Wayne woke up to whiteness. It was so bright that he could hardly see. His head felt as if a sledge hammer had landed right across his temple. Half-heartedly he looked round for his twin.
“Where the smeg is this?” he muttered. Then he closed his eyes again to shut out the piercing light. He tried to sit up, but a wave of nausea swept over him and he sank back to the hard floor. “Bruce, where the frigging hell are you?” He heard a groan to his left. Slowly he lifted his head and reached out his hand. He touched a sticky soft woven material. He moved his hand away quickly.
Wayne peered through the whiteness and saw the shape of Bruce lying on his side, wearing a kind of silver coloured netting. At that moment Bruce started retching and vomited all over the floor. The smell reached Wayne and threatened to overwhelm him, when a white pipe swung out from the wall and sucked the floor clean. A smell of pine slowly permeated the air. His brother groaned.
Time passed and gradually Wayne and Bruce woke up properly; their eyes adjusting to the light. They found they were in a pod. It was not high enough for them to stand up in. They started to search for a doorway but could find none.
“Where’s our smegging clothes gone?” asked Bruce, “and why are we wrapped in this sticky web stuff? It ain’t frigging right.”
“I don’t know bruv. Last I remember we was leaving The George. Who would have taken our clothes and wrapped us up like this?”
There was a high pitched noise and a giant eye appeared on one of the walls. Bruce grabbed hold of Wayne and they both retreated to the back of the pod. Their gaze was fixed upon the eye. As their vision became clearer they could see that the eye was behind the wall, which had become transparent. The large eye was situated in a fury head and eight hairy legs were waving up and down. A deep voice vibrated through the air.
“Welcome, Wayne and Bruce. You are wondering why you are here. Let me explain.”
Wayne felt a rush of warmth against his leg. He realized Bruce had just pissed all over the place. The white pipe swung out from the wall again and cleaned them both up. A fresh smell of pine wafted through the pod.
“As I was saying, normally we don’t interfere with humans, but you two were so terribly poisoned with alcohol you would have died, so we picked you up and brought you to planet Arachnid. Here we have kept you safe from all pollutants and from the atmosphere, which will kill you within seconds. Most of the poison has been emitted from your bodies now and we are working on bringing you some food. The air we have piped in will keep you healthy.”
“What will happen to us? How long will you keep us here?” asked Wayne.
“We will take you back to Earth as soon as you are well. Ah here is your food. Enjoy.”
A little hatch opened. Two plates of salad and two glasses of water were placed on the floor beside them.
“What the…” Bruce said.
“Shut the smeg up. Eat the food. We are prisoners and we don’t need to annoy the hairy eye now do we?”
Both boys looked at each other and then quietly ate their salads. Time passed. Wayne and Bruce didn’t know how much time. There was no night and day, just whiteness. Salad and water was served for every meal. To pass the time they started to pick off the web that encased them. It was strangely satisfying, like bursting bubble wrap. As they picked it off they talked of all the things they hadn’t done in their lives and wanted to do.
“I want to travel to Australia. It’d be great to be able to work my way around the world,” said Bruce.
“I think you’d learn a lot doing that. I’ve always wanted to go to university and study science, but we may be stuck in this pod forever.”
At last they had picked off all the webbing and within seconds the eye appeared. Wayne and Bruce shrank back to the furthest wall.
“Now you are ready to go home. When you were young Wayne, you showed kindness to our kind. You stopped a cruel child, named Gerald, from pulling off our legs. Now we have said thank you. We have made your sick bodies healthy. We have given your pickled brains a chance to recover. All the signs are good but we will not rescue you again. Your clothes will be delivered and then we will take you home.”
Bruce’s face looked pale but Wayne realized that he was feeling well for the first time in years. They had been stupid to follow the self-destructing youth culture.
“Thank you. We will not waste our lives from now on,” said Wayne.
The next thing they knew they woke up and found they were laying on their bedroom floor. They looked at each other but found they could not speak of their ordeal. Later that week Wayne started applying to universities and Bruce began planning his world travel and neither ever felt like drinking alcohol again.