Gromet's PlazaMummification Stories


by Abbacor

Email Feedback | Forum Feedback

© Copyright 2020 - Abbacor - Used by permission

Storycodes: Other-f; mum; spider; silk; sticky; cocoon; cons; reluct; X

“Doctor Trunklemire, I’m certain that I can find this new species.”

“Miss Francisco, all you have are rumors. And not very well substantiated ones at that. I am hesitant to let you go forward with this. At first glance it looks like a fool’s fantasy.”

“I am aware that there is little to go on here. But I have received this information from someone in whom I place a great deal of trust. They have also told me that they have seen for themselves further evidence to lend support to the rumors. Unfortunately, they are not able to provide any direct samples or even pictures, but they assure that the arachnids do indeed exist.”

“I’m still not sure. We cannot just authorize a full team expedition to, where was it again ... ah, here it is ... the deep jungles of South America.”

“The southern end of Peru, northern Bolivia, or far eastern Brazil to be specific sir. The potential location is rather broad and unspecific.”

“Yes, I see. Another reason not to send out and fund a full team.”

“Then just fund one person. Me. I’ll go down on an individual fact finding research grant to determine the truth of the rumors and if possible the location. Give me a six month time frame. If I can’t at least confirm the rumors and narrow down the possible area then I’ll give up.”

“One person, on a simple fact finding mission. That is more feasible.”

“I also have personal knowledge of the region at least.”

“You do, and field experience in the general area, so you won’t be entirely lost out there on your own. This is starting to show possibilities. And for the length of time you propose, you can also do some independent study on other known species at least, so the trip will not be a complete waste when it doesn’t pan out.”

“Yes sir, I could. Although I believe that I will be successful in my goal.”

“Always the positive one,” Dean Trunklemire says with a smile.

“Alright, work up a more formal proposal for me to present to the board and we’ll see if we can get you an approval.”

“Thank you, Haversham. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.”

“Geraldine, your years of work with us and history of being meticulous not to mention your unbelievable tenacity in hunting down some bit of data concerning what you are researching always provides something useful. Hopefully the board will recognize that like I do and give you the grant. If they do then I know that one way or the other you will still return with something useful to us.

“Now go write up that proposal and I’ll do my part for you.”


“Gilberto, my friend recommended you to me as a guide and interpreter. He said that you might know of a tribe or two that can give us more information on the species of spider that I am looking for.”

“Si senora Francisco. I know these jungles well. I have heard the rumors that you speak of, and I know at least two tribes who can possibly help us. I must tell you that it will not be a quick trip. The tribes I know live a good distance away from the civilization that you are familiar with. And the chances are good that any information we get will take us deeper into the jungles and even further away.”

“I expected as much and I am prepared for that. We will be packing fairly light, only one extra donkey to hold my research gear and what we can carry ourselves otherwise. I also expect to be able to live off the jungle as we travel, so provisions will also be reduced to just what we need. There will be stops to document other species as well. And it’s just Geraldine. We’ll be travelling together for some time with just the two of us. We don’t need to be formal when addressing each other Gilberto.”

“Of course, miss. The senor did say that you have come to the jungles a few times before and are knowledgeable of the hardships that travelling here will be like. I will get the donkey and a couple of horses for us and what provisions that we can carry. It will take maybe two or three days to be ready. If I can see your own gear as well so that I may know how large it will be?”

“Certainly. What you see there in the corner is all that I am bringing with me. It should not be too much I hope. Here is some money to pay for the beasts and things we will need. Do try to get reasonable bargains for everything, my funds are limited, but I don’t want to have to worry that an animal will die on us out there or some needed item will break because it is too old or cheap.”

“Si senorita, I will get the best I can for the best price I can haggle. I know several places that make fair deals and will stay to those.”

“Very good to know. I’ll see you each day so you can check up on me and if needed I can give you more money if things are costing more than we hoped for.”


May 7 2024 10:15pm – Journal Entry no. 33

We’ve been out in the jungle for over a month now. Encountered the web of a Thersphosa Blondi, or Goliath Birdeater, yesterday. Was lucky enough to have time to set up a camera and film the spider catching a parrot. Gilberto saw the bird land on a branch just a few feet away from the web. He threw a stone to startle the bird and it flew straight into the web. The bird was big enough and strong enough that the spider is going to have to build an entire new web, however the bird did not escape. It struggled violently and tore the web to shreds, but in the process ended up entangling itself so much that it was left dangling upside down from a single thread and barely able to move once it was exhausted. Of course this is what the spider was waiting for. It quickly descended from its hiding place and with a few pokes at the bird to verify it was not going to fight back began to spin the bird around and secure it with cocooning silk. The end result was an off white or dingy grey cocoon that tightly bound the bird from beak to tail tip. A bite into the back of the neck deposited ample venom to begin the process of initial digestion and the spider pulled the bird up into the leaves of the tree where it made its home. Managed to film it feeding on the bird later. Also captured it building a new web. What little had been left was pulled down and apparently eaten prior to spinning a new web.


“Senorita Geraldine, the old woman say that she know of a tribe much deeper in the jungle that knows of the spider that you seek.”

“Excellent Gilberto. This is the second tribe that we have spoken with. What can she tell us about the people?”

“They are a stationary tribe and fairly peaceful to her memory.” He listens a bit more and translates, “The people are shy of strangers, they do not know our way of living at all. But, if we approach them gently and openly they might respond well.”

“That sounds good and is my preferred way of making contact. Can she give us at least decent directions to follow where we might find them?”

“Si. She is telling me now where to go. I will write it down un momento.”

“Thank her greatly for us. Is there anything we can give her or her tribe as a gift in return?”

“Si senorita,” he responds a few minutes later after talking further with the old woman and writing in a notepad. “If we could stay for a few days and participate in the hunt with our rifles it would make them happy.”

“We still have plenty of time and can certainly help them to fill their larders. Let her know it will be our honor to hunt with them.”


July 11 2024 9:02am – Journal Entry no. 56

Have been travelling through the jungles for around four months. Last night Gilberto received positive information that there is a tribe deeper in the jungle that should know of the spiders I am looking for. This is the second and last tribe that Gilberto knows of personally who are open and willing to talk and trade with outsiders. If we had not located someone here with the knowledge we seek then we would have to risk trying another tribe who might not be as hospitable. Luckily we do not need to go that route. We will spend a few days here to help the tribe with their hunting then move on.


August 9 2024 2:47pm – Journal Entry no. 67

It took us three weeks since talking to the old woman to arrive in the area where the people we are looking for might reside. Since then we have been searching for the tribe for about a week. We have possibly seen two of them, but as reported they are shy and unsure of us. We have set up camp in a relatively clear area so they can see us and observe. Hopefully we will be able to gain their trust and we can talk to them about where the spiders are.


“Gilberto, look. Get ready to do the talking, I think we’re about to have company.”

“Si senorita Geraldine. I’d guess that is a village elder or maybe a chief with a couple of their wise women and a hunter. Hopefully the dialect they use will not be too far from the ones I know.”


