Excerpt for Cobs by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


C.M Neary

Published by C.M Neary at Smashwords Inc

Copyright 2017 C.M Neary

ISBN 9781370775996

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Our story begins deep in the Harrowan Forest. On top of an old peculiar tree, where its branches spiral out of control, lives a misunderstood spider. He is known to most as Cobs.

He has a scarlet plum body or as the other creatures would say fat and round, his large threatening blue eyes make other creatures question their actions to even mock him. His long navy hairy legs make it impossible for them to escape his wrath once they have offended him, sometimes, they do not even notice his presence or that he has been hiding around them watching their every move, waiting for his moment. His legs speed towards them without even the wind noticing he is there. It has its burdens of course. It is impossible for Cobs to be loved by any, other than with fear. He hides himself and hunts only at night, staying unnoticed in the shadows. He is used to it now. When he returns to his tree that is where Cobs true bliss is revealed.

His legs spit out white liquid until it touches the air and turns into beautiful sturdy silky thread, creating sheets of orbs, ladders or in Cobs’s case – stories. He recounts the past in vibrant details, the good, the bad and sometimes his hopes for what is to come. He swirls his thread around the branches, twisting, poking and weaving until his webs are complete. Once darkness falls, Cobs webs radiate into the night; glowing brighter than the jealous moon,

curiously brilliant, his unique webs are works of art. His webs live out longer than any other webs spun by the spiders of the forest, even in some cases the spiders themselves. It tells creatures of who lives nearby and none are never brave enough to disturb him.

Cobs sits every night on his mystical creation of swirling storytelling webs, a place of peaceful rest after a long day in the forest. Cobs always wonders if he will live alone forever with only his webs as friends. A long day passes by for Cobs. He watches the forest patiently waiting for anything interesting to put upon his web. He looks out towards the striking views of the wild trees that are gently swaying with the breeze. He watches ‘The Swelling Tree’ just across from him on his web, its toxic thorns poking out through the branches and all down its bark, its spotty rustic green leaves falling heavenly from its roots. ‘The Swelling Tree’ begins to hunt, trying to fool a naive small furry creature with big nostrils to inch closer to it. The potent smell convinces it of pure pleasure. As the creature stumbles towards it, it pinches its soft body. The poison races through the bloodstream, paralysing the furry creature and takes it from the forest. ‘The Swelling Tree’ enriches itself with all the nutrients it can gather

before it soaks out through the dead pores, into the soil, and back into its mother. Its own strange way of survival. He looks down at the ‘Black Death Flowers’ underneath him. There exciting colours can capture any creature’s attention. Their beauty cannot be denied by any. Unfortunately, no creature is captured by it today. Its poisonous gaze cannot fool any creature to touch its venom. He takes another long look at the magnificence around him. He sees its destruction every day. Yet he knows, most creations by the forest are just tall, harmless and breathtakingly beautiful.

Slowly the dark overtakes the light of the sun. The creatures of the night begin to stir. They creep out from their confinements and crowd out into the wild unknown of home. All they know for sure is that a large spider lives with them. They know they are in less danger when Cobs is nearby. To them he is a protector, friend and foe. Cobs stays perfectly still. He does not want to disturb their hunt. His only comfort in this lonely forest is his loud noisy

companions roaming among him.

Cobs’s senses fire up with the rowdy sounds, bitter smells and demanding vibrations they create around him. Some were running for survival. Others try to catch or lure prey to feed and survive for the night. Some are not as clever as ‘The Swelling Trees’ or the ‘Black Death flowers’.No creature is every guaranteed to survive in the forest for any length of time.

As Cobs listens and watches his friends for the night scurry about, he feels troubled. For the first time in a long time, he does not feel alone. He feels his legs tighten as if someone is near, watching him.

He scatters high into the trees close by, cautious not to tip off the bursting juices of the swelling thorns. He climbs up higher and higher until he reaches the top overlooking the great wild forest.

He keeps still and silent. The warm air brushes against him; his senses overpowering his body. His legs tingle. Tiny fragments of hair rise, feeling the vibrations of close by prey

scattering around him. The noises they silently make into existence and the unique aromas each one of them unknowingly give him.

Tonight his senses mislead him. His senses do not ignite anything strange or any

unwelcome creature eluding him. Cobs still feels unnerved but decides to return to his tree.

He begins to weave his new web. The white silky thread spits out, then twists and whirls out as it touches the air. Cobs spins each thread into incredible tales and stories. He scurries around the branches with his sick threads wrapping around each new creature Cobs creates. He tells of the fond ones he saw today, to the glorious creations of the forest that still amaze him.

Before he can tie the last few stitches together that makes his wondrous glowing Thorn tree and all the poisonous flowers complete. An earthy female voice whispers out to him.

‘Cobs come to us.’ She speaks gentle in her desire. ‘Come to us.’ Her voice grips his senses and renders them useless. As if the cold snap of Winter Moon has come sooner than it was supposed to. Cobs searches around. He looks and tries to sense the stranger speaking to him. ‘Do not be frightened.’

But Cobs cannot help but tremble. He searches out into blackness unable to sense or see anything. ‘Who dares come to my home?’ he growls.

