Same park bench, same tepid, mildly soupy yogurt. Her insulated lunch sack never really kept her lunch cold. Sarah leaned back against the wooden slats and closed her eyes. The air in the park was thick, sticky like melted candy floss.
Her sunglasses pinched her face. She longed to pull them off, but the sky overhead was masked by thin, gray clouds that only served to diffuse and amplify the baking sunlight above. The headache she’d suffer for uncovering her sensitive eyes wasn’t worth the relief.
Condensation made the plastic yogurt cup slippery, so she set it down next to her, largely untouched, the accompanying plastic spoon tilting drunkenly against the rim.
Unease clicked up Sarah’s spine at the voice; she disobeyed the urge to keep her eyes closed.
Tall, gaunt, knobbledy of bone and sinew, a man of indeterminate age loomed over her. His eyes, large in his face, and glittering, peered at her through wire-rimmed glasses. His clothing was stiff, a black skeleton over his frame.
Sarah could only stare, tangled up in the panicky flutter deep in her belly.
“May I share your bench?” His voice held a quiet shrillness, like the feeling of nails on a chalkboard without the sound. He spoke no louder than a whisper.
Her head bobbed, lashes beating like the pulse at her throat.
“Such a pretty thing.” Silky words.
She swallowed, shivering at his chelicerate smile. When his long arm reached over to touch her hair, the clicking unease tripped up the back of her neck.
A cobwebby, winding embrace, a stinging poison kiss. A tumbling plastic spoon. The clattering, wet splat culturing the grass. A scuttle, trailing banners of web away from an empty bench.
For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, SAM gave me this prompt: Little Miss Muffett sat on a tuffett eating her curds and whey. Along came a spider and sat down beside her, but what if he DIDN’T scare her away?
I gave Jester Queen this prompt: Odds, bobs, hammer and tongs!