Dinner parties are complex things. Aside from the usual pleasantries and smiles, the past always seems to rear its ugly head leading to hurt feelings and brutal confrontations.
Adam Smith was once again hosting his monthly dinner party, an event he is usually pressured into by his girlfriend Erica. Invited were Billy Gilbert and his fiancee Lisa Roland.
As Adam set the table, carefully placing cutlery, Erica with her slender frame entered the room.
“How are you getting on?” She asked.
” Ok” Adam replied.
An uncomfortable silence infected the room as Adam continued to lay the table.
Adam had brown eyes and a body frame that looked inadequate for supporting his mop of hair let alone anything else.
Erica on the other hand didn’t look malnourished and seemed to blossom in the evening moonlight. Her penetrating blue eyes and a mole on her left cheek only seemed to serve and emphasize her beauty.
Erica fixed her blonde locks in the mirror.
“Whatever is on your mind, you can tell me you know” Erica asked as she checked to see if her lipstick was behaving itself.
“Its nothing” he answered as Erica threw him a stare with her piercing blue eyes. “Really”
“Adam” she prompted sternly.
“Its just…I know you get on with Lisa but it’s different with me and Billy…” Adam started.
“I know but Billy is having banter with you”
“There’s a fine line between banter and…Adam snorted.
” Bullying” Erica interrupted turning to Adam and readjusting her fringe. “He is just having a laugh with you. I know he gave you a hard time in school but he’s changed now, he’s better”
Adam felt uncomfortable with the defence Erica had put in place for Billy and he awkwardly placed the last serviette on the table and sighed.
“I’m not defending his actions in school but he’s changed a lot” she added.
Adam brushed his black fringe out of the way and felt backed into a corner. There was clearly no way he could further clarify Billys actions.
In school Billy was physically violent and intimidating but had now refined his bullying to mental manipulation and sly, cloaked insults only Adam would understand.
Whilst Lisa and Erica enjoyed the finer points of red wine and fish a secret war was happening under their very noses and Adam was desperately losing.
“Ok” Adam sighed knowing Billy was too smart to show his true colours to the world.
“What time are they getting here”Adam questioned
“In about ten minutes” Erica replied lifting her slender arm to check her watch. ” and try to relax baby. Remember Billy is just having banter”
Adam nodded weakly and headed outsider a cigarette. He felt let down by Ericas lack of moral support. He loved her hourglass figure and uncommon kindness but felt she could be incredibly naive. Erica was one of these people who believed that everyone was lovely and had your best interests at heart.
Adam knew different.
As he inhaled the last of his cigarette smoke he heard the doorbell ring. He exhaled slowly and flicked away his cigarette. He then composed himself and re-entered the house.
Billy, a tall and muscular man was in the hallway. At his side was Lisa, her brown hair curled and her lips illuminated by the choice of devils lipstick.
They both greeted Adam who in turn pecked Lisa on the cheek and shook Billys hand. Billy squeezed Adam’s hand, crushing his fingers together, not as a sign of strength but as a moment of intimidation, to prove his alleged superiority.
Adam winced as his bones grinded. It was then that he noticed the timing of this incident. This gesture was made as both Lisa and Erica where lost in their own conversation. Adam dragged his skinny frame into the dining room. Five minutes later they where at the table enjoying beer and wine.
“Oh that reminds me have you got those reports” Billy questioned Adam.
Billy and Adam worked at Drillware. A company committed to selling large drilling machines.
Adam, sipping a beer replied.
“Yeah, they should be done by the end of the week”
Lisa and Erica looked between them.
“Oh, Adam offered to help me in work, I’m a bit snowed under”
“Yeah” Adam retorted weakly.
Billy threw a smarmy grin at Adam which Lisa took for a declaration of appreciation.
What has failed to be discussed is that Billy had threatened to hurt Adam if he didn’t comply.
Adam desperately needed proof of this deception but even if he had it, Billy would simply manipulate this situation to his advantage.
To the outside world Billy was strong, tough and dependable. A man who looked after Adam, who on the flip side was timid, quiet and easily pushed around.
At least Adam was what he appeared to be.
As the dinner party progressed Adam received verbal blow after verbal blow as Billy constantly made fun of him covertly and made him the butt of countless jokes.
“Remember when you fell over in science” Billy laughed at one point.
