It Came From Afar
Day One

My name is not important.

Who I am is not important, not yet at least.

What I have to share with you is very important and I suggest you pay close attention as you read through these pages. It may just save your life. I can guarantee that what you read in the coming pages will make your skin creep and crawl, and leave you in a state of shock.

So, let us begin . . .

As the Moon orbited the Earth, and the Earth circled the Sun, a bright, burning star, no bigger than a tennis ball, thundered through the blackness of space. It WHOOSHED past Saturn and Jupiter, the colourful and majestic gas giants; it zipped past Mars, the dry, red planet, as it roared towards planet Earth.

With a loud BOOOOM, the fireball entered the Earth’s atmosphere with golden sparks trailing behind it. It burst through rolling clouds that hung over the land like a white blanket. It spun at great speed and illuminated the evening sky with its bright, burning light before smashing into the ground.

BOOOOOOOOM

And that is where the trouble all began, on the very first day that threatened the existence of every man, woman and child.

* * *

With a silver hairbrush in one hand and her long, flowing, red hair in the other, young Sally Sanders, turned away from her mirror and looked out of her bedroom window in amazement. She’d never seen a shooting star before, so it was certainly a big surprise. However, having a shooting star crash into the back garden of her parents’ house was an even bigger surprise.

“O-M-G!” she gasped.

Sally, let go of her long, flowing hair and dropped the hairbrush onto her tall, pink dresser next to the window. She stood up from her white, cushioned chair and looked down into the yard to see what had happened.

“Wow!” she uttered as she looked down at the shed, which had a smoking hole in the side of it.

Sally quickly turned on her heels and scurried over to the other side of her bedroom. She kicked off her slippers and slid her feet into her brown, leather shoes. She stood up on her tiptoes and snatched a torch off the top shelf of her bookcase. Then she marched over to the other side of the room and grabbed her coat off a curly hook on the wall, and made her way out onto the dark, spooky landing.

She sneaked past her sleeping parents’ bedroom, and tiptoed down the creaky, old stairs, being ever so careful as to not make a sound that would wake her mother and father. At the bottom of the stairs, in the spacious hallway, Sally's lips started to curl up into a cheeky smile, for it was time to go outside to investigate the star from outer space.
 
She skipped and then galloped through the hallway into the circular kitchen. She weaved around the breakfast table and leapt over Mr Tiddles, her mother’s beloved, fat, sleepy, old cat, and then she stopped. Towering in front of her was the cursed, yellow door. Sally hated the backdoor as it was so darn heavy and difficult to open. But if she was to see the star from outer space, she’d have to open it. So she pinched the old, rusty key between her finger and thumb and turned it until the lock clicked. She grabbed hold of the old, bronze door handle and pulled as hard as she could. The door weighed a ton. She pulled and pulled until the door groaned and creaked open, just wide enough for her to squeeze her body through.

As Sally stepped out into the cold of night, a gentle breeze nipped at her cheeks. She pulled the torch out of her pocket and buttoned up her coat to keep herself warm. She clicked the switch on the light and pointed the beam at the rickety, old shed that stood very much alone at the far end of the garden.

With a hunger for discovery, Sally took the first step forward and then a second and then a third. The smell of burning wood filled her nostrils as smoke curled from the hole in the side of the shed. She reached out her hand and yanked the door wide open, releasing a wave of heat into the night. Oh, boy, was it hot, hot, hot inside, far too hot for her to step in.

Sally, lifted the torch and shone the beam of light inside, not entirely sure what she was going to find.

Smouldering in the middle of the shed on the dusty ground was a glowing, red light no bigger than a tennis ball.

What do I do now? she thought. I guess I should come back tomorrow morning. Hopefully, the space ball will have cooled down by then, and I should be able to get a better look at this strange, glowing, ball from far, far away.

The next morning Sally woke up bright and early. She galloped down the stairs, and ran into the kitchen. She unlocked the back door and, with all her might, she prized it open. 

As the birds sang their morning song to the clear, blue sky, Sally ran out into the garden, and stopped in front of the rickety, old shed. What was she going to find inside? Would it be a rock from a distant world, or perhaps a mechanical part from an alien spaceship. Would it still be hot, or would it be cold enough to touch? I guess there’s only one way to know for sure.

Sally pulled the door open. 
 
In the middle of the shed, surrounded by old cobwebs, was a small, black ball, with squiggly lines swirled across its glistening surface.

"What are you?" asked Sally, as she got down on one knee and reached out her hand. The strange ball was cold to her touch, so Sally scooped it up into her hand and prodded it with her finger. The little ball wobbled.

