There’s no escape from the webs spiders spin, no matter where I go.
A strand dangles from my ceiling. Translucent. Invisible until the light catches it. Or it catches me. I’m walking out my door, only to feel something sticky attach itself to my hand or face, clinging to my skin.
I’ve just walked into a web. Again. Fortunately for me, I’m too big to be caught.
What if I wasn’t? What if I found myself trapped in the web? What if I could move. Helpless, unable to struggle as the web’s mistress moved toward me, bent on sucking the life out of me?
All of this is from the perspective of the one caught in the web, breaking the web. What if I was the web weaver? Spinning each strand, connecting them? Catching my prey in the elaborate design I’ve created? Draining the vitality from my victims which I need to live and thrive?
As a writer, I am engaged in weaving a web of plot, character, and setting. I weave the plot across the setting, catching the characters within. I watch them struggle to get out, to work their will upon the web, overcoming the obstacle it presents. My readers and I feed upon their energy, entertained and nourished.
It’s a sinister analogy, but one I’ve drawn upon again and again for inspiration. From this came the concept of the arachnocrats playing their deadly games in their secret gardens in Tales of the Navel. It’s played upon my imagination once again in developing shadows drifting through a changing dreamscape, feeding upon the memories and desires of those who stray from their paths. I’ve used it with Agathea, feeding upon her guests’s passions and words in A Symposium in Space.
Do webs play a part in your own stories, dear reader? Do you ever feel like you or your characters are caught in a web? Or that you’ve caught your characters in a web of your own?