Lovebug

by sympatheticsapphic

Tags: #cw:gore #cw:protagonist_death #bondage #dom:female #f/m #sadism #sub:male #urban_fantasy #brainwash #bugs #identity_death #insects #manipulation #obsession #size_difference

Man meets bug. Man falls in love with bug. Bug eats man.

it's not vore if you can believe it, it's consumption as obsession etc etc etc

When Monty Campbell fell in love, he wasn’t sure if he first wanted to write to his parents or alert the news. After a few minutes of careful deliberation, he pulled out his stationary and decided to write both.

She makes me stupid, he wrote to his parents. Jesus, she makes me stupid. I was never that smart in most things to begin with, but she found a way to make me from a goon into an imbecile. She makes me blush so hard I think my skin is going to stain. I never thought this would happen, but your boy has finally found the perfect girl.

She is at least eight feet tall, he wrote to Nat Geo. With physiology I’ve never seen in more than 20 years of working in my field– megafauna of an arthropodic nature. Tibial spines and a mouthpart construction like you wouldn’t believe. Everyone should see her.

She is beautiful. She is spectacular, he wrote to both. And she is mine.

This kind of love he was feeling now felt like fairytale love. The kind that didn’t happen in real life, and if it did, it didn’t happen to men like Monty. As an entomologist that categorized species that had already been discovered (an activity that took up a wealth of his time– there were many different types of bugs and somehow even more boxes to put them in) he didn’t have the space in his schedule for love, no matter how he yearned.

The mundanity of his life was tangible. It was a physical force that crushed him on all sides. Even the way he escaped his daily drudgery was boringly passé– through alcohol. Crusted onto every surface of his existence was droll normalcy, and ten beers later, he still felt its blemish. Sitting on the edge of a bridge in the middle of the night, crooning to empty air about how he knew, just knew that a whirlwind romance would be the thing to give him meaning again, he threw his empty beer bottle into the stalks of reeds in the ravine below.

“Ow.” Someone said in the underbrush. “Shit,” She, it was a woman’s voice, hissed right after.

A beat, then drunken realization. “Oh, god damn it–” He fumbled with his phone, aiming the light down into the thick dark of the river below. “’m so sorry,” He slurred. “I didn’t mean t’--” 

Amongst the reeds was a figure. He stood upright. She crouched, dusty yellow, mottled by shadow. Ripples from the sinking glass were the only movement for a heavenly moment. The unbecoming of who he used to be took less than a second.

“Don’t tell anyone this happened.” She said, in perfect English. She had the voice of a regular woman. Like a bank clerk, or an operator.  “You weren’t supposed to see me.”

“But I love you,” Was all he could make himself say. “I’m Monty.”

“No you don’t, Monty. Goodbye.”

And she fell forwards, vanishing into the shallow stream like by magic, her massive body flattening as she darted into darkness. Monty scrambled to aim his phone at her, to catch her in his sights again, but she was gone. A sweet, acrid smell lingered in the air, and the soft lapping of water against the reeds stilled.

Stunned, he sat back down. He had forgotten that sounds and smells changed by the hour– that the world tilted on its axis, that the 24-hour cycle was more than just a day. Suddenly, it was like the universe made itself known to him. Sitting on that bridge for a day and a half, staring into the water below as he waited for her to return, was the most exciting thing he had done in years. 

In the evening, when the sky was awash with orange and pale yellow and cars no longer passed behind him, he saw her rustling in the tall grass again.

“You’re here!” He stood shakily, legs nearly folding again underneath him. All that was in his system was beer, and even then, most of it was regurgitated. 

“I’m here because you’re stupid. What are you doing?”

“I wanted to see you again.” His mouth was dry and stiff and brittle, like a cicada’s shed. Part of him wished that he didn’t appear so disheveled– first impressions were everything, after all. “I didn’t want to miss you.”

“You need to leave. You’re throwing up into the water. I live there.”

They had just met, and she already cared about his well-being– Monty’s heart swelled. 

“You need to leave,” She repeated, flicking her pinsirs like she was trying to shoo him away. “Don’t come back. Forget you ever saw me, go live your life. I’m serious.”