"You’re certainly a strange little thing, aren't you?"

She stood up, turned around, and walked out of the shed, down the garden path towards the house. With the space ball held firmly in her hand, she marched into the kitchen and out into the hallway. She galloped up the stairs, across the landing, and into her bedroom, where she closed and locked the door behind her. Inside her room Sally lay on her pink bedspread, staring at the peculiar, little, black ball, which lay on her pillow. What could it be? she thought.  

CRAAA-AAA-AACK

Sally leapt up from her bed and gasped. 

The ball from outer space was moving.

She considered calling out for her parents, but then decided it was better to remain silent, as they were very strict, and had made it clear she wasn’t allowed to leave the house when they were asleep. Making them aware of the moving ball would lead to questions, which would land her in big trouble. Big trouble meant no more friend visits for at least a month. No fizzy sweets and treats for at least a fortnight, and no cartoon channel for a week. Sally had to deal with this herself.

As quickly as it had started, the space ball stopped wobbling. Zigzaging cracks began to appear across its surface and small wavy strands of shimmering fur sprang out.

CRAAA-AAA-AACK
"Wha-at on earth?"

From within the shell two beady, red eyes blinked. 

“What are you?”

CRUUU-UUNCH

The black shell fell apart, revealing a small creature. It stretched its long, boney legs and yawned.

“You’re a spider,” said Sally.

“You are a little girl!” The spider yawned again.

“You talk!” Sally gasped.

“You are very observant," replied the spider.

“But how can you talk?” asked Sally.

The spider rolled its eyes and slapped one of its long legs across its forehead. “Sheesh, do you actually think before you speak, little girl? Is it not obvious that, like you, I use my mouth to talk?”

“Heee-eey . . . no need to be nasty!” said Sally, folding her arms.

“Oh dear, you are going to sulk, aren't you?"

"No, I´m not!"

"I am glad about that. Nothing worse than a sulky little brat—"

"You´re rude!" snapped Sally.

"You would be rude as well if you had travelled from afar for many days and nights like I have." The spider sighed. "Long journeys always make me ever so grumpy, you see!”

Sally unfolded her arms and leaned forwards. “That’s no excuse for being horrid with me."

"I am deeply sorry," said the spider, bowing her head.

"Very well, I’ll accept your apology!”

The spider edged closer to Sally and smiled. “Tell me, little girl, what is your name?”

“My name’s Sally. What’s yours?” she asked, holding out her hand so the spider could walk onto it.

The spider’s smile widened as it stepped onto Sally’s warm hand. “Well my name is very difficult for a human to pronounce, so it would be easier for you if you just called me Mor."

Sally raised her hand up to her face so she could see the small spider up close. “Where have you come from?” she asked.
The spider started to skip and dance on Sally’s hand. Silver streams of web spun around Mor's four front legs, and then she stopped. She held out one of her long, hairy legs and from the tip a silver cord hung down between Sally’s fingers. At the end of the cord were nine spinning planets of different sizes.
 
“This, Sally, is the solar system,” said Mor. “The most sparkling ball of web is Earth.”

“It’s so beautiful!” Sally smiled.

“It most certainly is,” Mor replied, with a gleam in her eye.

"So which planet is yours?" asked Sally.

Mor lifted her leg and pointed to the eighth spinning ball. “This is the planet Neptune."

"What is Neptune like?" asked Sally.

"It is very cold and violent. When the wind blows, it really blows." Mor shook her head from side to side. "Quite recently I was scooped up out of my house by a gust of wind. It catapulted me through the air. I flew for days and days.”

“Oh, dear, that’s terrible!”

“Yes it was," said Mor, looking up into Sally's bright, blue eyes. "After that day, we decided to abandon our home and come to Earth, as it is much calmer."

“Where are the others?" asked Sally.

"Wha-at?" stuttered Mor.

"You said we decided to abandon our home."

“Oh, yes." Mor smiled. "Well observed, little girl. We as in myself and my babies.”

“You have babies . . . but where are they?” asked Sally.

The web of planets gently floated to the ground as Mor marched forwards and bit Sally's nose.
 
“OUCH!”

Mor leapt from Sally's hand and somersaulted through the air before bouncing on the bed. "Taaaah daaa. I am an acrobatic genius." She was chuffed with herself.

“Heeeey, why did you bite my nose?”

Mor's eyes circled the room as she plonked her bum onto the soft, warm quilt, wiggling from side to side.

"Well?" asked Sally.

"Cabbage."

"What?"

"Plums, too."

