Intro to “Cobwebs in Her Mind”

“Cobwebs in Her Mind” is the book I am currently working on. It is the story of a woman who has to overcome her past (the cobwebs) to move on with her life after being attacked.

I am finally going to be brave, and share some of my story here on my blog. This is the introduction to my story. I welcome any constructive criticism that anyone would like to share. I have to warn you, this is a little lengthy (around 2000 words), so keep that in mind before you begin.



Soft music wafted in from behind the closed door as she continued to get dressed. Everyone was waiting for her outside that door, wondering how she would look and anticipating the upcoming event. This was her big day. The day a girl dreams about from childhood. She had not been this happy in a long time, or this nervous. It was amazing how quickly she had gone from calm just yesterday, to a ball of nerves today. A quick look into the mirror to check her finishing touches gave her a thrill. The dress was gorgeous; fit for a princess. It was simple but elegant, long and sleek with little roses beaded along the hem. The roses were the only detail to the dress, besides the lace that circled the waist. The lace was beautiful and delicate, adding just the right touch for her perfect dress on her perfect day. Yes, the end result was perfect. The music continued softly outside as she admired her reflection, allowing herself to believe she really was beautiful on this of all days. Even as a chronic pessimist, she was absolutely willing to believe that nothing could go wrong today.

As she did one last twirl in front of the mirror, the texture of the lace on the back of the dress caught her attention. Instead of the beautiful, delicate draping she had admired when the dress was first discovered, there was now a thick, stringy quality to it. When reaching back to check it out, she realized that where the lace should be, there was now a sticky mass surrounding her. She turned to look at the front and saw that she now had on a dress draped in what appeared to be spider webbing. That small window of optimism suddenly left. She could only think one thing. “This isn’t right. I’m only imagining it.” This thought replayed over and over as she continued to feel the sticky mass all around her. She closed her eyes and opened them again. The webbing was still there. What is going on? This was supposed to be a happy, perfect day.

Everyone was still waiting on her, but she couldn’t go out that door. Not like this. She closed her eyes again as tears began to well up, hot and stinging behind  her closed eyelids, unwilling to accept these circumstances as being real. Sweat began forming on her forehead as she pushed back the tears, her breathing came in short gasps; her eyes stayed tightly glued shut refusing to acknowledge what had been seen. She spoke aloud to herself, “this isn’t happening. When I open my eyes my dress will be back to normal.” She chanted the words “back to normal” to herself over and over again until she finally mustered up enough courage to take another look. One eyelid slowly rose up, allowing her to peep through a small slit to see the reflection in the mirror. A heavy sigh of relief escaped her mouth as she opened her eyes fully to once again see the beautiful dress from before what she could only chalk up to a  panic attack. Not being able to fully understand what was happening to her, she lost herself in the buzzing of questions racing through her mind. “Why am I so nervous and afraid? I should be walking on cloud nine right about now. Why am I imagining something so crazy on a day that is supposed to be filled with joy?” Was this just the normal jitters of a day like this, or was she going crazy?

She turned her eyes up to the ceiling drawing in a deep breath to catch her bearings. If she could just relax, everything would be fine. The scenery around her was somewhat calming. Her dressing room was painted a subtle white color with almost a pink hue mingled in. As she surveyed the beautiful white of the room, getting ready to exhale, she suddenly froze in terror.  A huge black spider was dropping from the ceiling towards her and she couldn’t make herself move. Spiders had always frightened her, as long as she could remember. There was no reason behind this fear necessarily, no scary moment in her life that dealt with spiders, but still… Her mouth flew open, but before she could let out the scream welling up in her throat, her best friend swung the door open and gave her a little tug out the door. “Come on, everyone’s waiting for you.” She took a quick look behind her before the door closed and found that she could no longer see the spider; another panic attack? It was hard to shake off the fear that had gripped her in that moment, until she looked down the aisle of the church and saw him standing up front, just waiting for her with that gorgeous smile of his and those gorgeous eyes watching her. Seeing that smile gave her the ability to forget her crazed imaginings and once again believe that everything would be okay.

Her gaze slowly moved from her wonderful groom to scan the crowd of eager faces around her. On the front pew she could see her mom and dad beaming at her as their eyes sparkled from the standing tears. This moment was just as she had always pictured it; that bittersweet moment when she really was no longer just their little girl. Her dad made his way to her, ready to walk her towards the front. As he arrived at her side, he whispered “I love you”, his smile made all the better from the shining of tears in his eyes. She smiled and looked back towards her mom who was mouthing the same words. This moment where all three knew she was being given over to the care of another person somehow made her feel closer than ever to her parents. This was going to be the perfect day after all. The music swelled as people began standing. She started to forget completely all the happenings in the dressing room. It was time for her to make the happy march towards the wonderful man that was waiting for her at the other end. She began moving slowly, gracefully, never taking her eyes from the front. After a short hug, her dad led her as she linked arms with him; every step bringing her closer and closer to her soon to be husband.

