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Death By Fire

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“I’m here about your Craigslist ad?”

 

“You––  uh.”

 

Peter stood back and gawked at the man that stood at his doorstep. He was tall, firmly built, and, most notably, decked to his teeth with more weapons than an army tank. He looked like he was ready to face a horde of zombies. Or, perhaps, he might’ve already faced one. His face was spread with scarring, which cast on down his neck, and presumably, his body.

 

The strange, highly weaponized man leant down, aim to shake the younger man out of his stare.

 

“I’ll take care of your little problem, buddy. I’m the best there is at what I do.” The man spoke, with a deep, gravelly mystery to his voice.

 

With that, he pushed on through into Peter’s apartment, Peter stumbling out of his way, dodging the many utilities the man was carrying on his person. Which included 6 cans of lighter fluid strapped to a belt slung around his waist, and an apparent flame thrower.

 

“You, uh – you read the ad, didn’t you?”

 

“Exactly. That’s why I rushed over. We’ve gotta act immediately.”

 

The man trudged his way through the living room of Peter’s humble abode, taking in all the details like he were stepping into a war-zone, eyes darting every which way, as though threat lurked at every corner. The heavy boots he wore left crumbs of dried mud on Peter’s carpet, which Peter scrutinised with great disapproval.

 

“And you said your name was?”

 

Wilson. Wade Wilson.” The man’s head perked, pursed lips and wide eyes surveying the scene, squinting at every corner. Peter was in awe of just how cartoonish it was, the way the man moved his face.

 

“Okay, Wilson Wade Wilson. She’s out on the balcony.”

 

To which Wade instantly pressed his face against the glass sliding door, shifty eyes hunting for the villain.

 

Peter slid the door open, Wade’s face still firmly pressed the glass surface as he peered outside. Peter grumbled, a little amused and a little frustrated with having to deal with this comedian. He’ll probably end up paying extra for the show.

 

When Wade peeled his face from the glass at last to peek through the now open doorway, a scandalised gasp escaped his mouth as he caught sight of the scoundrel.

 

It was horrific, Wade had to hold back a shrill scream.

 

Very offensively perched on the right wall of the area, separating the balcony from the neighbours. Thin, dangerous legs nursing a ticking time-bomb.

 

A black widow spider, about the size of my head, Wade thought.

 

It was really about the average size of a black widow, but fear adds 8 inches.

 

This would take all Wade’s got. All his firepower. This thing would not be making it out alive.

 

“I’d prefer if you’d remove her carefully.” Peter said, coolly. “Her cocoon too, I’d prefer not be dealing with hundreds of little baby widows, please.”

 

Hundreds of baby widows? ” Wade’s voice was in panic.

 

He was going to light the bastards up.

 

He flung his equipment down, bringing the flamethrower into his hands, with tight, determined grip.

 

“Wh-what are you doing?” Peter stood back, filling with concern.

 

“Removing them.” Wade said darkly, like some sort of ridiculous action hero preparing to eradicate the problem by fire.

 

“Jesus! No , dude!” Peter grabbed at Wade’s shoulder, “You don’t have to kill them!”

 

Wade looked at Peter as though he were insane.

 

“And for God’s sake, you are not using a flamethrower on my balcony!”

 

The widow twitched, her cocoon wobbling, eventually breaking free from it’s hold in the widow’s web. It crashed softly to the floor, Wade and Peter’s eyes both fixed on the discarded cocoon, consumed with horror.

 

A deathly silence, dread building between the two before the mass of dark evil emerged from the cocoon, scattering like an army sent straight from hell.

 

Peter and Wade screamed in unison, throwing themselves both back against the opposing wall, clinging to each other in unparalleled fear. Wade practically leapt straight into Peter’s arms, and exclaimed Zoinks!

 

“Fire! Fire! Fire! ” Peter screeched, coiling himself around Wade’s arm. Wade fumbled trying to get a proper hold of the contraption, with Peter’s having commandeered his good arm and shaking it about profusely.

 

All the while the arachne-babies were spreading like a black disease, taking claim of the other half of the balcony.

 

Wade dropped his weapon in his panic, quickly scrambling to grab it again, before dousing the infestation with unforgiving flame, screaming all the while, eyes screwed shut as though that’d make the process any less horrific. Peter pressed tight against the wall, onlooking in awe .

 

The spider-children were flambayed by burst after burst of searing flame. Their mother, in retaliation, swung to the to the balcony edge, scurrying her way down the metal bar while Wade was occupied with eliminating her spawn of death .

 

“Wade! Wade! ” Peter screamed, pointing directly to the scornful mother. Peter’s vocabulary was limited, during this moment of extreme stress.

 

Wade span, directly facing momma spider, ready to set phasers to scorch, but she had leaped off the balcony and into the foliage three floors below before Wade could get her.

 

Cautious, Wade peered over the ledge of the balcony, heaving breaths in desperate attempts to make up for the oxygen the fire had stolen from him.

 

She is gone.

 

She lives another day.

 

She will exact her revenge. Do spiders hold grudges? She looked like a lady with a grudge. Hell know no fury like a woman scorned. Even if it’s a spider.

 

“She got away.” Wade said, looking intensely into the distance. He was really over-playing this action-hero schtick.

 

Peter was coming down from his panic, still folded in on himself tightly in a corner, looking at Wade in wonder.

 

“But she’ll be back. It’s not safe here.” Wade grabbed Peter’s arm, dragging him inside.

 

Peter limply followed, face completely frozen in a state of astonishment.

 

Wade placed both hands on Peter’s shoulders, looking at him as though his very life were at stake.

 

“I can take you somewhere safe. For lunch. Right now.”

 

Peter was silent, mouth agape. Processing. His bemusement softly turned to amusement, open mouth curling into a smile, eyebrows raised in an expression of “Really?”

 

“Are you coming onto me?”

 

“Well, I can be, if you want me to.”

 

Peter snorted.

 

“Okay.”

 

Wade paused for a moment. Obviously surprised.

 

“Wait, is that an okay to lunch, or is that an okay about me coming onto––”

 

“A female black widow spider-bite can be lethal.” Peter spoke up, matter-of-factly. His voice softened. “Keep me safe.”

 

Wade grinned, laying his arm over Peter’s shoulders, walking with him to the front door.


“With my life, baby boy.”