René pushed his good shoulder against the windowless steel door, bending his knees and driving forwards with as much strength as he could muster. It didn't budge. He knew it wouldn't, but the effort served as a way to move around, an attempt to warm up and stop his body from shaking with fear and the cold.
The floor was wet and sticky, whilst the cell air felt damp. René sniffed the air, the smell of rotting and decaying earth hitting the back of his throat. Light from a small window ten foot above him offered little in the way of illumination.
His right shoulder burned with pain, dislocated he assumed. The back of his neck ached, and he could feel a large scabbed over incision that ran about eight inches vertically down from the base of his skull.
He'd done the usual calling out for help, but no-one called back or came to the door. A couple of times he'd tried to climb the solid concrete walls, but there was nothing to grip, especially with only one good arm.
He realised the room he was trapped in hadn't been used in a long time because of the vast spider's web that ran across the space. When he'd first woken up, his face and clothes soaked from lying on the floor, he'd stood up and walked into the web. Spitting and pulling at it, he'd then walked backwards into more web. Eventually he managed to clear most of it at head height, but the soft light above revealed web running all across the ceiling.
Putting his ear to the door, René listened intently, searching for any signs of life or movement. Yet everything was quiet.
He stood back and titled his head up, ignoring the pain that shot up his neck and into his head when he did so. A soft glow pushed through the window and peppered the ceiling, shadows falling in an array of irregular shapes as it did so. For a moment he thought the darkness was moving, creeping along the mass of web that hung silently and still.
He went back to the far wall and squatted down on his haunches. Time and memory danced elusively beyond his recollections, pain and trauma hiding the hours (days?) that preceded his arrival to . . .wherever he was.
Beyond the pain in his shoulder, his whole body ached, whilst beneath his eyes the beginning of a migraine thrummed incessantly, reminding him it would soon render him virtually incapacitated, a problem he'd suffered with since childhood. Whilst part of him wanted to shout and scream, banging on the door until someone, anyone, came to shut him up, he wondered whether he had simply been left here to rot and die. Perhaps the sins of his past had finally caught up with him? Maybe justice had finally prevailed?
Pain exploded in the back of his head, sending him sprawling across the wet floor. Reaching behind, he grabbed at his neck as blood ran down his back.
His body started to jerk involuntarily, his arms and legs spasming, his face crunching into the ground as mind and self lost all control.
He could feel something pushing from within, the wound on his neck opening and closing as it prodded and explored its own birth. René continued to convulse, bouncing across the ground as though in the hands of a drunk and delirious puppeteer.
Crunching noises echoed in the bare space, whilst his ears rang, agony coursing its way down his spine. The sensation of sharp bristles, wet with blood, scraped against the wound in his neck as long black legs emerged, unfurling behind René's vision, impossibly enormous legs that punched down on the ground.
His skin tore all the way down his spine, and the spider emerged from within René's body, its huge pulsing sack, with deep red markings, somehow growing with every moment released from the human cocoon it had been injected into. Large pincers snapped as breath was sucked in, and its eight thick legs thumped up and down in freedom, flexing and stretching. Red eyes shone with unnatural knowing, scanning the entire cell.
René fell limp, but remained alive and conscious, his breathing shallow.
The creature began to walk across the cell floor, René's body dragging along underneath, fused to the spider's body. As it climbed the wall, René began to scream, consciousness refusing to shut down and give way to insanity.
The spider made a web along the ceiling and noted the decaying remains of its predecessor, the human it had been joined to sucked dry. Somewhere within, in what might be known as consciousness and awareness, the spider knew it must keep its host alive for its own survival. The group of investors watching on the cameras were thinking the very same thing.
Now, all the spider needed to do was wait for its first meal.