Tale as Old As Time

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Spiders and Water Don't Mix

Emma, Lucas and Rose screamed as they travelled faster and faster down the tunnel, bumping into the sides and each other on the bends and turns.

As the tunnel levelled out they found themselves slowing down and before they knew it they were all shooting out of the end of the tunnel into a room. Emma and Lucas dropped to the floor, but Rose, who was by far the lightest, flew across the room and hit the opposing wall.

“Everyone ok?” Emma called as she got to her feet

“I’m ok, except you landed on me!” Lucas groaned

“I wondered what was so squidgy.”

“I can’t move!” Rose screamed as she tried to tug her arms and legs free. “What’s got me?”

“I don’t know. It’s too dark to see anything!”

And, as if the moon were responding to their words, it appeared from behind a cloud and illuminated the room, revealing Rose was caught in the biggest spider’s web possible. Emma and Lucas saw immediately that she was out of their reach.

“We need to go find the others and get help.” Emma muttered to Lucas, who nodded his agreement.

“How do we get out?”

Again, as if following their words, the moon illuminated a small door, but before Emma or Lucas could take one step towards it they heard a noise and the ground started to shake.

“Guys, quit holding out on me, what am I stuck in?”

“Looks like a giant cobweb.” Lucas told her bluntly, hoping that it wouldn’t register that the spider that made it must have been bigger than them.

The shaking became stronger and Emma and Lucas looked at the floor in time to see a long hairy spike erupt from the floor. Looking at each other they bolted from the room.

“HANG ON ROSE, WE’LL GET SOME HELP!” Emma shouted from the door, just as the first spider broke free and scuttled towards them, only stopping when Emma slammed the door.

Emma and Lucas raced down the corridor, not knowing where it would lead them, only wanting to put distance between them and the giant spiders. They also know they needed to find the others and get help.

The spider halted at the door and more spiders broke free from the confines of the floor. Rose started to tremble. She hated spiders at the best of times and now she was alone, facing a dozen hairy arachnids that were larger than her, the remains of the moonlight bouncing off their bodies. Even when confronted with her worst fear, she wondered where the light was coming from; it was still thundering outside. She could feel the web start to sway as they slowly climbed the walls towards her. Trying to hold them at bay for as long as possible, Rose swallowed the scream that was building in her throat until she could feel the prickle of the leg of the first spider as it brushed against her skin.

“Ok, so it all started here. Maybe if we can get everyone back here all this weird crap will stop?” Matt said as they reached the landing where the grand staircase split into two.

“Maybe, but we still have to find everyone first!” Mia reminded him.

A noise at the top of the staircase distracted them from their conversation and they looked up to see Emma and Lucas bolting out of one of the corridors.

“Hey! Down here!” Alexis called.

Emma and Lucas kept moving as fast as they could. When Lucas stumbled and fell to his knees, he told Emma to keep running, but too scared to be on her own, Emma helped him to his feet and they set off running again. The light shifted as they ran out of the end of the corridor and found themselves at the top of the stairs.

“Hey! Down here!” they heard someone yell, and with trepidation they looked over the railing to see Matt, Mia and Alexis.

“Oh thank God!” Lucas breathed and he and Emma descended the stairs to meet their friends.

“What the hell happened to you to? Where’s Rose and Tom?” Matt asked them, eyeing up their dusty, sweat laden clothes.

“Tom isn’t with you guys?” Emma asked, puzzled.

“No, he was with you.”

“We haven’t seen him since the race, we thought he’d become traitor. As for Rose, well, we left her at the mercy of giant spiders to come and find help because we couldn’t reach her.”

“Giant spiders?” Mia asked, shuddering at the thought before a blood curdling scream filled the room, making their blood run cold.

“We shouldn’t have left her.” Emma said, her face white as a sheet in the moonlight.

“If you hadn’t you’d both be screaming too.”

“Question is: What do we do now? Rose has been whatever’d by the spiders, Khaia is gone, I’m pretty sure she’s hurt because we heard a scream earlier and Tom is missing too.” Matt offered to the group.

“I say we stay together and try and find them before getting out of here.” Alexis said.

“Or we get out of here and then we, albeit reluctantly, can get help.” Emma suggested.

