Both Max and Maxell had looked up and down the walls after the shot, taking less than five seconds, but seeing all they needed to see. Upon dropping their gaze to floor level, they immediately realized Doctor Swift had escaped.
They could not be faulted too much, considering their attention was drawn to more dire concerns, that which was stalking towards them.
It was then they noticed who was also gone, their mother.
Both Max and Maxwell turned to one another and mouthed the words. ‘Time to get out of here.’
But before they could, one of the Horror dropped from the ceiling above, either launching itself from the wall or dislodging its limbs from the webbed centre. In the darkness, neither could be sure.
It landed square on Maxwell and sent him face first into the cave floor, the metal brace on his nose taking the brunt of the impact.
Maxwell tried to rise, but the spider’s momentum and sheer size, which was equal to that of a Great Dane, kept him effectively pinned.
The spider started shaking and moving in a circular pattern, spinning almost on its own axis, using its legs as push poles to generate its momentum.
Maxwell tried to grab a leg to pull or trip it, but there were seven more to contend with, making his efforts impossible.
He was getting frantic. He tried to roll, but failed as a dozen more spiders were upon him, their weight compressing his chest and forcing the wind from his lungs.
Then he felt it. The biting, stinging and grasping as they worked as a team, keeping him contained. This was followed by the sensation of a warm moist cloth being thrown over his body as he was wrapped in webs.
He looked to his brother, his vision going cloudy with the silk, but like him, Max was already covered by an equal amount of Horror, also soaked in moist white threads.
Maxwell tried to scream, only to find his mouth filled with wet fluff, sticky and strong, yet aerated enough to breath. His screams sounded like muffled wails in a wind tunnel.
Maxwell’s last thought. ‘Who’s going to feed Fluffy?’