"I don't understand," said Sally, crossing her arms and crumpling her face in frustration.

Mor stood up tall, twirled around on the spot, and then began to bob up and down.

Strawberries and lemons and satsuma heaven.
I munch and I crunch on celery from Devon.
Delights of day and of night. 
I crave and pray for these juicy thirst bites.
Tra-aa-lah. Tra-aa-lah. Dum dee doo dah.
Tra-aa-lah. Tra-aa-lah. Dumberdee doody daah.
Apples, pears, and pineapple squares.

"HEEEEY" Sally cried.

Mor collapsed into a heap. "Wha-what?" she stuttered.

"You bit my nose!" huffed Sally.

"I am hungry," said Mor, rubbing her belly. "Do you have any salad or fruit?"

"Why should I give you anything?"

Mor rolled her eyes and reached out her arms. "I apologise. Please, can you forgive me?"

“I guess," said Sally, with one raised eyebrow. "But only if you promise you will never bite me again."

"Agreed," said Mor. "Now can I have something to eat, please?"

"Okay. I’ll go down to the kitchen to see what I can find, but you have to wait here."

"Oh I'm not going anywhere, little girl." Mor smiled.
 
Sally unlocked her bedroom door and scurried out onto the landing. She charged down the stairs, through the hallway and into the kitchen, where she gave Mr Tiddles, a sudden fright. The tubby, old cat shot up from his basket and whooshed out of the kitchen like a rocket.

"Now, what should I feed you?" muttered Sally, snatching up a glass bowl from the breakfast table. "How about some grapes, an apple, a banana maybe, and a peach or two?" Sally filled the bowl with as much fruit as she could fit inside it. She scampered upstairs, across the landing, and then used her foot to push open the door to her bedroom.

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?" she roared, stepping inside the room.

Ribbons of glistening web dangled from the ceiling like Christmas baubles. Streams of silken thread crossed the room, from wall to wall, and the carpet sparkled like a sea of diamonds.

"Where are you? Show yourself right now," demanded Sally.

“I am over here,” said Mor.

"Why have you done this?" asked Sally.

“I just wanted to make your room a little bit more like home!”

“You should have asked before you did this." Sally huffed, placing the bowl of fruit on the bed.

Mor popped her head out from one of the hanging web balls. "Is that delicious, mouthwatering fruit I smell?" She smacked her lips together, smiled broadly, and swung down from the ceiling, landing on top of a ripe, red apple.

Sally paced the room, as Mor sunk her sharp teeth into the apple. She munched and crunched her way through half of the fruit, while Sally watched.

"Aren't you hungry, little girl?" asked Mor, chomping through a grape.

"I don't have an appetite right now."

"More for me then!" she scoffed.

Fruit juice slopped from her mouth as she slurped down the remainder of the grape. "Deee-liii-cious."

"You must leave soon," said Sally. "My parents will be awake shortly and they won’t be happy seeing you!"

"Oh, I see," said Mor. "So tell me, little girl, is it just you and your parents who live in this house?"

"Well, we do have a cat."

"A cat . . ." groaned Mor. "Spiders and cats do not mix well."

"All of this will need to be taken down as well," said Sally, prodding one of the dangling web balls with her finger.

"I don't really want to leave. I like it here." Mor smiled.

"Well, you can’t stay," Sally replied sternly.

"I disagree, little girl!"

"What do you mean?" frowned Sally.

"Sleeeeeeeeeeeeep."

"What?"

"Sllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep." Mor hissed.

"Wha-what are you do-doing?"

Mor swayed from side to side. Sally wobbled on the spot. "I, I . . ." mumbled Sally.

"Noooooow sleep!"

Sally's eyes grew heavy, she stumbled forwards, and flopped onto the bed.

"Sweet dreams, little girl!" Mor laughed.

* * *

Swirling waves of colour soared through the clear, blue sky. A gentle breeze lifted leaves from the green grass and spun them around Sally's feet. A gentle, sweet scent wafted across the meadow. Birds chirped merry tunes, as Sally happily skipped and twirled towards a shimmering lake.
 
But something wasn't right. Everything was too perfect.

Below the shining sun the evergreen fir trees began to sway. All the forest birds launched into the air squawking and taking flight to the south. A faint rumbling sound soon became thunderous. Through the haze an army of black spiders emerged. They marched over the hill towards Sally. Gripped by fear, she started to walk backwards and tripped over her own feet. She stumbled and fell to the ground.

