From the top of the road the tropical butterfly centre had looked like an enormous greenhouse. As they parked outside in the rain on a grey September’s day the weather looked like it would not brighten up. It looked cold out there and the rain certainly did not help the centre look very interesting or exciting. But as soon as Susan entered the building she could not believe how different it was inside. It was very warm and humid and certainly different from the weather outside. The scant of flowers was so sweet that Susan felt so could almost taste them in the air. The sound of nearby running water over the rocks also attracted her attention. Upon investigation she found it ran into a tropical pool surrounded by trees, flowers and other exotic bushes. Everywhere there were butterflies of varying colours from blue, red, orange, yellow and pink.
Susan believed that every colour in the rainbow was on one of the butterflies somewhere as she witnessed them flying around all around the place. The markings on each attracted her attention and she saw that some had markings like peacock’s eyes.
“Are we still in the West Midlands,” Susan asked. It feels more like the Garden of Eden she thought. “I feel more at home here than Adam must have done,” she laughed. Susan felt it was her dream world and although it was strange from the outside the inside was breath taking for her.
Susan’s husband Dave felt pleased that she was impressed. They had not been married very long and they still liked to plan surprises for each other. Dave worked as a van driver and on Tuesday his boss had asked him to take some glasses to the butterfly centre. He had thought then that Susan would enjoy a visit to this unique sub tropical world one Sunday afternoon. They walked along the paths between the bushes and flowers as the butterflies danced close by them in the air. They reminded Dave of ballerinas but he found it more funny watching Susan as she kept dipping and ducking her head trying to avoid the little creatures. Dave laughed and said, “It’s fine Susan.
They’re harmless little things that are probably more scared of you than you are of them. Look go ahead and touch it.” After he spoke he remembered he had seen a notice on Tuesday that said ‘Many of the trees, plants and bushes had been sent over from America and other tropical places. Visitors have been advised to take care as some plants might have insects and spiders on them. Although each plant was checked it would be wise to avoid human contact. Dave knew for certain that he to ensure Susan did not see the notice. She would have only have had to read it and he knew she would be running for the door.
After a while they found themselves near a little rock pool. They stopped by a bush to watch a butterfly feeding from a flower. Then Dave said, “Most butterflies only live about eighteen days you know Susan,” trying to impress her. The afternoon was turning out really well. When Susan closed her eyes she felt relaxed smelling the armoured flowers. “wonderful” she said. Then suddenly she felt a sharp nip under her ear. She slapped her hand to her neck and felt something wet and warm beneath her fingers. She looked at her hand and on the tip of her middle finger was a small patch of blood.
“Adam, I’ve been bitten,” Susan cried out in a high-pitched terrifying scream. Adam looked at Susan’s neck and very gently removed a tiny red spider from the collar of her white blouse.
“It’s nothing Susan,” he said “You must have scratched yourself with your ring and caused your neck to bleed.” He then wiped the rest of the blood from her neck with his handkerchief.
“But I’m telling you, Adam, I definitely felt something bite me. There’s no way I could have scratched myself,” said Susan beginning to get angry.
“Calm down, love. There’s definitely nothing there now,” he said with extreme confidence knowing he had already removed the creature. “Let me look again,” he said “Just to make sure that it’s stopped bleeding.”
Upon seeing that it had he spotted a sign saying Reptile House and informed Susan that it would be good for them to continue on.
“You can go Adam but I’m not I want to go home. I’ve already been bitten on the neck by some mysterious creature and I could well do without a bite off some poisonous snake or crocodile.” Susan voice was raised now and it was obvious that she was in a mood. Adam tried to calm the situation.
“There won’t be any poisonous snake loose in there,” he began to say in a calm voice but Susan was already walking towards the exit. She’ll be angry with me now for the rest of the week thought Adam. What was supposed to be a nice romantic afternoon out was turning into a complete disaster.
When Susan got home she knew that the best way for her to relax was to have a hot bath. That always seemed to help her when she was uptight. She put the plug in and turned the hot water tap on full. The bathroom became warm and steamy and to clear all the mirrors she put the extractor fan on. The sound of the running water kept bringing back memories for her of the afternoon. And she knew she would have to get it out of her head. Se stepped into the bath and lay back so that only her head and the top of her neck were above the warm water. With her right foot she turned on the hot water tap again to increase the temperature of the water. Susan liked her baths to be as hot as possible. She began to feel more relaxed now and a little sorry for Adam. He had tried so hard to give her a nice day and for the first time since they had been married she had really lost her temper and shouted at him.
Suddenly she felt a sharp pop on the side of her neck where she had thought she been bitten. She then felt a tiny trickle running out across her neck and up to her face. She shot up out of the water and looked into the now clear mirror on the wall. Running down and around her neck and arms and up to her face were dozens and dozens of tiny red spiders. They were even tying to make there way into her hair.
Susan closed her eyes and screamed
“Help me Adam!” she bellowed “Help me!”