It was a warm day in the little town of Tansamay. Celine a little old widow lived to tend to her garden. She adored the pink English rose tree that stood at the back of her garden. The colour and the smell reminded of her of home. Celine had moved from England with her then husband Eric in the 1960’s to Australia. It was an epoch were the government wanted expats to move and make Australia a thriving place. Celine agreed. Life in Britain was dying. Eric a miner from Nottingham was looking forward to making a fresh start in a new country. A country in which lied thousands of miles away. Celine on the other hand couldn’t have agreed more. She was getting pretty sick of life in Nottingham. She found Britain changing. She felt ready to make the change and follow Eric to Australia.This was how it all began. The new adventure wasn’t going to be a happy one. Nothing could have prepared them both for what was going to happen when they arrived. It was this dark take that often made Celine sad. The only remainder she had of Eric was the rose bush she bought and took with her from England. It was beside this tree that Celine scattered Eric’s ashes several months after the fateful day.It all began one bright sunny day in the middle of November. Eric was working in the garden. This was during his day off. Together they loved to feel the sun. Especially Eric. He loved to feel the sun on his back, whilst drinking a bottle of beer and mowing the lawn. Celine loved to sit out onto the terrace cutting the fresh flowers and putting them into a glass vase. The garden was something they maintained together. On this day Celine spotted a strange looking spider.“Eric come quick and loot at this?” She asked. Eric came over to where she was sitting, and started to examine it.“Do you think it is poisonous?” She cried. “No love, but I better get rid of it just in case it is,” he said.Then Eric stood on the spider. As he did, hundreds of little spiders came flying out from underneath his foot. Celine couldn’t believe her eyes. She saw them all running away. Some even made their way up Eric’s legs, which were exposed to the sun. He just brushed them off with his hands and then went into the house where he tried to kill them. Celine ran inside after him. She helped him disinfect the area where they were running around.Celine was really afraid by the gruesome look of these creatures. It wasn’t until afterwards did the reality really take effect. Eric started to look pale. She noticed he wasn’t his usual self. “I think we need to get you to the hospital,” she exclaimed.“I’ll be alright,” he said defiantly.Celine knew he wasn’t going to be all right. In desperation, she called the doctor and told him what had happened. The doctor came round straight away. When the doctor arrived, he was unprepared of the horror that was to confront him.Celine opened the door and let him in. He noticed the floor was covered with the remains of what looked like red back spiders. He then saw Eric slumped in the chair. He noticed holes in his legs, with blood like mixtures oozing out of them. By now Eric was struggling for breath.“Your husband has been badly bitten. We must take him to the hospital now. But I doubt if he will survive the night.”Celine agreed. She went with the doctor and Eric. The news wasn’t good. Eric died in her arms, telling her how much he loved her and that he will always be watching over her.While Celine was at the hospital with Eric and the doctor, the spider that Eric had stood on was still alive, and was looking for revenge. It carefully crawled up the drain and managed to get into the house. It came up through the pipes leading to the bathroom, and waited for them to return to continue the attack. Celine couldn’t face going home without Eric by her side. The vision of the day he was killed stayed with her. Their friends came to visit her in hospital. She was too emotional to be allowed home.During the post mortem doctors found the holes in his legs were the holes in which spiders had buried themselves. His legs were red with large gapping holes staring back at them. Doctors used pliers to get the spiders out. As they started to prod about, getting deeper at the holes. Spiders started to pour out. They ran quickly out of the holes in is legs and spread themselves everywhere. Nothing could be done to stop the invasion. .Celine was too weak to care. She just waited for the body to be released so that he could be buried. This wasn’t going to be easy. The spiders were now starting to attack anyone that came near it. Even doctors couldn’t move the body. They had to wait for the army to be called in.Celine was heartbroken. All she wanted was her Eric. He was her only love and best friend. She had no other family. They all died when she was young, and was raised in an orphanage. She met Eric whilst working in the local shop. Since then they had been inseparable.Now she didn’t know how she was going to survive all alone in a foreign country. She had no job. Eric worked as a builder. This helped to pay the bills, and provide them with a nice life.