“I can’t do that! You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!”

It was odd to see such a human expression of exasperation from such an inhuman creature. Her face was too large to cover entirely, even with more than six hands. It endeared him endlessly.

He refused to budge, even when she threw rocks at him and hissed like a cockroach. Nimbly, he dodged while still having enough breath to plead, until one stone hit him in the stomach and he bent over the railing to hurl bile. The acid swirled with the clear water and the creature looked at it with disgust.

“You’re a mess.”

“I’ll go if you come home with me. Please.” 

“...Only because you vomited in mine.”

Her name was ⍉⌂◂⑈ღ, but he didn’t have the correct muscles in his mouth to pronounce it, so he called her “Onna” instead. In any other circumstance, he would have made the effort to get her name right— but he discovered her. It was only right that he named her. He blushed when he told her the scientific name, “Onnapulchra Campbellis”.

“I hope it’s not too early in our relationship to give you my last name.” He felt like a schoolboy, nervous and fidgety.

“I don’t care,” She responded, and he was grateful that she didn’t mind.

To call her “insectoid” would imply that she was comparable to anything that existed on Earth, so that wasn’t quite right. But Monty was best at categorizing things through an entomological lens, so that was the view through which he processed her. Her body was lumbering-large and shiny like a beetle carapace, but the texture of her flesh was almost viscous and yielding like a mucus membrane. No exoskeleton. Long, tapered-thin limbs sprouted from her by the dozens, attached to a rigid and sturdy torso that trawled behind her like a millipede. Constantly crawling pinsirs protruded from her face like spider legs, three on each side. A truly unique specimen.

Due to the multiple pairs of antennae, her number of legs, and the lack of an abdomen, he was more inclined to categorize her as a crustacean. But all language to describe her was insufficient.

Referring to the things that stuck from her head as “antlers” would ignore their antennae-like quality, and referring to them as “antennae” ignored their antler-like quality. So Monty gave them a new name entirely: aerips. They didn’t mean anything. Just a word that felt right in his mouth. More aspects of her body that were being named by him; he felt special to have this honor. Only he could claim to know the unique identifiers of her form.

If it were acceptable, if he could be a modern Shakespeare, he would do nothing but invent a perfect new language by which to talk about his girlfriend. Unfortunately, he didn’t have that kind of time, so he just bought a thesaurus instead. The only way to properly convey what she was was in excess, with words like illustrious and resplendent. She was numinous in her beauty. She incited feelings of limerence. For once, scientific terms were not enough to define. Perhaps it was true that love made a poet out of everybody.

“Are you an angel?” He stared at her from his seat on the couch, eyes wide and round like pearls.

“No. Why was that your first guess?” Her own eyes were passive, pupiless. Dark and protruding from her face, like sanded down lumps of coal. She had to crouch to fit inside his home, the tips of her aerips scraping against the landlord white paint of the ceiling.

“I feel blessed to be in your presence.”

It was hard to read her. She didn’t have human features. The chitter she made was loud and short. She looked away.

“An alien, then?”

“I’m not from around here, if that’s what you’re asking.” She still didn’t look at him, favoring instead to explore his apartment. Fondling knickknacks between prehensile tarsi. “I was born in Lincoln County, Nevada.”

Monty pushed himself up to his feet. “Really?”

“No. I’m fucking with you.”

“Oh.” Then he laughed. She was funny, too. “Are you, hm, mutated, to your knowledge? Maybe some kind of crossbreed between a phasmid and, ah maybe some form of arachnid, though I see some grublike qualities in the shape of your mandibles. How familiar are you with your morphology?”

“What’s with all the questions?”

“I just want to know more about you.”

The idea that someone would want to know more about her seemed to baffle her. “What is there to know?”

What was there that he didn’t want to know? What was her favorite food? Was she a morning person? Could her lineage be traced back to trilobites, or was she a unique myriapoda offshoot? Of course he would want to know everything about someone he was imagining himself spending the rest of his life with.

He stood on his tiptoes and reached up to her head. Gentle fingers grazed the base of her right aerip.“I’m curious about these. Are these responsive to stimuli?”

