Itsy Bitsy Spider (Emma Frost #1)Willow Rose
Emma Frost #1
Copyright Willow Rose 2013
Published by Jan Sigetty Boeje
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
Cover design by Jan Sigetty Boeje
Special thanks to my editor Jean Pacillo
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The Itsy Bitsy Spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.
- Nursery Rhyme
At first she thought it was an accident. That the door to the bunker had shut by accident. Then she tried to open it on her own, but couldn't. It was either too heavy or must have locked when it shut. She knocked carefully.
The quiet coming from outside the iron door was gruesome. Astrid swallowed hard and knocked once again, this time harder.
But nothing. Nothing but the horrendous sound of her own breathing. Someone will open it. Once they realize it has shut, they'll come. Astrid took the ten steps from the door down into the bunker. She felt tired and her feet were swollen. She sighed and sat down on a bench, waiting, staring at the door anticipating it swinging open at any moment now. It was actually two doors separated by a small hallway between them. Even if she hammered they wouldn't be able to hear her. All she had to do was wait. Someone would eventually come for her.
Wouldn't they? Of course they would. He would come. He who told her he loved her?
Astrid knew she wasn't among the smartest of the young kids on the island. Her mother always told her that. But she had good hands and she wasn't a half bad cook. If she stuck to what she knew, she might be lucky enough to one day have a man, her mother had always said. Now she had found one. And he wanted more than just her cooking. He wanted her. He loved her, he said. Then he made love to her in the dunes by the beach.
He was nice to her and she wanted him to meet her mother, but he kept telling her, not now, not today. Astrid never thought of asking when, she waited patiently for him to find the time in his busy schedule. She never wondered why he never took her places, why he insisted they only meet at night or why he never spoke to her except for the dirty words he whispered in her ears, that Astrid was educated enough to know wasn't something they would say in church.
No, Astrid never thought there could be anything wrong with her relationship to this boy who once said he loved her, and who showed his love for her in the dunes again and again, night after night during that endless summer in 1977. Instead she started looking forward to their life together, preparing herself to one day become the mother she had always dreamt of.
"You'll get nothing but dummies like yourself," her mother had said. "There should be a law that demanded that people like you were sterilized so you wouldn't pass your stupidity on to your kids. Stupid girl," she said and slapped Astrid across the face.
Yes, Astrid was very well aware that she wasn't the smartest among people, but she had a good heart to her. That much she knew. One day she would become a great mother to a child that would have the father's intellect and that child was going to go on into the world and do great things.
"That'll show them," she said sniffling while staring at the closed iron door up the stairs.
"He'll come for me, won't he?" she asked and her voice echoed into the small room behind her lit only by a light bulb hanging from under the ceiling. Of course he will. Of course.
Astrid drew in a deep sigh. She looked around and spotted the big flashlight on a shelf in the corner among blankets, water bottles and canned food. She pulled it out and held it in her hand. Then she sat down again, waiting for someone to come and get her. Not just someone. Him, the boy of your dreams, the love of your life. Not just anyone.
Astrid sighed and calmed herself down. She always did this, mother would say, she always made herself uneasy or even anxious for no reason at all.
The man was looking in the windows of the French doors leading into the kitchen. It was dark inside the mansion by the ocean. A small light under the door revealed that there was someone in the other room next to the kitchen. Just as he had hoped.
The man lifted his gloved hand and smashed it through the small window, then stuck his hand through and unlocked the door. He opened it without making any sound at all. Smoothly he slid through the door and into the woman's kitchen. Carefully he closed the door behind him, while stepping on the broken glass underneath his heavy boots.
The man turned and looked at the perfect kitchen. Knives were hanging on the wall. He grabbed one and looked at it in the moonlight coming from outside. Then he sighed with a deep feeling of satisfaction while putting it back. He reached into his own sports bag and found his own set of knives rolled up in their bag. Like a professional chef he unfolded the bag and rolled the knives out on the table.
What a beautiful sight to the man's eyes. Clean blades, sharpened to perfection. Almost a pity he had to mess them up. Cutting through meat and bones always made them dull. The man picked one out and put the rest back in his bag. Then he approached the door leading to the living room where he could tell the TV was on.
The man had studied the woman's daily routine for weeks now and knew she always dozed off to her favorite show, The Sopranos, before she went to the bathroom at exactly ten-thirty. She was as precise as a clock. She would go into the kitchen and grab a glass of water that she would bring to put next to her bed for the night. She had a hard time sleeping lately and that made her thirsty.
The man walked out of the kitchen door and into the hallway while he could hear the theme song for The Sopranos, and then the TV was shut off.
