Ari in bed, eyes closed

Stroke; stroke, stroke. Wriggle of shoulders, wiggle of toes.
Small tight grin, head under the bedclothes.
Toes stretched out. Stroke stroke itch.
Sole and top of foot and now the ankle too. Feather stroke.
Toes flex and stretch. Itch, smile.
Up the calf, feather light, behind the knee. Moving up and slowly slowly up.
Pull bedclothes close to face to hide the closed eyes smiling.
Pretend to be asleep.

Ari opened her eyes wide when her boyfriend screamed.
She opened her eyes wide and saw him standing by the door.
Not lying in bed behind her.
Not touching her ankle, not stroking her thigh, not moving up, up.

She twisted, half sat, and saw some of the spiders.

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