It was late when Ada finally drug herself into to her basement flat. Late even by the hours streetwalkers observed. A delayed end to an marvelous, terrifying, eye popping, world changing day. Unfortunately her flat was still the ruin of her lord father’s… gravity defying introduction. Her lord father. She fondled the Jovian Denarius that seemed to appear in her palm.
Everything she owned had been upended, first pulled up to the ceiling, then dashed against her far wall. Her poorly built bedframe had shattered into a bramble. Her little end table and dresser meeting similar fates. Her few clothes, umbrella, scripts… everything left in a mottley mess beneath the thin window on the far wall.
“Sod it.” Ada grumbled, ignoring the mess she stripped out of her day wear, pulled her holey mattress out of the mess alongside her threadbare blanket. Then collapsed onto them in a manner not dissimiliar to her earlier plummet from the heavens.
She was exhausted. Drained. What a day. She’d met her lord father, flew into the sky, ascended, met the odd pair of Felix and Dr Watson, been dragooned alongside “lord” Talos into Mycroft’s little web and conspiracy. Met the Ripper. Lost the Ripper. Then spent god knows how many hours trying to find him again.
She lay there trying to sleep. But it was one of those exhaustions that would not let her succumb to rest. Little noises and sounds kept jarring her slightly awake, causing her to half focus before dismissing them. She could hear the comforting pitter patter of rain on the cobblestone street, broken by the hurried steps of passersby. She could hear the stomping footsteps and bellows of her upstairs neighbor Mrs Macleod and even the murmurs of her poor little overworked husband Leo. Poor fellow, his troll of a wife towered over him and she was a terror of a shrew. The boards of her wooden floor creaked ever so slightly with every heavy step of the rotund Scotswoman.
Her eyelid were heavy but refused to stay closed. Movement, even rolling became a chore she couldn’t force herself to perform. She was too hot to sleep. Too cool. Her stomach ached of hunger. Didn’t she eat today? Still sleep elluded her even as her thoughts became difficult to hold.
Thunder tolled. Wind roared. Water piddled from the street through her open window. Droplets echoing as they sporadically decorated her floor and ruined bedframe. She moved to touch some the droplets. Where were her other legs? Why did she only have four? Wait, she didn’t have eight legs, she had two arms and two legs, what a silly thought.
Thunder chimed. Again and Again. Her cotton exoskeleton clung tightly, she molted out of it. A great pounding began. Like some great weight was being hammered into the floor. It felt like her hole apartment shook. Each board of her floor twisting this way and that, each vibrating in turn. Her stomach began to squeeze itself. Mrs Macleod screamed about god but Jupiter heard her naught. The boards of her nest lay still.
Thunder ticked. Again and Again and Again. Wind paraded. Windows across the streets ripped free of their hinges to join the route. A river wound itself down the street. Something caused her web of floorboards to quiver. She moved her eyes but not her head, why couldn’t she see, where were her other eyes? There, it left the wall, a plump mouse thing skulking across her floor. No, not a mouse, mice were big? Nae, twas but a mouse and she remembered now mice were little things. Scampering, food stealing, ankle biting things. She did not move. It was too far. Its nose sniffed the air. It approached the window and drank of the puddle.
Thunder tocked. She did not move. It wiggled under a shattered plate and played in one of her moltings. Soon. She rolled and placed the foot of one of her lower legs to the boards. It played. Her forleg with its long grasping fingers touched the wet stone of the wall. It frolicked yet. She skittered across the floor. It tried to flee but was tangled. She grasped it in her forlegs, shredding the molting and pulling it free. It wiggled and writhed. It was too small to need her venom. She opened her mouth. It shook against her fangs and tried too claw at her tongue. But her mouth was too small, it had no room to hurt her and only one way to go. She swallowed.
Thunder rang. Ada snapped back to consciousness as her throat swelled. Memories of her dreary waking sleep became clear in an instant. She screamed… or tried to. Her throat was blocked by a squirming mouse. She ran to the sink and tried to heave. It was lodged too tightly. Her esophagus ignored her desire to expel the thing and squeezed pushing it down another inch. She could feel it wiggling. She punched herself in the gut. The maw in her center wouldn’t be denied. It slid lower and lower, inch by inch. It was still alive when it it her stomach. She tried to heave. IT BURNED. She could feel it melt as the acids in her stomach touched it. It didn’t have time to drown. Its fur and flesh dissolved and skeleton lingered only moments before… She tried to heave. Her cast iron stomach merrily ignored her.
“That looked intense. You going to be okay?” A yellow spider asked hovering near her head by way of a dangling web. Ada’s eyes rolled back into her head and she fell unconscious to the floor.
Faintly she heard “Guess not.”