Nightmares: Inara
Sunday, July 9, 2006

Fourth in the series. Not much else I want to reveal at this point... Enjoy!


The usual disclaimer: They're not mine (though I wish Jayne was), and I'm making no $$$ off of this.

Feedback is greatly appreciated! Leave me lots, good or bad. Your encouragement/criticism is what keeps me going. :)


I should have uglied you up so no one else'd want you.

The whisper came out of nowhere, slicing through the quiet of her shuttle. They'd been Atherton's words but not his voice. It had been more sinister, more menacing. She glanced around, but couldn't find the source. It was unsettling, to say the least.

Inara went back to her book, but couldn't shake the feeling of unease. She thought that maybe some tea would help to calm her nerves. As she walked over to the little cupboard to retrieve her teapot, she noticed a small spider skitter across the carpeting.

She shuddered. She hated spiders. As a child she'd been wandering through the forest, and came just a little too close to one of a particularly aggressive breed. The bite had almost killed her, and her foot still bore two tiny white dots where it happened.

She reached for a tissue to dispose of it, when she began to hear little "plops" behind her all around the shuttle. Then something fell on her head. She felt a sting, and brushed her hand over her hair. Another spider fell onto the floor in front of her.

Inara let out a squeak, and turned around. The floor of the shuttle was now covered in spiders of various sizes and breeds, and more were still falling. She noted with a growing horror that they were all coming for her. They rushed over her feet, and began to crawl up her legs.

She began to stomp around, trying to dislodge them, but that only made them dig in. And by digging in, they were injecting her with their venom. As it began to take effect her vision started to blur, and her movements became slower. She soon slumped to the floor, and within seconds the only thing visible was a writhing mass.

Eventually Inara awoke, but could only see an opaque whiteness in front of her eyes. She tried to move, but seemed to be bound. She realized then that she'd been wrapped in layers upon layers of silk. Frantically, she began to fight her restraints. The cocoon was tough, but eventually she was able to free one of her hands. She ripped the covering off of her face, and looked around frantically. She was alone. All the spiders that had riddled her shuttle were gone. She breathed a sigh of thanks and slowly managed to free herself.

As she was plucking the last of the disgusting shroud off of her dress, she heard a quick knock on her door, followed immediately by Mal's head poking in. "'Nara, you there?"

"Mal, I'm over here."

He glanced in her direction, and his face blanched, "Who are you?"

She laughed, "Mal, it's me...Inara."

His eyes widened in confusion, "You're not her. Who are you? How'd you get on my ship?"

Inara was beginning to get angry, "This isn't funny, Mal."

"Tell me about it," he drew his gun and pointed it at her. "Now you're going to explain to me how the hell you got in here, and where Inara is."

"I...I don't know...what's going on?" She turned towards her mirror, and screamed at the visage that faced her. It was that of an old crone, face crisscrossed with wrinkles and scars. Her eyes were cloudy, and her hair had turned to grey, and had fallen out in spots. She raised her hands to her face, and saw that they were sinewy and covered in liver spots. She screamed again...

And awoke in a cold sweat. She struggled to catch her breath, and jumped when she heard a knock on the door.

"'Nara? You OK in there?" It was Mal.

She lurched in front of the mirror, and sighed in relief when her familiar features came into view.

Mal poked his head in the door, "Thought I heard a ruckus, everything all right?"

She feigned irritation, "I'm fine. It was just a bad dream."

"Oh...well, I just wanted to make sure everything was OK." As he shut the door behind him he muttered, "Seems to be a lot of that going on around here lately."


Author's note: Gawd, writing this gave me a serious case of the creepy-crawlies. I'm going to feel itchy all night, I can tell.


Monday, July 10, 2006 5:40 AM


*bites nails* I got the screamin' woo-hoos reading this and I ain't even afraid of spiders! Awesomely creepy! Just curious, though: if it wasn't Ath, who did unleash the spiders?

Can't wait to see what chilly thrillies you've got for us next. :D

Monday, July 10, 2006 6:16 AM


Steamer, there wasn't really anyone in particular that unleashed the spiders. This was more just a study on fear. In Inara's case, I just imagined that she might have a fear of spiders, and a fear of losing her looks.

(Not that I'm saying she's overly vain, but considering her job, you know...)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 3:32 PM


Oh...I can so sympathize with Inara on the fear of spiders issue:(

This was some quality "GAH"-induction, qwerty....definitely started twinging at the part where the spiders are crawling all over Inara:(

The last dream sequence part, with Inara being all old and disfigured is a very interesting study of her subconscious, I must say. Inara is definitely not vain, but she must have to put some focus in constantly maintaining her looks to ensure a person's perspective of her is maintained at all times...


Saturday, July 15, 2006 1:50 PM


ughhh...spiders. I hate spiders like hell.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 1:29 AM


Really good but somehow I wasn't expecting Inara's nightmare to be about spiders, thinking it would be something from her past. Maybe the 'real' reason she left Sihnon. Gorramit, now we'll never know why she did go. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:49 PM


Ok, this was real creepy! Hate spiders! And I liked the perspective that she would be concerned with her appearance all the time because of her profession. Nicely done!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 1:28 PM


should. not. have. read. that. at. this. time. of. night.


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