Again he failed to mention that he had actually pushed Adam and several test tubes where broken in the process.
” oh, have you heard about the infestation down in Watergate village” Lisa interjected changing the direction of the conversation.
“What infestation?” Billy snorted clearly annoyed at the changed subject.
” I heard something about this on the radio about 30 minutes ago” Erica replied. “They said something about rare spiders”
Adam winced as the name spider was uttered.
Billy, clearly drunk, noticed this involuntary gesture and smirked at Adam.
“Yes, that’s right. They said something about spiders acting like woodlice” Lisa said
“What!” Billy slurred. ” What a load is sh. .. “
“Apparently they chew through rotten wood” Lisa interrupted.
“I’ve never heard of spiders doing that before” Erica counter acted.
“That’s because it’s rubbish” Billy sneered.
“Can we please talk about something else” Adam asked.
“Why, are you getting scared”Billy smirked.
” no it’s just… ”
“Good, can we continue this conversation then. Lisa, tell me more about these SPIDERS” Billy grinned, clearly aware of how uncomfortable this was making Adam.
Adam desperately wanted to speak up but fear grappled his voice to the ground. He was never comfortable with confrontation whereas Billy thrived on it.
“Well they say their a species we haven’t come across before, the reporter was quite fascinated by them” Lisa continued
“And Watergate village is only 3 hours away” Erica said.
“Yes, I’d love to know more about…” Lisa started.
She was interrupted by a chewing noise coming from the hallway.
All four turned there heard to the direction of the clearly pronounced noise.
“What the…” Billy said as he rose to his feet.
The sound grew in volume and distinction.
“I’ll check it out” Adam said slipping back his chair.
“Its ok, I got this” Billy replied dismissively waving his hand at Adam, ordering him to sit down.
Adam looked at the floor as he sat feeling like a chastised child.
Billy slowly walked into the hallway as the sound appeared to multiply.
What he saw made his heart quiver. His eyes widened as he gasped for air in terror. He stumbled back slightly knocking over an umbrella stand in the process.
Erica and Lisa entered followed by Adam in order to investigate.
“What’s the racket” Erica queried.
In front of them all there were spider-like creatures that appeared to be chewing through the door. There sharp teeth dig deep into the timber, tearing it like tin foil. The moonlight shone through the holes, bouncing off the spiders Metallic coating. They were the size of football’s and seemed to work as a team to chew through the door. They were contourting there bodies to fit through the holes they had made in the door.
“Oh ****” Billy screamed as he turned to run to the back door knocking down Lisa in the process.
“Hey!” Erica shouted as she bent down to pick up Lisa. Adam feebly helped as he struggled to turn his gaze from the monsters chewing through the house.
Billy ran to the back door only to be greeted by the same situation.
The monsters had made further progress with this door and had managed to enter. Billy again turned to run and heard an abhorrent roar from behind that made his eyes water with terror.
He once again collided with Lisa, this time pushing her to the floor.
“There in the house!” Billy screamed, slurring his words in pure exasperation . He turned and ran upstairs as once again Lisa was helped to her feet by Adam and Erica. Adam glanced towards the back door to did the creatures eating everything in sight.
There were two on the bookcase eating the books and a further three eating glass from the cabinet doors. Adam scrambled to his feet after helping Lisa get up and ran towards the stairs. Erica slipped the stairs and fell behind Adam.
Adam turned in horror to see Erica grab the banister, halting her descent. The monsters where close behind now. Erica pulled herself up the stairs and reached Adam’s hand for support. It was then one of the creatures launched itself through the air and dig its teeth deep into the flesh on her leg.
” Noooo! ” Adam screamed as he pulled Erica closer to him.
Another landed on her shoulder biting deep within her neck. Blood spurted onto the walls.
Adam using all his strength pulled her further up the stairs and punched the creature off her shoulder. It felt cold, metallic. The creature was knocked backwards but instantly recovered charging at Erica. Adam then felt a sharp pain on his back. His whole body jerked in agony. He forced Erica up the stairs, dragging her almost lifeless body up the stairs.
He finally reached the top and frantically searched for sanctuary. He saw Lisa enter the bedroom and charged in after her, his body aching with pain and stress. He launched himself and Erica through it as Billy slammed the door and immediately started to barricade it with furniture.