August 11 2024 7:56pm – Journal entry no. 71

Gilberto was able to talk to the tribe fairly easily. Their dialect was quite similar to the one from the last tribe we spoke with and easy for him to adjust to. We have not only been accepted, but invited to break our camp and take residence in one of their huts that was not in current use. We spoke with them a good bit about our search and they are able to help me. It turns out that this is the tribe I am looking for. They not only know about the spiders I seek, but live close by the colony and use the spiders for several things it appears.

Tonight I have been invited to join them just before sundown for a ritual involving the spiders. I am so excited!


“The bambina was born just today,” Gilberto translates for me. “To keep the infant warm and safe they will present the child to the spiders at sundown. The child is being given a drink of his mother’s milk mixed with a solution to calm the child and keep it from moving around.”

“Gilberto, what is in the milk? Do these people know about curare?”

“Si senorita. That is what they are using. They dilute the plant greatly for a newborn and it makes them placid.”

“What are they doing now? Are the leaves special to them somehow?”

Gilberto questions our contact and they talk for a couple of minutes.

“It appears that this particular plant, and only this one, has an acidic value specific to the silk of the spiders. They are placing the fronds over the baby’s face, genitals, and rear using simple water to stick them in place.”


Several minutes go by then the mother lifts up a very unresponsive child. The limbs and head dangle and do not move. As a group, and with the mother in the lead, they head out of the village towards a nearby cliff of the mountain range they live on.

“Come Geraldine, we are invited to come and watch.”

Following the procession we walk for only ten minutes before we encounter the cliff face. There are several holes in the cliff of various sizes. One near the bottom is quite large. The old woman, whom I have come to recognize as their wise woman, takes the baby from the mother and gently places the child inside of the larger opening. She carefully arranges the arms and legs, and makes sure the leaves are exactly where she wants them, and then slides the infant deeper inside. With several bows and words spoken they place a wooden cover over the opening then turn and begin to leave.

Our primary contact talks to Gilberto and answers several questions. Once he is done Gilberto moves to walk beside me so he can answer the burning questions in my mind.

“So they are just going to leave the child there? What’s going to happen to it?”

“Si, the bambina will stay in the cave overnight. At the first light of dawn they will come back and retrieve the child. By that time it will be fully wrapped in spider silk. It will be like the papoose I have been told of in your country. Once the child is removed it will be allowed to rest in the sun for several hours. Once the cocoon has ... set ... the leaves will be pulled up and out. This will reveal the child’s face and nether regions, but it will otherwise be unable to move or squirm about. The mother will care for the infant and take care of its needs as it grows over the next several months.”

“So they leave it cocooned in spider silk? How long will it last? Do they have to replace it frequently?”

Gilberto questions our new friend again.

“Um, it seems the silk will hold up on its own quite well. Let me ask for better details.”

Another conversation with the villager ensues and we reach the village by the time Gilberto turns back to me.

“The silk is unable to be cut or removed once it has cured in the sunlight. It becomes quite durable and will remain indefinitely. The child will grow normally from being fed, and apparently the growth seems to have some kind of effect on the silk and it will eventually tear on its own so the child can be freed. This takes many months. It seems this is a normal occurrence for all of the children born to the tribe.”

Gilberto listens to something else he is told.

“In the morning they will provide a comparable animal to replace the baby for the spiders to consume.”


August 13 2024 7:23pm – Journal Entry no. 78

The child I watched getting placed in the cave was retrieved the next morning. It had been completely cocooned by the spiders, fully enclosing the child in silk from head to toe. The only things sticking out from the cocoon were the ends of the stems from the leaves. The bright white cocoon was carried by the mother to her hut and the baby was placed on a board in direct sunlight. It was left there for about three hours with no one touching it and the mother doing nothing more than watching. Eventually the mother began to wiggle the leaf stems over the child’s face and lift up on them. They pulled up with only a small amount of difficulty, shredding the silk that covered the leaf and revealing the child. The mother pulled away the torn silk with her hands. It seems the effect of the leaves renders the silk into fine, non-sticky filaments that readily tear away from the rest of the cocoon. A similar action was performed with the leaf over the genitals and the one over the anus providing direct access there as well. And then the mother simply sat down and breastfed the child in the cocoon.

I was allowed to inspect the child and the cocoon. It was amazing. The cocoon is the best form fitting papoose wrap that I have ever seen. The silk is firm and solid, yet soft and feels to still be flexible to some degree. I was able to observe the infant attempting to move about, but it remained fully restrained within the cocoon.


“Gilberto, I don’t understand how they will get the baby out of that cocoon if it is durable and long lasting as they say.”

“Si senorita. It has perplexed me as well. I have asked about it but cannot get a clear answer. I am simply told that it will grow and the silk will tear when it is ready.”

“This is most unusual. I hope I can figure it out before I must leave.”


August 16 2024 3:13pm – Journal Entry no. 79

Over the past two and a half days I have been allowed to explore the village as long as I also participate in their daily life to help out with tasks and chores. Nothing they do is all that strenuous and I find it easy enough to have plenty of free time.

I have encountered two people who wear, for want of a better term, spider silk cocoons on one of their limbs. There is a woman and a boy I have observed.

The boy has a silk stocking that runs from just below his hip and crotch on one leg all the way down and over his toes which are fully covered by the silk. I call it a stocking, but it is quite thick and restrains the movement of the leg exceedingly well. I have been told that the child experienced a fall and broke his leg. The village wise woman is apparently also their healer. She set the child’s leg straight then they took him to the spider caves where just his leg was placed inside one of the openings. A wooden cover was placed over the hole to block out the sunlight except for just a small bit around the top of his thigh and the boy was left there for several hours. When he was finally allowed to remove his leg it had been completely cocooned by the spiders right up to where they wanted it and the remaining daylight cured the silk into what is effectively a cast on his leg. The silk is extremely firm and resistant to bending while still retaining a soft and pleasant feel. The boy is able to ambulate relatively well with the covering.

The woman I encountered had been cooking and a mistake on her part had caused a severe burn to her arm. She had been treated, again by the wide woman, and then taken to the spiders where she received a silken bandage from her wrist to her armpit. She was made to stay in place for just an hour or two, and her hand was covered with the odd plant leaves. The resulting bandage holds her arm firmly and she cannot bend it more than a few degrees. The available motion is sufficient, and the silk thin enough, that she is able to reach her face, but when at rest the arm is held bent at ninety degrees as if it were in a cast.

When I asked how these would be removed, and how long they would wear them, I was informed that a specific diet consisting of the special plant would be fed to them, and at the same time the leaves would be rubbed on the outside of the cocoon. The woman would have her silk bandage removed in a month and a half from her injury, and the boy would have his removed after three months. I suspect that a reduced diet of their special plant by the mother of the newborn who had been cocooned would result in the gradual release they described by the infusion of the chemical in the mother's milk.

While I have not been allowed to photograph, or film, or even place any of my cameras or sensors that I brought with me into the spider caves, they have provided to me some examples of the tiny creatures that have died and been collected.

The spiders are extremely small. The body is about two millimeters wide and three millimeters long. Fully spread out their legs would span about six millimeters. I can only assume that they are too small to be able to deliver any type of bite to something bigger than themselves. They must enact a veritable swarm of spiders to be able to cocoon something like I have seen. I.E. the baby and the wounded villagers. At a guess there were probably hundreds involved to cocoon the leg and arm and more likely thousands to envelop the baby.

