The Spider’s Spinning, by Marian L. Thorpe and published at BewilderingStories.com, starts with the promise of something creeping and uncomfortable. It’s a warning of sorts, both for other characters in the story and for the reader. The narrator seems to be begrudgingly telling his tale, knowing what is to come, hoping for the best but truly expecting the worst.
I thought Ms. Thorpe did a wonderful job of setting the initial tone. It was delicately created and I was forced to ask myself where she was going with this. I loved that the opening allowed for a number of directions, and I was immediately drawn in.
What follows in the bulk of the The Spider’s Spinning seems to be an education in architecture. It’s clear that Ms. Thorpe has extensive knowledge on the subject, and I liked that it was incorporated so integrally into the story. However, I was somewhat disappointed that, while the detail was impeccable, the tone and atmosphere was smothered with the weight of it. Rather than the house becoming a character in the story, driving that initial sense of foreboding, it seemed as mildly interested in itself as the narrator seemed to become. There were some definitely creepy elements to the structure being discussed in the story, elements that I would have loved to see developed and focused on, but they seemed to become regarded by the characters as pieces of passing wonder rather than features to be wary of.
I like the idea that the narrator is unable to stay away from the house, giving up everything in the end for it, almost like a toxic lover. It reminded me of Stephen King’s Rose Red, or The Haunting. This piece has wonderful potential, and I think making a stronger connection between the architectural elements and the feelings they are meant to provoke will take this story to the next level.
Official Kristine’s BRF Rating: