than any woman ever could.

Anne’s doe eyes widen even further as she gazes at Ryan.

‘Get rid of it…’ Her slight frame trembles, her pouting scarlet lips quiver. ‘…Please.’

Ryan grins then bends forward, glass poised. The spider freezes. Nausea fills me as I imagine being held captive in a transparent prison, magnified to the world. And Ryan acting the big hero for trapping something so small.

I step forward, catching his elbow with mine.

‘Ow.’ Ryan drops the glass. It shatters. The arachnid makes a spindly-legged dash to freedom. ‘What you do that for, Sarah?’

‘Sorry.’ I look down at glinting shards strewn across the beige carpet. ‘It was an accident.’

‘Still.’ Ryan smiles at Anne. ‘It’s gone now.’

‘Better not come back.’ Anne shivers as if she’s talking about Nazis. ‘I’m terrified of them.’

I smile too, as the spider slinks across a wall.

Temperatures fluctuate in the office. The stifling heat, bare walls and strip lighting make me feel exposed. Then the air conditioning whines into life and I have to button up my chunky-knit cardigan against the chill. I sit beside a window overlooking a grey car park where I view Fiat Puntos and Renault Clios shuffling between tight spaces. Everything on my single desk is in order: pens and pencils stored in a holder, a ruler aligned alongside, the in tray almost empty.

I maintain a steady tapping on the keyboard. I’ve always enjoyed number crunching. There’s something satisfying about influencing figures; adding and multiplying, dividing and taking away. I clock in, compile spreadsheets, clock out. I do all the dull, functional work that the rest won’t, making me vital. I’m the hidden mechanism keeping this place ticking. Make no mistakes and they won’t get rid of me.

A bluebottle circles my head. Swatting at it with a flailing hand, I miss. It avoids further feeble efforts.

I hear muttering by the water fountain. Ryan’s buzzing around a group of women refilling their bottles. His confidence is a puzzle I can’t calculate. He whispers something to one of them and they glance at me and giggle. I lower my head and get on with my work.

When I first started here, once upon a time, the women invited me on nights out. I didn’t know what to say or how to act, just nodded along as they swapped stories of drunken antics and the inadequacies of men. I cackled to what I presumed were jokes until I hated myself for it. I began to use Mother’s illness as a reason not to go. They’d ask after her the next day with concern, tell me what a burden taking care of her seemed and that I simply must give myself a break and have some fun. Eventually, they stopped inquiring about her health when the answer was always the same. By the time she’d died, I no longer needed her for an excuse. Now I just sit back and watch as colleagues coo over babies brought into the office like pigeons over seed. Work’s an extension of school really, the office a playground I’m no longer welcome in. There are just fewer places to hide. Even the toilets are hostile: too many mirrors.

From the corner of my eye, something sparkles. Turning, I see the silky strands of a web angled between window and sill. Woven into a tightly-bound orb, it’s the creation of a master craftsman, as complex as a labyrinth.

The bluebottle buzzes past again. Veering round me it soars straight into the web, which absorbs the impact, each intricate connection multiplying its strength. The fly struggles to free itself from the sticky surface, writhing in panic. I observe in fascination as the fragile-looking web remains sturdy against writhing legs and beating wings.

Sensing the vibrations, the spider emerges from a dark crack in the wall. Its long limbs move tentatively, as if fearing a trap itself.

‘You clever thing.’ I smile with sincerity for the first time in I don’t know when. ‘Such a beautiful web.’

The fly stops moving. The spider steals back inside its hole, presumably to return for its supper later.

I crunch crispbread while reading comments on the Mail Online’s sidebar of shame, occasionally adding acerbic opinions of my own. The others are in coffee shops or cafes or the canteen. I eat lunch at my desk.

Anne totters past, her trail of perfume haunting me.

She nods at the dry snack in my hand. ‘You’re wasting away, Sarah,’ she says, laughing.

Her words drift with the scent.

I study her swaying hips, wasp waist and tumbling hair, blonde to the roots. I look down at my own stout body, shrouded in a dark dress, and wiry legs where bristles poke though the tights. Pipe cleaners, Mother said they reminded her of. My little blackbird, she called me.

Wasting. Something about that word causes me to clench my water bottle, its plastic crumpling. As Anne passes identical rows of desks, computer screens and phones, something brushes my hand. I spot the spider inching towards my wrist. Her brisk legs’ light scatter tickle me.

‘You’re so agile.’

She jumps, landing in the web’s centre with the dexterity of a trapeze artist.

In dawn’s renewed glow, I feel a strange lightness. Until I arrive at my desk to find the web’s vanished. The cleaner must have swept it away.

I hammer on my keyboard, inputting endless numbers.

‘Someone’s in a mood.’ I don’t even acknowledge Anne. Instead, I open a drawer to get a pen.

And there she is inside, fashioning the embryonic stages of a beautiful new web.

