The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
I Hunt the Giant
by Elaine Pascale
“Past life regression will help us to get to the root of your anxiety,” she assured him.
The phobic man had focused on his breathing, then he heard her questions:
–“What name can I call you?”
–“Look down, what are you wearing?”
–“Where are you?”
He described a temple. He composed a movement of sharp metal and brick, weaving in notes of the smells, colors, and textures around him. None were indigenous to his contemporary life, but they were too detailed to be credited to his deficient imagination. Instead, he believed it to be cryptomnesia.
He elucidated on the scene, “I hunt the Giant.”
Her voice contained a smile. “It sounds like you are in Asia, perhaps you are seeing statues?” Her voice was loud, and it came from the heavy sky above him. He looked up, to find her voice, and saw a rafter with lights and sound equipment.
“I hunt the Giant,” he repeated, but his voice was muffled by the sound of a large robotic monster being moved onto the sound stage via remote control. The beast had eight large, hairy legs attached to its pulsating cephalothorax. The giant’s entire body was dotted with flashing lights; it was an enormous arachnid disco ball.
“I think we should try again next week.” Her voice competed with another voice shouting “Action!” followed by a word he did not know. The phobic man found himself in a crowd of people waving spears at the spider and yelling.
“I am going to bring you out of this,” she said. He felt a jolt around him as the mechanical spider slammed a substantial leg onto the flooring.
The actors roared and advanced. He was being pushed and some of the spears were coming too close to his flesh.
She said, “You will wake on the count of three. One………two……..three…….”
He was not awake. He was in the sweaty, smelly crowd. A second spider leg made clumsily aggressive contact near him. A man closest to the leg squealed and fell, caught beneath the steel arachnid. “Kuso!” the man screamed but the action did not stop.
“I need you to wake up on the count of three,” she was normally so soothing. Now her voice was fraught with a nervous energy.
In the darkness beyond the soundstage, sparks were shooting from the spider’s control box. “Manko” a man in charge said, followed by more shouted non-English words.
“We are in trouble” the phobic man said to someone beside him. That actor did not understand him but began smashing his spear against the giant spider, trying to break off a leg that was whipping wildly through the crowd. Another man was hit in the head by the man-made monster and he crashed to the floor. He was stepped on by several actors before he could be pushed out of the way.
“Wake on the count of three,” she insisted. “One…two…three.”
The wild leg threw another actor across the room. He was bleeding from his mouth and nose. “Shit,” the phobic man said, while others screamed in a language he did not understand.
Her voice was desperate. “I need you to wake. Wake now!”
As the leg was moving toward him, faster than he could avoid, he remembered that a part of his phobia involved spiders.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Elaine Pascale:
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