Philip rolled over in bed, groaning as his alarm beeped loudly. He slapped the snooze button and sat up, tossing his blankets off of him as he slipped out of bed. He made his way into the kitchen and poured himself a cup of coffee before settling onto the couch with the local news website pulled up on his tablet.
He read it over, finding nothing of real interest. He wasn’t surprised - where he lived nothing bad ever seemed to happen. He closed the page, his home screen showing a picture of him and his fiancé, Lucy. He smiled sadly. A few days ago, they had a fight about their wedding, and Lucy had stormed out. She hadn’t returned any of his calls since then, but her parents lived only a few blocks away and Philip figured she was probably staying there. He planned on stopping over there later to try and talk to her about it.
He quickly got dressed and rushed outside, starting to walk to work just a bit early. The sun was lighting up the clear sky with pastel oranges as it peeked above the horizon. Each blade of grass on his lawn reflected the light, turning the ground blood red as he walked past.
Halfway to work, Philip felt the hairs on the back of his neck raise up, and he glanced behind his shoulder but saw nothing. It was probably just the cold, he told himself, but something inside of him told him it wasn’t. He glanced over his shoulder again, catching a glimpse of grey, but shrugged it off as, again, nothing.
As he was about to step into his office building, a spider lowered itself down from its web in front of him. Not amused, he swatted it away and rushed inside, but not before catching a glimpse of a figure in the corner of his eye from down the street.
Philip waved goodbye to his coworkers as he left the building, the stars in the sky shining brightly down. It wouldn’t take long for him to get home, but it was still a bit of a walk. If he was lucky, maybe he could make it to Lucy in less than an hour.
He knew he was getting closer to home, but chills rolled down his spine as he felt eyes tearing into his back. He had this feeling all day, that something was watching him, but he just ignored it as he crossed the street, his path plunged into darkness as there were no streetlights on this side of the road.
Suddenly he felt something grab him from behind and shove him onto the ground, the air knocked out of his lungs. He gasped for air as he tried to sit up, but was shoved back down almost immediately. He kicked out, his foot connecting with his attacker and flinging them back before standing up. They hissed and lunged at him, pinning Philip down with amazing speed and strength.
Their nails dug into his wrists as he struggled, his legs flailing wildly as he tried desperately to kick them off. He looked up towards his attacker’s face, but saw nothing but a mask. It wore a wide smile with a red zigzag line through it, each corner of the line ending just a little after the smile, and large, black eyes. The hood of their dark jacket was pulled up, covering the rest of their head. But the horrifying part was that there were all different kinds of spiders, big and small, crawling freely across their body, and they seemed to come from under the mask.
Something moved under his attacker’s hood, and Philip used all of his strength to try and free himself, but only succeeded in receiving a knee to the stomach. Suddenly a hairy, blue limb poked out, and then another, and another, and another. What looked like glowing red eyes stared down at Philip from just under the hood, until it slowly pulled its hairy, grotesque head out, thick liquid dripping from its fangs. Slowly it inched out and dropped down onto Philip’s chest, landing perfectly on all eight legs. It easily covered most of his chest, and made it a bit harder to breathe.
Before he could scream, he felt its fangs tear into his neck, and he slipped into unconsciousness.
When he awoke, he could barely move. He was wrapped up in a tight cocoon of bright red rope and facing a wall. He was only tied up to just below his neck, and he wasn’t gagged, but when he opened his mouth to call for help, all that came out was a hopeless groan.
He struggled barely, rolling onto his back. He lifted his head barely and looked around, nearly vomiting. All around him were people just like him: wrapped up in cocoons of brightly colored rope and groaning helplessly. The pungent odor of urine and feces filled the room, mingled with the smell of rotting human flesh.
Philip watched as the masked... thing emerged from a room, its hood pulled down to show the hideous blue tarantula resting in its hair. Slowly it walked towards him, the sound of its bare feet scraping against the damp floor echoing through the room. His heart pounded as it came closer and closer, but it stopped before another person just a few feet away. It knelt down and shoved them onto their back, their face falling towards Philip and staring blankly at him. He was horrified.
For days he had thought Lucy had just been angry, been ignoring him, but really, she laid in this room until she died. Her once beautiful face was pale and sunken in, and her cheeks were stained with tears. He turned his head away as the tarantula jumped down to feast on her body, tears streaming down his cheeks as the sounds of flesh being viciously ripped apart filled the air.