George, a retired groundsman at Nottingham Forest football club, had not missed a home game in forty-five years. He looked in the hall mirror and smiled at his reflection. He always wore the clubs full colours and was well known by most, if not all of the home fans.
Sally, his only child, had insisted George move in with them when they’d lost Elsie, the matriarch of their family two years ago. George had doted on his wife and daughter, he knew it was just as hard for Sally to come to terms with losing her mum.
George had agreed to sell his house and move in. He loved living here. He got on well with Steve, Sally’s husband, and it gave them time to grieve together and get over their loss. It also gave him lots of time to spend with Robbie, his only grandson, and Robbie loved the game as much, if not more than George did. Sally lived only one street away from the football ground and that suited George just fine.
George shouted up the stairs. ‘Robbie. You ready yet?’
‘Coming granddad,’ Robbie shouted back. ‘Just getting my rattle.’
Robbie came running down the stairs dressed in his football kit.
George held out his arms and spun around. ‘What do you think then? Will I do?’
Robbie gave George the once over. ‘Yeah, you look great granddad. It’s going to be brilliant today.’
‘Well come on then, let’s go,’ said George, excitedly. ‘We’re off Sal,’ he called down the passage.
Sally came into the hallway wiping her hands on a dishcloth. ‘You two going to the football then?’
‘Nah, we’re just going up the high street for a bit of shopping. Ain’t that right Robbie.’
‘Granddad. You always say that.’
Sally kissed them both. ‘You be good for granddad now. I’ll order pizza’s for when you get back.’
‘I will. Thanks Mum.’
Sally opened the door and Robbie and George went out to the porch. The street was full of fans making their way to the stadium. He waved at them as they passed the house.
‘We’ll see you later Sal.’
‘You have a good time, both of you. Hope you win this week.’
‘We’ll thrash em,’ Robbie boasted. ‘Bye mum. See you after the match.’
They walked up the front path to join the throng of fans, with Robbie swinging his rattle furiously.
George put his arm around his grandson and they both called out. ‘Come on you Reds.’
The crowd joined in with the chant and Robbie smiled up at his Granddad.’
Sally shut the door and went back to the kitchen to finish the washing up, then a couple of hours of peace in front of the telly. ‘Football mad, the pair of them,’ she smiled.
The stadium was packed to the rafters. A cheer swept through the crowd as the footballers ran on to the pitch. After the toss was called the players took up their positions. The referee blew his whistle and the game began.
High above in the distance a massive black cloud headed towards the stadium. A great cheer rose up from the crowd below as the unseen cloud swept down, broke up and swooped towards the crowds in the seats. The footballers on the pitch were quickly overwhelmed and torn apart by the bird like creatures. The fans, in a state of panic, tried to escape as the creatures attacked.
People leapt over the gantries, others scrambled down the ramps, crushing those that fell as the creatures began their assault on the trapped fans. The ramps soon became filled with bodies and the exits were blocked by the fallen dead. People dropped from the upper terrace onto the fans in the seats below, only to be crushed under foot by the terror-stricken crowd.
Those in the lower seats fought and pushed to get away from the slaughter taking place all around them. They climbed over the piles of bodies building up in front and rushed onto the pitch, only to be slaughtered there.
Those that were still alive were now trapped in the stadium by the piles of bodies that choked the exits. With nowhere to escape to they became easy prey for the creatures.
High up in the commentary box the commentators looked down in disbelief and horror as the stadium was turned into a slaughterhouse.
Creatures flew at the windows, leaving blood trails down the glass as the windows held up against their onslaught. The commentators got up to run from the box to seek safety in the corridors behind just as the windows imploded. So many creatures swarmed into the box and attacked the commentators and staff that they were ripped to pieces in seconds.
In the upper seats George had Robbie pushed down between the seats.
Robbie was crying hysterically. ‘What are they granddad?’
Over the agonising sounds of people all around them being ripped apart and eaten alive, George covered Robbie with his own body. A creature landed on Georges back and took a bite out of his shoulder. He stood up, screaming in pain, and shrugged off his coat. Blood poured from the gaping wound in his neck and shoulder. The coat fell to the floor trapping the creature. George stamped on it, squashing it flat. He grabbed Robbie up in his arms and kicking and stamping his way through the creatures that were ripping apart the fans all around them, he made a run for it. As George reached the end of the aisle, a large group of creatures flew at him.
He dropped his grandson. ‘Get under the seats.’
Robbie scrambled under, pulling them down over himself.
George fought valiantly to fight the creatures off. He ripped a few apart with his bare hands but soon collapsed under the vicious attack, falling between the seats Robbie was hidden under.
The young boy watched, crying in horror, as the creatures ripped into his granddad, tearing his flesh off in chunks and wallowing in the blood feast.
More creatures landed on George and joined in the feeding. Robbie passed out, his mind no longer able to suffer the revulsion and terrible sight it had been forced to watch.
As he lay unconscious the creatures stripped his granddad to the bone, then they moved on to the young boy’s prone body.
The stadium had become a closed killing ground. There was no escape as the million or more creatures annihilated every human being in the stadium. When no living prey was left the creatures began ripping into the crushed and fallen that blocked up the ramps and exits.
The only surviving soul, a camera operator high up in the roof had managed to stay hidden. The video feed of the creatures, killing, tearing apart and feeding on human flesh, was broadcast throughout the nation and across Europe through satellite television links.
People all across the world watched the event unfold as the stadium became a seething mass of black creatures covering the pitch, the seats, and feeding on the dead or dying fans.