Branches whip my face. I can hear it somewhere behind me. Single minded and relentless. I increase my pace, but in this fog and darkness it'll either catch me or I'll end up killing myself in a breakneck fall.
I’ve run from this creature my entire life. They say physical pain may break your spirit but it will never take your soul. But this creature does not inflict physical pain. It weakens you when you should have strength.
This creature is a thing of beauty, yet appears different to us all. It beguiles with a smile, a gentle touch is enough for its taint to grab hold. No one is immune. It conquers all, like a raging fire it devours hearts and souls.
It latches onto you - like a smell, a perfume - entering your skin through every pore. Then it drills deep into your bones, right down into the marrow, mingling with your very essence - your soul. Once there, it slowly drains you, turns you into something else, someone you won’t recognise.
The mist clears and so does the ground. I find myself at the edge of a sheer drop. There’s no place to go, nowhere to hide, no more running.
I turn. The creature slowly emerges from the mist. Tall, with blue eyes and dark flowing hair. Breath-taking - stunning. I push my back up against a tree.
It smiles, my heart flutters and my stomach drops. “Please… before you take me. Tell me your name.”
The creature leans in, soft hair brushing my cheek. I can smell her; intoxicating, beautiful.
It whispers in my ear, its breath like honeyed wine, sends shivers down my spine. Her hand entwines with mine and she leads me away from the precipice. Her name echoes inside my head.
They’re all around the house. In the shower drain, up against the tiles even the bedside cabinets.
Hair spiders. Long, dark, discarded bits of Drew’s hair. Rubbed together between her hands and left like a mangled daddy longlegs.
Dave bent over the sink to spit out his tooth paste and found himself staring at another hair spider.
"Drew! Do you have to leave bits of yourself everywhere?”
“It’s so you can clone me when I’m gone!” she answered from the bed.
Dave gingerly picked up the hair spider between his thumb and forefinger and dropped it into the toilet. He shuddered in revulsion. The clumps of hair gave him the heebie-jeebies.
Dave switched off the on-suite light and climbed into bed. Drew snuggled closer rubbing a leg against his.
“I think you have more hair on your legs right now than your head,” Dave said giving her a hug.
“Shut up,” she replied, putting her face into his shoulder.
Dave smiled and promptly fell asleep.
In the quiet in the dark, the hair spiders started to move. Slowly at first, inching their way out of the shower drain and sliding down the tiled walls like tiny eels. The spider Dave had dropped into the toilet earlier plopped onto the floor. The hair spiders came together, forming a living, writhing mass that scuttled towards the bed.
It dragged itself up the bed leaving an oily, greasy stain on the duvet and onto Dave’s chest.
Dave’s eyes flew open and he sat up with a choked scream.
“What’s wrong?” Drew mumbled.
“Nightmare.” Dave lay back down, staring at the ceiling.
Underneath the bed, churning like molasses, a swirling mass of hair waited its turn.