Adam hit the floor hard as Erica landed hard next to him.
Tears where now streaming down his face. Erica’s body was soaked in blood due to being bitten multiple times. Billys breathing became furious as he threw whatever he could at the door. Lisa was quietly sobbing to herself in the corner.
She had a small bite on her hand and blood poured down her face. Adam put his head close to Erica’s mouth and gently weeped.
He couldn’t feel a breath.
“No” he sobbed. He tried again, looking for any signs of life.
Furniture continued to bang as Billy tried to make the room as secure as possible. Adam was now shaking violently. He needed Erica.
There was a faint chewing sound from outside and wood snapped, leading all 3 of them to exchange nervous glances. Adam rested his hand in Ericas chest and felt it slightly rise. He smirked ever so slightly. She was breathing.
“We got to get outta this room”Billy said as he went over to window and looked out. “Oh my…”
Adam muttered to Erica under his breath.
“I love you baby, we will get out of this”
“These things must be everywhere” Billy gasped.
Half a building across the street has been devoured and there was an overturned car. Fire littered a house further down the street.
“****” Billy swore.
The door then started to gently rattle.
“Ok, we don’t have much time” Billy said. “I say we make a run for it, climb out the window and make a run for my car. The drop isn’t too bad”
“She’s in no position to run” Adam muttered.
“Ericas hurt, she can’t move”
Billy couldnt believe his ears.
“Well those things will be in here in 5 minutes max, I mean for ***** sake, you saw what the did to the front door”
“I’m not leaving her” Adam retorted.
“Well I am” Billy snapped. “They eat whatever is in their way so we can’t leave the way we came. Well, what about you?” Billy asked turning to Lisa.
Lisa was clearly in shock; she was muttering to herself and shaking her head. She was shaking and unresponsive .
“Fine, I’ll go on my own” Billy shrugged. He turned to Adam.
“She’s dead **********
“She is still breathing” Adam replied.
“Not for long, she’s as good as dead”
Adam felt his anger rise, he shook with supressed rage and gently removed his hand from beneath Ericas head.
He stood slowly.
“We can take her with us”
“She’s dead weight as is the other one. They will slow is down” Billy replied.
“Just because Lisa’s in shock didn’t warrant a death sentence”
“It does if it gets me ******* killed, now what are you doing?”
Adam fully turned to Billy, his face contorted in rage.
“She’s your fiancee, you can’t just abandon her” Adam questioned, disbelief showing on his face.
“She’s nothing, she will slow us down and Ericas dead”
The chewing of wood and metal started to get louder.
“You want to live don’t you, we can…”
“Shut the **** up” Adam barked.
Billys expression was one of complete shock – he didn’t expect a comeback like this.
“What di…” He started snarling.
“I said shut up you little *********
“You can’t speak to me like…”
” I’ll speak to you however I want. Now I’ve put up with your **** for too long. We will take everyone. No-one gets left behind and I don’t give a **** what you say or do”
Billy moved forward to physically attack Adam but before he knew it he was on the floor, pain shooting through the left side of his jaw. Adam, just as shocked as Billy pulled back his fist. It ached but oddly Adam felt something heavy lift from his shoulders. He felt a kind of pride, smugness even. Hell, he felt empowered, Billy was **** to him now. He didn’t even fear reprieve but if it came he would be ready. His legs instincly spread and he tensed his body as Billy got up but he simply stood there caressing his jaw looking sheepish.
Adam felt a certain justice has happened, all that torment and manipulation he had endured simply erased by the feel of a fist on his jaw. Adam was stronger and best of all he had now proved it.
Billy continued to caress his jaw and turned as he heard the wood from the door groan and strain. He looked like his machismo was taken away and felt even worse. He had just been downgraded from Billy the bully to ****** the fool. Then a part of the door was ripped away. Billy jumped to his feet and lunged towards the window.
Adam ran to Erica and abruptly lifted her up with all the strength he could muster.
“Lisa get up” Adam ordered.
Billy forced open the window and threw out his right leg. He stopped as he realized the drop was further than he thought.
Adam, Erica in his arms once again ordered Lisa to get up.
Lisa gently turned her head, tears streaming down her face. Billy screamed in a high pitched voice as the monsters started to enter the room. In a blind panic he threw himself out of the window into uncertain oblivion. Adam ran to the window to drop Erica to Billy when he realized Billy was running for his life.