Her body seized like she had been shocked, and her voice came out as a rolling trill. “...Kind of.”

Whether or not he was still a virgin after that night was anybody’s guess. And nobody but them would have the opportunity to guess– a gentleman didn’t kiss and tell. Monty was reminded that a remarkable amount of bug anatomy shared similarities with humans. Tibia. Femur. Posterior. And even the parts that didn’t were beautiful, and received equal amounts of attention.

“I don’t dislike you.” She seemed to be mulling it over as they laid on their backs on the living room floor. Looking up at the scratched ceiling as if it were as beautiful as the night sky. “You have.. uses. You give me shelter. I may stick around.”  She concluded. “Less harm in the long run, too… yeah. Just this once.”

In any other case, he would think that moving in after the first date would be progressing a little fast. But he was head over heels, sweaty and nude and invigorated, so he said yes. His life was consumed by her now, her low chittering drone that lulled him to sleep, her pheromones. Onna invaded his mind and made it her hive. Work, what had once held him in an iron grip, had no power over him anymore.

The only time he left his home was to hand in his resignation; she didn’t like it when he left her– “don’t speak to anyone about me. If you do, I’ll leave.”-- so he made it home in record time, even after dropping off his letters at the post office. He handed her a small bouquet of flowers that he picked idly from the front of the building he no longer worked at. “We should go on a date.”

“That’s a bad idea.” She said through a mouthful of wild cosmos.

“Why?”

She scoffed. “I’m not letting anyone else see me. Are you kidding? You’re already enough to deal with.”

“I can make you dinner here, then. What would you like to eat? Anything. I can get it for you.” 

She shrugged, picking a blue petal out from between her inner labrum. “I mostly eat dead things.” What a coincidence– so did Monty. They had so much in common. “Whatever I find, really. Sometimes a cat gets hit by a car, or something drowns in the river, and that's a good day.”

“So, you don’t pursue your food in any way? Interesting that you evolved to eat meat but have no discernable hunting instincts. Maybe you’re like a maggot, Lucilia sericata or Phaenicia sericata if I had to guess…”

She didn’t answer for a moment, instead looking at the remains of stems scattered on the rug. “Maybe. I don’t know.” She muttered, nudging the stalk with her lowermost tarsomeres.

“I’ll cook you something.” He replied, already moving to the kitchen. “I’m not used to making things for other people, but I promise, it’ll be good–”

“That’ll take too long. This food talk is making me hungry.” One of her tarsal claws clamped around the meat of his forearm and held him in place.“Stay still.” He obeyed.

Her head dipped low and a proboscis slid from between her mandibles, roving across the surface of his cheek. Searching for something. It was rough like a cat’s tongue. Her maw opened and scraped against his skin, and he could feel the micro-layers of epidermis being pulled from him and into her waiting throat. Feeding from him. It was more intimate than sex. 

Oddly, all he could think of during the experience were his coworkers who discussed their personal lives between labs. Monty had felt a certain disdain for them before, a thinly-veiled jealousy when they talked amongst each other about their perfect wives. But now, he only felt pity, and had a compulsion to smile and shake his head at the fools who thought they experienced true love. Did Dr. Seth Ried’s beloved soulmate, Sarah, care for him enough to eat the dead mites from his skin?

Smugly, he pressed his face further into Onna’s mouthparts. She definitely didn’t.

Something strange happens to people who are alone for most of their lives. They fall in love and they aren’t even bitter when they admit that, yes, the songs and the poems and the horrible sappiness of it all were right. They understand why people have ostentatious weddings and coo to their partners in public, kiss with flagrant adoration and lack of decorum, look at them, do they think anyone wants to see that display? 

He understood, finally, that the lovers did so because they never gave a second thought to anyone but each other, and now he didn’t care about anyone but her, and the two of them felt like they had been added to the pantheon of pairs who have loved the most beautifully and profoundly. Surely, there were no other lovers in the world who felt that they had invented the very concept of it. And surely, none of them could claim to have a partner as remarkable as Onna.

