Kickstart My Cannibalistic Spider Romance Story For $5!

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 10.854% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

“We’re Kickstarting an anthology on inverted tropes. We want stories on things like the opposite of the Magical Negro, or the Prostitute with the Heart of Gold, or Damsels in Distress. Ferrett, do you have any ideas?”
Hell yes I did.
I’ve always been astonished by how little it takes for us to accept a romance in stories. At the lower levels, we don’t need to know why the boy and the girl like each other – they just look at each other for a beat too long, and we know they’ll be kissing by the end of the story.
I wondered what the stories would look like if sex involved death.  Like, you know, what sorts of Hallmark specials do cannibalistic spiders watch?  What would that look like?  And given that all romance tales are lies we tell to ease the ache of finding a lover, what was the emotional truth of cannibalistic spider dating?
I wrote them a story they said was by far the most unsettling thing they’d read for the book.
They accepted.
And now I’m in a book with basically, all of my favorite people on Twitter – Shanna Germain, Sunil Patel, Alethea Kontis, John Horner Jacobs, Delilah Dawson, Mike Underwood, Alyssa Wong, and more.  All fine authors, all really fun to talk to, all people who’ll invert these hoary tropes in entertaining ways.
So!  You can get my story for $5 in ebook, and – as is usual with Kickstarter – all sorts of cool rewards to boot!
What’s that?  You’d like a sampler?

He watches romantic comedies as most men do: alone, knife in hand, wedging the tip underneath his carapace until his gray skin dimples with blood.  He itches to shove the knife in up to the hilt, to unleash that flood of luscious endorphins that simulate love – but a wound deep enough to provide release might also cost him his job.  
If this film is good enough, he promises himself, he’ll allow himself a taste.  Not too much.  The skin under his exoskeleton is already criss-crossed with shamefully straight scars – not ragged curves from a proper set of fangs, no, those he obscures carefully with layers of makeup, hiding the history of his failed love affairs from the weak eyes of the females, yet outlining his wounds proudly in swirls of bright colors only men could see.  
He hates touching the good scars.  All he feels is what was taken from him.
As the opening music starts up, the television sags in the cheap webbing of his wall; he scuttles to follow the cracked screen unconsciously, ignoring the hitch in his step from the old, good wounds.  
That’s when he notices the lead male in this comedy shares his name: Mesoth.  
Excited, he draws slow trails under his belly with the knife, beads of blood welling up.  It’s not unusual for the lead to share his name – there are only so many names anyone’s going to bother to give a male – but any connection to this fantasy sets his pedipalps quivering.  
He settles in and watches, slowly cutting off the scabs of last night’s injuries, anticipating the great moment.  The two leads are introduced: Mesoth, a plucky meat-harvester, and Spinara, a cunning trader of great renown.  They have grand adventures upon the town, coming so close to meeting that his knife quivers as he prepares to ram it home –

Mild spoiler: Mesoth finds love. But life’s a little more complex than TV movies, even for spiders.
Anyway, if you wanna see it, here’s where you get it.

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