“Billy!!!!” He roared as the door fell to the floor letting the little ******** in.
In a panic, Adam slid his legs out of the window, Erica still in his arms and dropped.
A jolt of pain sprang up his legs as he hit the floor, Erica tightly within his grip. Then something heavy landed on him. He ran in shock, staggered with the combined weight of himself and Erica. He then turned to see Lisa limping towards him. Billy had made it to his car and was furiously scrambling in his pocket for the keys.
Adam panted angrily as he struggled to catch up, with Ericas additional weight. His legs were crippled with pain as his arms started to buckle under the strain. Billy snatched the keys from his pocket and tried desperately to get the key in the lock. His hand was shaking violently with fear. The the keys took a swan dive to the floor. Adam felt his legs buckle as he was over taken by Lisa.
He turned to see the things move at tremendous speed. One aggressively lunged at Erica and sink its teeth deep within her leg. Adam elbowed it away only to see two more fly overhead and start chewing on the other leg. Another landed on his arm and crunched deep down to his bone.
Adam instinctively let Erica slip from his arms and started to run without her. The wind was not getting to his lungs fast enough and he sputtered for air as he picked up speed. He quickly looked back to see Erica completely covered by the creatures who wasted no time in devouring her. Only be eye socket remained uncovered as the creatures snarled and consumed their prey.
Billy at this point had abandoned the idea of driving away and settled for running deep into the night. Lisa got the car keys off the floor which were snatched by Adam and forced into the lock. A scream forced Adam to turn his head to find Billy getting ripped part by the beasts in question. The unholy sight was disturbing to witness. He was almost un recognizable under the blood and torn flesh. Lisa’s eyes widened in horror.
“Come on” screamed Adam.
Lisa clumsily got in with Adam following closely behind. The door slammed shut behind them and the locks clicked. Adam and Lisa then scrambled over each other to give Adam access to the drivers seat.
As Adam positioned himself in the seat, in his side window, a spider looked through snarling and letting out a horrific growl.
“****” Adam flinched as he fought against the resistance of the key turning in the ignition. Two seconds later the engine roared into life.
“Yes” Adam exclaimed as he shifted the car into gear. Lisa let out a weak smile glancing at Adam. Adam pushed hard on the accelerator only to find the engine splitter and grind to a halt.
Adam and Lisa exchanged nervous glances. Adam twisted the ignition frantically but to no effect.
“No, no, no ,no” Lisa whined.
“They must have cut the engine”
“They?” Lisa incredulously responded .
The car then sank lower on the left side following by a full hissing noise. The car became shrouded in darkness as the vehicle became smothered by the things.
Adam sighed as he knew his date was sealed. This was it, everything his life had led to.
“I guess we have 4 maybe 5 minutes before they chew threw the exterior” Adam illuminated.
Lisa gasped slightly in shock.
” No… “She wimpered.
” I’m sorry Lisa”
“No there has to be another way”
” I left Erica”
This sudden change in conversation then shocked Lisa into silence.
The noise that followed was the gentle scraping and chewing of the monsters attempting to gain access.
“You didn’t have a choice…..They would have…..”
“Didn’t I” I interrupted Adam.
Lisa didn’t know how to counteract this.
“I know” she said after a few seconds.
” I know”
“Know what?” Prompted Adam becoming more exasperated by her lack of forthcoming knowledge.
Adam turned to stare at Lisa not quite believing his ears.
It turns out Lisa knew all along about Billys behaviour. The sly comments, the psychological warfare, the manipulation.
“Wha….welll…well Why didn’t you…”
” Because you weren’t the only one he was picking on”
Lisa then reluctantly exposed a little of her right arm to reveal several bruises and a small cut.
“He only did it to places that no-one would see”
“But your engaged” came Adam’s lane response.
“Not my idea” she said calmly.
They smiled weakly at each other as Adam instinctively took her hand.
“I’m sorry” Adam whispered.
“Me too” Lisa replied as a tear escaped her duct.
The several of the monsters fell through the roof, tearing the exterior like tin foil. They landed like liquid on Adam and quickly spread to Lisa. The screams were all that could be heard as darkness fell upon Lisa and Adam’s eyes. Through all the blood shed there hand’s remained intertwined.