Moon Phases, Periphery, Rope

Through the fringes of the world She weaves her charms, smooth silver threads laid across rooftops and knotted umber sewn through sidewalk cracks.

Each day brings with it a different color, a different place, all unremarked by the sightless things who think the world theirs.

Her web weaves loosely through forgotten places and tightly through those much attended but hardly seen, enmeshed in the set dressing of lives lived without pain. So much remains unseen, unremarked, in those places; so much detail lost beneath comforting security.

Her task is not easy, Her web no hasty construction; each strand considered, each intersection and knot carefully plotted. The moon lights Her work, and as it fades the stars do in their turn; and decaying streetlamps, and burning pyres, and all the city's light and filth.

When it is done, when She finally lays down the last bits of sticky sap that will bait Her trap, the moon lights Her lair through a break in the clouds (just as it always will, now, on nights when her prey grow near, a final enticement tempting those little things to enter).

She sprawls back, legs stretched, fangs carefully tucked out of view in the shadows beneath Her wide-brimmed hat. Smoke drifts from Her long-stemmed pipe, pools around the windows and the door–alert for Her first visitor as She begins to doze.

It doesn't take long.

Her patience has not even begun to be tested when the knock comes at the door, when some sharp-faced thing which thought itself a hunter slips inside through Smoke's swirling wreaths.

She pounces, and She feasts.