As London settled for the night under the dark skies, drifting smoke and new tenants, people ventured out into the streets, their need for food overcoming their fear. Stocking up from corner shops and supermarkets they returned to their bolt holes with as much as they could carry, the brave venturing out on many trips.
Patrick had asked for people to go with him to forage for food and supplies; there was no shortage of volunteers, each knowing their survival depended on food and safe shelter. The church had recently undergone a vast amount of refurbishment. Down in the crypts were an art gallery, a restaurant, music and meeting halls, all easily secured. The restaurant was fairly well stocked, but it wouldn’t feed a head count of six-hundred-seventy people for very long. There were plenty of rooms for people and safe dry storage of supplies.
When Patrick had ventured up from the crypt in a fruitless search for the vicar, he had chanced a peek outside. He saw people hurrying across the square carrying boxes and bags. He looked around for the creatures and saw that the roofs of the nearby buildings were covered in them, they seemed to be ignoring the people. He walked out and stood at the top of the wide staircase looking down across the fountains and lions on the square, all still lit up.
At least the power is still on, he thought, but for how long?
As his eyes became accustomed to the semi-darkness, he could make out the skyline and saw the buildings were completely covered in the creatures, their monstrous silhouettes standing out darker than a sky lit by a reddish hue from the fires that still raged across London. The air smelled of smoke, it reminded him of bonfire night.
‘Thank God Bridgette has gone back to Ireland,’ he muttered. ‘If only she’d taken the kids with her. I could have coped better on my own.’
He pulled out his mobile phone and tried ringing her again but the phone had no signal. He put the phone away and lit a cigarette. As he stood watching the people going to and fro across the square like furtive burglars, more people ventured out from the church. He called over to John, who he knew as a casual acquaintance.
‘Look John, the creatures, they’re roosting for the night, they’re ignoring the people. We should go now while they’re sleeping.’
John rounded up a foraging party of more than two-hundred and off they set, bound for the nearest stores just across the square. In two short hours they had emptied them and gained quite a few new recruits to their numbers.
Patrick knew that when dawn approached, the creatures would become restless and take flight on their relentless destruction of the human race, but this time their human prey would be in short supply.
With the doors locked and barred, The survivors settled in for however long it would take to rid the country of the menace.