A large crowd had gathered on the highest point of Parliament Hill Fields, drawn by the setting sun over a panoramic view across the city. Tens of millions of the creatures, satiated for now, had taken to the skies. They circled the whole of central London, plunging it into darkness.
The cloud flowed and undulated like a floating oil slick, blocking out the horizon. A thin line of purple red light from the setting sun lit the moving underbelly of the cloud, turning it to a deep shimmering purple.
Fires raged out of control all over the capital, and with no fire service to put them out the fires easily spread from building to building. As flames reached high into the sky, plumes of smoke drifted across the skyline, blown by an easterly breeze.
The displaced dregs of humanity stood shoulder to shoulder in large groups, or sat alone in abject silence and misery, and watched the spectacle of the wholesale destruction of their homes and city. Their faces could not conceal their sense of grief for their loss and uncertainty for their future survival.
A young couple sitting close together on the ground watched the creatures flowing above London with a mixture of fascination and horror.
‘Look at the size of it Chrissie. There must be billions of them. London’s finished. We need to get away from here.’
‘But where can we go? They’re everywhere.’
‘Away from populated area’s. We should go home. Scotland has enough land where we can ride this out. Those government bastards have run away so we’re on our own from now on. We have to do what it takes to survive, whatever it takes. We’re not safe here, or in any city, that’s for certain.’
As the sun set, the cloud descended upon London until the darkening sky was empty.
‘They’ve gone Steve, they don’t fly at night.’
Steve got up, he pulled Chrissie to her feet. ‘Come on let’s go. We can take a motorbike from somewhere. We’ll travel at night and find safe places to hold up during the day.’
They made their way through the crowds of displaced people and walked off across the heath.