“That would be a good one, except all the exterior doors and lower floor windows have been blocked up.” Matt told her

“Blocked up?”

“Yes, Lucas. Blocked up so we can’t get out. We’re stuck in this house of horrors.”

“So we go look for the others. Agreed?”

One by one they nodded agreement. They also resolved on finding Khaia first as they knew roughly where she disappeared.

Holding hands so as not to lose one another Alexis, Mia, Matt, Emma and Lucas made their way to the spot where Khaia had last been seen .

Again they tried all of the doors along the stretch of corridor and found that they were all locked, until Alexis came to the last one. It opened with ease and swung into the room to reveal a dark, windowless room.

“Khaia?” He asked, stepping into the room.

However, instead of his foot hitting floor, the floor gave way and Alexis fell with a loud splash, nearly pulling Mia with him.

“It’s some sort of lake!” he spluttered when he resurfaced.

“A lake?” Lucas asked sceptically.

“It’s not the weirdest thing we’ve come across.” Mia told him.

“Dude, you’ll have to swim to the edge so we can pull you out.” Matt told him.

Alexis started to swim, but the second he moved he could feel the water moving around him in a way that was not linked to his body.

“I think there’s something in here with me!” he told them, his voice hoarse with fear, as whatever it was brushed against his leg.

And bit him.

“AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!” Alexis screamed, his friends watching helplessly as he was dragged under the water.

“Alexis!” Mia and Emma screamed while Matt tried to reach out for his friend and Lucas simply looked on in disbelief at the splashing of Alexis trying to resist being dragged under.

The splashing stopped and Alexis was nowhere to be found, however a few seconds later a lump floated to the surface of the lake.

“He’s dead?” Emma asked in a choked voice, watching the lump rise and fall with the movement of the water.

Matt quickly shut the door.

“I’m going to go with eaten.” Lucas told her, earning a glare off Matt over his lack of tact.

Mia let out a sob and Matt put his arm around her shoulder, leading her away from the room where they had just watched Alexis die.

“Does this mean the others are more than likely dead?” Mia asked in a small voice, asking the question everyone else had been thinking.

Emma suddenly froze, turning back to the door.

“Does anyone else feel that?”

“Feel what?”

“Feels like we’re being watched.”

“Watched? I don’t feel anything.” Matt told her.

“I haven’t felt or seen anything either.” Mia confirmed.

“I think you’re imagining it.”

Begrudgingly, Emma rejoined the rest of the group. She was certain she had felt someone watching them. She pushed to the front of the group and headed back towards the stairs.

“Right, where did you lot lose Khaia?” She asked.

“I think it was around here somewhere. We didn’t notice she was actually gone until we reached downstairs.” Matt told her, waving his hands out to his sides.

“So, obviously she went through one of these doors?” Mia stated.

“In this house nothing is obvious. How else do you explain disappearing stairs, upstairs lakes, pits of boiling mud and giant spiders erupting from the ground?” Emma reminded her.

“She can’t have gone through a door. We checked them, they were all locked.” Matt told them, screwing his eyes up, trying to remember what they had been doing before realising Khaia was missing.

“Well if she didn’t go through a door, she must have found a hidey hole.” Mia suggested, eyeing up the wall next to her.

“Why don’t we search? It’ll keep our minds off Alexis.” Matt suggested, looking at the two pale faces of the girls.

The four of them spent the next twenty minutes pressing at the walls with their hands trying to find a hidden door to explain where Khaia had gone, but to no avail. There was nothing to find.

“We should go and find Rose.” Matt said, taking the hands of the girls and leading down the corridor where Emma and Lucas had emerged from.

Emma noticed as the passed that the moonlight that couldn’t be explained was concentrated on a door, but feeling Matt’s strong hand tug at her she carried on after him. Lucas trailed the group and found himself, in places, running to keep up with Matt’s powerful strides.

“So where did you guys come from?” he asked as he got to a ‘T’ junction in the corridor and paused.

“We went left here, then next right and then it’s the seventh door on the left.” Emma told him.

“That right Lucas?” Mia asked, wanting to make sure.

Lucas, who had been more interested in putting distance between himself and the room full of arachnids than where he was going, murmured his ascent.

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