Natasha sits astride a white horse, stepping lightly through the wild grass and clover. Her normally dark brown hair is instead a deep red, slicked back into a bun with sticks like a geisha girl. A tattered wedding dress barely hangs on her pale, waifish body, blackened like it'd be salvaged from a house fire.
She is riding through a vast, rolling field surrounded on all sides by dense forest engulfed in flame. The trees rippling like belly dancers inside the fire, never burning down, just burning. The sky is somewhere beyond the fog of violet smoke, which reeks of sulphur and burning flesh. Tiny red butterflies dart around her, leaving crisscrossing trails of crimson like someone scribbling though the air with a crayon.
Natasha comes upon a small playground in the center of the field. It's a pit of sand with a mangled slide and rusty swing-set, where a scrawny, raven-haired boy about sixteen is rocking back and forth, spinning the cylinder of a revolver. He's dressed in a shiny, immaculate black suit. His shaggy hair hangs down, hiding his face. The only sound Natasha can hear is the sickening creak of the chains as he swings, deafening in its isolation. The boy spins the cylinder and holds the gun under his chin. Natasha scrunches her freckled face and covers her eyes in anticipation. CLICK. She shudders, terrified by the sound, which seems as loud as an actual gunshot.
She dismounts, feeling the grass tickle her bare feet. The she kisses the horse on the head and it turns, running full stride into the burning forest. When she turns he's holding the pistol limply to his temple, as if he were bored with it. He squeezes the trigger slowly, excruciatingly, until finally... CLICK. Even though Natasha can't see his face, he seems almost disappointed as he spins the cylinder again. She steps into the sand, squishing it between her toes. There's only a few feet between them now and his hair seems to be moving, shifting. She looks closer and she sees hundreds of tiny spiders the color of cop lights scurrying around in his hair. She tries to speak his name but no sound comes out. Again... nothing. She screams at him with all her might and there's nothing except the clicking of the pistol's hammer and the creaking of a rusty swing-set. The boy places the gun under his chin again. Natasha bites her lips, tenses for the shot. CLICK.
Springing to his feet he points the revolver between her green eyes. His elfin face is beautiful but lifeless, a pale, waxy death mask. His eyes are just hollow pits, black as ink. One of the spiders crawls out of his left socket and slowly down his cheek like a tiny blue tear. He pulls the trigger in slow motion. BANG.
Natasha wakes up screaming, her heart beating like a war drum in her chest. Breathing deeply, deliberately, she pulls herself together. The pillows and sheets are soaked in sweat and strewn everywhere. She feels something crawling on her left shoulder. She swipes at it and looks down to see a tiny blue spider crawling across the mattress. Shrieking, she scrambles into the bathroom and locks herself in, curling up like a fetus on the cold tile, sniffling and crying, the smell of sulphur still lingering in her nostrils.
Several hours later and it's dusk, the horizon glowing Halloween orange. Natasha's driving dark backroads on the way to her hometown. She looks tiny behind the wheel of her Dad's gigantic camouflage truck, biting at her fingernails till they bleed. She knows she's only a half hour from the playground.
Her Dad used to take her to that playground when she was like five or six, but more importantly that's where her and Stacy kissed for the first time when she was sixteen.
She flashes back to the two of them making out in the swings, kissing and caressing, spinning round and round, tangling their chains together, rolling on Ecstasy, tripping on LSD. Both dressed from head to toe in black, her brown hair dyed the exact same crow black as his, they look like twin vampires, or twin Cure fans.
She was the only thing that he cared about, he certainly didn't care about himself. He was diagnosed with being bi-polar as well as having a rare, severe case of epilepsy. He was prescribed medication for both of these things but he almost never took it, saying that it made him feel like a zombie. In his natural state he was the furthest from that, one minute charming and carefree, the next catatonic and inconsolable. Her Dad hated him, said he was a lunatic, but he has always been sweet to her, always been true, and she loved him and her Dad knew it. They were inseparable for two years until her Dad got promoted to Major in the Army and she had to move to germany. She still thinks he took this assignment just to break them up.
For seven months they exchanged letters religiously until one day he just stopped writing. Finally, after weeks of trying to find out what happened to him, she discovered that he cut his wrists up and almost died, and that his parents institutionalized him in some really expensive place in Pennsylvania. Natasha got the address and wrote him up, but never received a reply. Eventually, she gave up.
Natasha comes over the mountain as night finally falls, she can see the park in the distance below, the river wound below it. She turns down a gravel road, the trees grown over into a tunnel, showering dead leaves like confetti. The gravel fades into the wild grass and she can see the playground rusted down exactly as she'd seen it in her dream. She pulls the truck right up to it and turns off the ignition, leaving the headlights on. Then she sits down indian-style in the grass and starts writing in her diary, waiting patiently for something, but she has no idea what.
She is deep in thought when a tiny blue spider scurries down the page. Instinctively she heaves it away, frantically climbing to her feet. The swing starts creaking behind her and she turns and screams at the sight of him. He waits for the echoes to die out before he speaks.
"So does that mean you're not happy to see me?" he asks softly.
Natasha's clutching her chest, breathless, "Sorry... that's like the fifth time today I've had the crap scared out of me... You think I'd be like, on my toes, you know?" She pauses awkwardly. "I uh... had this dream about you last night."
"Good one or a bad one?"
"Not sure to be honest... Let's say it ended with you shooting me in the face..."
"Well, I promise I won't do it again." Stacy grins, an almost imperceptible menace buried under all his charm. He starts moving towards her, his movements elegant, deliberate, not his at all. "Can you forgive me, Tasha?"
