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Eight Eyes to Watch You With (My Dear)

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After the Eye turns down to look upon them all, and the world is filled with screams of their dying brethren, one Spider remains.

The Spider does not have a name. None of them do. There is no individuality for the Children of the Mother of Puppets. Why it survives in particular is unknown, likely a random pick out of the thousands sent to break the Archivist. The Spider finds itself on the ground, wet and sticky, and looks forth at the man it was sent to greet. He is on his knees, clenching his head in his hands, eyes tight as he screams, but the spider can still see the many eyes in the sky keeping careful watch of its movements. Next to the Archivist, a woman reaches out a hand but is frozen mid-gesture. Unsure. 

The Archivist is not entirely unlike the Spider and its kin: he too screams in thousands of voices. The voices of those who’s fear he stole and consumed for his uncaring God. The Spider is not dissuaded by the noise. Even though it is still currently alone, it too thinks in plurality. 

It begins to rain. That is unusual: this is not a domain that demands weather patterns. From above, droplets of water pool in the thousands of eyes. The Spider moves to crawl on top of a rock so it will not be swept away, though it is unsure if the rain is capable of that. Mother doesn’t know either; best not to test it. 

The Spider watches as the Archivist claws his fingers into the dirt. Water drips from his eyes at the same rate as the rain from the sky. He is sobbing a name, one the spider knows. It is the name of the spider’s former home, a place the Spider and it’s siblings hollowed out, consumed and stitched back together into a hollow man. Web replaced muscle, replaced brain, replaced bone. Nothing but silken highways remained under their vessels' skin. This Spider used to linger behind their home’s right eye (brown once, then pale white when then Lonely resided in the man’s lungs, then brown again), and they saw how the Archivist smiled as it approached. How the Archivist ran towards them until they spoke a name few now used in a thousand of tiny voices.

Knock, knock, Jon.

The smile on the Archivist's face had sputtered out when they spoke, like that of a candle facing the wind. The Spider did not recognize the expression that took the man’s face but the Web did. The Web remembers everything. It remembers this face on the expression of a little boy a distance away from their latest meal. So the Spider knows it too. 

What happened after that is unclear for the Spider. The Eye was loud when it was upset. Loud enough that it made it hard to continue weaving the tapestries of the moment, to cement this instance in history. The Spider knows there was pleading, more talking, a howl that was not that of the Hunt but of the Desolation. They know they staggered forward to attack the woman on Mother’s instructions. Then, the eyes in the sky turned towards them and the Spider was alone.

The woman behind the Archivist sees the Spider. She is now soaked from the water above, but she makes no move to block out the rain. Perhaps she knows the truth of it: that the world must feel the archivist's grief, it must commit this horror to memory like he has committed their horrors to his. Instead, the woman walks towards the Spider.  The Spider does not move as she approaches, lifting her boot over the rock. It is here to watch what plays out, whatever that may be, so it can be added onto the Web as another string to pull.

“Stop.” The Archivist gasps into the dirt, hands muddy from the rain. The woman keeps her boot raised but does not bring it down. There is no shadow about the Spider from its possible doom. There are no natural shadows where the Dark does not reside. Instead, only shadows that inspire dread remain. 

“Jon-”

“I want her to know-” The Archivist says, voice broken but growing harsher, sharper. He looks up at the Spider and the Spider does not flinch upon the two eyes that carry the weight of a thousand gazes. “I am going to slaughter her.”

The Spider hears Mother laugh down the lines of the Web, the threads she holds shaking with amusement. Puppets under her jerk with the motion. The Spider does nothing but watch as the Archivist scoops it up and puts it in a jar. It sits there, the foil to the Web’s tapes, ready to watch whatever commences. Hilltop road, a mess of webs, lies ahead.

A part of the Spider that is not truly that of the Spider but a memory of its temporary home, wants them to turn back. To leave this place with the Webs that weave a tragedy in every silken strand. But it cannot. It is but eight more eyes for the Watcher now. 

And watch it does, as the Archivist strides ahead to burn the Web down.