89. A Close-Run Thing

Consciousness returns unsteadily. Later it seems as if he was awake and lucid for long stretches, explaining complicated matters to people who wouldn’t listen. He feels that perhaps he was interrogated at some point, and that he may have had visions, none of them memorable, thank God. When he’s first truly conscious, it’s evening, and […]

73. Bonne Nuit, Mon Enfant

The day grinds on. Ajax selects 12 men, women and children to leave that night. Inglorion said he’d speak to them personally, but none is in a position to understand and reply. They’re gaunt, pale, feverish. The wounds from their irons are infected. An older woman’s limbs have swollen painfully around her irons, and gangrene […]

72. Valentine’s Crime

Aramil, Lucius and Ajax tether their horses a quarter-mile down the road. Aramil and Lucius take up firing positions on opposite embankments, where they’re covered by underbrush and have a commanding view of the trail. Inglorion and Valentine remain mounted, concealed in the trees just off the road; Ajax hangs back, prepared to take prisoners […]

71. The Magnificent Five Continue God’s Work

T – 6 hours. It’s pitch black. Valentine, Lucius and Inglorion are walking their horses up and down the square in front of Valentine’s flat. Valentine is muttering, “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” As the minutes pass, his curses become more complex and vicious, and Lucius looks increasingly apprehensive and miserable. Every now and then Lucius casts an […]

60. The City Barracks

The glorious conviction of triumph fades, as it must. Inglorion soon suffers from the same itching impatience that tormented his father and forefathers, back to some nameless, primal Shelawn who emerged from the Great Divide scheming to abduct an heiress or float bad stock. Just as he finds himself wondering whether he should call on […]

28. Twenty Questions

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. To while away the time in jail, Valentine and Aramil play a game they call 20 Questions, which really just consists of them asking each other things they wouldn’t normally ask. Aramil reclines on his cot; Valentine is kicked back with his […]

27. The First Rule of Thug Life

Another episode of Man Raised by Spiders, the coming-of-age story of Valentine Shelawn. Valentine’s day begins with a series of pleasantly efficient jailhouse negotiations. For a reasonable sum, he secures not only clean linens and a hot meal, but a late-night snack service called “tea,” permission to bring a change of clothing and spare socks, […]