25. Persephone Eats Six Seeds

He’s gone when her water breaks. The pain yanks her into the open, impales her in her body and the cell around her. She’s bound, as always. The force is terrible — a series of rhythmic blows from the inside that warp her frame. It grips her by the nape, shakes her over and over, […]

24. You’re Just a Little Thing

He enters carrying a tray with a branch of lit candles and a jar of the viscous, violet-scented liquid. He’s quiet, but there’s a sense of barely restrained excitement about him. He feeds her quickly, and leaves her arms and neck strapped to the cot, the feeding tube taped in place. He watches her for […]

23. You’ve Been Forgotten

“I’ve wanted so much to get to know you,” says Tereus. “To share a meal, or the occasional smoke, or a drink. We both hold commands, after all. We’re powerful among our people. I’ve wondered if you felt doubt and regret about what happened — the troops you lost.”  They’re sitting side-by-side on her little […]

43. There Can Be No Real Objection

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. They arrive late on the third night of travel. Cantering through the city gates, Valentine feels as if a holiday is coming to an end. He’s starting to realize that they gray will regard his actions very seriously. He’ll have to account […]

34. Thick as Thieves

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine wakes up early the following day, long before breakfast is served even in a country house. He springs up, washes his face and hands, dresses, and resolves to explore the grounds until the rest of the household is up and about. […]

33. Valykria

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. The next few days of travel are uneventful. Though Aramil tries to take an interest in his surroundings, he’s subdued and sad as he reflects on the consequences of his actions. Valentine, on the other hand, is profoundly relieved to be freed […]

32. The Road to Amakir

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. The sun does rise, as expected. Valentine wakes up just before dawn to a sense of quiet, animal satisfaction. The ground is unpleasantly hard and imperfectly cleared; it’s cold and a stiff breeze has kicked up; he’s in dire need of coffee. […]

31. Aramil Augustus Is Banished

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. The ceremony of banishment is simple, and quickly done. Marcus, in his role as head of the Shelawn family, leads Aramil to a guard house attached to the city gate. The magistrate is waiting there in full robes and wig, along with […]