Sarah jumped into her car and sped away from the now deserted café doing over 90mph, tearing through the thick smoky canopy of fog that encircled her like a silent, formless attacker. The engine grinding a little with signs of old age. The door on her side swung violently in and out of the rushing air, Sarah was too be busy concentrating on the cryptic words spoke from the tape machine to worry about it.
‘Teacups, roller coasters, horses and carousels.’ It’s gotta be the theme park, that shabby little amusement just outside the city. They said my name, as clear as a bell, they’re trying to tell me that he is there, he must be.
The other statements made by the mysterious voices were a little cryptic and hard to fathom. The stuff about finding fun and excitement sounded a lot like a commercial, dazzling the viewer with gorgeous images of the sun, sea and sand, beckoning them to come and pay and visit, as well as a hefty admission fee. But, the statement about finding a man there, it couldn’t be anyone else but William. She knew she could be overreaching herself with that and taking on what might be false hopes, but she had no choice but to think of it that way. The husband she chose to put in the corner till later, as well as William having moves on the dance-floor.
She gave a brief thought to the reliability of these voices. Just as they were coming through, she had told them to shove up and stop irritating her with their lies. But, now, she was hanging on every word they said to her, believing every syllable as though it was the gospel truth. She had no more reason to trust these voices entities more than the last, except of course for the terrified voice of the little girl, Amy. She quickly crossed herself as she thought of her.
But, after all, in the end, she had no other option but to trust what the entities had said, there was no other direction to go instead of this blind alleyway that might lead to what she wanted, and until she knew for sure, she had to hope and pray that they were speaking the truth.
It seemed a little hard to believe, or even understand why the scientists would have took him to the amusement park. As far as she could tell, the Telephone device in the Town Hall was everything to them, the root of all their hard work and concentration, everything else was worthless, they’d even pray to the thing if they saw it as a god. Of course, she had no real evidence that it even was the scientists that had took him from the café, it was just assumption. But, it seemed very unlikely that he would go outside into the street for a look round the deserted stores and leave her in her vision all alone. She knew that he cared a great deal for her, her safety and well-being he regarded much more than his own. Maybe, he loved her, after all, no one would risk their life to save yours, regardless of the danger they would face, without caring very deeply about you.
Perhaps, it was just Sarah’s deep desire to be loved again, to be with someone again that she really cared about and to have their strong beating heart close to her own frozen and extinct heart. She felt a little afraid to realise the fact that she might need someone in her life, not just to face whatever hell had been forced upon her in the last few days, but to have someone in what might remain of her own life. Someone to comfort her and give her support in the questionable years to come.
She preferred to think of that imagined life in those words rather than say the three little words even to herself. She wasn’t the one for that kind of thing in the past, regarding it merely as an insufficient tool of survival. But, the presence of William around her and his efforts of protecting her were starting to make her come round to that way of thinking, but the words themselves she couldn’t handle right now.
She had lived alone in the world in complete solitude for ten years among the dead and the sub-human class of survivors that skulked around the city like animals. Existing only to survive, becoming a mere walking food eating machine, locking away whatever feelings and emotions she had deep within her soul and throwing away the key, allowing her heart to gradually fade away and disappear. But, not anymore, that life was gone, now, and she now had someone that she could spend her life with somewhere in this dead world. All her cards rested on him being alive and safe. Without him, there would be no one, and the mysterious, bizarre and alien world of the afterlife would be the only option to hopefully escape from everything evil that had seeped into her life.
The rusty old car she drove spluttered steadily down the streets of the city as she searched for the road out of town, streets with rusted and faded signs bearing their names once remembered and cherished by everyone that knew and saw them nearly every day like old friends, now sat forgotten and unappreciated as they crumbled more and more into the dust of yesterday. The occasional twitch of a curtain and the flickering of a dimly watt light bulb in a dusty old building signalled that some nameless and faceless survivor was behind them, peering out at the sound of Sarah’s car shooting past, their forgotten souls reaching out for her companionship.
Sarah eventually ended up on the only road to take her out of the city and into the faded and featureless hills beyond.
It was strange to be leaving the city, after so long being held within it like a consenting prisoner, constantly breathing in the same toxic fumes from the cars and seeing the same people pass by her windows every day, like a ghost constantly repeating the same pattern over and over. She never had any real reason to leave, everything within the city itself was everything she ever needed. Her groceries were always bought from the same supermarket, her job was only a few blocks from were she lived. She never felt the desire to spend some time abroad in a relaxing holiday, even with the steadily growing tension all over Europe that eventually led to the third and final world war. She always felt secure and protected inside her small but precious life, glad that their was virtually nothing outside of it that would hold her back with emotions or deep feelings. She started to wonder whether she had done the right thing by severing any family ties and ensuring no new ones ever came about. She guessed that she had missed out on many things in life, ignoring the really important things. But, in the end, it was already too late to grab them and experience them.
