10. A Good Op

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine wakes up to a knock on the door, and the sound of Aramil’s voice. “Room service.” “Oh, fuck. What time is it?” “Just after seven.” “Then what are you doing up? Fuck. You might as well come in.” “I brought you […]

17. Incidents May Occur

The following morning, when Alexandra and Rosalee finally arise from their long, human sleep, Inglorion tells Alexandra, “I came for a reason, you know. I’m here on tribal business.” Alexandra looks up from helping Rosalee to dress. “What is it? Should we go outside?” “No. Better to discuss it in here. I can’t tell you […]

6. Tokens

The next morning, Valentine wakes to a note from Xardic: “Urgently need your help. Please come to my office as soon as you get this. I will meet with you when you arrive.” Instead of sending the man back with a reply, Valentine says, “He wants to see me immediately? Give me five minutes. I’ll […]

5. The Labyrinth

Aramil has left a message saying he’ll join Valentine in the stable yard to train. Valentine begins a series of strike drills, alternating bursts of punches with push-ups. Valentine finds it comforting to train. It’s the one time when he knows what’s expected of him, and feels competent to handle any challenge. In truth, he […]

4. Further Training

The next day, a footman delivers an elaborately folded note from Aramil. “What the fuck is this?” Valentine asks, “an origami swan?” The footman shrugs. “His handwriting is terrible. Can you make this out?” “He’d like a rapier lesson this afternoon, if convenient.” No valid excuse rises to mind, so Valentine scrawls a time early […]

2. Theates

The second episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Claudius Shelawn. The next morning, Valentine receives a dinner invitation from his cousin Sieia, Xardic’s wife and, apparently, one of his many living Shelawn relatives. It’s delivered by a servant who was told to wait for an answer. Valentine gives a verbal […]

15. Charon of the Xyrec Army

Soon thereafter, Inglorion returns to his flat in Amakir late one night. He’s discouraged, itching with the undefined misery that he feels in Artemisia’s presence. He didn’t feel comfortable leaving her with servants, but he couldn’t force himself to stay. She was drunk but not to the point of illness, and seemed inclined to rest. […]