‘You’ll be safe there. But you won’t catch many flies.’                                                                                

She seems so small and vulnerable. A jumble of joy and sadness makes me ponder. I was fresh once. But Mother kept me all to herself, scared of losing me too. My threads didn’t stretch far. I never made the connections, learning to hide away instead. Can your mother be considered your best friend? Your only friend?

I scatter crispbread crumbs into the drawer. She ignores them.

‘No.’ I nod. ‘You need meat.’

During my lunchbreak I journey into town. Once everyone’s gone home, I hang flypaper around strategic parts of the office: near windows, air vents and doors.

The caretaker inspects me, his mouth wide enough to catch flies himself.

‘Too many bugs around here,’ I mutter. ‘It’s not hygienic.’

He turns his back, having no desire to challenge eccentricity.

In work early, I collect my bounty, peeling victims from traps and casting their carcasses into the web. Spider gobbles them up.

A new girl welcomed into the office bags attention. Endless legs. Fluttering eyelashes. More gazelle than human. They fire questions. Where’s she from? What are her hobbies? Does she have a boyfriend? (That was from Ryan.) The distraction gives me an opportunity to feed Spider.

‘Don’t mind her,’ I hear Anne say to New Girl. ‘She’s weird but harmless.’

Sensing a new set of eyes focusing on me, I have an urge to find a hole to crawl into.

‘They’re talking about me,’ I tell Spider, hiding behind my monitor to drop her a fly. ‘They hate me.’ She’s hungry. I toss her another insect. ‘They just don’t understand me.’ Spider bares her fangs. ‘They’re fake anyway.’ And tears off the wings. ‘Smiling to your face then gossiping about you.’ Ravenous, she devours. ‘Take New Girl.’ Spider looks bigger. ‘They only want to know about their new inmate so they can push her down their social hierarchy.’ Spider perches as if listening. Standing on sturdy back legs, she holds up a fly.

‘For me?’ An emotion I don’t recognise overwhelms me. ‘Thanks. But you keep it.’

A shriek freezes me.

‘That’s disgusting, Sarah.’ I look up to see Anne glaring. ‘You’re treating it like a pet.’

I shove the drawer shut.

‘You’re nuts.’ She zips away, shaking her head.

My stomach becomes a bubbling cauldron. Scurrying into the canteen, I gaze at a kitchen knife on the drainage board, then decide to pick up Anne’s favourite “Sex and the City” mug. Before I can stop myself, it’s lying in pieces on a chequered vinyl floor. The sound of it smashing feels satisfying. The cauldron cools.

Returning to my desk, I carefully open the drawer. Spider’s safe on her web. She seems plumper.

‘You’re far superior to a cat or dog,’ I say. ‘You’ve more eyes and legs for a start.’ Spider preens her slick head. ‘And you’re clean, self-sufficient, clever.’ I throw her a dead wasp I’d found on my window box. ‘As well as getting rid of pests.’

I slide the drawer shut as someone approaches.

‘Hi, I’m Charlotte.’ New Girl offers a hand to me. I stare until it drops forlornly. ‘Maybe we could grab a coffee some time.’

I scowl and she hurries away.

Spider’s gone. Her web’s empty. I search every corridor and cupboard, every corner and crevice. What if she’s been killed? By duplicitous Anne. Or creepy Ryan. A stiletto to the head or sucked into a vacuum cleaner’s black hole. I can’t type. I can’t calculate. I can barely breathe.

A black shape spirals in front of me; Spider dangling from the ceiling on a strand of the finest fibre.

‘Oh, Spider.’ My heart pounds my ribcage. ‘Thought I’d lost you.’

She spins gracefully, eight legs synchronised, my eyes dancing to her movements.  

I scrunch my hair. ‘You’re such a tease, Spider.’

‘Who you talking to?’

Anne peers over my shoulder.


She looks confused, as if she can’t see what I can see.

Ryan sidles over, his beady eyes fixed only on Anne. Smiling, he says something so softly that I can’t hear it. Anne raises her perfectly plucked eyebrows then gives him such a disapproving look that she resembles a headmistress admonishing a naughty schoolboy. She dismisses him with a wave of manicured nails and struts away.

It encapsulates what I most admire about her.

I feed Spider daily until she’s the size of a tarantula.

She grows larger still, shedding skin to leave exoskeletons, pale imitations of herself that I hastily clear away. With a body as round and hairy as a coconut shell, she’s too big to live in the drawer. I remember the disused storeroom behind me. Cradling Spider, I carry her inside. White cotton dustsheets line the shelves.

‘You’ll be safe here.’

I check on her constantly as she settles into the dark, dank space, spinning giant webs and continuing to grow.

I keep one eye on the storeroom door.

Anne walks towards it.

Reaches for the handle.

‘No.’ I leap in front of her. ‘You can’t go in.’

She looks startled. Then bemusement cracks through the makeup.

‘I’m just looking for somewhere to store files.’

‘Not in there.’

‘What are you hiding, Sarah?’