‘Come to us. Come,’ she whispers more kindly, unfazed by Cobs’s angry outburst. She

continues to repeat her words again and again, floating around him like lost echoes.

More strange voices hover in the air. The forest becomes frozen in silence. The loud noises of the creatures disappear. Even the warm breeze that brushed against him just moments

before, has now vanished.

He becomes paralysed. Unable to move any part of his body, as if pinched by ‘The Swelling Tree’ and about to be taken back to the earth.

He looks up at the night above him. Millions of twinkling stars gaze down at him, then they hurtle towards the ground. Until like explosions of lightning and sparks, they form glossy fiery rings around him. His legs give in from under his body. He can no longer keep his eyes open and before he knows what to do next he wakes with snowy white clouds beneath him.


White fluffy clouds float around Cobs. It impairs his vision of this new place. He is

terrified, he looks to escape, but he is unable to move. His legs are glued to the white airless fluff below him. He cannot even sense anything in this strange place. He tries taking in a long deep breath. But, nothing comes, not even the familiar scents he is used too. The strong sweet smells from the poisonous thorns as their juices drips in puddles onto the ground. Or the fresh smells of the unique flowers that grow near his wonderful tree. Or the vibrations the creatures make around him with every hop, jump and skip. The loud racket they make when they call to each other the moment the light disappears. They have taken him far away from his home.

He stares ahead, the clumps of clouds around him evaporate, showing what they hide.

Three beautiful elegant creatures are turned away from his direction, seemingly unfazed by his presence. He has never seen creatures like them before. They are giants compared to him.

They lay on high snowy shimmering rocks with clouds gliding behind them. Cobs fears what lies underneath, he sees no solid ground only a sheer clear blue sky with white paths keeping him up with these creatures.He does not dare look down too long.

He looks up and watches them. It is difficult since they are overlooking his presence. Only one turns to look at him. Her long slick bluish black face and body resemble the forests harsh blackness of night. Her long inky hair flows down, scattering on the shimmering rocks where she sits. Her eyes so hollow they catch Cobs’s attention for a lengthy moment. He feels her glare sinking deep into his memories, reliving his past. She turns away and stares off into the vast distance. She is gazing out into the hollowness; pits beneath the clouds. She sits up straight, her arms resting on her knees. She reveals a small yet beautiful waterfall, its clear waters fall through the open clouds beneath and disappear below.

The second creature, the one opposite her has now acknowledged Cobs’s existence. His long red fat furry body takes up most of the rock holding him. His face is flat, motionless, and is covered in overgrown red shiny fur like his body. His eyelids are sealed closed. His ears twitch, his large black button nose quivers, as Cobs’s unique aroma ignites the air.

Without warning, the creature’s huge paws push their way out towards the rocks, turning into hot balls of burning flames. They soon vanish, leaving no trace of destruction behind them.

Clouds scale over the final creature, leaving only a small visible view of a long feminine hand with long wooden fingers and pointy brown bark nails resting on what looks like a knee of twigs.

Loud abrupt noises of humming, crying and giggles ring in the air. A host of tiny odd

creatures surround him. He tries his best to look out into the vastness to where they sit, lay and stand.

He sees that each one of them is different. Some have big ears and fat bodies, or scaly skin and gills all over, others have many eyes wobbling around there faces, others are big and hairy or small with sharp teeth that can chew through rocks. Some fat, some thin, some ugly, some cute and even frightening ones. They look at the beautiful creatures in front of them. They are overpowered by their master’s presence.

‘We call upon you a task?’ she says slowly, staring at him.

Her soft voice could not be mistaken for any other that calls him in the forest. His eyes

cannot mistake her magnificent beauty. As the clouds float away it reveals her striking large curvy ears, they wiggle up and down, back and forth at him, her hypnotising golden eyes commanding. He turns away, not to get lost or reveal to much of himself.

He notices her figure, long tiny vines ripple all round her body, embedding her pulsing veins, colourful flowers and leaves caress her long brown hair, wrapping around her body like sheets of clothing. Creatures of odd shapes and sizes creep up her earthy legs and arms. She looks at him, pointing her whole body towards him. Her eyes digging into his soul trying to tame the wild spider.

‘A task?’ Cobs looks at her confused. ‘Who are you?’

‘Do you accept the task we have awarded you? Cobs from Spider Cave?’

His whole body shivers with fear. All the small creatures jump and bounce around with what only could be described as suspense. The three elegant creatures ease towards him just a little.

‘Who are you?’ he roars.

‘Do you accept?’her voice echoes. ‘We have called upon you a task, that only you can achieve Cobs.’ She turns away. ‘Do you accept?’

‘Who are you? Where am I?’

She does not turn back to him and now the others have forgotten him one again.

‘You miss the old days, the ways it once had been in the forest when the spiders roamed free in Harrowan, like you, all that can change, it can go back to the way it once was. Soon your task will be upon you and you must be ready to do what needs to be done. Goodbye Cobs.’

His eyes shut for a moment. Clouds wrap around his legs and body, tightening their grip to the point of smothering and pull him down below.

When he can finally open his eyes hee sees his wondrous tree and his weaved web flapping with the warm breeze. Everything is the way it had always been, but, the forest has changed for him.

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