The man sat down on a chair in the corner of the guest bedroom and waited, listened to the woman performing her routines, like he had done many times before, but this time was different. This was the big finish, le grand finale, as they said in French.
The man glanced at his reflection in the mirror on the dresser. He touched his pale skin and followed one of the veins with his finger. Then he smiled at himself. He had been looking forward to this moment for all of his life. Prepared for it, dreamt about it, arranged it into details, waiting for the right time and to be in the right place.
And the best of it? He was just starting out.
The old Mrs. Heinrichsen let out a small shriek. The spider in her bathroom sink had startled her. They always did. She shook her head and turned on the tap. The spider tried to fight the river of water, clinging on to the slippery side as the water was threatening to flush it down the drain. Mrs. Heinrichsen watched its struggle with great joy and turned the tap to speed up the water. She grinned and sang while watching the spider fight for its life.
"The Itsy Bitsy Spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
r /> And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again."
Finally the spider gave up, lost the fight and disappeared with the water into the drain. She liked these small displays of power over nature, well she had always enjoyed them over humans as well, but the last many years the respect for her and her status on the small island had diminished. No one seemed to care who she was and had been anymore.
There was a time when it wasn't only spiders that had struggled to stay alive by her mercy. Oh how she missed those days. How she missed seeing the fear and terror in people's eyes as she strolled down the street in her new car, showing off her newest fur brought in from Paris or a jumpsuit from Milan. Those were the days, those were the times she had cherished, and would remember as her golden years.
But these days no one cared anymore. No one respected her in the manner they had done back then. To them she was just an old lady. Someone whose time was ticking down. Someone who was close to the finish line of life. The youngsters of today didn't have any respect for status or title anymore. It was all just the same baloney to them. They didn't care about her position; hell most of them hardly knew her name anymore.
Mrs. Heinrichsen finished brushing her teeth and walked back towards the bedroom. The old wooden floors of her villa creaked underneath her weight even if she could hardly make it past ninety pounds anymore. She was still a strong woman and expected to live at least twenty years more.
"Gotta make it past the one hundred," she always said. "Get the letter from the queen before you go."
It was her goal, and Mrs. Heinrichsen always reached her goals. Something she had tried to teach her son but in vain. Today they didn't care abut setting goals and reaching them, about doing what it took to make it, no matter the cost. Working to accomplish something. Nowadays it was all about how to get out of working and getting the state to pay for everything. She saw them down by the harbor, down by the boats leading to the mainland. The people who could just as well be working, hanging out, drinking their beers, with their dogs and dirty clothes. Mrs. Heinrichsen knew they got paid from the state to live that kind of life. Destitute was the nice word for them. People who couldn't take care of themselves, so the state had to. Freeloaders, Mrs. Heinrichsen would call them. They were nothing but people who didn't want to work in her book. And lately with all those newcomers, all those brown people who had almost invaded the country, even their small island. They were all being paid huge amounts from the state to get all their relatives up here, and it was about to destroy the small paradise, destroy Denmark with all their demands, under the pretense that they just wanted to be equal. How those dirty faces could ever get the thought that they were equal to the proud hardworking Danish people, she never understood. It was an atrocity. The beautiful country had been invaded by these ... these foreigners and Mrs. Heinrichsen certainly didn't like what they were turning this country in to.
Mrs. Heinrichsen entered her bedroom and sat on her bed with a sigh. It had become increasingly more and more difficult for her to sleep while lying down with her breathing troubles, and she wasn't looking forward to yet another night sitting up and sleeping. The nights had become long and painful to her lately and even if she did take a small nightcap it never quite helped her through the entire night.
"Oh, John. You bastard," she said and looked at the empty side of the bed where he used to sleep. "I bet you're up there somewhere enjoying seeing me suffer through these nights, aren't you?"
The silence from the room was answer enough. Mrs. Heinrichsen sighed once again, then leaned back on her stack of pillows and embraced herself for the night. Barely had she closed her eyes before she heard a sound. Mrs. Heinrichsen sighed annoyed and got out of the bed again with much discomfort.
"If it's that neighbor's dog again, I'm sure I'm gonna ..."
She never made it further than that. As she fought to get out of the bed and up onto her legs, she watched the door to her bedroom open quietly. Then she gasped.
A face appeared in the darkness.
"Hello, Agnes," the man said.
"I can't believe you inherited a real house, Mommy."
I looked at my seven-year-old son, Victor sitting in the back seat of our old Toyota through the rearview mirror. He was smiling and his small eyes sparkled. He had been so excited ever since we received the phone call telling me that my grandmother, my father's mother had passed away and much to my surprise, since I never knew her, she had left her house to me.