The bridge she drove across was bone dry and made completely out of wood and rope, but perfectly secure. Her tires made a dull grinding sound as she slowly drove over them, her headlights barely piercing the thick fog that surrounded her. In all the years she had used it or just briefly noticed it as she drove by it, there was never an accident when someone drove or walked over it.
Except for the time when the car went over the side in the dark because their lights weren’t working. She thought with a sigh, casually wondering whether their ghost too would come through on her proverbial aerials. She laughed at that statement, despite knowing the stigma attached to it.
The overcastting shadow of the deserted and silent city disappeared behind her in the fog, the ownerless dust covered clothes that incessantly blew through every street were now reduced to nothing but a sad memory, the shady and smoky looking skyscrapers were the only thing left of it to be seen, giving them the appearance of tall tombstones rising into the air from a great city of the dead. Sarah let her shoulders go loose as she exhaled a deep breath of air, as though feeling the weight of some great pressure suddenly leave her. She had a feeling what it most likely was, but wasn’t really sure why it would be a burden to her.
She left the bridge and emerged onto a long dirt road that ran straight forward to the darkened horizon up ahead, and onto what she called ‘the eternal beaches.’ All around her was the same flat landscape of sand mixed in with the occasional small body of water from the cold dead ocean beyond. At the far left side of where she drove she could see small sand hills with a thick blanket of tall and sharp blades of grass blowing slowly and silently in the breeze, the talon like edges of the fog seemed to claw at them in hatred. At occasional points on the road, she met up with long abandoned cars slowly rusting in the cold air, their long dead occupants slumped in the drivers or passenger seats, or countless people in the same car, clumped together like sardines. These were the people that saw the plague coming toward the city long before those less fortunate saw it and struggled to leave for safety, not realising in their abject terror that the invisible virus could reach them wherever they were, regardless of how fast they tried to flee.
Sarah looked around her at the cold, dark expanse of nature, suddenly feeling a slight tug of fear inside her, her stomach turning ever so slightly. It was a little scary driving down a road with virtually no sign of anything human around her. Living in the city alone all these years didn’t make her terrified like the others, the tall skyscrapers, the small stores and the many streets with family houses were all a kind of security blanket to her. The fact that she hardly ever saw another person didn’t matter, living in the city, no matter how alone she was gave her the ability to ignore what had happened to the world, and carry on pretending that her life hadn’t changed in the slightest, imagining that everyone worked in the high skyscrapers or were always in the back room whenever she went into a small store for food, or occasionally imagining that she spoke to someone who she couldn’t see but could imagine was their talking and listening to her. But, here, on this bed of sand, everything looked so much different. She no longer had the comfort of the buildings to make her think the war never happened. Here, nature seemed so empty of anything living, no animals grazed it looking for food or a mate, no people rested in a certain place for a picnic or make sandcastles for their children. Here, all of that was gone, and the reality of it stuck in her throat with a painful stabbing feeling. She ignored these uncomfortable feelings and concentrated on the road.
She sped along further and further up the cold featureless road, her eyes fixed on the horizon lying out of sight. She kept her eyes peeled for the amusement park, not exactly sure where it was. After a couple of miles, she wondered whether she had missed it, though it would be hard to miss a large structure against a flat landscape. She started to look from side to side, at the hills on the left for the tiniest sign of the roof of the park, to the right in the beginnings of the ocean.
Where the hell is it? I know its around here, I’ve seen it before.
Then her eyes flashed as she peered through her right had window, quickly pressing her foot on the brake pedal, her fingers tightening on the hard leather of the steering wheel. The tires on the right side sank into a ditch slightly as she stopped, but it didn‘t matter now, she had her bearings. She wound the window down and looked out, her hands gripping the outside of the door.
There, just under a mile from where she was lay the building in question, sitting silently on the sand, silhouetted in the dim light, the almost unnoticeable flags waving in the breeze.
She looked long and hard at the building, the imagined picture of William burned inside her, and the picture of what she would do to the scientists when she had the chance burned even more. Her eyes screwed up into an expression repressed anger. She had always feared this place as a kid whenever her and her father drove by it. Seeing it sitting in the darkness, the joy and laughter that was once rife through it in the day was gone, replaced by something similar in appearance but different in motivations. It scared her so much that she always turned her head away when they passed it, refusing to ever peek, even when her mind screamed for her to do. It always seemed an unnatural place when it was empty and silent, the same way a library or a subway was when no one was around.
Looking at the structure in the dark now as it was partly obscured by the fog that seemed to follow her, she got the sense that something else was inside. Something other than William and the scientists, something that seemed alive, but wasn’t, or maybe some secret lodged inside it, wanting to be free. But none of that was important to her, whatever mysteries from the beyond were here, she didn’t care about them, the only thing that mattered right now was getting William out of there, and hopefully taking swift and brutal revenge on the scientists, even if William himself begged her not to.
She sat back in her seat and put pressure on the gas pedal until the car began to move out of the ditch and straight toward the lonely black structure ahead.
