Beth peered into the inky blackness of the alley leading to the rear entrance of her apartment block.
She hated the alleyway. Thick with cobwebs, its tall wooden fence, over-filled garbage skips and darkened corners provoked a sense of anxiety within her, even in daylight. Now, at nearly midnight and with no street lights, it seemed an ominous, silent cavern.
'Don't be a wuss,' she thought, stepping into the gloom.
Gaining confidence with each step, Beth continued forward when a silky thread swept across her face.
“Urgh,” she muttered, brushing the thread away with one hand. A soft rustling sound from behind sent an icy chill to her core. Spinning around, she stared into the murk.
She glimpsed a flicker of movement among the shadows, but her attention was snapped away as another silken strand danced along her neckline.
Something scurried downwards, disappearing down her blouse. Beth's arms flailed at her chest. She spun wildly as she felt more of the threads drift against her legs. Fear gripped her. She turned to run, but tripped and fell heavily against the asphalt.
Hundreds of tiny legs scuttled over her calves and up beneath the hem of her skirt. She slapped at her legs in terror. Putting one hand to the floor, she tried to push herself up, but yelped as her hand pressed into a bed of silk. It stuck fast and Beth felt a scream gather in her throat as more spindly legs scurried up her forearm. She held on to her scream for fear of what might enter her mouth. Tears streaked her face when she suddenly became aware of someone approaching her rear.
'Oh thank God,' she thought, frantically brushing at her face and hair with her free hand.
“Please? Help m...”
Beth's pleading voice trailed away as she turned and looked up into her saviours eyes...
...all eight of them.