Ruffled skirt flouncing, heels stamping, she dances her valediction to his venomous embrace. Beneath her dress, broken, bitten flesh burns and sways in time to the guitars, her blood pounding in time to the handclaps of her audience and the snapping of her castanets. Madness swirls in her mind, painting the room in broad strokes of crimson, indistinguishable from the sweep of her skirts, the wine in their goblets.

Later tonight, she will rest, at last in peace, waiting for his poison to leach from her veins. For now, she is the dance, the heady delirium of deliverance in her whirling arms, her kicking feet. When the music stops, she will become a drained, discarded husk, another victim lost to the spider’s bite.

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