Those big eyes narrow. Those plump lips rise. Her hand grips the handle.

I slap it away.

‘Ouch. What’s wrong with you?’

How can you love and hate the same person in the same moment? To want to kiss and kill?

Her eyes meet mine.

She backs away.

I put a sign on the door: OUT OF BOUNDS.

I no longer go home to my bedsit. Instead, I snuggle up to Spider in the storeroom, waiting for the caretaker to lock up. No one says anything. They must presume I’m first in, last out. At night I delve through colleague’s belongings to consume e-mails, letters, notes; a window into the lives of others.

Soon Spider towers over me, her abdomen bulbous, her cephalothorax corpulent. Staring into her four pairs of glassy eyes is like looking in a mirror.

‘You’re all seeing,’ I tell her. ‘In the valley of the ignorant, the eight-eyed is king.’

Flies are no longer enough to sustain her.

I change my glasses for contact lenses. Tousle my hair. Wriggle into the shortest skirt I possess, a good couple of inches above the knee. Unfasten my red blouse’s top two buttons.

I overhear him and another male talking.

‘I’m gonna have a crack at her.’

‘Does she even like men?’


‘I need a challenge.’

Testosterone churns the air.

‘Getting more desperate you mean.’

‘Hey, she’s almost pretty now she’s ditched those bins.’

‘Bet you don’t get past first base.’

‘Ha. You’re on. She’s so lacking in confidence she’ll be grateful.’

As the minute hand slowly circles, it feels as if CCTV cameras are locked on me.

Eventually, everyone leaves. Except Ryan. He tells colleagues he needs to work late. Once we’re alone, he hovers near me, smiling in the way he smiles at the other girls. Nausea burns my throat.

His fingers are warm and greasy on my arm. I resist the urge to flinch.

‘We should go for a drink.’

Go outside? I shudder. ‘I’d rather stay here.’

Ryan surveys the empty office. ‘Private,’ he breathes. ‘Good thinking.’

I squint at him, struggling to adjust to the contact lenses.

He runs a hand through my hair but, skin crawling, I push it away.

He sneers. ‘You know you need this.’

His face leans towards me, beery breath hot. I’ve never felt such repulsion. I shove him away.

‘Don’t touch me.’

His smile evaporates. ‘You’re frigid.’ He spits the word. ‘You’ll end up a lonely old spinster.’

He grabs my arms, presses against me. Struggling, I wish I’d more limbs to fight him off. Trapped in the corner, he pushes me down until I’m cowering beneath him. I free one arm to reach for something.

‘I’ll show you what you’re missing.’

He doesn’t notice the slow but purposeful movement. Doesn’t sense the looming shadow blocking the incandescent lights. Doesn’t see my delighted expression.

Sharp fangs pierce frail skin. Ryan’s eyes bulge. His mouth gapes.

‘Don’t struggle,’ I say. ‘Just relax and let it happen.’

Gurgling like a fat baby, he collapses. Spider drags the ragdoll body into her lair. I follow, mopping up spilled blood. Webs decorating the storeroom cling to me as I enter. A musky smell torments the air. It takes me a while to adjust to the gloom. A slither of light from the doorway helps me make out Spider, a hulk in the haze, the coarse black hairs on her legs bristling. A green glow of refracted light shining from her eyes draws me to her. She’s weaving a luxurious cocoon of white silk around Ryan, whose glazed eyes and pale skin make him look ethereal; an angel to be preserved in a mummifying layer of the softest material.

I kiss Ryan gently on his blue, icy lips.

‘You look so much prettier.’

Spider works in silence, injecting digestive juices into Ryan’s corpse so that she can later suck up his liquefied innards.

The stench of rotting flesh strikes me. Something else hides in the darkness: a slumped grey husk, drained from the inside out. Despite skin hanging loose over the bones, I recognise it as our former caretaker who stopped attending work a week ago. I hand him back his mop.

It’s a stormy morning. Colleagues bustle into the office with windswept hair and limp umbrellas, their frames cracked. Rain drips from trench coats. Chatter circulates like electricity as they brew up and settle into routines.

I scrutinise from the edge. Ballpoint pens are scattered across my desk, fighting for space with shards of snapped rulers and broken pencils. Staples pierce its wooden surface and sheets of paper overwhelm the in tray.

Anne stops by my desk and tuts.

‘Messy table, messy mind,’ she says.

I examine her as she flits around the room.

And wonder who’ll be next.

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Spider web Essays

Creative writing: chewing gum, spiders and pigeons.

If I were invited into ‘room 101’ I would nominate the following things: chewing gum, spiders and pigeons. All of these things get on my nerves and deserve to go into room 101. The thing I dislike the most about chewing gum is where people leave it, on the bus, under tables and on the floor. It’s disgusting! Have you ever accidentally stepped on a piece of chewing gum just walking down the street? It gets stuck to your foot all day, you try and scrape it off, but it just isn’t budging. You then

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