“What am I going to do?” She laid thinking whilst staying in the hospital ward. “I can’t face life alone. Why Eric, why my Eric? What did he do so bad to deserve this?”The army soon arrived to the small town. The hospital was covered with soldiers wearing space like suits. The spiders’ invasion was now getting out of control. The spider Eric killed still stood its ground in their home. This time the whole house was covered with spiders. The nests of spiders covered the walls, ceilings and floors of every room in the house. There were thousands if not millions now waiting for Celine. It was like a dream that had gone wrong. The dream was only going to get worse than better.Shortly after the army’s arrival, Celine was moved to a special unit. Everyone in the hospital was evacuated by the army’s special disinfected tank to a special underground base. Celine didn’t care. She just closed her eyes and began to fall asleep. Hoping that when she woke up she would be at home in her garden with Eric, and this was just a nightmare.As she closed her eyes she began to dream. It was a dream that took her back to a time. A time where there was no one except for her and Eric. “Where are we?” She asked.“Eric just smiled and took her hand.“Follow me,” he replied.She then began to follow him. There he led her to a beautiful house. A house so tall and wide with the biggest and most beautiful roses, she could ever imagine. Celine stood in amazement.“You’ll be safe here,” Eric reassured her.“What happened?” She asked.“The world is dying. It is the start of a long story. We have no choice but to become one of them.”Become what, what is happening,” Celine continued to ask, with her heart beating furiously. It was beating so hard that she too was struggling to catch her breath.Eric just sat her down and began to tell her a story. ***“It all began when I started work in the mine. It wasn’t like an ordinary mine that I led you to believe my dear Celine. It was a mine filled with horror, which I couldn’t escape from. We had just got married, and I needed to find a job. I had you to look after.There was an advert displayed in the local job centre. ‘Apprentice required at Bulwell Mine.’ I had to apply for it.On my first day I was made to feel part of the team. “We’re going to train you into becoming a scientist?” My boss told me.I was pleased. I always dreamed about becoming a scientist. But I was no good at school. Then I met and fell in love with you. I knew I had to make this job work, and started making a good impression. I started to dissect insects and analysing how they operated. These species lived underground and were like worms. They were rather interesting.At first I enjoyed analysing them. It gave me great pleasure in studying these creepy crawlies. After six months of doing this. Things had started to change. I remembered. We had a visit from someone very important. My boss told me it was a government official. He never said what government he was working for. All I remembered he was well dressed and wearing a large number of medals on his left side. On the day he arrived, we had to meet him. Alongside him stood several bodyguards. They looked mean and frightening. It was then I felt something wasn’t quite right. I was afraid of saying anything. I didn’t want to loose my job by speaking out. I just accepted what they said.”Celine listened with interest. She still didn’t understand what Eric was saying. She remembered Eric becoming very secretive. She couldn’t work out why. She learnt at an early age not to ask questions, so she never quizzed him on his changed of attitude. “Then what happened Eric?” She asked with curiosity.“It was at this meeting a grey metallic sealed box was handed to our director. Inside the box was the most gruesome looking thing you have ever seen. It was black with a huge red sac on the back of it. It was a spider. A spider so different from what we had studied. We were told to watch and study it. We were asked to write everything down. How it moved? What it ate? How it operated?But my dear Celine, this was no ordinary spider. This spider was capable of killing. Just one bite from this spider was enough to kill an elephant. We were dealing with the most dangerous spider in the world. We were told to wear special gloves, and a mask covering our faces. We noted down how it spun its webs. We looked at with interest how it searched for pray. It was a marvellous and intelligent creature; One that I became fascinated by.Then one day, it started producing babies. There were hundreds of spiders everywhere. The mother was even more dangerous. They were overtaking the whole lab. We were deep underground in the mine. They could easily survive in that environment without any problems. But out in the open it would be difficult. They like living in warm humid environments. Bulwell wasn’t an environment they could easily survive in.The infestation was soon getting worse. These spiders were now biting my colleagues. We had other scientists on hand to give them an antidote. It was only by taking this antidote were they able to survive and continue with this project. Even they bit me on several occasions.Six months later the government officials had returned. He wanted to know about the experiment. He was intrigued. He listened intently alongside his bodyguards. He was fascinated to learn by how they reproduced, and to how the spiders operated. He laughed when he was told how deadly they really were. It seemed as if he didn’t care.Then in the early 1960’s when the government offered expats an opportunity to move to Australia. We were all asked to leave. Yet there was only one problem; who ever wanted to leave had to take one of the spiders to Australia. I couldn’t refuse Celine. I just couldn’t. I knew that if I did I would be out of a job.Inside this mine we created a super spider. A spider we couldn’t destroy. It was one spider that could cause the destruction of all life. Before moving to Australia we were asked to think of ways of destroying them. There was only one way. This was to take out the oxygen from their environment. We did this by filling areas with radioactive gases. This led to their destruction. We had to wear special suits to collect dead corpses and throw