Moth Ch. 008byellynei©
Posted on literotica.com with permission of author: Nanna Marker; literotica ID ellynei.
Kokata was indecisive. He didn't want to leave his lair unguarded, but he also didn't want his stomach-ache to get any worse.
For the tenth time he inspected the web-tunnel he had build around the opening of his lair, securing it from curious unwelcome guests. Nothing but a spider-beast, or a spider, could traverse that tunnel.
He had never met another spider, and no spider-beast had ever invaded his lair. Spider-beasts had little brain, but generally knew better than to invade the home of a spider until they knew his size.
Another cramp hit his abdomen.
There really was no reason for him not to go fetch the roots he needed. The cocoon was safe where it was.
What predator would bother with a hard cocoon anyhow when the world was infested with big fat spring larvas?
Finally making up his mind, Kokata spun from his lair and crawled down the trunk as fast as his legs would carry him. He'd hurry.
Lei was fast asleep. She had woken several times through the winter. More times than she usually did in a winter-cocoon. Warmth had stirred her. But, from somewhere deep inside, a soothing voice had whispered to her.
"Not yet," it had said.
Every time Lei had gone back to sleep, waiting for the voice and its message to change.
Lei was a stone at the bottom of a river. She was a an arrow resting in a quiver. She was a bud waiting for spring. But most of all she just slept, waiting for that signal. If the signal didn't come, she would wait forever. Inside her cocoon, she knew the faces of both Death and Life. They were both beautiful. Always young, always loving.
"Soon," said the voice from deep within. "Soon," it insisted.
"Soon," wheezed the voice, and Lei listened.
"NOW!" it screamed, with equal parts delight and desperation.
Lei woke and gasped for air. She was in a trap. Caught, confined, and claustrophobic. She screamed out the little air she had. Freedom and life was synonymous. She had to break out or she would die where she was.
Her stomach was heavy with the acid that didn't burn flesh. Lei spat it out. It wasn't her first time being born, but she didn't need experience to do it right, instinct ruled her actions. The hard silk around her softened to the fumes of her spit, and she wormed for the opening created by her direct spits. Like a larvae she squeezed through it.
Within minutes she was out of the cocoon.
"I made it," she whispered to herself, and laughed. "I'm alive."
She rolled over, toward the light, the last part was always the easiest. Exiting, rolling out her wings, and letting them dry to use.
The light was sharp. It was daytime. That didn't bother her though. Sunlight was excellent for wing-drying. She crawled for the opening, her still useless wings dragging behind her. She put both hands in the opening, pulled herself to it, and froze.
Her exit led into a tunnel of web glistening with spider-glue.
"Black," she screamed. "BLACK!"
Already half-blind from the stark light, she searched for a way to crawl out.
"BLACK!" she screamed. If she didn't unfold her wings before they dried they would never unfold. "BLACK WHERE ARE YOU!"
Terrified by the prospect of losing her wings, Lei put a hand into the web tunnel. It landed on glue. She screamed and pulled at it. It wouldn't budge.
"BLACK HELP ME!" screamed Lei.
Putting all her weight behind the pull, she finally managed to free her hand. Her eyes wide with terror, she clutched it to her chest. If one of her wings caught to that glue there would be no way to free it without tearing it.
"BLACK!" Lei forced herself to be silent and listen for the spider, but there was no sign of him.
Her stomach turned, complaining at the fear and the last remains of undigestive acid.
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Lei turned and stared around Black's hole, searching for something with which to cut his web. There was nothing. Black didn't use utensils. His body was the only tool he needed.
"Black," sobbed Lei, and burped, the last of the acid wanted out. There was always a little surplus left after breaking free. "Why did you do this to me?"
She hiccuped and burped nearly simultaneously. The effect was nauseating. She opened her mouth and a drop of cocoon-breaking acid fell to the floor.
A moth without wings couldn't fend for herself. She would be a helpless cripple. Her stomach constricted in an attempt to empty itself, but Lei was too upset for it to pass her throat.
