Black Widow

by Rae Cod

He watched her from a distance as she sat on the front step of her porch, staring with eyes that were somewhere else.  Her beautiful dark hair was piled up in a head scarf.  A tangle had broken free, and he was surprised to see it shot through with white.  Maybe not so surprised.  Brutal way to go.  

They were friends once.  He hadn’t liked that.  Maybe he wasn’t as stupid as he looked.  But he wasn’t here anymore, perhaps they could be friends again.

He worked up his swagger and approached the house.

‘Hi Dee.’ 

Her dark eyes registered confusion as they drifted back from that faraway place, then surprise as recognition dawned.

‘I didn’t think you’d ever come back here,’ she said, in that voice as smooth and dark as treacle.  

‘I saw his obituary in the paper,’ he said simply.

She nodded. 

Finally, wearily, she brought her eyes to his.  He saw a hint of the coyness that used to make him ache in all the right places.

She beckoned him into the house.  ‘Tea?’

The house was dark.  Despite the sunlight outside the blinds remained closed, perhaps to ward off the heat, but the overall sense was stifling.

She gestured towards the sitting room as she busied herself with the kettle and told him to make himself at home.

He fully intended to. 

His eyes roamed the assortment of grotesque ornaments on the mantelpiece: grinning skulls, silver pentagrams, and lacquered snakes.  He wondered what kinky shit she might be into as he glanced at her wedding picture, fighting the temptation to lay it face down.  

He settled into an armchair, forcing himself to keep his eyes on her face as she carried the tea in.  He wondered if widows normally showed so much leg.  

‘So, what are you doing here?’ she asked, as she sat down opposite.  

‘I thought you might need a friend.  We were friends once, weren’t we?’

‘I suppose we were, until you moved away.  Chris didn’t like it though.  He always thought you had a hidden agenda.’

She looked directly into his eyes when she said this, a smile playing at the corner of her mouth as she uncrossed her legs, leaving a gap between her thighs that seemed to be inviting him in.  He felt himself begin to stiffen.  He hadn’t expected it to be this easy.   

He reached for his tea and took a couple of sips.  He wanted the chase to last a little longer.

It seemed Dee had other ideas.  She rose from the sofa and crossed to him in a fluid motion.  Pulling a lever at the side of the chair so that he lay back, she straddled him, holding her body just inches away from his, as she stared intensely into his eyes.  

He felt out of his depth.  He was normally the one making the moves.

‘Dee, I…’

‘This is what you came for, isn’t it, Kye?’ she whispered, her sweet breath barely breathing the words.

Any self-control he’d managed to hold onto fled.

He pulled her down onto him, grinding his crotch up into hers, feeling the heat of her through his trousers, her wicked smile making her look ten years younger as she bent her head to kiss him.  Her lips stopped inches from his as she uttered one word:


‘Don’t worry,’ he growled, ‘I won’t tell anyone you fucked your childhood sweetheart the day after your husband’s funeral.’

‘No, it’s not that…I just need something from you, a small thing…’

She reached behind her neck, her body pressing on him in all the right places, and undid her necklace, taking the ring that was dangling from a chain: tarnished silver, the body of an ugly snake with its mouth open wide as it swallowed its own tail to form a circle.

‘Wear this.  Please.’

He raised an eyebrow.

‘It was his wedding ring; it’ll make me feel better about…’ 

Right now, with her weight on top of his and all the blood in his body pumping to one place, he would’ve worn a tutu if she’d have asked him.

He ripped off her pants with his right hand as she slipped the ring onto his left and freed him from his jeans.

As she pulled her dress over her head, she began to mutter words under her breath, words that he didn’t understand, a foreign language maybe.  He tuned her out by focusing on her breasts, the movement of her hips, the smile on her face.  She couldn’t get enough of him.  

The heat between them intensified, distracting him from the numbing iciness, which, if he was paying attention, he would have noticed had begun to trickle up his arm, as if ice cubes had found a way into his blood stream.  

But he wasn’t paying attention, not to his arm anyway.

As she began to moan, he held himself until he was sure they would come together, he didn’t want her to forget this in a hurry.  As she began to shudder against him and he let himself go she called out his name,


Wait, that wasn’t…

An ice-cold pain stabbed him in the head, the shock of it making him cry out.  He shrivelled inside her as his brain was flooded with images he’d never seen before: Dee on a beach in a summer dress, Dee lying on a bed in a wedding corset, Dee crouching beside a decapitated man, tears rolling down her cheeks as she took a ring from his hand…my hand…no, not my hand.

Yes, said a voice inside his head.

My hand, my body, my wife.

Kye was consumed with terror as the spectre invaded him, pushing out every ounce of his being.  He scrabbled around for the scraps of who he was, tatters drifting away on a wave of blackness as terror gave way to confusion.  In a last instinctive act of self-preservation, he began to repeat his name, over and over in his mind, Kye, Kye, Kye…K…

‘Chris?’ she asked, touching his cheek gently, the serpent ring on her wedding finger cool against his skin.

He looked up into her eyes, drinking in the image of her like a drowning man gulping air.

‘Yeah baby, it’s me.’

Photo by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

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