them away in a special area. Then we finished the job by burning them all. It provided us with fuel. We began to see that we could after all control these spiders. Our bosses only kept a handful alive. These were sealed in a special metal box. Only I had the key to open the box. My mission was to open the box when we arrive in Australia and let it free. I was paid a lot of money to take part in this mission. It was enough to both you and I a nice life. I couldn’t refuse. I thought of you and I. We needed to the money for a nice home and food. It would keep us until I got a job in Australia as a builder. When we arrived. I opened the box and let it run away into the wild. I never thought any more of it. All I wanted to do now was to spend my life with you. Sadly this wasn’t’ to be. I began to realise something was up.The spider didn’t go away. It stayed in our garden. I noticed the spider watching our moves. It was like it was analyzing us and studying us. I couldn’t work out what to do. I knew if I had said anything, or alerted anyone. It could have had consequences on us. So I said nothing. I just hoped that it would go away.Then one day we had a knock at the door. The gentleman in the well-dressed suit asked me to follow him. I had no choice. He was my boss from the mine. He took me to this house, and started to explain the dangers we were now facing. This house is situated in the outskirts of the town.“We can see communities destroyed if we don’t do anything,” he said.“What are we going to do?” I cried.For a moment he said nothing. It seemed a while had passed. I was still there. Then he recollected his thoughts back to the time we were working in the mine. He spoke about how we got rid of them. He remembered the antidote that was used to protect life. It was then we started making the antidotes, in a dark room deep inside this house. There are enough antidotes for every citizen and more of Australia.Your job now Celine is to wake up, and lead officials to this house. You will give them the antidotes. Your job is to save the community and further deaths,” he said.“I can’t. I’m too scared Eric. I am frightened they will put me away and blame me for it.” She said with her heart racing at the thought of this.“They won’t Celine. You will be well provided for,” he replied reassuringly before disappearing like a puff of smoke into the sky.***Celine startled by this, woke up suddenly to reality. The reality that was to hit her was unwelcoming. As all she could think about was what Eric had said in the dream. When she woke up, she began to get a sense of her surroundings. She found herself locked up in a secure room with no one around her. Except for the radio situated in the corner of the room. The room was made out of prefabricated concrete. It reminded her of a prison cell. A type of prison cell, which was used in the TV programme Porridge. But this prison cell had no bars for her to peer out of. It didn’t even have a small window with the sun peering in. All it had was a fireproof door to keep her sealed in. Celine bored by loneliness and the not knowing went over to the corner of the room and put the radio on. At first she couldn’t get a signal. Then suddenly she heard… “News Flash. The town of Tansamay has been taken over big spiders. People were dying in there thousands as swarms of spiders, bite both livestock and humans. They invade the houses, and start to nest in dead corpses lying in the houses undiscovered. Eating the rotten flesh. The army has been called in to deal with the situation.Captain can you update us on the situation,” the journalist asked.“Yes. The town of Tansamay is now a no go zone. If you have relatives in the town, it is best to stay away until we have the situation under control. Spiders are everywhere. If you see one of these big spiders with a red sac on its back, do not kill it. It is highly venomous. Scientists are working around the clock to find a cure. We are currently holding someone in connection with this. We will pass on more information when the situation is in hand.”“Thank you Captain. And now for the rest of today’s news.”Celine then turned off the radio. Shocked by the news, she just sat on the bed waiting for someone to come and give her more information. Yet the nagging thought of what was said started to eat at her.“Who is this person?” She asked herself. “Surely it can’t be me. I haven’t done anything.”Then she remembered the dream and looked back at what Eric had said. It was her duty to save civilization from the spiders. She was their only help.“Will they believe me? Who do I tell?” She began to ask, as she tried to piece together the horror that faced her. Then all of a sudden, a gentleman came into the room. Celine stood up with her mouth wide open wanting to say hello. NO words would come out. It was as if she had lost her voice.“You know why you’re here?” He demanded.Celine didn’t know what to say or how to reply. All she could do was stand there like a statue firmly fixed to the ground. She was too frightened by this. All of a sudden an image of Eric stood immediately behind him. It was this image that put her at ease. It was like Eric was watching over her. She suddenly remembered his passing words, “Your job is to save the community and further deaths.” It was this thought that gave her the courage to speak. “Yes I know why I am here. It’s my husband Eric. He is dead, and I still haven’t had the chance to bury him,” she replied boldly.“ Do you know how he died?” He asked.