A Short Cut to Spiders

by Dinledhwen

When I tried to slowly stretch my arms and legs while I woke up I discovered that I couldn’t since something strong was now wrapped snuggly about them. So I opened my eyes and saw in the silent gloominess at the bottom of wooded ravine that I now lay supine on a low flat boulder within a sticky covering of a Mirkwood spider’s string like silk which covered me from the neck on down.

“I see you have finally awakened Prince Adulas,” I then heard this soft feminine voice hiss at me from somewhere above in the dark branches. After that a lone spider slowly began to lower herself into my line of sight on a single strand of her silk until she was standing on her eight legs next to the boulder. “It was a stroke of luck that my spies came upon you out in the woods when they did. Now King Thranduil will have to concede to my earlier demand that he relinquish control over his woodland kingdom to me before the very gates of his caverns if he wants to see his adopted son alive again!” the spider said gleefully with madness clearly present in her voice. Then she leaned closer to me so her multi-eyed face was only a few inches away from mine. “After that you, the King, and all the rest of your people will keep mine fed for some time for I can’t let good food simply walk away!” she added while drooling.

“None of what you’ve said will happen for my Father won’t let it!” I said defiantly while glaring back.

“Oh we’ll see about that!” the female spider replied back with a soft laugh. Then just after she had straightened up an arrow quickly flew past her head which would’ve killed her if she hadn’t moved when she did. After that my Father’s guardsmen swarmed into the ravine and soon they were locked in a fierce struggle with the spiders that had dropped down from the above branches in order to come to the aid of the female spider.

*“Adulas are you alright?”* I heard Legolas anxious thought voice through our telepathic link while he knelt down next to me. Then he began to free me by cutting the silk wrapping with one of his twin white knives which was something he could do now that the spiders’ attention was diverted elsewhere.

*“I am now! Look out!”* I quickly warned when I saw the female spider motion with one of her front legs for another spider to leap on my Brother’s back. Fortunately Legolas was able to spin around and impale his eight legged assailant on his knife killing it instantly. Then he used one foot to free his knife by placing it on the dead spider’s soft underside before he pulled it out which sent the body tumbling back towards the female spider. After that he went back to work cutting the silk and soon I had one arm free.

Suddenly the female spider lunged at my Brother who had to quickly jump up and back in order to avoid being bitten on the leg. Then she grabbed me by my free arm and started to rapidly drag me off the low boulder and towards the nearest tree. Now this meant she was also biting me which made me wince and grow sleepy at the same time from her mandibles and venom. So when I saw Father seemingly appear out of nowhere next to me and almost sever the female spider’s head from her body with a powerful blow from his up raised sword I thought I was already dreaming. However when Legolas roughly pulled my arm out of her mouth and drag me back out of the way I realized I was still awake. And I stayed that way just long enough for me to see Father again raise his sword this time for the killing blow while several spiders started to attack him from behind before I fell asleep.

When I tried to slowly stretch my arms and legs while I woke up I discovered that I could do so without hindrance. And when I opened my eyes I saw that I was home in my own bed within Father’s caverns. Then just as my memories of the spiders came back to me in a fear filled rush Legolas entered.

“Father…the spiders behind him,” I started to ask while I quickly sat up which brought forth a twinge of pain in the arm where the female spider had grabbed me.

“Easy Adulas. Father is fine. He is currently overseeing the clearing of the remaining spiders from that part of the woods,” Legolas replied reassuringly with a smile while he sat down next to me on the edge of my bed.

Now I smiled back in relief. “But was it really necessary to bring me all the way back here? It was only a single spider’s bite after all,” I asked while I looked at the scabbed over bite mark on my bare arm.

“Father and I thought it would be best to bring you home to make sure nothing further happened to you. Someplace where you would have been if you had stayed on the safe path leading from Father’s new settlement out in the woods like I had asked and had not taken that short cut you had told me about,” my Brother replied in a mildly scolding tone of voice while he also looked at my arm.

I gave Legolas a rueful smile. “I know. But since I was so close to the caverns I thought it would’ve been safe enough. Obviously it wasn’t,” I then said before flopping back in the bed.

Now it was Legolas’s turn to smile although it was an understanding one. “Let us not dwell on it further,” he said while placing a hand on my shoulder in a brotherly fashion. “No doubt you are hungry and thirsty so if you feel up to it we can go to the kitchen instead to get you something before heading out to the beech grove since the weather is fine outside this day.”

And so we did.