I attempted to analyze the silk that had been removed from the baby’s cocoon but it was too damaged and literally fell apart in my hands. I will see if I can obtain a sample that is more intact. That might prove to be rather difficult though. While these people use wood and stone in the tool making, they are quite adept in creating a finely honed edge on their sharper tools. They demonstrated how resistant the cured silk is to being cut by any edge. Their own tools cannot make a mark on the silk, and when I was allowed to test out my metal knives and even a scalpel I was unable to do more than make a light scratch on it. Getting a good sample may not be possible with what I currently have available.


At the village diner that night I watched the two injured villagers, and noted a third person slowly dragging themselves over to the fire. I was astonished to see that he had silk cocoons on all of his limbs. Both arms were covered from the armpits down to and including all of his fingers, rendering them nearly useless. However both legs were cocooned from nearly his waist down in a single sheath of silk that completely encased his legs out to the ends of his toes and rendered him unable to walk. I asked Gilberto to inquire about this man and why nobody seemed to be helping him. I wanted to know what happened that he was in such a situation.

After a lengthy conversation Gilberto informed me of the situation.

“Senorita Geraldine, this man is from another tribe. He has been caught stealing from them and attempting to run away. It seems that this is the fifth time he has robbed them and they were able to successfully capture him several times before now. Due to his repeated attempts despite being caught they have brought down a punishment of their own to chastise him and hopefully teach him a lesson.

“He was rendered compliant using curare and had both legs inserted into the spider caves at early daylight. He was left there for most of one day and the final hours of sunlight were used to cure his cocoon. The following day he was again drugged since he continued to try and fight back, and both arms were placed within adjoining openings to allow the spiders to seal up his hands and arms. Once the silk on his arms were cured he was let loose to move about as he could. The only restriction was that he cannot leave the village until his sentence is done.”

“My goodness. How long will they keep him like that?”

“His term of ... incarceration I suppose ... is to be one year from the day he received his last cocoon. He has been with them for about two months now. They are careful to watch what he eats and make sure that he doesn't ingest any of their special plant.”

“That is amazing. Do they assist him in any way? The silk looks to be fairly thick and unbending for the most part.”

“Si. They are not entirely cruel. He is fed and assisted with self functions as needed, and one of the villagers allows him to sleep in their hut.”

“Well that is good. Two months already you say? The silk still looks to be quite bright and clean despite being dragged around on the ground all the time. I guess that is direct proof of how durable the cured silk can be.”

“Si senorita. Since this is a punishment, I suspect that with some prodding that you may be allowed to take pictures of the man for your records.”

“That would be amazing to document. I don’t suppose that we could talk to the man as well?”

“This may be possible as well. I will inquire and see what they say.”

I watched the man for a moment, deep in my own thoughts. Looking back to Gilberto I spoke again.

“Gilberto, I am extremely curious how the spiders work and how the silk cures to such a consistency. I have to try this for myself. Can you ask them if they will allow me to let the spiders make a cocoon on me for my research?”

“That is an unusual request if I do say so, senorita Geraldine. I am not sure how they will take it.”

“Tell them that I will only ask for a simple glove for my hand and forearm, and that I will provide the spiders a lizard of comparable size afterwards.”

“Si Geraldine. When do you wish to do this?”

“The sooner the better. Tomorrow if possible.”

“I shall ask them.”

Gilberto spoke with our friend, and he was asked to go over to the wise woman and the village chief to talk some more. After about an hour he came back with a smile on his face.

“Tell me that smile is good news Gilberto.”

“Si senorita, it is. Your request, while unexpected from an outsider, is apparently not quite so unusual. From time to time someone in the village will request a cocoon for themselves for a period of time. The request is usually granted as long as the individual both provides tribute to the spiders that is double the size of the cocoon in question, and the person must continue to maintain their fair share of the village duties and responsibilities to the best of their ability.”

“That I can do. And when will this take place?” I ask with a gleam in my eyes.

“As soon as you acquire the necessary tribute. So if you can muster up a couple of lizards or other animals quickly enough then you can do this tomorrow if you like.”

“Oh yes! Absolutely! I am sure I can hunt down what I need in time! Please thank them profusely for me! And thank you as well Gilberto, I know that it is your skill at negotiations that has helped as well,” I tell him with a kiss to his cheek.


It took me more than a day despite taking off into the jungle early before sunrise and hunting down my tribute. I am lucky and I have been able to capture alive several small animals that would probably be equivalent to more than twice the size of my entire arm and have them confined in a sack.

Returning to the village on the morning of the eighteenth I get Gilberto to do the translating and I present my tribute to the wise woman. She smiles and nods in agreement that it will be quite sufficient. I go off to do the things I am expected to do in the village with the knowledge that I will be called when the time is right.

Several hours later a village child approaches me and gestures that I should follow. She leads me to the wise woman who takes my hand and from there leads me out to the spider caves. Being a relatively small woman there is a fairly smooth rock that I can sit on where I am at the right level to insert my hand into one of the openings. I have learned over the past few days that the tribe has carefully created most of these openings themselves to be used as needed. The wise woman says a few things and the sack that I placed the animals in is opened up and the critters are dropped into the large opening at the base of the cliff. The solid wooden cover is placed over the hole so they have nowhere to go but into where the spiders can have them.

With this done I am instructed through pantomime to put my hand and arm in the hole as far as I wish. I take off my watch and rings, and then put my arm in so my elbow remains just on the edge. I have my palm facing up inside the little ‘cave’. Another wood cover is produced and placed over my arm to block out the light. They give me a gourd full of water and indicate they will be back in a few hours.

I sit patiently and wait. The interior of the hole my limb is in feels smooth and soft. I gently feel around some and figure out that the spiders have probably covered the walls with their silk creating a nice soft platform over time. I take several large drinks of the water while I sit. The activities I had been participating in earlier had been vigorous if not strenuous and I had sweated a bit. Having the water to drink is nice, although the taste seems to be off a bit from the gourd. With the combination of cool water and fairly warm sunshine relaxing me I lean against the rock wall to get comfortable.

Before long I start to feel a gentle tickling on my hand and arm inside the hole. The spiders have found my flesh and are beginning to do their thing. The sensation is very light, almost like how a very gentle breeze feels as it blows across your exposed body. I am quite curious and really want to look to see what is happening, but I had been warned to not remove the cover. I try my best to behave, but my scientific curiosity gets the better of me after about an hour. By then the tickling has become quite muted and I just have to see what is happening.

I look around and there is nobody in the area watching me. I pull the wood cover away from the hole at a bit of an angle to keep the sunlight from getting directly inside and peek in. I see what must be hundreds of tiny spiders crawling around my hand and arm laying down their silk in sheets all over my flesh. The sudden shock of light causes them to scatter and retreat back into the darkness beyond my hand. I quickly replace the cover and lean against it, hoping that I did not stop them from coming back to continue their work.

I wait calmly hoping for their return and rest against the warm stone. I drink more of the water and in time I think I can feel the spiders working on cocooning my flesh once again. The sensation slowly fades away and I figure the silk is getting thicker. I wonder when someone from the village will come back out to get me. Finishing off the water I shift around a bit to get more comfortable and close my eyes.

What Geraldine is not aware of is the water has been infused with a solution from the curare plant to render her quite calm and relaxed while the spiders work. Having drunk the whole gourd full, and the hard work she had put in earlier in the morning, have made her a good bit sleepy and she succumbs to the effects of the drug and sun warmed stones she is leaning on. As she shifts to become comfortable she dislodges the cover from the hole and it falls to the ground. Initially the spiders once again retreat, but having what appears to their rather simple instincts as available food they slowly crawl back up around Geraldine’s hand. Working together they show that ever a creature as tiny as they are can produce amazing results when working in large groups

 With a bit of work they drag her arm deeper into the hole until her entire arm is inside. This has the unexpected benefit to the spiders of having Geraldine’s sleeve on her short-sleeve shirt being pulled up against the opening. The material is thick enough and dark enough, and the size of the hole small enough, that it effectively blocks the sunlight from getting in. As Geraldine sleeps the spiders get to work on cocooning all of the available flesh they now have available to them, and even worked their way up under her shirt a good bit as well. The opening of her collar letting in too much light did maintain a bit of a line the spiders would not cross, but they still have plenty to work with.

I was woken up by Gilberto and found the sun was setting. With Gilberto translating for the wise woman who is with him I was questioned quite sternly concerning how I was found.

“Senorita, how is it that the cover is on the ground and you have your entire arm inside of the hole now?”

I turn my head slightly and realize that I am indeed leaning up against the rock face with my whole arm inside. I start to sit up and I am held back against the stone so I cannot move away from it. The wise woman makes a very stern sounding statement.

“You must not move until the sun has gone all the way down, senorita.”

“Very well, I understand. How I got this way I don’t know. Not for sure. I can tell you that the warmth of the rocks was quite compelling after the workout I had earlier. I also drank all of the water I was given too. I guess the combination made me drowsy and I made myself comfortable. I do recall that I made sure my arm remained in place though.”

“Ah, senorita, did you not realize the water was drugged with a diluted solution of curare?”

“What? It was tainted water! I had no idea! No wonder I got sleepy.”

“And why is the cover on the ground?”

“I suppose that in my drugged state that it is possible that I moved around a bit and possibly knocked the cover off. I still don’t know how my entire arm wound up inside though. I did try to keep my hand in the same place.”

Gilberto and the wise woman talk for a few minutes. Finally Gilberto turns back to me.

“It is quite possible that when the cover was removed the spiders at first retreated but then came back. With a large group effort they probably pulled your arm all the way in. They have been known to pull entire animals they have caught during the night deeper inside their caves before the sun rises. Also, the sleeve of your shirt worked to their advantage blocking out the light, so they have most likely cocooned your entire arm.”

“Well that was not planned for, but it is not entirely unwelcome.”

“Do you feel anything moving around your arm right now?” the wise woman wants to know through Gilberto.

I pause for a moment then respond, “No, I feel nothing at the moment.”

Having been asked what I feel I realize that I am feeling something down around my chest and side.

“However,” I tell them, “there is a tickling on my body like what I felt on my hand and arm when the spiders first made contact with me.

“Wait a minute, I’m feeling that tickling on my body?!? Oh no, I’ve got spiders working on cocooning my torso!”

The wise woman held me firmly against the rock while talking to Gilberto who translated and worked to calm me down. She didn’t have much of a fight to deal with since the curare was still in my system and making me weak. I was told the sun would be down in just a few minutes, and then they would work on encouraging the spiders on my body to retreat and go back into their cave.

A few minutes later the sun disappeared below the horizon, and they waited another half hour for the light to dim significantly. Using a small torch as a bright light source my shirt got fully unbuttoned down the front to reveal the situation underneath. There must have been over a thousand or maybe over two thousand of the tiny spiders crawling around my body. The bright light quickly drove them back without needing to bring it closer and I didn’t have to suffer the heat of the flames. Going around my body a few times, after pulling my left arm out of that sleeve, with the burning torch they got all of the little critters to disappear back into their cave and I was able to sit up and withdraw my arm from the hole.

“Oh my god, they were busy, weren’t they?” I exclaimed at the sight of the results of the spiders’ work.

My arm was fully encased in a fairly thick cocoon of silk. None of my fingers were visible, there was a simple but thick curved mitten covering my whole hand. Even my thumb was attached to the side. I had apparently allowed my hand to relax in the palm up position so my fingers were curled up. The cocoon continued unbroken all the way up my arm. Not a bit of flesh could be seen anywhere. It went up over my shoulder and right to the base of my neck on top. My armpit was completely filled in and the silk spread out over my chest, down my side, and around my back for quite a distance. It was fairly solid and unbroken all the way to my spine on the back, fully encompassing my scapula area. In front my right breast was also completely enshrouded in silken bindings. I had not worn a bra that morning, so the spider had free access to and direct reign of my flesh as they pleased. The silk went unbroken down my side all the way to my pant line at my waist. From the places where the silk was fully covering me it continued to spread out in sheets and strands that clouded the sight of my skin a good bit and getting lighter as it went further around towards my left side. It appears they had not yet made it all the way around my torso as my left side seemed to be free of their bindings.

Did I mention yet that I couldn’t feel a thing inside my new silken covering? When I pulled my arm out it just flopped down and hung at my side. I had no sensation or ability to move it at all. I could move my left arm just fine, although it was still a bit weak from the curare.

“Why can’t I move my arm? Or feel it? What’s going on here?” I questioned with a bit of panic starting to show.

The response I got was less than pleasing and unexpected.

“Senorita Geraldine, it seems that there is another aspect of the silk we were not told before. There is venom within the silk that numbs the flesh it is wrapped around.”

“What? They didn’t feel it necessary to tell me this before now?”

“Well, they were going to let you experience it first hand assuming you would only have a small cocoon on your lower arm. Then they got distracted by some village business and when they realized the sun was setting they looked around only to find you had not returned.”

“Ha ha, great joke. Now, get this stuff off me,” I said with a frown.

I began to pick and pull at the thin silk over the left side of my ribs on the front of my chest in an effort to remove the large encompassing silk cocoon I had gained. The wise woman slapped my hand away and I gave her a scowl as I reached back up and started pulling at more silk. As thin as it is the silk was still quite strong and sticky so I was having a hard time removing it.

At a snap of her fingers I looked up at the wise woman again just in time to feel a sharp pain in my neck. Reaching up I pulled out a blow dart from my neck, the tip of it dark with a coating of curare.

“What the hell!!” I yelled, but it was already too late. The drug from the water in my system combined with the new injection of an undiluted dose of sleepy plant juice quickly had my knees going weak and I stumbled. Gilberto caught me before I fell down, and I could see him listening to the wise woman.

“Senorita, it appears that you are to receive a mild punishment. For failing to maintain the cover over the hole, and for forcing the spiders to work harder at pulling you into their cave and cocoon your arm and body, you will keep all of the work they have done and have it cured by the sun tomorrow morning. Then you will wear the cocoon for one month.”

I tried to reply, but I was quickly losing any control and failed to do more than groan. The last thing I recall is having several people pick me up.