There was a pleasant hum following her along the aisle as people made quiet remarks and strained to get a better look at her. All her friends and family wanted to participate in her sappy little love story as much as she did, and this thought made her smile all the more. As they walked, her dad’s arm shifted just slightly, but enough for her to feel stickiness where her arm had brushed against her dress, causing her smile to slip from her face. She shot a glance towards her dad to see if he was registering the sticky feeling as well, but his eyes were forward, his face unchanged. How could he not notice that something wasn’t right? Maybe this was just a trick of the mind from before. She looked down, her face registering horror as she discovered she was once again covered in spider webs. No one else in the room seemed to notice any change had taken place. She felt of her dress again, pulling up a mass of web that was sticking between her fingers. She searched the faces of those she saw closest to her, but she seemed to be the only one who noticed what was in her hand. Frantic clawing ensued as she screamed for help. Everyone stood staring wide eyed as she continued clawing at her dress and screaming for someone to get the spider web off her. As she struggled, the webbing began to become binding. “Help! Help! It’s getting tighter. Get this off me!” All around her were concerned faces, but no one moved.

As she continued to fight, unaided, she realized that no one seemed to notice what was going on. “They all think I’m crazy. Why can’t they see the web surrounding me? Why does everyone just keep staring?” It felt like she had been clawing and screaming for a while, and still no one came to help. Everyone just continued to watch, dumbfounded. “I can’t do this. Everything is wrong.” She couldn’t be just imagining this; the feeling of the web sticking to her hands was too real to be an imagination. Why wouldn’t anyone help? The faces around her, that had seemed so bright earlier, began to take on a sinister quality. One man next to her began to laugh at the fear registered on her face. She looked up to her dad for comfort. His face, so full of light and happiness just minutes before, now had a dark ugly shadow. His mouth looked like a gaping hole.

She looked up to see a carving of an angel smiling next to her, staring. She had loved this statue when she had first seen it in the church. It had seemed to add to the pleasant atmosphere. She hoped somehow to gain some calm as she looked on the angel now. As she continued to watch the statue however, the mouth began to look more like it was laughing. Was it mocking her? She had to get away; away from this church and these people and the horror of what was happening. She shouldn’t be here like this. “Everything is wrong.” Hands began to reach out to her, trying to calm her as everyone became increasingly worried. Her best friend, her mom, her dad, the groom, they all circled around her asking her if she was okay with a pleading look in their eyes. She twirled around trying to tell them what was going on, but found where the eyes had been pleading moments before, they were now filled with malice. Hands reached out to smooth her hair, her dress. The dress was now covered in the webbing, growing tighter and tighter as the minutes rolled by. No one in the crowd seemed to notice it though. She kept trying to tear it away, but the more she tore at it, the more it engulfed her.

The spider web was growing, coming up over her neck, up towards her face. She was going to suffocate in a web as everyone stood by and watched. That was if it didn’t squeeze the life out of her before then. She tried to catch her breath, but the web circled tighter around her. She tried to move away from the hands, but her legs were wrapped in this horrifying mass. She tripped over it as she tried to move away, landing on her back, unable to get back up. Someone was whispering near her ear that everything would be okay. “It’s a lie.” How could this be okay? More hands moved in, trying to calm her. Hands were caressing the web, seemingly unknowing or uncaring. She tried to move away but people were holding her down from all around. Tears flowed from her eyes freely as she realized no one was going to help her. As she fought to catch her breath, she looked up into the eyes of her groom. A devilish smiled played out in the corners of his mouth. He seemed to see all that was going on, and instead of concern his face displayed enjoyment. It was almost as if he had planned this and was getting a thrill from watching her. He began to laugh, that same menacing laugh she had heard near her before.  As a new fear spread over her, he nodded. He wanted to watch her die. He no longer looked like himself. His eyes grew darker as she struggled; his laugh took on an eerie quality. He seemed almost inhuman. She quickly looked away from him, hoping somehow that by turning away it would all end; hoping she could get the picture of her groom looking like a monster out of her head. The hands supposedly meant to calm were now threatening. Hands surrounded her from everywhere, holding her down as someone else began squeezing her neck. The eerie, menacing laugh filled her ears as she continued to struggle. She tried to scream, but nothing came out. The hands around her neck grew tighter as did the web, which was now coming up over her mouth. She felt the force of the hands holding her down, and the breath coming in more and more shallow gasps. Every breath brought more pain and tightened the grip of the web and the hands.  The laughter grew louder, angrier. More voices joined in the awful chorus. Her mouth began to fill with the awful stringy texture of the spider web as she continued to try to gasp for air. She struggled to move, to get to her feet; her last thought as she continued to struggle “They’re trying to kill me. Run!”


7 thoughts on “Intro to “Cobwebs in Her Mind”

  1. I love the prose in this! If this is just the intro, I’m eager to see the rest of the book. Hope you have fun writing! I just finished writing my first, and it was a very satisfying experience.

    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement. My goal is to finish this novel by the end of the year, so hopefully you will be able to see the rest soon.

  2. Penny,
    I’d be glad to offer a full blown critique (gratis -from one writer to another) but doing it by e-mail would be easier for me. If you are interested, please contact me at
    Sincerely, Carole

    1. I will keep that in mind as I get to the finishing point of my own edits. At this time I only have about 8 chapters ready for any type of critique. I included the intro just to get a feel of how it would be received by a wider audience than just my friends. While I believe my friends would not let me pursue pure junk, I also know there is a possibility they wouldn’t say something they were afraid would hurt my feelings while someone who doesn’t know me would not have the same concern. I will keep your email for when I am finished (I am hoping by the end of August or beginning of September) if the offer will still stand then.

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