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Flash Fiction Friday: The Spider Couch #3 – Final Installment!

Here is the third and final installment of “The Spider Couch” by Philip Tannehill. You can read the first two installments here and here.

But then came a knock upon the door.

The only guests we received these days were bankers demanding the money we owed them. So when I opened the door, despite the late hour, I was not surprised to see the drooping visage of Barnaby Granger staring up at me. Barnaby was head banker and a first rate savage in the gladiator arena of finances. He’d paid us plenty of visits at such unusual hours. I suppose being freakish, wealthy, and unmarried instilled in him an inclination to tromp around town after hours, haunting the penniless folks who owed him money.

On this night, I was only too happy to see him.

“Come on in, Barnaby old chap,” I said, opening the door wide and practically shooing him in.

“You’re in high spirits. Are you drunk?” he asked.

“Drunk?” I laughed haughtily. “Drunk on my newfound riches, perhaps.”

He raised an eyebrow and squinted at me through his brass monocle. “New found riches? Don’t tell me the Academy of Sciences welcomed you back.”

“Nothing of the sort. I’m a self-made man now, Barnaby, and I’ve invented the invention of a lifetime.”

His eyes lit up with excitement. “Is it a rocket ship?”

“Come on down to my laboratory and see for yourself,” I said, ushering him along toward the basement door.

As you can well imagine, Barnaby grew hesitant when he heard Griselda’s shrieks. I assured him that she was only having a minor panic attack and not to worry. He hesitated once more at the bottom of the staircase, when a thumbprint of moonlight shone down through the basement window and cast an evil glow upon the limbs of the spider couch.

“It’s . . . it’s . . . a giant spider!” he declared.

“Wrong!”

“Certainly looks like a spider to me.”

“Well, yes, it is. But it’s also a couch!”

I gave him a good push then and the dwarf banker tumbled shoes over comb-over straight into the clutches of the spider couch, which wasted no time in mummifying him. Griselda, not mummified, struggled to escape, but this only provoked the spider couch. Once the beast finished with Barnaby’s mummification, it bit Griselda’s head off.

I should have felt panic or regret, and most assuredly sadness. Instead, I found myself clapping my hands, as if in response to a dashing move at a racquetball tournament.

Over the next seven days, many more bankers knocked upon the door. To each of them, I revealed my newfound riches. My invention of a lifetime.

But without Griselda around and my laboratory totally occupied by the spider couch, I sank into a state of ennui. The house was no longer at risk of being stolen by the greedy bank, but I had no money to waste on idle entertainments, let alone food. I was missing something. A friend.

Alone with no one to care for, I let myself go. I sank down beneath the waves of boredom; I sank beneath the deepest depths of depression. I was ready to drown. When I got down to the bottom, something funny happened. I looked up one last time and saw a glimmer, like a shiny new kitchen appliance. In the glimmer I saw me, riding the spider couch like a knight, to fame and glory. I saw crowds of people shout their praise and bow down before the eight limbs of the deadly beast that I alone controlled. It was awesome.

Like a marooned submarine miraculously regaining full power, I flew to my room and sat at my desk to draft up a machine to control the spider couch. The hours flew by and I must have forgotten to sleep or eat, for at some indeterminable hour I awoke at my desk with the blueprints for a brainwave synchronizer complete. The brainwave synchronizer would implant inside the spider couch (or any other being I chose to stick it in) all my demands and desires.

I crept down to the laboratory to begin work on my machine. I hoped the spider couch would not hear me. It hadn’t eaten a banker in several days.

In the basement gloom, I met an unexpected sight.

The spider couch loomed over my work table, examining a pair of blueprints clutched between its uppermost limbs. As quietly as possible, I tiptoed up behind the spider couch to get a view of the blueprint’s specifications.

They were for a set of reigns, to be attached to the spider couch so that a man (who in the blueprints resembled myself) could ride the couch like a horse.

I emitted an involuntary chortle of glee and the beast spun around, towering above me, fangs dripping spider slime. Frightened out of my wits, I held up my brainwave synchronizer blueprints as if they were a shield that could protect me. The spider couch tore them out of my hands and then . . . studied them, nodding several times in agreement.

Next I was offered a spider leg to shake. I accepted.

Together, we began work constructing the brainwave synchronizer with only one adjustment to my original plans. The synchronization would now run both ways. As I communicated my demands and desires to the monster, I’d receive the same from my former couch. We’d be two creatures, joined at the brain.

When our masterpiece was finally finished, I weaved some reigns out of the hair from my sister’s severed head and came to sit upon my rightful throne. I hadn’t sat upon the spider couch since the night I brought it home, and I must admit, I had missed the cushiness, the warmth.