"Why?" she sobbed, tracing the opening with her fingertips. The web was solidly fastened to the wood with hard knobs of dry glue. She tore at one of the knobs, tore at the dry strand leading from it. Neither budged.
"Let me out. Please let me out."
Behind her, her wings were filling. Soon they would stiffen into an unflyable form.
Her stomach turned again, complaining at the cocoon-breaking acid. If only Black's web had been made of moth silk, then she could just have puked on it.
Lei closed her eyes. Spitting on a spider's web was not a way to free yourself, she had been instructed when she was a child. Normal spit would no more harm a spider's web than it would a cocoon.
Lei shook her head. Normal spit wouldn't harm a cocoon. Normal spit!
Lei gathered all the saliva in her mouth and spat it on the strand she had been tearing at. Again she pulled at it and it broke. Lei spat at another strand, and another, using her fingers to guide her, the separate strands were hard to see in the sharp light.
It was going too slowly, there was no way she could make it in time.
Her stomach turned again, with more force than before. Her throat refused to constrict. The remaining cocoon-breaking acid spewed out of her and landed in a gooey pile in the bottom of the opening. Having no time to bless the luck in her misfortune, Lei dipped both hands into the goo and spread it up both sides of the opening. She repeated the motion over and over, trying to spread the gooey acid evenly.
She was still at it when a mere gust of wind, tore all the burned strands connecting the web-tunnel to the opening. For a moment Lei couldn't believe her light tortured eyes and merely stared out the cleared exit. Then she scrambled out and crawled away from the web-tunnel, lest the wind should blow it back at her.
She kept crawling till she was more than well out of reach of the tunnel, then she collapsed to her stomach and let her wings roll out.
She had made it in time.
Kokata's stomach ache was gone but he did not feel good. Not good at all. The pain was gone but the fright that had haunted him all winter filled his stomach and it was worse than the pain had ever been.
He shouldn't have left, and he most certainly shouldn't have been gone for as long as he had.
Why had he listened to his stomach when it insisted he should look further instead of turn back?
He had left only a little past noon. Now the sun was setting. Kokata had a very bad feeling about what he would find when he got back. The closer he was, the worse was the feeling.
He dreaded the return yet didn't slow down. While searching for the plant which roots he had needed, Kokata had travelled along the forest bed. While speeding home he travelled along the high branches, jumping from one to the other. To his luck, he spotted Lei sooner than he did his dismantled web-tunnel. If it had been the other way around the shock would have been terrible.
The white, black-striped moth stood on one of the highest branches in their tree. She seemed to be admiring the last stages of sunset. Relaxed by relief, Kokata jumped to their tree and silently skittered up its trunk. Out of old habit he hid himself from Lei by staying on the other side of the trunk while moving. When he was at the same height as her, he slowly circled the trunk to get her back in sight.
While moving he tried to make up his mind how to address her. Scrawny or Lei.
For him she had been gone a long time, but for her it had probably been just one long night, or day, Lei always slept through the day. She was a moth after all.
Then she was in his sight and Kokata forgot what he was thinking.
The moth had her back to him. Her wings were new. They had almost the same pattern her old ones had had. But her old wings had been so ragged and torn the pattern had seemed little more than smudges of dirt.
Lei rustled her wings and Kokata whimpered with heartfelt agony.
The black lines on her wings formed a symbol which he could almost read. It was as if the symbol had a meaning, and the meaning was unspeakable beauty. Kokata dug his legs into the bark, but he couldn't avert his eyes.
Lei's white legs were neither scrawny nor chubby. The black lines following their curves were like a symbol too. He had never seen such a symbol before but he knew what it meant:
Curves of a woman.
The wind gusted, and Lei folded her wings behind her back not to be pushed off the branch. In the process, she turned slightly, and Kokata gasped for air.
In fall, Lei had made herself clothing from the skin of the lizard he had killed. Thongs and breast-covers. She had always been clothed back then, though there hadn't been much worth hiding. Now, she was naked. And she had something worth hiding.
Tears formed and rolled down Kokata's cheeks. Lei was beautiful.
Copyright of Nanna Marker 2010.