Published in Children's Books/Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery & Horror, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children & Teens (Young Adult), Literature & Fiction, Children's Books
With the aid of a mysterious crystal ball, a wicked queen named Evilla creates and then drinks an immortality potion. the potion turns her bottom half into a black widow with an actual hourglass on her back. For the next five hundred years, Evilla must turn the hourglass every night after midnight -- but before sunrise -- or risk certain death.
Evilla felt her legs get rubbery and go numb. She eased herself down to the floor, dropping to her knees and then twisting her bottom so that she could sit. She pulled her knees to her chest as her gut roiled. There was a searing heat that started in the pit of her stomach. She groaned in agony. The pain descended downward to her hips, and then her legs, and then her feet. Sweat beaded heavily on her forhead, tears spilled, and snot ran. The queen's dirty shirt became soaked with perspiration. Her pants began to burst at the seams as her legs began to expand. She shuffled back on her elbows and trust her legs straight out as she felt them starting to fuse together into one. She wanted to turn herself over and get back on her knees, but she no longer had knees; the transformation had begun. Her legs and feet began to morph into one bulbous mass. Now panting and screaming in pain, she watched as her new, lower body grew as it defied the pants she wore, tearing and fraying them everywhere. Was that it? she wondered. Is it over? Hardly, she found out. Mustering what strength she could, the queen managed to roll over onto her newly formed abdomen. She looked over her shoulder and saw a large, deep indentation that held the hourglass that the crystal ball foretold. Four inches below her naval, Evilla felt a new searing pain, like she was being stretched on a torture rack. Between her hip bone and the bulbous body, a thorax developed. Just when the pain began to wane, new pangs started on either side of the thorax. Eight legs began to sprout and develop. They snaked outward. Spontaneously, without thinking, Evilla stood up, stumbling about on all eight legs. Her transformation was complete.
She was delirious! But of course, there was one more thing that the queen knew had to be done before she could rest. So she awkwardly scampered to the door and pushed it open. Her legs were wobbly, like those of a newborn calf testing them for the very first time. Her spider body felt like it was on fire. The pain brought tears. The tears brought fresh pain to the cut below her eye, causing it to sting madly. Before her was a long corridor with rows of windows that soared upward on both sides, and covering them were royal purple velvet drapes, which hung nearly to the floor. She stumbled, again, and this time, she caught hold of one of the drapes to stabilize her balance. With what strength she had left, she grabbed hold of the drape and pulled hard. It came down in a heap. Outside, a full moon floated idly; its light slanted in like a spotlight. Using her newly acquired legs, she crawled up the glass pane of the window until she was parallel. She then reached around, turned the hourglass, and watched as the last sands finally ran through. It felt like an eternity. Spent, she plopped to the floor and then covered her spider body with the drape. Evilla recoiled her legs, and there she slept (on the cold, hard corridor's floor), dreamless.
Just inside the room, Spite sat, horrified. He could barely believe what he just witnessed. Reality set in, and he lost all hope. He wept to himself.
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James Huffman is a respiratory therapist with an associate's degree in applied sciences from Stark State College. Huffman lives in Waynesburg, Ohio, where he is currently at work on a sequel, Susan and the Crystal Mountains. He also has a dachshund named Nitro. He is an avid animal lover.