Age Range: 12 and up
Approx. Length: 6,585 Words
You are never truly alone. While you sleep, nocturnal creatures stir. A couple discovers that things have changed overnight, and they are no longer in control. Their house is full of cobwebs, and they are being moved little by little in this suspenseful horror tale.
After inheriting a house, a husband and wife encounter a frightful surprise. They are surrounded by layer upon layer of silk crawling with arachnids. What lies beyond the cellar door? Find out in Spider Soup, a quirky story from the horror collection Odds And Ends by Lori R. Lopez, author of The Fairy Fly, The Dark Mister Snark and An Ill Wind Blows. Can a relationship survive being pushed past the brink? How far is too far over the edge? Alternately tense and humorous, this short story presents a very sticky situation!
Dread pooled like cold turbid rainwater in Jordy’s veins, a brackish stream of apprehension. He yearned to be a hero for his lady, yet could not even extricate himself from cobwebs! The spiders were making him look bad, very bad.
~ from Spider Soup
She had to be strong, Darcy inwardly chided, despite suffering an acute case of Arachnophobia at the moment. The spiders circulated in the netting, occasionally stepping on her face, traversing eyelids. The bugglies entered ears, tickled nostrils. Reflexively the woman sneezed.
~ from Spider Soup
“Whatever they want, I refuse to let them make Spider Soup of us,” vowed Jordy.
~ from Spider Soup
The couple awakened in the same blink of an eye, for there was a disturbance at their household that jostled them from sleep. Not a noise or intrusion but rather the opposite, as the home was shared by many a creature and apparently it was an inside job.
The evidence extended wall to wall, with every corner a part of the intricate scheme, embroidered into the fabric. A myriad of fibers had unspooled and been knotted into an exceptionally thick tapestry. The humans slid along a corridor tugged by rope-like braids, until one’s bare foot connected with the leg of a hall table and tipped a brittle porcelain vase, which smashed to the floorboards and sounded the alarm.
Instinctively both reached to shake the other as orbs widened. Appendages were restricted. The pair goggled in amazement, awed by the industriousness of tiny arachnids to achieve this elaborate engineering feat overnight! When they had gone to bed around Midnight, the house appeared normal. By Six A.M. (according to the gongs of a grandfather clock) it was crowded by a matting so dense, they could pluck it with fingers and hear a vibrant hum. Yet it resembled ordinary spider silk. For some arcane reason, the stuff had been produced in manic quantities — spun and woven with a frenzied burst of collective hyperactivity. Had Nature triggered a mutation, or was it something more sinister?
The young couple inherited the home from the man’s great-aunt, a sweet lady who wouldn’t hurt a fly. The spiders she revered and sheltered might. “They have to eat,” she told Jordy and his wife Darcy during their final visit — before expiring unexpectedly due to a stroke. Like hunger, grief could be a powerful stimulus. Did the appetites of the eight-leggers abruptly grow to include people-sized morsels? Or had the eccentric spinster been feeding her little darlings a special diet and now they were starved?
“Delightful! This story is pure entertainment! My kind of horror! Even if you (think) you don’t like spiders, you’ll not be able to put this tale down. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with this author and her style … so much … you won’t be able to resist picking up the full collection … then looking for more of her offerings … in order to get your fix of more Lori R. Lopez.”
Tamara Fey Turner, Author/Reader/Editor
“Okay, so this [was] always going to send shivers down the spine of this old arachnophobe. Sure enough, it’s a chilling affair . . . A young couple are dragged from their bed in the middle of the night, wrapped up in cocoons of spider silk. As they are pulled closer to the cellar of their cottage they spy hundreds, if not thousands of spiders, of every stripe and species, weaving in and out of the webs, scuttling over their faces and… yeah, I’m getting freaked out all over again. . . . well crafted, with an ending I would never have suspected.”
Kevin Bufton, Author
THE BLOODY BLOODY BOOK REVIEW; Goodreads Review
“There is no room for arachnophobia in the bone-chilling suspense novella Spider Soup by Lori R. Lopez. This fascinating short story is superbly written and has a plot that is sure to be remembered long after the book has been put down. Even now the thought of all those spiders crawling over every crevice and orifice of Jordan’s and Darcy’s anatomies gives me the heebie-jeebies. It is truly a skin-crawling tale that sticks with you. With the human aspects along with the spider invasion, this is a fantastic way to spend a stormy evening.”
Reviewed By Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite
“Afraid of bugs? Spider Soup will keep readers itching for relief, but what’s distinctive about the book is that it goes beyond the creepy-crawly and delivers a refreshing spin to what these bugs are doing. Not a typical “scary bugs” story, Lopez keeps the plot simmering!”