He wanted to study her, and that is what he did every moment of every day as she raked her pinsirs across him. He wanted to insert pins into the soft loam of her limb segments, the hard-gnarled twists of her dozens of joints. No one could love her like he did. They slept together and fucked together and ate together, sometimes two at a time, sometimes all at once. Monty was delighted at the thought that they were no longer separate beings, but instead, one stronger whole. Monty&Onna, Onna&Monty. Monnaty. 

Maybe, if he was lucky, she would actually turn out to be like an anglerfish, and subsume him entirely. Then, he would be her, and nothing about her would be beyond his understanding. The days passed, and the longer he spent with her, the more she ate, and the less he was him.

“Is this normal?” He asked her, one night in bed, heart beating like an infinitely skipping stone.

Onna barely fit on his mattress, having to curl up like a large dog amongst pillows and blankets. Her body coiled around him, cool and wet. She spoke directly into his ear canal with her neck jilted at a harsh angle. “What do you mean?”

“This is just… so much. I love you so much that my hands shake.” Demonstrating, he pressed the back of his tender, trembling hand against her soft, sticky-slick thorax. It was remarkably smaller now that most of the flesh had been stripped from it. “I feel weak. Do you?”

“I don’t know. I mean, I feel fine.”

“Maybe this is just what being in love is like.”

“...Maybe.” She pressed her maxillary palps to his cheek, and he sighed as if he had been kissed, but she continued to mouth at him, scraping up dead skin cells with a rough tongue. Pain glowed with every stripe, bright and golden against his flesh. “Hold still.”

“I love you.” 

“Yeah, I know.” She said through another mouthful of him. At this point, there didn’t seem to be many left. The entire exterior of his body was raw, red, occasionally blood rose to the surface, and Onna diligently lapped it up, proboscis snuffling between tendons to pull out chunks of skin that had fallen between them. Moving hurt, but that was okay, because he didn’t want to move.

“Do you love me?”

Her response was swift. “I don’t think it’s possible for me to do that.”

A sickening lurch overtook him. He imagined her darting away from him the same way she swam in the stream, like she never existed in the first place. “What?” He croaked.

“I wasn’t made for that. To reciprocate, I mean. I’m just not capable of it, not even in mating season.”

“Does that mean you’ll leave me?”

“No. You’ll never see me leave. All my needs are taken care of with you.”

He sighed in relief and pressed his ragged face to her. Slime oozed against throbbing muscle, seeping into his tear ducts. “Thank God,” He wept. “Thank God, Onna.”

It didn’t matter if she loved him– it just mattered that he could love her. He didn’t know what she was, or why a girl like her would stay with a guy like him, or how it got to this point, him pinned like a specimen under her as she gathered more and more of him into her maw. But he knew he loved it.

This was what he yearned for. This was what he always wanted. Finally– something interesting was happening to him.

“I studied things like you, you know.” Speaking was too much of an effort. The words were strained and whispered. “I wonder what you are.”

The crackling of her mouth opening wider yet wider didn’t impede her speech, somehow. “I’d tell you if I could. All I really know about myself is that I get pretty hungry, and I don’t like to leave things to waste.” For a moment, her bank-clerk voice softened into something recognizable. Something almost remorseful. “I’ve drawn this out too long– you just seemed so happy, but it was still cruel of me. Thanks for asking about me. Most of my prey never did that. I hope you understand.”

He did. He understood everything. He understood that she enjoyed every morsel of him. Monty watched her aerips bob as she chewed. He thought about how cute they looked on her before a proboscis slithered into view and punctured his eyeball, slid through his skull, and–

It was fortunate that Onna understood most things, but didn’t understand how mail worked, just so Monty’s parents could receive some sort of closure. Weeks later, his home was found empty, with nothing left behind but a broken window, scratch marks on the ceiling,  and a gory lump of slop in his bed. They declined to publish photos of what was left of their son when National Geographic reached out to them. But since they had a letter of their own, no matter how hard Mr. and Mrs. Campbell campaigned to have it removed; it was published in full.

To describe my love for her would be to fit a waterfall into a shot glass. I opened the spigot and it will not stop flowing, gushing. I’ve never felt like this before. It’s crazy, and I’ll never stop saying it. I’ve never felt like this before. I’ve never felt like this before.

x1

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