The WidowsFather Widow survived childhood by eating his brothers and sisters. When it came time for him to find a wife he thought, "I'm not eating my way out of this."
There were no other black widows where he was born so Father Widow took off into the grass in search of a wife. On his way he encountered a group of mantis brothers gathered in prayer around one of their own, who happened to have no head.
"Where is that fellow's head?" Father Widow asked.
"His wife ate it," said one of the mantis brothers.
"Ate it!" said Father Widow. "What for?"
"For her own good. So that she'll be strong enough to care for the little ones. As a widow you should know that."
Father Widow twiddled his palps. "I know that I am a black widow, and that I am to be a father," he said. "That is all."
The oldest mantis brother's mandible curled into a grin. "You know all you need to know then. You live long enough to die a father," he said.
Father Widow didn't know what the mantis meant by that and looked at the headless
Witch HuntElle wiggled her toes inside her boots, trying to warm them. She couldn't pinpoint where exactly the screams coming from the woods were, just that'd she'd be walking down the trail that led to them in a short moment.
"It's freezing out here," Justin said. He stood next to Elle, rubbing his hands in front of his chest.
"Don't worry, boy. You'll warm up soon enough," said the guide. She was an older woman wearing tennis shoes, jeans, and a coat zipped up to her chin. She clutched a flashlight in her right hand. "Especially if the hunters get you."
Elle grinned. "Better watch out, Justin," she said. "The witch hunters'll get you!" She jabbed him in the side.
"Quit," Justin said. He grunted from the sudden, sharp pinch under his ribs. "You're gonna be the one they get."
"Alright, alright, is this everyone?" said the guide. She shined her light onto everybodys' faces. Including Elle and Justin there were four others in their group that they'd been standing in line with for the past hour and
The Paralyzed CatThe room beneath the hidden door was large and filled with antique desks stacked to the ceiling. I stepped down into it first. He followed, and the cat bounded ahead of us down a narrow path between the towers of furniture.
"What is this place?" he said.
We followed after the cat. Our movements were restricted by everything tightly packed around the path. We found her a little ways ahead curiously looking around.
"You're here," said a rumbling voice.
We looked up to where it came from. A massive, inflated cat hovered near the ceiling watching us. Thick fur. Curled lips.
"What're you?" I asked. My companion stood next to me staring at the cat.
"What're you?" said the cat.
An uncomfortable noise began to hum.
"We don't know where we are," I said.
The cat grinned. "You're beneath it all," it said.
Its mouth opened, and the humming shrouded the room in a deafening quake. The hovering cat vanished then reappeared nearer to us, slowly crawling from an invisible tunnel. Its mouth