He stood there in utter stillness, guarding the doorway. Sweat pooled around his feet, which stood in two metal buckets of armor offering no relief. It was going to be a long night. After the first hour had passed without a single movement of his joints, he decided they couldn’t pay him enough. This was torture like nothing he had ever endured before. Not to mention the ridiculous lace bodice they had made him wear. “It’ll sop up some of the sweat for you. You know, absorb the moisture to allow your skin to breathe a little.”
Who were they kidding? There was no breathing in this airless suit. No wonder they had laughed as they walked away and closed the door. Had he heard them turn the lock? He couldn’t recall now, but hours had passed in agony as he listened to the ticking of the clock in the other room. It was the only thing he could do. Focus on that dratted clock. “Tick, tick, tick, tick…” every muscle inside of him wanted to burst free and fling it across the room. But, he dare not. “If you move, we will kill her,” they had warned.
So he counted the seconds, growing ever more insane with fury as they turned into minutes and then hours. Through the immobile helmet he could make out lines of muted light. Was it coming through the window, he wondered, or from somewhere outside? Not even the wind howled a response. Just the clock’s steady beat echoed a time that seemed endless.
And while he stood, she wove her web. Careful not to pass in front of the horizontal slats that hid his eyes. Beginning at the crown of his head, she spun her silken threads around his neck. Seven circles took two hours, but she never tired. Then, down his back she traveled until she got to his hands, rigid in their metal gloves pressed against his thighs. Here she wove more circles. Small ones around the wrists, seven times on each, and then wider she traveled the circumference of his waist. Seven more orbits brought her to the early dawn hours after midnight. She finished in the seconds before the dove called the morning to light and broke the spell of night.
Now he could never leave her.
For Sue Vincent’s writephoto prompt challenge “Web”