V is for Vanessa

When the scribbler first imagined the relationship between the Lady Duessa and our delectable Damian, it was quite twisted. Yes, it was a sexual and emotional one where Duessa controlled him in every sense. Part of him enjoyed it, another part of him rebelled. Only the scribbler got soft and sentimental. She didn’t want to let Duessa become the monster she could have been, which she has sometimes been in times passed. When the Gardens of Arachne began to bloom in earnest in her imagination, so did Duessa’s ideals and her betrayal of those ideals. Yes, the garden was meant to be a softer place of gentler creatures, but she wanted Duessa herself to have a soft spot for Damian. This meant our Guardian of Gardens created a potential problem in the boy she raised as her nephew when she could have cultivated the perfect Marriage Feast. Damian became Duessa’s weakness, the male indulged as no other blossom in the Gardens. Even if other arachnocrats were warned by Duessa herself against indulging in such weaknesses for our male kin, lest they grow up to be men who would ravage and trample the Gardens. Duessa hid behind the title of being Damian’s aunt even though she’s not Damian’s aunt. Even though Damian is the very image of her former husband, my brother, the first Marriage Feast. 

Of course she’s in denial. This is where I came in. I was created to express that arachnocratic hunger, a hunger for Damian’s beauty and power. For if I were to devour him, I could challenge Duessa’s hold over the Gardens. 

I suppose this hunger may be something twisted within me, given how much Damian looks like my older brother. I don’t remember Stefan very well. I’ve chosen to forget life before the Gardens of Arachne. The Gardens are everything to me. I revere the rules Duessa chooses to flout when it’s convenient for her. I gave her Christopher who was like a brother to me as her Marriage Feast. Perhaps I can’t forgive Duessa for sparing Damian when she refused to spare Christopher. After the speech she made to me, to pressure me into giving Christopher to her. I revere the sanctuary the Gardens are supposed to be for women and the gentlest of boys. We arachocrats became monsters to protect that sanctuary. Why does Duessa and her family keep endangering that sanctuary by disregarding her own laws? 

Melyssa, Duessa’s daughter is perhaps worse. She keeps watching the other arachnocratic ladies with hungry eyes, not the blossoms. It’s against the whole order we’ve created in this Garden. Melyssa keeps calling me Van. It’s so much less dignified than Vanessa. I try so hard to be dignified, to keep up the air of an arachnocrat. To be worthy of the Garden. Only whenever Mel calls me Van, I get this strangely warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Not the sort of emotion one of the Spider’s should cultivate. 

Wait, did I just call Melyssa Mel?!


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