August 19 2024 11:48am – Journal Entry no. 80

Well this is a fine kettle of fish as one of my old professors liked to say. At least I still have my dominant hand free to write with. Yesterday, on the 18th, I was allowed to experience being partially cocooned. It was only supposed to be my right hand and forearm, but things transpired against me in a way. Some of it is my own fault too I guess. I just had to disobey and dislodge the cover from the hole so I could see the spiders at work. That probably left the cover too loose and with what they didn’t tell me caused it to fall off.

What I didn’t find out about until after the fact was that one, the water I was drinking had been laced with diluted curare. I should have known about that I guess, having seen them do it to a baby about to be cocooned, and hearing about it from the injured villagers for the treatment of their injuries. I drank the entire gourd full of water not knowing which pretty much knocked me out. Two, it seems that the spiders are strong enough when working in large enough numbers to pull my poor little arm all the way inside. Three, and this was a bit of a shock, the little beasts include a venom in their silk that completely numbs the flesh of the creature being bound. I still can’t feel or move anything contained within my new cocoon. It’s as if my entire arm is completely paralyzed.

That was another surprise. I know they worship the little spiders, but I didn’t think it was all that stringent. I was wrong. Apparently I am to blame for what happened to me in their eyes. When I tried to get the silk off of me they darted me with a full dose of curare because I was not to be allowed free. It was enough that when I finally woke up the sun had already been up and I was sitting there bathed in its light. My cocoon was well on its way to fully curing, and it didn’t take a genius to see that the guy with the blowgun in his hands would not brook any interference to the process. I sat there quietly like a good girl until he indicated I could get up.

The silk is completely dry and cured hard, but not hard at the same time. Because it was still soft and pliable during the night, they sat me up outside our hut in a chair with a wood box beside me to rest my arm on. They kept my hand turned up but bent my elbow so my hand is pointing out in front of me. The box is not all that tall, but not exactly short either. That put me so my upper arm is pointing out to my side while also being at a bit of a downward angle. As relaxed as my arm is it hovers out to my side with my elbow about level with my breast.

I say if I relax my arm, but I can’t really move my whole arm. The venom still has a good hold on me. I can’t feel my entire arm, or move my elbow, hand, or fingers at all. I have regained some slight movement in my shoulder so that I can raise or lower my arm or swing it forwards. The amount I can move it though is really small, only a few degrees in any direction at best. My body is also still quite numb where it is fully covered, but in the partially covered areas it tingles like it is trying to wake up.

The cocoon is just as firm and resilient as I have observed on the others, but now it is on me. Using my left hand I am completely unable to remove even a single strand from my skin, even where the silk is at the thinnest. And reaching over to grab my cocooned arm and pulling on it only gets my arm to move a tiny bit. No more than the few degrees I get trying to move my right arm on its own I’d guess. I can sort of feel the webbing pulling on my skin in the parts that are tingling right now, so I’d guess that it’s going to be the cocoon itself sticking to my skin that is the main limitation to movement.

The wise woman seems to be rather amused by the whole thing at this point. She visited me for a moment to inspect the cocoon just before I was finally allowed to get up, and I could certainly see her grin and feel the vibe of her amusement radiating off of her. Old bat. Oh well, I got what I wanted and a good bit more. At least it seems the tribute I paid will cover the whole thing and I don’t have to go back out hunting for more.


Tomorrow will be three weeks that I’ve had no use from my right arm. The silk of the cocoon on my arm is still as white and clean looking as the day I got it. I have fairly normal sensation again in the left side of my torso. Of course it’s slightly muted with the edges of the cocoon covering my skin there, but I can feel the breeze or a gentle poke as if I am wearing a t-shirt over my chest even with no clothes on. My feeling fades as it goes across to the right side, both because the cocoon gets thicker and it seems the numbing agent is long lasting. It could also be the venom is rather potent and slowly being released from the silk over time. Either way, I can’t feel nearly a thing on the right side of my chest and back. There is a constant tingling that I’ve had to get used to being there in those areas. I assume it is my sensation slowly returning. The tingle is thankfully quite low key and is easy to push to the back of my mind and ignore.

My right shoulder and down my arm is still fully insensate. Plus I still can’t move any part of my arm other than the little bit of wiggle I have in my shoulder. I have determined that the cocoon is the primary reason I can’t move my arm around at the shoulder. I definitely feel the silk attached to my skin pulling back against any attempts to move. The cocoon is quite strong in that regard; I’m almost certain that if the venom were not affecting me that I still would barely be able to move.

I’ve done my best to try to get a sample of the silk to analyze with the equipment I have available, but the results have been frustrating. I ruined one of my few scalpels which are probably the sharpest thing I have. Hopefully when they do whatever it is to release me I can manage to get a workable sample to analyze.

Having to learn how to use only one had to do everything has been interesting to say the least. It’s given me a much clearer appreciation of people who have lost an arm from disease, injury, or genetic defect. I’m quite proud that I manage well enough that I have not been called out for shirking the few obligations the village expects from me.


“Senorita Geraldine, it is time to begin your release from your punishment.”

“But it’s only been three weeks at this point Gilberto. Are they giving me a reduced sentence?”

“No senorita. They say it will take about a week to weaken and release the cocoon enough to then be able to remove your arm from it.”

“Oh, I see. So what is it that I need to do now?”

Gilberto speaks to our friend for a moment then informs me, “You must begin to eat a special diet. It will be wholly vegetarian and include the special plant in some form at every meal. This will begin the process of weakening the silk and releasing its hold upon your body.”

“Very well. When will this start?”

“They have brought your first meal to be consumed in their sight. You are to eat all that they have prepared so that you know what it will taste like and they know that you will obey.”

“Ah. Well I suppose that since my arm has been incarcerated due to my own fault in their eyes then I can see how they may not trust me in this for some reason. Although, I admit to being a little disappointed seeing as how I eat relatively little meat as it is.”

Looking at the bowl of what is essentially a ‘lettuce’ heavy fruit salad that is being presented to me I shrug and sit down to eat. The first couple of bites are just as tasty as all the food has been. Then I bit into something new and almost spit it out.

“OH!” I exclaim as I manage to swallow the mouthful down. “That is really bitter! Please ask them if that was from their plant, and will that taste be just as bad in everything they put it in?”

“Si Geraldine, the taste infuses all of the food it is cooked with or added to. You have probably just eaten one of the raw leafs in the salad. He says that the taste does not get any better.”

“And I have to eat this in every meal? For how long?”

“For the next week senorita. It must be ingested so it can work on releasing the cocoon from your flesh. At the end of the week they will bring leaves soaked in the plant sap to rub on the outside to break it down enough that the cocoon can be cut open.”

“Good grief. This is certainly going to be a challenge. But I guess if I want my arm back then I must go through with it. I just hope I don’t throw up. It is really bitter and harsh.”

Taking another forkful of salad I look at it warily before stuffing it into my mouth. It takes me a good while and a lot of water, but I manage to finish the meal and keep it down.


September 15 2024 9:46pm – Journal Entry no. 84

I have my arm back again. The week of eating the bitter plant was tough to take. It’s a good thing it wasn’t any longer than a week, I don’t think I could have taken it any longer. I still have the taste of that plant in my mouth now. It took five days before I was able to start picking at the outer edges of the cocoon and even then I could only loosen up individual strands.

