“I’ll be the best damn president you’ve ever seen.”

Sometimes, after days and weeks and months of being such a goddamn try-hard, I start to feel tired.

I get more easily distracted. I’m yawning every couple of minutes. I find myself staring blankly into the white glow of the monitor, trying to remember what the hell I was just doing.

And when I close my eyes, just to give myself a little break, I feel a hand start to pull, gently at my neck, laying me down in the lap of a soft-spoken, hissing creature.

Don’t try so hard.

The creature is a spider of sorts: soft-bellied and many-legged, carefully layering silky strands upon my weary head.

Why try? It’s not going to make a difference.

It strokes my hair, and I feel myself sinking steadily into a deep slumber, silently grateful to be told how I’m supposed to feel.

Take it easy. Be good to yourself. You deserve it. You’re a good person.

Its voice grows fainter, more distant as the silk grows thicker on my ears like snow: a slow, gradual build, heat seeping from my fetal form in all directions.

Just let yourself go. It’s a shitty world anyways. You might as well live for you. Everybody else is.

Sometimes, I feel the sudden urge to move, to shift my body. I wriggle restlessly, struggling to find comfort, but every pose comes across as tense, pressurized, unnatural. For a moment I gingerly settle, waiting in anticipation. I hear the deafening silence of the moment before disaster strikes: an eternity compressed onto the head of a nail. And then, just as I let escape a sigh of relief, the sting of a bite: the electric prod between my ribs, the sear of a fiery prong on the inside my shoulder socket.

But on and on, struggle or no, the spider lays her soft shining fabric on my body, a mummy’s ceremony, entombing me to an eternity of stillness, of settling, of surrendering to the inevitable.

One moment of failed vigilance, just one moment of laying still, and then I am irrevocably wrought into the shape I was destined to be.

Why fight it? You’ll only lose. It’s how the world works. Everyone loses.

This is it: the moment when my magical blade will come to life, when the hidden vial will shimmer bright, when the solemn crystal will glow alight, when the ancient horn will burst into song, and up burns the web, all the lies and trickery and seductive falsehoods.

This is it. Any time now. It will come. It has to come. This can’t be the end.