"Get up!" she cried. The army was getting closer. Sally scrambled to her feet and began to run towards the lake. I don't think spiders can swim, she thought. She held her breath and leapt from the grass verge and splashed into the water. Bubbles rose all around her as she sank deeper into the black abyss.

CRUNCH

Sally's descent had come to a sudden end. She looked down and watched in horror as cracks expanded outwards from her feet. She was standing on glass, and it was about to give way. Panic reached into her stomach and yanked and twisted it about.

CRA-AAA-ACK

A cold wind whooshed past Sally. She was falling again. She looked down. Below her feet a faint light was growing stronger. The water all around her exploded into droplets of rain and she began tumbling towards a grey city. She whizzed past the windows of the tall, glass buildings, hurtling towards a balloon parade. Sally closed her eyes tightly and gritted her teeth, expecting to splatter on the road below.

BOOOI-OOOII-IING. FLUBBER-WUBBER-DUBBER.

Sally opened her eyes, stood up, and looked around. She was standing on a pink blob, and it was moving. Shops and offices slowly passed by. Trumpets and drums sounded as streamers billowed out of the windows above her. She steadied her balance and walked towards the front of the pink blob. "O-M-G! I'm standing on a giant pig balloon." She smiled.

As a merry melody played, the floating pig moved through the street and out into an open courtyard.

"H-h-how is this possible?" stuttered Sally, staring at a colourfully decorated stage where there stood five children chained together, looking sad and emotional. Sally instantly recognised one of the children.

"Well, how delightful a day it is . . ."

Sally instantly recognised the voice that boomed out of large speakers that were spread around the courtyard.

From every direction voices chanted, “MOR! MOR! MOR! MOR! MOR!”

"On this stage today stand the only remaining humans." Mor smiled. "Planet Earth now belongs to me!"

"No." Sally groaned.

"Sally, Sally, Sally, I shall miss you the most," said Mor. "You were one of the first, but now you and your friends must die!"

"This can’t be happening," said Sally, standing on the snout of the giant pig balloon, staring at herself chained up on the stage.

"Kill them noooow!" demanded Mor.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Sally cried.

* * *

"I see you are awake."

"I can’t move," said Sally.

"Exactly how did you manage to wake up?” asked Mor.

"W-where are we?" stuttered Sally, looking around at the shimmering, white room.

"The living room . . . well it used to be. But with a few web strands here and there, it becomes my room, you see. In fact, the entire house is now mine."

"W-why am I tied up?" asked Sally. "My parents won’t be happy with what you’ve done—"

"Your parents! Haa-haaa-ha," laughed Mor. "Your parents are upstairs in a deep sleep, having the most amazing dreams ever!"

"Why are you doing this?" asked Sally, struggling to break free from the silk cocoon.

"Don't bother, little girl. My web strands are super strong. It would take a chainsaw to cut through them."

"Let me go, and my parents too!"

"I am afraid I cannot allow that," replied Mor.

"Why not?"

"Babies!" Mor smiled.

Sally's eyes circled the room, looking for a possible way to escape, or anything that could help her. "Babies?" she frowned.

"My adorable little babies will be arriving within a couple of hours!" said Mor, dangling from a web ball just in front of Sally's face.

Sally gasped and stuttered "Y-y-you're going to feed us to them?"

Mor burst into laughter for several seconds before edging forwards towards Sally's face, where Mor's face twisted into a serious expression. "Oh, oh, silly Sally. My babies don't want to eat you. No, no, no. Nor do I!" Mor huffed. "Think back, little girl, to when we first met. I bit you . . . remember?"

Sally continued to struggle, fighting to get free from her web prison.

"The bite was intensional!" said Mor. "But you are not alone. I bit your mother and father too!"

"YOU HORRID BEAST!" Sally yelled.

"Aren't you going to ask why?" asked Mor, with one raised eyebrow. "Please do ask."

Sally scowled and pursed her lips.

"Why do little brats always sulk?" asked Mor.

Sally turned to face the other side of the room so she wouldn’t have to make eye contact.

"I'm going to tell you anyway!" Mor smirked. "When I bite I release a hundred micro beads into the small hole. The beads grow into small sacks. Inside each sack a life journey begins."

"What have you injected into my nose?" asked Sally.

"Babies!" Mor smiled.

Sally tried to twitch her nose, but it was bulging and too big to move.

"Sleeeeeeeeeeeeep."

"No, don't," Sally pleaded.

"Sllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep."

Sally peacefully drifted off to a perfect dream island, where everything was delightful, fun, and calming.

Mor spun and twirled and swung from web to web. "Oh, Sally, how I will miss you." smiled Mor. "Sweet dreams, little girl!"