Apparently the chemicals from the plant also fight the paralysis from the venom as well. It only took three day for my previously numb shoulder and arm to start tingling. Two days before the cocoon was to officially come off I had what felt like normal sensation and movement in my arm again. Of course it was still contained in the silk prison and I could not move it around due to that. I definitely verified the cocoon is the primary reason I had almost no range of movement.

The silk in this sun cured form is exceedingly strong. It retains its softness, but apparently becomes incredibly elastic. It is as if the silk is being stretched like an elastic bandage out to its full tightness and is pulling back. But the expected compression from such a wrapping this thick is missing. I could certainly feel a tight and all encompassing covering on my limb, but there was no problem with circulation like would happen with a bandage stretched that tight. The silk simply resists attempts to change position and pulls back with an incredible fierceness that I was not able to overcome or resist on my own.

I did get a few samples to analyze, but I am not certain that what I can discover out here will be all that detailed. I really want the machines and resources available in one of our labs.


September 17 2024 10:02pm – Journal Entry no. 85

Since having two functional hands again I’ve been focusing all of my attention on getting a better look at the spider colony. Thankfully the villagers do not post guards around it. I’m not getting much sleep, if any at all, but I’ve been able to adjust one of my video cameras so I can see them in the dark. I had to shift it over into a subsection of the infrared spectrum where everything shows up in grayscale, but I can clearly see the little wonders moving around. Of course I can’t leave any equipment sitting out like I’d prefer, but I’ve got something recorded at least.

They do come out of their caves during the night, but do not go so far that they cannot easily scurry back inside well before the sun rises. I absolutely have to try and capture some live spiders for study. I will do my best to shield them from the sun or any bright lights. I don’t have much longer before the time limit on my grant runs out. I’ll figure something out in time I’m sure.


October 3 2024 3:11am – Journal Entry no. 89

I’ve done it! I rigged up a box with my infrared camera. I had to jury rig a second camera so I could watch and get my box at the right time. I caught a small animal and secured it in the box with a wire screen to keep it inside. In the middle of the night I shoved my box with the camera on it inside the large cave opening then backed off and waited. The spiders were not interested in the new thing suddenly thrust into their world and appeared to ignore it. However the movement and sounds from the animal inside definitely got their attention. It didn’t take long before they started to enter the box as I had hoped. I waited until the stream of tiny bodies slowed to almost nothing then triggered the lid to close. I rushed in, pulled my box out and ran for my hut.

I hooked up the camera on the box to an external monitor so I could watch the activity inside live and also review what it recorded before I retrieved it. The spiders are as amazing as I have already experienced. It’s hard to count of course, but I think I probably have over a thousand spiders in there and they’re busily working at cocooning their prey.

October 4 2024 7:21am – Journal Entry no. 89.2

I have been observing my spiders for over twenty-four hours. I’ve hung up a dark cloth over the doorway to my hut and moved the box to the darkest, furthest corner away from the door that I can. The prey is fully cocooned now and quiescent.

I have to spend the day time keeping up appearances but I think I’ll finally get some sleep tonight.


October 19 2024 1:37pm – Journal Entry no. 93

The prey in the box remains still. The spiders have coated the entire inside walls with their silk. I have had to carefully remove the camera and quickly cut the silk away so I can maintain a good view. A flashlight is enough to keep them back while I worked at clearing the silk.

I have noted that my spiders appear to be concentrating on one specific area of the cocoon for the past day. Thankfully it is in full view of my camera. I’ll have to watch closely to see what they are doing.


October 20 2024 2:29pm – Journal Entry no. 94

I was able to use the zoom to focus in and see my spiders biting into the cocoon. It looks like they have injected a venom from their fangs which has dissolved the silk enough to expose a small part of the critter inside and I think they have also bitten into the flesh there as well. If I am right, the animal probably died only a few days after it was originally cocooned and my spiders were waiting for nature to begin the process of decay.

A more detailed study will have to be done, my equipment out here is too basic.


“Stupid, stupid, stupid. I just had to go and not only capture those spiders but then I kept them here in my hut. Of course I was going to eventually be caught. I should have left the village and headed out of the jungle right away. Dammit.”

* SIGH *

I pace around the small confines of the hut I have been forced in to. I have none of my own belongings or any of my equipment. All there is in here is a cot and a blanket. It’s been three days and Gilberto has been pleading my case with the village elders and chief. Hopefully the fact that I did not kill any of them and in fact provided them a meal will work in my favor. Not to mention this is only the first real offense I’ve committed.

“Senorita Geraldine,” Gilberto says with a quiver in his voice as he enters the hut. He is staring at the floor and his prized hat is crumpled within his hands.

“Thee veellage elders says that thee crime, eet es too mucho to be eegnored.”

I blink in shock. Gilberto’s accent is greatly pronounced in his speech. I assume that he is extremely nervous for it to be this bad. 

“You are to be severely punished. Eemeedeeately.”

“What are they going to do Gilberto?”

He pulls a gourd from the inside of his hat where he had been hiding it.

“You must dreenk thees for the rest of the morning. They come for you soon after noon.”

I take the gourd from him and sniff at the contents within. It smells like their regular fruit juice cocktail. I take a small sip and swirl it around in my mouth before spitting it back into the gourd. It tastes just like the fruit juice. But it’s off. Something isn’t right about the taste.

“They’ve laced this with curare, haven’t they?”

“Si senorita Geraldine. Eet is eetheir theese or the blowgun darts.”

My mouth is already feeling the effect of my taste test so the amount of curare in it must be fairly high.

“I think I’d rather not have any more holes in my neck than I’ve already gotten. The juice is a more pleasant way to be subdued I suppose.”

I frown but take a full swallow from the gourd with a grimace, knowing what it will do and not knowing what is coming next.

By the time that the villagers come for me I am lying on the cot. I have taken enough of the juice that I am unable to even stand on my own and things are lightly spinning in my vision. I’m still well aware of what’s going on around me, but I have no power to resist which is what they want.

Several of the hunters enter along with the chief and wise woman who is holding a covered pot. The men lift me up to a sitting position and hold my arms out to my sides. The wise woman opens the pot and begins to slather warm oil over my body. She works until she’s covered my neck, shoulders, entire torso, and butt with the oil. She goes down the top of both arms and the top of both legs for only a couple of inches. The men holding me up then massage the oil in until it is relatively absorbed into my skin and its not dripping off.

The chief makes a comment to Gilberto who tells me, “Thees ees to protect your skin from the sun, senorita Geraldine.”

“Arms ... legs,” I manage to get out as the men are carrying me out of the hut being led by the wise woman.

I hear a brief exchange and Gilberto catches up to my head.

“Apparently eet ees no needed for the limbs.”

I am carried to the cliff, and I am aware enough to notice that they go around to the side where I have not gone before. There is a wooden frame of sorts that has been erected. I think there is a seat and I’m pretty certain I see several leather straps. The frame is sitting next to the cliff face where there are just four openings. My arms and legs go into those holes then the frame is adjusted in height so that I am sitting on it at a comfortable level to maintain my arms and legs within the rock face and I am strapped in place to keep me there. Wood covers are placed over my limbs to close the holes and I realize these are spider ‘caves’ as well.

The wise woman speaks to Gilberto for a minute then just two of the men remain while everyone else leaves except Gilberto. He fidgets greatly and finally tells me what is being done, his accent getting even worse.

