*continues to throw things at you because Reasons, mostly to do with the fact that this is awesome*
There was once a girl at Elsewhere who spoke to spiders.
She would study their webs, snapping pictures with her cheap instant camera and, later, studiously recreate them with graphite and ink. For the first eight weeks of freshman year her roommate hated spiders, then one evening she opened the door to see ‘him’ feeding the tarantula that had taken up residence in one corner. She never mentioned the odd teeth or the hollowness of his back, and quietly moved all the iron out of the room, bit by bit (except for the bracelet she wore and the old washers she hid in her pillows).
That was when she started weaving.
As a child she had been the one who came home with muddy shoes and dirt smeared on her face and clothes, only willing to take a bath when her father (single, divorced, but still won sole custody - a rarity in 1960’s America) demanded it of her. She grew into the girl in the oversized sweaters that were as comfortable as they were ugly, the sleeves stained with food, ink, and occasionally blood, and never paid attention to what anyone else said - mostly because she never heard. The bloodstains might have been from picked pimples and accidental nicks from the whittling knife she kept hidden in her shoe, but nobody else knew that, and she was a tall girl - six feet even - with the broad shoulders of a swimmer whose father taught her how to punch and kick and scream. So when she went to Elsewhere, the textile industry was the last thing on her mind. She wanted to be an artist, to carve stories and emotion out of wood blocks.
But then, on her first day, she found a large, hairy, potentially deadly spider sitting on her not-yet-made bed when she came out of the bathroom. She shrieked, of course - the spider was nearly the size of her pillow - and grabbed for the plunger next to the toilet (school plumbing was always going to be shit, no matter what school it was). She did not, however, try and hit the spider - don’t hurt the animals, even the bugs was one of the first things the told you at Elsewhere, right after wear your iron and keep salt in your pockets.
So instead, she took a nervous step forward. “Do you need help?” she whispered.
The spider didn’t nod - couldn’t - but the feeling brushed past her face like faint tendrils of web. Yes.
She swallowed nervously. “What do you need?”
The feeling brushed past her face again. Take me.
Her face blanched as certain meanings of the phrase came to mind as she immediately tried to scrub the images away because oh sweet Jesus NO. “Where…where do you need to go?”
Under the hill.
She swore (in Latin) - but the spider rode her yellow rubber plunger to the entrance under the hill, and when she woke up the next day she found a shawl folded neatly at the foot of her bed, made of a strange, silvery material - soft as a daydream and impossible to damage.
She switched her major to textile production that afternoon, and if you needed something stitched or mended, she was always willing - for a price. When she left, she moved back home and started up her own business, taking in customers both humanly and inhumanly strange, accepting payment in oddities as well as in the swipe of a credit card. Everything is handmade on a wooden loom, and everything has its place.
Everything has a story.