Disclaimer: I don't own them. Nope.

Author's Note: I had the idea for this from the Shriek single of the Fleer 96 Spider-Man card set. Mostly because I rather enjoyed the direction DeMatteis took with her in "The Shrieking" mini-arc as it was the only real characterization the character had. I'm just getting my feet wet in another fandom with a minor character I love. For those who follow my work, it's the Shriek version of "Machiavellian."

Beta: My beta has real life to deal with, so patience.

Timeline: Post "The Shrieking" or anytime past Amazing Spider-Man vol.1 #393.

Ready Go!


I stir in my cot, restless. Is it my insomnia or the final gift of my only son that is keeping me awake? The drugs they've pumped into me have stopped the virus, but they left me half dead. What is with the mental health care profession and their overmedicating? Amazed that anyone can be healed, or "fixed" by them — just like an animal.

I stagger upward and pace inside my cell. I may have lost the spring in my step, but it doesn't matter as it doesn't stop my levitating powers or my eyes as I wander them down to the baby doll, the attendant Edward — the former mutant known as Vermin — snuck in for me. That is a good boy; he would make any mother proud. Yes, mother…just who I used to be once. All I ever wanted in life was to be a good mother and I will be once I get my chance!

My powers spike by this, but they are too dulled by the new medication. I'll get my release, one way or another way. I'll be a good mother yet. Frances Barrison will have her time, very soon. I scoop up the doll, gaze into it, and tilt against the wall.

I need a family first, but where could I find them? They've either abandoned me, moved on to other mothers who love them just as much as I — like my beloved Carrion — or…died. I wish I could learn the power of reviving the dead, so I can return my sweet Doppelganger to me. Oh, why did you have to be taken away from me? Oh, why, God, why? He was bloodthirsty and mindless, yes, but he was my baby.

My powers are starting to emerge. Yes! I just need a little more…motivation, however, what's left for me? Carnage is gone, my boys are dead or have moved on, and Spider-Man? Oh, he would have been perfect but he already proved his flaws to me from our last confrontation. Silly hero. I narrow my eyes and sigh as I sag to the floor.

I was angry before when he whimpered about beating my Carrion, although, I've cooled down and realize that despite the moment of weakness, he still has that delicious darkness for me to feed on. I'm curious where such a pristine hero could get a such a dark streak — parent issues? A dead mommy or daddy? A dead son or daughter? I certainly felt a sense of loss from him, no question. Perhaps that can be twisted, if only I could get to him just one more time.

The only problem will be killing that do-gooder instinct. What could I use to amplify his darkness? Appeal to his hero traits, and twist them, as I do in therapy for that fool, Dr. Kafka? Maybe a different strategy should be in mind. I could act the innocent one; pretend I've reformed and show that I'm a good girl.

Once I lower his guard, I'll get that moment to bring out his darkness and Shriek will finally have a husband worthy of her! It will work as I will remove those negative traits of his — like his bothersome compassion — and then, our family will truly begin. A good mother always has a good plan to help keep her family going strong.

I'll show him and the world that I am a good mother and soon-to-be wife. I may have failed twice but the third time will be the charm. Wait, isn't that what mother said once when father was out hunting for jobs? When he...I…my memories of them flood in my brain and all I feel is the pain, the pain!

The agony devours my being as I howl and writhe, ready to claw the rubber walls and myself. A moment becomes sheer eternity, and all I do is curse those two so-called "parents" as the walls peel away, courtesy to my powers. My body throbs in torment, as it is all a blur. Mother, father, why did you forsake me? What did I do to you? Please…

Will Spider-Man understand my anguish as it bleeds by the gallons? Yes, he will, for he has his own. He will heal me, and together our new family will endure, while we submerge into the sewers…to own them. I'll be the perfect queen in our kingdom of darkness and if anyone has anything to say about it, they'll pay. Oh, they will pay. There is nothing a mother's firm hand won't solve.

As the pain dies down, the guards arrive to strap me to my cot and inject more of their noxious toxins into me. I see that I shattered the baby doll's head while I'm being strapped to the cot and. It's almost poetic, considering how most are really like that. I am different than they as I show the cracks, not hide them.

I reveal to people what they really are inside. And Spider-Man, my soon-to-be husband and provider of our family, I'll reveal to you what you really are as well. Then, our life can commence, while I raise and discipline our children. Oh, silly children, you best listen to your mother for she knows a great many things: like the darkness within.

Just ask your father, for he knows.


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