“Senorita Geraldine, joo weel remain heere til after thee sun sets. Theen they weel be back.”

I am too out of it to do more than nod in understanding. At least they rubbed sunscreen into my skin that is exposed and unprotected from the sun. It apparently also included some type of bug repellant as I did not suffer from any bites while I remained strapped into that frame.

I am pressed up tight against the stone wall and all of my limbs are stuffed deep into the spider’s realm. The wood covers are pressed right up against my armpits and crotch I am held so tightly.

With the curare juice in my system I can still feel what is happening and it doesn’t take long before I take note of that singular light tickling feeling starting up. I try to struggle, but between the drug and the frame holding me tight I can barely move.

It takes hours for the sun to make its march across the sky. I figure they came for me right at noon and they definitely hustled me over here as quick as they could. The resulting cocoons I am receiving are going to be pretty thick I guess.


October 22 2024

Journal entry #1 by Gilberto - dictated by Geraldine

I stayed strapped in that frame until an hour past sunset. I had stopped feeling anything from the spiders long before they finally came and pulled me out. The curare was pretty well out of my system, but it didn’t really matter by then. The venom in the silk was doing its job and my limbs were numb and unmoving for the most part.

After they pulled the covers away and used torches to scare the little beasts away I got a good look at my arms and legs as they were pulled out. The cocoons on them completely enshrouded my flesh and hid everything that had been inside from sight. I figure they had to be at least two inches thick, but being new and in the dark they were still quite pliable.

The men who pulled me out carried me around the cliff over to the largest hole in the base of the cliff. I questioned Gilberto but all he did was shake his head in apparent confusion. The wise woman said something and a bowl of water and two leaves were brought over. I recognized the special plant, but these leaves were almost tiny, they were so small. The fronds were soaked in the water for a few minutes then my anus and privates were carefully covered over. The leaves barely concealed my openings.

Following covering my lower parts my legs were pushed together and my arms were crossed over my chest. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was coming next and I tried to make them stop. My protests were to naught and I was slid into the opening as far as possible while they used sticks to make sure my legs remained straight and together and my arms were kept balanced on my chest. They finally stopped when my neck was just inside the opening and a cover got placed over the hole that left just my head on the outside. I had just enough room for my jaw to open so I could keep screaming at them, begging them to get me out and not do this.

Everyone turned a deaf ear to my pleading and begging and they all walked away. Even Gilberto. I was left there with two guards, unable to do more than throw my head from side to side. I tried to dislodge the wooden cover, but the guards made sure it stayed in place every time I managed to dislodge it even a centimeter. I got tired of it and stopped soon enough, and maybe with a bit of subtle prompting from the guards reaching for their blowguns.

Once again it didn’t take all that long to begin feeling the spiders initiating their work on the parts that I could still feel.


I watched the pre-dawn light slowly increase as I lay there on the ground, almost all of my body confined inside of the cave. I knew what was going on in there, and I had stopped feeling anything a while ago. I’ve been lying here all night long and my fear and anxiety would not let me get a wink of sleep. I see the wise woman approaching and behind her is Gilberto with an expression on his face like a child who has been sternly berated by their mother. I am glad they let him sit with me last night to make a journal entry.

I can’t say a thing when they walk up because my chin is pressed hard up against the wood cover. Not too long after Gilberto left me I suddenly felt myself being tugged deeper into the cave. The only thing stopping the spiders from taking me all the way in was the cover itself when I pulled up tight against it. They may be strong little mites, but they could not break the wood at least so did not get to claim me.

At a nod from the wise woman one of the guards knocks on the wood cover a few times. The other one has to pull back on my head so the cover can be slowly removed, letting the light into the opening and hopefully driving the spiders away. With the cover removed I am pulled out of the cave.

I do my best to see and crane my neck to peer down the length of my body. From the neck down I am cocooned in bright white silk. My legs are pinned together and there is little definition to tell them apart. My arms are similarly pinned in place. Between them and my breasts my chest is more of a large lump over all, but you can see where my arms lay crossed. If the cocoon were linen bandages instead I’d be a mummy, but it’s a one piece, well fitting silk shroud instead.

“Gilberto,” I plead, “Beg them to let me out. Don’t leave me out here in the sun. I can’t take being a living cocoon. Please Gilberto, help me.”

I openly cry, tears streaming down my cheeks, knowing what’s going to happen if they don’t cut this stuff off right now, and I am terrified that is their plan. Little do I know what is truly in store for me.

“I am so sorry for what I did,” I bawl as I turn to the wise woman and try to plead my case. “I was wrong, I know that I should be punished. But I beg you to not do this. Anything but this. I can’t be like this. Please cut me free. Please!”

The wise woman easily picks up on my distress, if not understanding my words. She breaks her silence and gives me a long, stern speech while looking down at me with a scowl on her face. Once she finishes her almost tirade Gilberto glances at me briefly then looks to the side as he tells me.

“Eet ees no use senorita Geraldine. Joo have done theese mucha mala theeng and have deesgraced their trust een joo. They weel no be turned from punishing joo as they see feet. Lo siento, senorita Geraldine, but eet ees out of my hands eenymore.”

“No, no, no, please, noooo!” I begged as I tried to move and get free.

I have trouble with moving my head around, my neck is tingling a lot. The rest of my body is completely unresponsive.

With a wave of her hand the guards pick me up and we return to the village where I am laid out on a board. My legs are bent at the knees and hips about fifteen degrees or thereabout with a smooth, round wood log under my knees to hold them up in that position. My feet are supported with another wood block to keep them at ninety degrees.

And there I am left. Fully exposed to the growing light of day.

I remain outside in direct sunlight for the entire day. I have someone who is constantly there watching over me at least. They offer me water and small fruits throughout the day. At first I am too distraught and refuse, but eventually the heat of the sun changes my mind and I accept small sips of water when offered and a few fruits to try and remain hydrated. I remain in place when the sun goes down and I sleep in fitful spurts through the night.

The wise woman shows up early prior to sunrise again the next morning with Gilberto by her side.

A tightly rolled up leaf dripping with water is presented to me and held over my mouth. The wise woman says something in a commanding tone.

“Senorita Geraldine,” Gilberto translates, “joo should hold thees een your mouth. Joo must not bite down on it. Eet ees a leaf from the plant and weel let you breath.”

Remembering how bitter the plant is, I accept the leaf and find that it is rolled up hollow and I can indeed breathe through it. A second and rather small leaf is soaked then plastered over my nostrils so the only route for air is the tube in my mouth.

I am lifted up and carried back to the spider caves again. My cocoon is fully cured from being exposed to the sun the entire day yesterday and my legs remain bent while the rest of me is quite stiff. Arriving at the largest opening once more the wise woman intones her final judgment over me which Gilberto dutifully translates.

“You are to be fully cocooned for your crime,” he says clearly, struggling to keep his accent at bay. “No part of you will be seen by anyone for three years. You will be a cocoon of the spiders you treasure so much, nothing more. You will be cared for and fed, but you will not be released until three years and a day have passed. May the spiders take pity on you and not pull you deep within where you cannot be retrieved.”

