Phantyna Segregata’s abilities were not in hunting and gathering; in fact, she didn’t need to do those things. She perfected the art of trapping. She didn’t work well with others and so chose a solitary life. It may be lonely, but it served her well–she did not have to provide for another, did not have to worry about anyone else’s safety but her own. This might change in the future, but for now, it was only herself for whom she had any concern. She knew the benefits and art of patience. Now, she calmly waited as she heard the Dipteran approaching. She did not move.
“Come closer,” she said to herself. As if in response to her request, the Dipteran did, in fact, approach and was ensnared in her trap. She moved quickly, before he had a chance to free himself. She was good at trapping, but even the best snares were not unbreakable. The Dipteran struggled–even more so when he saw Phantyna approach. She almost felt sorry for him–almost.
“N-n-n-no…please,” he begged, but it was pointless. He spoke in the language of his species, which she did not understand, nor did she care to. Nevertheless, it wasn’t difficult to recognize the fear and desperation he felt.
Before she had too much time to think about it, she injected him with her homemade serum. It took effect quickly, which made it much easier when she tied him up. The serum would eventually kill him; until then, she would wait. It seemed most of her life was spent waiting–waiting for others to die, but also for her own life cycle to come to an end. She knew it would happen, eventually, but hopefully not before she was able to have a family of her own.
She may be a killer, but there were creatures that would easily turn her into their prey. Phantyna was good, though, and knew where to hide so she wouldn’t be caught. She rested a moment, looking down at the Dipteran lying quietly in front of her. She sighed, languidly. The excitement of the moment took a lot out of her. “Back to bed,” she said to herself. She looked around first for signs of movement and then hurriedly went back to her lair.
The next day, Phantyna peered carefully from the entrance of her hiding place for possible predators and then went to her victim. Dipteran were useless life forms, overall. She really did the world a favor, didn’t she? She knew he was dead; did not need to check. As she untied him, she vomited. It was an automatic reaction and happened every time she made a kill. She knew which parts to eat, and there were some that she did not, would not eat. After she feasted, she discarded the rest of the body for other scavengers.
Phantyna did not see the Blatella behind her, but as she turned around, he was caught. She would have no compunction about this kill. The Blatella were despised by most who were familiar with them. She started toward him when a shadow distracted her. She ignored her potential kill and moved quickly to hide from the danger from above.
“That one’s an Apex Mesh Weaver Spider,” Roger said. “Looks like she’s got a cockroach caught in her web.”
“Cool!” Nickie responded with awe.
The Phantyna Segregata scurried away into a hole, and there she remained, patient and cautious. The kill would have to wait.
Copyright © 2020 Brandon Ellrich
If you enjoyed this story, you might also like my poem Victim.