Arachne Huntress *final* by Hyle Bathurst

I was born of no magic and I have no twin. Am I fit to be an Arachne Huntress?

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9 months ago

Wow! That was creepy (in a good way), although I almost didn’t want to read it because of my innate hatred of spiders and webs. You weave a really good tale, Hyle (pun intended), it’s imaginative and creative. I was intrigued by the magic and the ritual hunt for males to mate with. I had a hard time picturing what these creatures look like, are they human or are they a mix of human and spider? I liked that you gave the other two huntress’ distinct voices and personalities, having them in the story I think gave the overall story more strength as it added dimension to the characters and the setting. Well done.

8 months ago
Reply to  Hyle Bathurst

I love this version. I would have liked to see the original version, so i could tell if the difference comes from the fact that I’d already read it before and knew the story, or if you made the MC more clear in my mind and made the imagery more sharp. I suspect the latter, I definitely felt that i had a better understanding of who she was and what her goal was, and I felt a greater sense of empathy for her, and for her prey as well. well done!

SM Prasad
9 months ago

weird and Creepy but I found it quite absorbing. I liked that the women were tough, mercenary and had lots of eyes. The fact that Lerial had a couple of handicaps made it even more interesting. For that reason, I thought that the ending would be different from the fate of the other captured men. Also, she appeared to have a pang of conscience when she saw the terror in her prey’s eyes. I think if you added a little more conflict in Lerial at the end about how to handle her capture, that would add to the story.
Also, I LOVE the names of each of your characters. Good story.

9 months ago

Hey Hyle. Thanks for this. From the opening sentence with the description of pet spiders, I felt drawn into the world you built. The names are pretty cool as well and seem to fit the dark nature (to us) of the arachne hunters. Am slightly confused, though by the location of the golden web that Lerial’s mother made for her. In the opening scene, she looks down on it from her perch on the branch but later she digs into the deep pockets of her gown to retrieve it. Not sure if I missed reference to a different web? There is a point when she says to him “…Rest easy, man” and this does not seem to ring true with the semi-formal nature of her speech up till then. It feels almost like slang and I wonder if you would lose the word “man” and see if that helps? I like the ending, where the man feels it is “not too late” for her to let him go while she agrees it is “not too late”, but is thinking of catching up to her cousins, to show off her catch. I hope you are working up a novel with these characters, and this world. It feels really original and though a bit dark, you have set it up really well. Regards, Seyi

maria delaney
8 months ago

Hi Hyle,

OUTSTANDING! This piece has it all! Great story for a competition! I adored it! My only piece of advice is to watch your adverbs. If I were you, I would go back with a fine-tooth comb and remove or replace all the adverbs.
The story itself is pure genius!

Good luck!

Charles R.
8 months ago

A good creepy story. I liked the atmosphere, and how you created a MC who was likable despite her horrific appetites. Reminds me not to walk alone at night. Well done.

8 months ago

From the opening paragraph all the way to the end I spent the entire time saying “nooooooooo.” But in the best possible way. Your descriptions are shudder-inducing and I will be checking my hair for creepy-crawlies for the rest of the day. I love how you played with some tropes in this. The fact that she wasn’t overcome with compassion for this guy was great or at least not so much that she wasn’t going to kill him.
I do agree with another of the commenters that some of your MC’s speech didn’t quite ring true, but I think that will be really easy to smooth out. I hope you expand this piece, you have created a really fascinating world that I don’t want to explore at all, but totally would.