I am helpless and broken at this point. I can only quietly cry as I listen to my final punishment being pronounced. They slide my cocooned form inside the cave, this time I am pushed all the way in up to the depth of their arms. No part of me remains outside. A solid wooden cover is placed over the opening, blocking out the pre-dawn light and leaving me in darkness.

I don’t know how long I lay there; I guess the spiders found me and started a new cocoon around my body where I had no feeling. Eventually I feel the tickle on my exposed flesh and I can’t hold back a final primal scream of fear.


October 26 2024

Journal entry #2 by Gilberto

Senorita Geraldine remained in the cave for the entire day and night. When the cover to the cave was removed her body had been pulled deeper within, but not so deep that the villagers could not retrieve her. She was pulled out and her cocoon left out to cure for two days. It has solidified as all other cocoons have and is now quite resistant to damage.

Her cocoon was made much thicker with the new layers of silk, and this time her entire head had been included. The only thing that could be seen sticking out of the silk was the ends of the stems that had been left over her nose, genitals, and rear, although the thickness of the silk made them hard to find. The rolled leaf tube also protruded and we could hear the senorita breathing.

The leaves were removed one at a time but if you do not look for them the openings are small enough that you can miss them. Senorita Geraldine is able to breathe, be fed, and have her body need seen to with some minor difficulty.

They keep her placed at the edge of the village near the spider cliffs in a shaded spot that is very visible to all who make the trek to the caves.

I must do what I can for senorita Geraldine and try to free her from this punishment.



“Ladies and gentlemen, we have here a special ... display ... to show you. What you are about to see may shock some of you. In this room is one of our young and promising researchers. While her drive to confirm or deny some rather unusual rumors proved to be true, the result you are about to see unfortunately removed her from being able to further any research of any kind. She had become an item of research herself.”

“Doctor Trunklemire, is this the fabled Spider Lady that has been rumored to be here?”

Haversham frowns at the moniker but nods.

“Yes, it is.”

Opening the door he leads the group of young people into the room. Lying on a bed in the room there is a bright white object that resembles the general outline of a human. It appears to be an adult size cocoon. A few tubes are present leading into the white mass at several points. The sound of a ventilator is the only noise to be heard for several minutes.

“Is ... Is she really in there? And alive?” a teenage girl asks softly in awe.

“If what I see is real, then yea,” a boy next to her replies. “That’s a foley catheter coming out there and the drainage tube has what looks like urine in it. And that’s a ventilator giving someone intermittent breaths of air through that tube in the head. Just above the ET tube looks like a couple of NG tubes to feed someone with.”

“How do you know all that? You’re no doctor,” another student says with disbelief.

“No, I’m not,” the boy replies. “But my little brother was hit by a car two years ago, and while he was in the hospital he had all those things going in him and then some. I learned about them the hard way from seeing my brother have to go through it all.”

“The lad is correct in his assessment. We were able to insert the devices as he described them to help maintain Miss Francisco’s life.”

“How did she get like this?”

Haversham sighs quietly.

“She apparently did something that a tribe deep in the jungles of South America deemed to be rather heinous. This is her punishment.”

“South America? How did she get here?” someone else questions.

“The guide that Geraldine hired as a translator spirited her away from the tribe at great risk to his own safety. He successfully transported her through the jungles while avoiding the tribe and once he was able to get to where he could gain access to more advanced transport he personally brought her back to our facility.”

“How long ago was that?”

“It’s been nearly two years since she was returned to us.”

“Well then just cut her out. It shouldn’t be that hard. Right?”

“We can’t.”

“Why not,” the youth demands.

“That is one of the mysteries we are working on trying to solve.”

Dr. Trunklemire pauses for thought for a minute.

“We only have her journal and the words of her South American guide to go by. Most of her research equipment and other notes had to be left behind in the escape. This is what we know for certain.

“She was to be punished for three years and a day. After that it appears she was to be freed. The silk of her cocoon has a couple of special properties to it. One is that the spiders that spin the silk include a paralyzing venom in it that acts like a slow drip as it seeps from the silk into the skin and body of the victim.”

Several students who had gotten brave enough to touch the cocoon quickly pull back hearing this.

“Don’t worry, as far as we can tell it has been long enough that the venom has been fully absorbed into poor Geraldine and worn off by now. From time to time the cocoon will wiggle from within. We assume that she is trying to get out.

“That brings me to the other property of the silk. When exposed to sunlight, or any strong source of UV light we are guessing, it cures and alters to a different density. As you can feel from touching the cocoon it feels quite soft, but it has an incredibly strong elastic quality to it once cured. It is very resistant to being moved from the shape it was in while it cured. This also seems to give it an incredible durability and it cannot be damaged by most normal means.

“This leaves the victim within the cocoon unable to move or break free. It also stops anyone from being able to open the cocoon and free the animal, or in this case person, contained within.”

“So, if she was completely cocooned, then how did you get these openings into the cocoon?” an older boy asks smugly, sure he has found a hole in what he believes to be a deception.

“Per Geraldine’s own journal and the testimony of her guide and friend, there is a specific plant that supposedly only grows in that region of which the sap and foliage generates a chemical that acts as an acid to the silk the spiders weave. Using the leaves of this plant and placing them as a barrier prior to her being cocooned they were able to create the openings we are using to maintain her.”

“I guess you have tried to get her out though, right?” another girl queries. “You’re not doing some kind of altruistic crap to honor the tribe’s punishment or something are you?”

“No, nothing like that. We have indeed made many attempts to get her free. Nothing has worked. We are unable to cut it. Anything sharp enough to cut even the strongest materials by hand has been tried. Even the sharpest edges used have become dull and useless. Power tools have been considered and several used with similar results. Those that are able to penetrate to even a small percent are too dangerous to use all the way through. And once a reasonable cut would get made, what can we use after the power tool is not an option? Nothing will cut it further in a safe manner.

“Chemicals have also been considered, such as acids. But these too are not safe to use for similar reasons as the power tool. We cannot use them in close proximity to Geraldine’s body for fear of risking her safety.”

“If it’s so resistant to damage, then how was the tribe planning to get her out?” is asked.

“The special plant. Through including it as part of the diet fed to someone in a cocoon of this silk and rubbed on the outside it would break down the silk over a bit of time and eventually be rendered weak enough to free the one inside.”

“Can’t you grow the plant here?”

“If we knew which plant it was then yes. But we have no idea which plant, or if it requires particular conditions to properly grow. Plus, according to the guide, it may be native and found only in that area of the world for all we know.”

“What are you going to do about it? Are you going to just leave Miss Francisco in her cocoon forever?”

“An expedition has been discussed and if we can convince the board to approve it then we will return Geraldine to South America with a full contingent expedition consisting of several research members and a few trained guardians. Until then, unfortunately she must remain as she is.”

“And when will that possibly happen?”

“It could be a while I am sad to say,” Professor Trunklemire informs the group. “Now, if everyone has had enough time to see our poor patient, it is time to move on.”

Haversham directs the group out the door and on down the hall to finish their tour. Alone once again in the room, Geraldine’s cocoon wiggles from side to side and appears an attempt to stretch the legs out is made. This lasts for only a couple of minutes and is unseen by anyone.

The movement stops and the bright white cocoon once again lays quiet.


You can also leave your feedback & comments about this story on the Plaza Forum