My oldest daughter Maya was less excited to put it mildly. But then again at thirteen not much was exciting, especially if it involved me, her mother or anything remotely grown up and boring.
"Of course she inherited it, you doofus," she said to her younger brother. "She's her only grandchild."
"Well she could have left it to grandpa, her son," I argued while finding my exit from the highway. "That would have been the most normal thing to do. But for some reason she wanted me to have it."
"Why?" Maya said with her lips curled, making her look like she was extremely annoyed.
I shrugged. "I don't know. I have never even known her. Grandpa says I met her once when I was just a small child, but I don't remember it. Maybe I chose to forget because she was too scary," I said and made a funny face.
Maya looked mad. "You're so ... so pathetic."
"Wow. Well thanks."
That seemed to be the end of that conversation. It had been a long ride from Copenhagen to Esbjerg and my children hadn't exactly been talking much. It was getting dark outside the car's windows and would be way past their bedtime by the time we arrived at our new house.
Victor had slept most of the way and Maya seemed to feel it was beneath her dignity to talk to me for more than three minutes at a time. She was pissed because I had made the decision for all of us. I had decided to move there, to my grandmother's house on Fanoe, a small island in the North Sea outside of Esbjerg. I knew it wouldn't be popular to make a decision like that on my children's behalf, but there was no way around it. I was broke and couldn't afford to keep our apartment in Copenhagen. I had been fired from my latest job as a writer for a fishing magazine simply because I had pissed off the chairman of the Danish Fishing Federation, DFF, by asking him about the many bottles of expensive wine that the Federation had deducted on their taxes this year. Needless to say it wasn't that kind of story the magazine was looking for, so they kicked me out. Well, that's just the way things go. I wasn't exactly looking for a long-term career in fishing journalism anyway, but it was a paying job and I brought home enough money for the rent and expenses that my ex had left me with when he decided it was more fun to be with a twenty-five-year old intern at his TV station.
"Are we there soon?" Victor said with a slight whimper.
"Why?" I asked. "You need to go?"
Victor nodded heavily. "Badly."
Maya sighed and rolled her eyes. "You could have gone when we stopped for snacks."
"I did," Victor said.
"But that's only like ten minutes ago. How can you need to go already? We have stopped twenty times for you on this trip." Maya accompanied the last words with a deep annoyed sigh.
"Maya. Your brother ..."
"Has a nervous bladder. I know. There is always something with him, isn't there?"
That shut me up for once. What was I supposed to say? Yes, there is always something wrong with your brother? Yes, he suffers from anxiety attacks, light autism, strange seizures, occasional loss of bladder control and maybe some other stuff that the doctors are just waiting to throw at us? Yes, he hasn't been well ever since his dad just took off and only wanted to see him every six months or whenever it suited him? Yes, I could say all those things, but I didn't. What's the point anyway? She knew. Maya knew Victor hadn't been well and she was suffering too, suffering because every hour of my attention went towards him. She was a big girl, now. She was supposed to be able to handle it.
"What's that smell?" she asked an
d wrinkled her nose.
"That my friend is the smell of Esbjerg," I said and smiled as I could see the town rise in front of us. "We'll take the boat out to the island from there. It'll be fun once we're on the boat. Just wait and see."
"Yay!" Victor exclaimed. "I love boats."
"It smells like fish," Maya said and held her nose.
I had to admit the smell was pretty bad and opening the window only made it worse. "It is fish," I said trying to sound cheerful. "Fish guts."
It didn't take Astrid many hours to lose track of time, but she guessed it was getting closer to nighttime, since she was beginning to become tired. She decided to lay down a little bit and closed her eyes and soon she was sound asleep.
It wasn't until the morning the panic erupted inside of her. She woke up and realized she was still trapped in the bunker and now she was beginning to feel hungry. She got up and walked to the door again. Then she started hammering it.
"Help!" she yelled but then felt bad. Her mother always told her not to raise her voice.
"You're always so loud, Astrid. And shrill. You should learn to keep your mouth shut. You don't have a pretty voice and boys like pretty voices, so you stick to what you can do. You cook, alright?"
Astrid sighed and decided to try again even if she didn't like to be loud. "HEEELP! I'm in here! I'm trapped! Christian? Can you hear me?"
She stopped and listened for footsteps or maybe even voices. But still there was nothing. Nothing but the terror of silence.
She tried again. This time she clenched her fists and hammered with all her strength against the iron door, and continued till they became numb. Then she managed to put her fingers into the small crack and tried to rip the door open, but it was stuck.