Peering through the darkness of my threaded encasing, I witnessed the venom oozing between the clefts in the muddy clod where isolated blades of grass protruded out the sides. The toxin sizzled onto my skin, and the smell of burning flesh invaded my nostrils. Hanging upside down and struggling for liberation, I could not set myself free. Each abrupt jerk only entangled me more definitively.

Movement was impossible. As the spider approached, my body jostled dangerously within the web. Sharp piercings jabbed into the side of my neck, and my muscles tensed as more venom leaked into the wound. My last breath was breathed.

33 thoughts on “FRIDAY FICTIONEERS

  1. rich

    it leaves the reader to decide if the speaker is just a mere bug in a spider web, or perhaps a person in the web of a gigantic spider, or it could even be metaphorical for something else that would “entrap” and “kill” someone. this could easily be about a man and his ex-wife going through a divorce. very versatile.

    1. William Stadler Post author

      That’s what I was going for actually. It’s tough to 100-word it. But I was hoping that there would be levels to it. I can’t believe you caught that lol. WOW

      1. rich

        poetry is really my strength. reading, interpreting. i tend to read more into it than others might. i also usually cannot help but look for places to make changes, which some people find to be rude.

        1. William Stadler Post author

          I wouldn’t call it rude by any means if publishing is the goal. Poetry used to be my strength but I haven’t written any poems in years, so it has been on the backburner.

          1. rich

            i used to contribute to a writing website called piker press. it’s a nice community of people writing and sharing. at the end of each posted story, there’s a place for comments. i would leave comments about language and grammar, about misspellings, punctuation errors, and also i would ask questions about the story. “why did he do this at this point?” etc. they then started deleting my comments because other writers were offended and insulted by my know-it-all attitude. there was a great cyber lynch mob protesting me and wanting me removed from the site. it was quite funny, and some of them were the most horrible writers in terms of using language correctly.

            eventually, the only comments allowed were positives. “hey, great job. wow. you’re awesome.” to me, that’s useless. i don’t think i’ve written much for them in a while.

          2. William Stadler Post author

            Yeah…that’s not helpful at all. My friend and I critique each other harshly, but guess what, we’re still great friends. We just want to see each other get better, and every writer has blind spots.

          3. rich

            sure. i just posted a query letter on for others to evaluate. the things that they couldn’t see, but of course i knew, were startling and exposed the need for more eyes to read it. that’s why i’m starting a writing group at my local library. genuine, honest, but polite feedback.

          4. William Stadler Post author

            Such a good idea. I’m a part of a writer’s group on and it’s amazing. The ppl are great, and the critiques are honest but not spiteful.

          5. rich

            might look into that. thanks. i’m at the point of querying for my novels. either do it or don’t. one of them, “the curse,” i’m waiting a little bit on because it’s in the breakthrough novel contest. in quarterfinals. next week they announce finals, and i’ll also get a full review from publisher’s weekly. so i’m going to see if i can work their review into the query.

          6. William Stadler Post author

            Nice man. BTW. I looked for “The Curse” on Amazon the other day, and I couldn’t find it. Is it not for sale?

          7. rich

            no, not on there yet. i was waiting until the contest was over first. this way i could use feedback from the review and maybe improve the story before i put it for sale. but thanks for looking.

  2. Madison Woods

    What a scary thought to be entangled like that in a spider’s web! Thanks for joining us in our Friday fun, William.

    Also, thanks for following my blog! You are #300 of my followers, and every 100th follower (of Twitter, blog, and FB) gets one of my literary postcards for free. To claim yours, email me your mailing addy and I’ll get it out to you this weekend. For more information on the cards:

    1. William Stadler Post author

      wow that’s cool! what are chances of that right? oh… 1 in 300. But still it’s pretty cool LOL

  3. readinpleasure

    Your story is thought-provoking. And that is what I like about stories, to generate debate. Is the web a spider’s or a human web? It could be either or both. As humans, we are caught in our own webs of lies, deceit, human foibles and pride and we only entangle ourselves out of our inability to see beyond our predicament. Somehow, I think the spider’s web is preferrable.

    An insightful and great story. Here is mine:

    1. William Stadler Post author

      So true. Glad you recognized the duality. And it’s sad but true, but I’d prefer the spider’s web as well…seems a bit more merciful.

  4. Sara Flower

    I loved this piece. Creepy (which is good) and well-written. I like that it could be taken literally – someone being caught in a giant spider web or one could interpret it figuratively.

  5. Amanda Gray Woodward

    This is more my usual mode! I love the levels of the story here and the variety of interpretive emotions.
    The knowledge of futility in the struggle! If only he had paid attention in the first place. The most deadly traps are thus; attractive to look at, but consuming in the end. Karma?

  6. mariathermann

    “What have we here?” said the blood-sucker licking his chops. My wriggling produced no pity, no remorse. Breathing constricted, arms and legs confined in silky twine, the only weapon were my own fangs. My mouth aimed a warning bite at the six legs pinning me down. Freedom! The spider ran!

    I love your 100 word story – it could stand for any type of suffocating relationship, not just marriage gone sour. Working at places where we’re deeply unhappy, but cannot leave, because we need to pay the mortgage, feed the kids…

    Mine’s got 50, which is all I’m allowed at First50’s WP blog, where I contribute from time to time. It really irritates me when writers like the people Rich describes above get abusive as soon as they get comments about their writing – why on earth did they publish online, if they’re not prepared to take constructive critiques seriously? How do they expect to learn and get better?

    1. William Stadler Post author

      Maria. First. Love the 50 worder. I cannot imagine having only 50 words to work with. It was hard enough at 100.

      Adding even more levels to the enclosed captivity is such a nice touch. I had not thought about the “cubicle at work and bad boss idea.” But yeah, that certainly works too.

      And you’re right. Why post online if you only want yeses and hoorays! It’s absurd and shortsigted. Rich did right to leave that group alone.

      1. mariathermann

        Thanks for the compliment – the lovely lady who runs First50’s blog deserves the credit – she’s been training all of us participants to write novels with just 50 words or less, hehe.

  7. Tom Lucas

    Great job of building tension in a small space. Good luck with the Amazon thing, love to see you get it.


Leave a Reply to William Stadler Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s