Even though all my friends (i.e. bankers) are dead, I do not regret dragging the spider couch in on that frightful, frosty night last December. I do not regret it because without the spider couch I would be dead myself. Who needs friends (i.e. bankers) when one owns a couch with fangs and eight legs? Who needs anything at all when the slightest hunger pang sends their couch scurrying for another meal to feed them? The spider couch knows my needs better than any human ever could. The spider couch loves me like no other has before. So what if Griselda and her cat had to die? Wasn’t it worth the sacrifice? Countless people have sisters and feline companions, but I am the only one blessed with a spider couch. My friend of friends.

Tomorrow, we set out to see the world.

Philip Tannehill spends most of his time working on his family’s farm in the Midwest. In his spare time, he reads and writes. An enthusiast of gothic literature and bizarro fiction, he dreams of someday opening a cult movie theater in a haunted mansion. Right now, he’s just waiting to win the lottery.


Flash Fiction Friday: Spider Couch #2

by Philip Tannehill

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I hope you enjoy this next disgusting installment of Spider Couch. You can find the first chapter here. -KA

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I awoke in the darkness with a burning sensation in my genitals. I panicked, only to recall that I had escorted home a couch, not a loose woman. This thought did not sooth the burning, so I unzipped my pants and began to feel out the situation. Immediately I observed that my penis felt much larger than ever. I groped along its shaft down past my knee, then felt a second penis extending out from behind the first, before suspecting that grave forces were at work.

After another minute of frantic fumbling, I pieced together what had occurred. The spider couch had slipped one of its thin black legs up my urethra and another up my anus. This was most unpleasant indeed.

I attempted to spring out of the couch to make for the basement stairs, but the spider legs restrained me like a prisoner’s chains. “Help!” I cried. “Help!”

Griselda was a light sleeper. I called for her repeatedly, desiring more than ever to see my sister’s face crack the darkness and appear in the doorway, bathed in light, at the top of the stairs. The spider’s legs pushed further inside me while its other six legs crushed my ribs in a smothering embrace.

“Help! Help!”

Right as my vision started going fuzzy, Griselda appeared at the top of the stairs. She looked down on our obscene lovemaking (if the spider couch was in fact trying to seduce me) and screamed. The characteristic move for her to make next would’ve been to slam the door, bolt it, and flee to her room – or faint outright. But Griselda was a brave sister who apparently loved me more than I knew. Contrary to her nature, she stormed down the stairs two at a time and came to stand before me and the spider. Her hands were balled into fists.

“Take your hands off him, you bitch,” she said.

I’d never heard such strong language from my sister. When the spider couch tightened its grip, Griselda raged forth, swinging her fists like hammers. A blow glanced off my head, but in her frenzy she also landed several key strikes on the spider couch’s head. Overwhelmed by my sister, the spider couch loosened its clutches on my bowels and freed my penis of its wrath. Its grip on my torso was also released.

I leapt off that couch so fast I probably looked like a reindeer with hot coals on its ass. I practically flew up the staircase and when I got to the top I turned around, remembering Griselda. She was in the clutches of the spider couch now. The evil piece of furniture had torn away her nightgown and was spreading her labia to resemble a manta ray.

“Help! Help!” Griselda cried.

I was not falling for that trick. I knew that if you helped someone who was caught in the spider couch’s cushiony web, then the spider couch would target you. Not to mention, if the spider couch happened to catch me before I freed Griselda, both of us would be stuck, forced to engage in crude and bizarre sexual acts with the couch. Who would feed Griselda’s cat then?

“Look, Griselda. Here’s how it is. If I go down to save you and happen to get caught myself, who will look after Mister Mittens? It is my responsibility not to save you, dear sister. I’m sorry, but think of the dear little Mittens.”

“Mister Mittens has been dead since Thanksgiving, you ass,” she said. “You sold him to the butcher in exchange for a turkey sandwich.”

“Oh really?” Upon reflection, I did recall enjoying a superbly marvelous sandwich around Thanksgiving. There had also been a distinct absence of feline activities around our home. I’d assumed that Mister Mittens was starving (because how do you feed a cat when you can hardly afford to feed yourself?) and had grown too weak to leave Griselda’s room. Poor cat. Sold to the butcher for a sandwich. Ah, I remembered the exchange in clearer detail now. One mewling sack of claws and fur in exchange for thick cuts of white meat on a bed of mashed potatoes and gravy, resting between two slices of toasted wheat bread . . . and cranberry sauce. Loads of cranberry sauce. God, what a sandwich. To imagine I’d acquired it for the low price of my sister’s only companion. It was a crying shame she wasn’t a cat hoarder. Selfish of her, one might say. I was sorry for Mister Mitten’s death, though, because if he hadn’t already been sold for a sandwich, I could bag him up and take him down to the butcher’s straightaway in the morning. This time of year, the furry brute could fetch a fair lot of hot ham water.

I was depressed about the murderous state of my new couch, but also very hungry, so I slammed the door of the basement on my sister’s screams. Perhaps she had some other items I could pilfer for a bowl of hot ham water.

[To be continued.]