The window frame swung out and an image shimmered, then sharpened. Swirl stretched her arms toward the stronghold that had been her family home. “No!” The proceedings grew dismal.
Strands of silk retreated through Papa Hal’s cavern and out into the dark sky. The fine trail spread to twinkling lights in the wide expanse. Spirals of stars and intergalactic dust gobbled all traces.
Swirl clenched her fists and quivered from head to toe. Unable to prevent what happened from her vantage point, she continued to stare with fixated horror. Inside a black hole that allowed no light to escape, her hideaway offered a sanctuary that. More prison than home, it Swirl gave the only protection she could depend on.
The remaining silk inside the oval container glowed with a mind of its own, but it could do nothing to change what happened. To prevent it from going to the rescue, she replaced and secured the lid. A glow protested, but it would be there again when she needed it, and need it she would.
Long black strands of hair fell into her face. As usual, she brushed them back, but could not brush away the darkness that overwhelmed her. She needed to get herself under control, so she scrubbed the wall and a shiny surface grew. Her reflection frowned back. Deep lines etched worry and anger around crystal blue eyes. “This has to stop. I’m still beautiful.” Despite that, no one wanted anything to do with her. That’s fine, she thought. I’ll show them. When I can use my siren call once more, I won’t have to worry about being alone ever again. She opened her mouth as if the song she longed for would spill out and surround her. Like so many times before, all that happened was a pitiful croak.
“Min! You did this to me,” Swirl screamed, but no one was there to hear, least of all her sister Minerva. A twinkle of an idea intensified. “Ah,” she laughed. I’ll get even with Min and all the others. First she would have to defeat her nephew. It had been fun building a fear of spiders in him when he was a baby. Maybe she could use that now. Next time I’ll be stronger. I’ll take back my birthright. She flicked her hand at the image on the wall and it vanished.