The Telephone

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Chapter 23

William carried Sarah out of his apartment, holding her with both hands, her head bobbed up and down as he walked briskly. He carried her out of his apartment, down the steps and out onto the deserted sidewalk out on Liddell Street. He looked round each direction he stood to ensure the scientists weren’t anywhere around then breathed a sigh of relief.

At least they haven’t started looking here yet, but I have to hurry.
Though knowing it anyway, he remembered that he didn’t have a damn car, and Sarah’s Cadillac was at the Town Hall.
Shit, the hard way then.
There was plenty of abandoned cars wasting away in the road, and William could certainly hotwire any of them, but he always hated having to do it. And the present situation didn’t give him any confidence. He would have to hurry. He had always meant to get a car, but his past obsession with the experiment always put it on hold. He made a mental note that whatever he chose to take right now, providing it ran and the gas tank was full, this would most certainly be his.
He scanned the line of cars along the road, cars that at one point in time would have been all the range, the most modern, or old wrecks that were rusted and beyond repair before the war. Now, all simply sat here, the owners long dead, wasting away to the dust and decay that was everywhere. It was hard to make out fine details from here with the fog drifting continuously across the street, he narrowed his eyes and looked more closely.
His eyes stopped at one car just a few yards to the left. He hurried over to it and gave it a quick inspection. The car was small, its body thick with dust, as well as a large group of dead leaves that had fallen from the overhanging trees. He tried the back door of the car, not knowing whether it would be locked or not. He pulled on it and it opened with a high squeaking. He opened it fully and lay Sarah on the back seat, she made a small whimpering sound as her head touched the cold dusty leather bound seat. He closed the door and opened the hood and checked the engine. He had limited knowledge of car engines, and the present situation forced him to hurry. He constantly looked up at the street and the road, the same as a feeding bird continually looks up to check for predators.
The engine bore the appearance of an ancient range stove, blackened and rusted over a long period of time. He couldn’t recognise a single section and had no way of telling if the whole thing worked or not.
He ran over to the side of the car and opened the door. The door was hard to open as the inside mechanism to open it was rusted, he leaned his arm on the inside and forced it open, a great cake of dust fell to the ground as it was disturbed. He leaned inside the car and rested his side on the leather seats. He noticed the fuel gage beside him, it was difficult to see with the dried dust covering it, but he could tell that it registered a quarter full tank. He would have to find a gas station if he got the car started.
He saw that the wires from inside the dashboard of the car were already hanging out, obviously, someone at one time had tried this same technique, but to no avail. He prayed that history wouldn’t repeat itself and took hold of the wires. He forced the knowledge to do this to the front of his conscious mind, remembering which wires he had to use.
That’s it, got it.
He took hold of the correct wires and exposed the bare metallic strips inside and prepared to connect them together. It didn’t seem possible that the car would still have electricity inside it after so long, but until he tried their was no way to know for sure. He held his breath and connected the wires. The electrical sound of a key being turned could be heard, then the engine revved noisily, spluttering into life amongst its deceased comrades.
William’s body shook in surprise at the shock of hearing it start up. Not wasting a moment, he closed his door and sat himself down in the drivers seat. He gave a quick check to Sarah, her hands lay flat on her waist and her head was facing the back end of the car. He looked back and gave one more final check to ensure no one was around, the forced his foot on the gas pedal and released the handbrake, the engine revved with aggression and power as it sped away into the milky whiteness of the fog.
William took a complete note of which direction he was going, making sure he was going in the right direction for the nearest gas station. He looked in the rear view mirror at Sarah, at her seemingly comatose body making simple murmurs and faint breathing sounds.
There was no real need for her to wake up right now, he had the matter at hand, but he hoped she’d wake up soon. They was now on the run and he couldn’t afford to carry her around every hiding place they ran to next with the scientists permanently on their trail. Sooner or later, she’d have to wake up and be sober, and not continually harass him for hitting her. She seemed to be a person who was a lot stronger than him, and he counted on that. He would need her to help him to help her, he didn’t like the idea of each of them going alone, especially her. They were now in the same situation, both being pursued by the same people and they each had to help each other to survive to whatever end they came to at the opposite side of this situation.
William relaxed his shoulders as he saw the gas station at the other end of the road he was on. He would fill the car up as much as it allowed the get the hell out of the city, away from the madness that constantly hounded them.

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