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Eight dark glittering eyes stared back at him from the glass jar and Peter blinked, a small crooked little smile creasing the corners of his mouth. You couldn't stare down a creature that didn't have eyelids. The spider was the first stage in his experiment and it had taken him hours of crawling around the woods behind the house to find the right type. He hated the outdoors, but it had been worth the scratches and brambles and small creepy crawly things. He shuddered involuntarily; hopefully if the experiment worked he'd never be afraid of the creepy crawly things again.

"Hi Webby, wotcha doin'?"

Once he'd recovered from being scared out of his skin, Peter Webb turned to his bedroom window where the elfin face of his neighbour peered over the windowsill. He felt The Blush start; she always did this to him. She knew how nervous he was around girls and even though she was a bit of a tomboy, Helen knew that he liked her, knew that she could turn him into a stammering beet red numpty with only a few words.

"Er... hi."

"Ooh, a spider," she said climbing into his bedroom. "I hate spiders." She shuddered and then looked around the room, her nose wrinkling with distaste. "Jeez Pete, you really are a typical teenage boy aren't you? Clothes on the floor, superhero posters on the wall, X-Box, I bet you've got a stash of dirty mags under your mattress too haven't you?"

"I have not!" he said indignantly as she make a feint for his bed, only to collapse on it laughing wickedly, picking up a book on spiders he'd borrowed from the library with an amused look on her face.

"Oh Pete, lighten up. I know you wouldn't dare with your father around the place, you being the ever obedient son and all."

"I'm not that much of a nerd," he protested softly, knowing that even as he said it his glasses, unkempt shock of hair and baggy clothes made him look the absolute stereotype of one.

"You're a nice nerd Pete," she said reaching forward and touching him on the arm with a smile.

The Blush once again flooded his senses and he smiled back shyly.

"So, what's with the spider?" she said brightly, saving him from further redness.

"Er... it's a sort of experiment."

"Nerd," she said shortly, then burst into laughter again at his dark expression. "All right, all right, no need to get tetchy. A spider in a jar, exciting stuff Webby, appropriate though."

"It will be exciting," he muttered. Then, desperate to prove his non-nerdness he blurted out something sure to impress the girl who sat coyly on his bed.

"I'm going to break into the school tonight, there's some stuff I need."

"Really?" Helen looked uncertain for a moment, and then leant forward, her eyes shining with excitement. "Wow, you're actually serious aren't you? What you gonna take?"

"None of your business," said Pete smugly, aware that for a brief moment he had the upper hand for a change.

"Well, you're going to have to prove you did it."


"I want you to bring me a present."

"Like what?" asked Pete, aware that he was rapidly losing the initiative as usual.

"I want the sign from the Headteacher's door. I want you to bring me 'Mr Jensen's Office'. You'll need a flat head screwdriver," she said smugly.

"What? Why the hell should I? Why should I do..." What he was about to say was cut off as she leant over and kissed him gently on the lips, giggling as The Blush roared up his neck.

"Good enough reason?" she giggled again and climbed back out of the window. "See ya tomorrow Pete."

He watched as she ran across the back lawn of his parents place, lithely jumping the dividing fence and turning to wave briefly at him with a mischievous grin on her face before disappearing into her house.

"Wow," he said softly, then turned back to the arachnid in the jar. "Right then Spidey, let's get you some food and then we can start on our experiment."


Clad in black, the shape moved stealthily from tree to tree across the school grounds, stopping by the caretaker's entrance to make sure that no-one else was around. Pete was sweating under his balaclava, the warm summer's night and tension not helping to reduce the uncomfortable rivulets of moisture that ran down his back. "I'm sure ninjas don't sweat like this," he thought to himself. Reaching the side door, he tapped the four digit code into the keypad and entered the school, using the same code on the alarm system just inside the door, the double beep signifying that the alarm had been deactivated. He'd watched John the caretaker carefully and, when the alarms had been tested the week before, had made sure that he was strategically placed to see the code used. A similar exercise early one morning had confirmed the man's lack of imagination in using the same code for both alarm and door, and a quick test at school the following day meant that he had armed and disarmed the alarms during a trip to the toilet during a lesson. Satisfied that the police weren't going to come screaming down the road to investigate his nocturnal excursions, he moved through the darkened corridors to the head's room.

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