“Yes. We were in the garden. I say a strange looking spider, and Eric examined it before standing on it. I then say hundreds of spiders running away. They were running everywhere. Even up his legs. He was then bitten very badly. I helped him into the house to get rid of the remaining spiders. I called a doctor. Who quickly came to take us to the hospital! Later that evening sadly Eric didn’t make it. He had died.”“Did your husband say anything about these spiders?”“Yes he told me that these spiders are very dangerous. They will only kill if provoked. He told me that his colleague had already produced a vast amount of antidotes to save the community. He also told me how to destroy them by removing oxygen. This will kill them instantly.”“Did he tell you where they were stored?”“He showed me a house. A derelict house, standing tall and wide situated on the outskirts of town.”The gentleman seemed to know this house. Celine felt he had already been there given by the expression on his face. “I know of the house.” He said trying to reassure Celine. “I found the map in your coat. I wasn’t sure of this was the place you were talking about. We searched your house for clues regarding this affair. This is one of the reasons why we moved you here to this secure base. We didn’t want anything to happen to you. We couldn’t afford to loose you.”Celine just smiled in acknowledgement. He took hold of Celine’s arm and led her out of the room, followed by bodyguards.“Where are we going?” She asked.“We are going to the house. You’ll be safe with us. You’ll need to wear this suit. It will protect you from any spider bites.” He replied.Celine did as she was asked. She quickly put on the suit, and followed them to the car. The car that would take them all to the tall, wide house with a beautiful rose tree, situated in the outskirts of town.***The journey from the secure base where she was held to the tall wide house on the outskirts of town only took around half an hour. She looked out of the window, and enjoyed feeling the sunlight shine upon her through the window. She found the countryside barren. It was as if all the vegetation had been eaten away. There seemed to be no trees, no flowers and no other forms of animal life. It looked like a desert.Before she knew it they had arrived at the house. The gentleman opened her door, and took her arm, leading her to the entrance of the house. As the bodyguards opened the door she noticed Eric standing there in front of them. It was like he was guiding her. He gave her a gesture to follow him. Celine then went in front of the men.“Follow me.” She said. “ I know where to go.”Celine and the gentleman followed Eric. The bodyguards stayed beside the door making sure that no one other than them was present in the house. Eric then led them down further stairs to the basement. This time they had a sense of being deep underground. The light switch in the corner glowed the chilling rooms in the heart of the cellar. It was as if the house had an underground tunnel. The tunnel was free of spiders. Then when they reached the end, they were faced with a large secure door to get through. Eric’s ghostly figure showed her where the key was kept to open the secure door. Beside the door was a box. Celine opened the box and took out the key. Then she opened the door.When the door opened, she found the room full of test tubes. She didn’t know what these were. The gentleman pushed past her, and handed her a large briefcase, which was situated in the corner of the room.“This is for you,” he smiled.Celine said nothing. She was stunned by his actions.“What about the spiders?” She exclaimed.“Ah yes. The spiders are being dealt with.” He replied. “We have the first phase of the antidote. We need you to forget about this place, and forget about everything.”Celine didn’t quite understand. She was led to believe her mission was to save the planet from the black spider with a red sac on its back. She had lost her husband to this creature. She saw spiders crawling out of the holes in his legs. She was also a victim of the spiders. Fortunately she survived.“We are going to take you home now. We have fumigated your house. It is safe for you to return.” The gentleman said as he led her out the secure room back out into the open, where the bodyguards were waiting.Celine followed him back to the car. She was soon driven home. She was glad to return there. She hoped that this was a bad dream, and that she would wake up to find Eric waiting for her. But as she got out of the car, she then went into the house. There she found a note left on the table in the kitchen with an urn beside it.Celine opened the note. As she did she sat down in the chair and began to read it.‘Celine as you read this note; your husband has been cremated. Here are the remains of him. Your husband is a hero. He helped save the planet. We wish you all the best for the future. Anon.’Celine too tired to do anything. She left the note and the urn where they were and retired to bed. “I shall deal with this tomorrow, “ she sighed, and then made her way upstairs to the bedroom, and to her bed.Whilst she was asleep the large black spider with the red sac was hiding in the corner of the bathroom. He was waiting for her all this time. As she lay sleeping he crawled out of the bathroom, ran across the floor to the bedroom.Then it suddenly stopped. It didn’t move. Eric appeared out of nowhere. He took the spider and placed it into his ghostly hands. He then placed it into a metal box, which was hidden under the bed, leaving her free from this creature. Then he left.The morning soon arrived. Celine woke up and went downstairs into the kitchen. She knew Eric was watching her. She took his ashes and placed them under the rose tree.“Now my dear Eric. You are always with me, and I can always look after you.”The End.