As he moves closer she can see that his pale torso is bruised and scratched, and there's a nasty wound on his left shoulder, like a chunk of flesh has been ripped out of it. She's shaking, fighting to hold her ground.
"What's happening, Stacy? How did you know I'd be here? Wha..."
He puts his finger on her lips, shushing her. "Jesus, girl... I didn't know this was gonna be an interrogation... besides, by the time you figure out what's happening it's not gonna be happening anymore." He brushes her cheek softly with his fingertips.
"I... I'm so confused... like, I wanted you to be here... more than anything, but I didn't think you like, really would be I guess." She's speaking in sobs. "Look at me, I'm crying and I don't even know why."
"Do you believe that I'm here with you right now?"
She nods.
"Cool." He smiles sweetly, kissing her forehead.
She melts into his arms as massive snowflakes begin to drift down, blanketing the dead leaves white. They kiss against the side of the truck, hands all over each other. She feels his hand under her skirt, then a finger slip inside her. Swooning in ecstasy, her eyes fall to the horrible wound on his shoulder, which is oozing a strange, radiant blue liquid.
"What happened to your shoulder, Stacy?" she whispers, fearing the answer.
"Someone bit me..." He says, kissing her neck. "really, really hard as you can see..."
"Who?" she asks, unbuttoning his jeans.
"Someone very close to me."
Before she can reply he's sunken his teeth in her shoulder like a pitbull. Natasha can feel his tongue burrowing down through her collarbone, thrashing around her ribcage, tickling her heart. When she grasps his hair to pull him off hundreds of spiders emerge and crawl down her forearms. She's hysterical with terror, struggling in vain. Her body is going limp, her surrounding starting to spin, she feels anesthetized, envenomed. She can feel the tongue in her chest and the finger in her womb, but not the corresponding pleasure and agony.
Then suddenly, with one final, desperate gathering of her strength she clamps her legs together and drops all her dead weight down across his arm. There's a vicious snap as his wrist breaks and a violent tear as his shoulder comes out of socket. They crash into the ground, Stacy's head roaring back with a bestial roar, more out of anger than pain. His tongue pulls out of her shoulder with a sickening slurp.
Natasha kicks away from him, trying to get to her feet but she can't stand.
Stacy is up on his knees, slamming his shoulder into the side of the truck, trying to knock it back into place. Finally he does.
"Tasha, Tasha... you know I like it a little rough, but c'mon..." he say, playing with his shattered wrist, bones jutting crudely through his milk-white flesh.
"What did you do to me, you freak?" She shrieks at him, covering her wound with her hand, too scared to look at it.
As if on cue, Stacy's shoulder starts to tremble and an enormous spider the size of a newborn's hand is pulling itself out of the sticky wound. It is the chemical blue as the others, except that it's swollen hind section is covered in a strange alien design, incredibly ornate and detailed. It crawls quickly down his injured arm and disappears into the shadows.
"You should ask her." Stacy says."Maybe she'll tell you... she never spoke a word to me."
Natasha grabs the chain and pulls herself to her feet, barely. She finally looks down at her shoulder and sees a brutal lesion almost identical to his. Her strength is not only returning but she feels as if she's growing stronger by the second, her muscles relaxed but poised, her vision narrowing to an amphetamine-like sharpness. All her senses are enhanced, supernatural. Stacy is staring at her intensely, studying her. She can smell the fear on him. There's a long, awkward silence before Natasha finally asks...
"So what now?"
"I... don't know... I..." he seems shaken, disturbed. Now that the spider is gone, he's nervous, fidgeting with his hair, reverting back to his real self. "I'm sorry, Tasha... I'm sorry..."
A thin, cherry red line of blood spirals down Natasha's leg like a candy cane. She puts her hand between her legs, starts playing with herself. His face is the portrait of confusion. She looks up at him with puppy dog eyes, biting her lip as she says...
"You still want to have some fun, Tiger?"
Stacy walks toward her slowly, apprehensively, cradling his hurt arm. She snatches him behind his head and pulls him into her, kissing him so hard it's painful. Finally pulling away with his bottom lip clenched between her teeth.
"I'm sorry too, sweetheart." She says softly, before wrapping the chain around his neck. She digs her heels into the sand like a tug-of-war and pulls with all her might, her palms painting blood down the rusted chain. Stacy grasps at the chain in panic, his breath becoming more shallow by the second until it's just a ghastly wheeze. Natasha jerks ferociously on the chain, sensing the kill, and he twitches and goes limp. She lets go and his body flops clumsily into the sand. Staring down coldly at his glassy, dead eyes, she feels... unsatisfied. She calmly walks out into the grass and fetches a jagged rock the size of a brick. Then she kneels down beside him and brings the rock crashing down on his head again and again, each blow more savage than the one before it. She bludgeons his head until it ceases to resemble a head at all.
Natasha casts the stone away, her face is zombified, expressionless. She looks down and there is a giant spider, seemingly staring back up at her. She lays her upturned palm in the sand and it scurries up her arm, squeezing itself down into her shoulder. She sniffs at the air, catching a familiar scent in the wind, coming from the river. Slowly, gracefully she starts walking towards it, catching snowflakes on her tongue.
When she finally reaches the river, she strips off her shredded t-shirt and skirt and tosses them into the snow, wading in the water in just her bra and panties. She swims across and hides in the hanging leaves of an old willow tree, with her eyes just above the waterline like a crocodile. The scent is getting stronger. A flashlight beam comes slashing through the darkness followed by a timid, frightened voice calling her name. It's Peter, her ex-boyfriend from college. Natasha grins chillingly beneath the surface. Peter spelled P R E Y.


Lyrics submitted by filmat11, edited by SixThreeTimes

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