About twenty minutes later, Sarah reached the grief stricken outskirts of the amusement park and stopped the car, mere inches away from the ramshackle pieces of wood that were once the entrance. The musty and dilapidated remains of a ticket booth stood silent and derelict to the right of the car, the feeble remains of a faded yellow flag flapped in the wind suspended at the top of the booth.
Sarah remained in the car with her hands resting on the steering wheel, looking slightly open mouthed at the park in front of her.
It was strange, unreal and slightly disturbing to see the amusement park so empty and lifeless like this, devoid of people or any kind of activity anywhere, most of the colour dissipated from the large tents and small wooden buildings, hideous musty old corpses littering the area, the faded remnants of deflated balloons and rotted popcorn still in their lifeless hands, their long-dead children still in their protecting arms as they once struggled to keep from the sweeping plague. A thick carpet of fog covered the surrounding area, suddenly awakening a deep sense of foreboding.
The uncomfortable feeling of unease steadily grew and grew inside Sarah as she bore witness to this unnatural scene, her fingers began to quiver slightly, gently thudding against the hard leather of the steering wheel. The picture before her in all its hideous overtones seemed to scream with a childlike voice inside her head, begging her not to go inside, or even get out of the car. The voice of despair was joined by another voice from within herself, the rational and somewhat cowardly side of her that ordered her not to leave her present position, to stay inside, get the engine running again and get the hell out of here, ignoring any thoughts of William’s safety and choosing self-preservation over the possible sacrifice of her own life. The allied voices screamed into her ear, loud enough that they might just as well have been real people in the car with her. She narrowed her eyes and tilted her head downward enough so that the entrance to the park was just within view, she tightened her grasp on the steering wheel until her fingers went white, clenching her teeth beneath tightened lips, her own quiet yet immensely powerful will speaking to the other voices.
I won’t walk away from this, no way in hell will I do that. William is in there, he needs my help. And they’re in there, too, those that made me like this. I have to get my revenge, and I have to understand all of it.
She remained in the car for a few moments while she composed herself, drawing up enough power of her own body to leave the car and get out there and start looking. She gave one last tight grip of the steering wheel and immediately exited the car, slamming the door shut behind her and climbed over the rotted pieces of wood.
The intense cold suddenly took a tight grip around her when she stepped inside the park, an icy cold that ran to her bones and made her nerves tremble with unease. She stood rigid, unable to move, her arms instantly covered her chest, her body twisting round itself as it struggled in vain to shake off this unnatural embrace.
No, I will not be held back by some freakin’ wind and cold air.
She walked on into the fog-choked amusement park, careful not to step on any of the corpses, undeterred by the uncomfortable weather, her arms hanging free by her sides, making no attempt to instinctively protect her.
She took careful steps as she walked, unsure of what exactly she would step into if she wasn’t careful. The fog that surrounded her refused to dissipate, cloaking her in fluffy-white talons and a strange kind of moistness. Suddenly, in the space of only a few seconds, the fog began to dissipate, vanishing away before her eyes as if it had never been there, as though the air itself was absorbing the fog into itself. Sarah stood her ground as she watched the interesting and unusual spectacle, the intense cold still forcing to shield her chest. Finally, the fog lifted, or rather simply vanished into thin air, replaced by a sudden and rather disturbing shroud of darkness that bathed the entire amusement park, and everything within view, in a disquieting stillness, the only movement anywhere that was left was the slow wavering of the surrounding large tents, the small reddened and dusty flags, and the thin layer of sand that covered the floor.
Sarah looked all around at this strange new environment she had suddenly been thrown into, her lips partly open, she struggled to keep herself and not descend into total, or even slight fear.
Come on, now, you coward, get a hold of yourself. I don’t know what the hells going on around here, but you’ve already been through a lot. A little night time walking never hurt you before, and those no way in hell its gonna’ hurt you now. Get going.
She started to walk forward again, further into the park, listening out for any kind of shout, or god forbid, a scream. Because of the sudden descent of darkness, she was forced to concentrate on whatever she looked at. But, thankfully, it wasn’t so dark that she needed a torch.
She walked along the deserted amusement park with slow careful steps so as not to make much noise, lest she had to hear something important that would pass her by. Her footsteps made loud scraping noises as they dragged themselves across the sand covered floor, it made Sarah shudder with a sensation that someone was walking over her grave.
Stop saying that damned phrase to yourself, can’t you say anything else?
Her arms hugging to her chest tighter, she timidly walked past the small multicoloured striped huts on the right, once used for medium priced games such as target practice, coconut throwing, glass breaking, and other cheap and pointless things. Sarah chose to ignore them and carry on, refusing to waste any more time on pondering and pointless nostalgia.
Sarah almost bolted out of her own skin as she heard a loud cracking sound going off right next to her, her arms and legs instinctively twisted around her as a mode of protection. With widened eyes, she looked to her right and noticed that one of the plastic rifles in the hut beside her was tilting upwards toward the sky, a faint trace of smelling smoke wafted from the end.
Sarah simply regarded the strange, frightening and sudden occurrence as nothing more than a cheap gag, preferring not to give it the most obvious answer.
With a slightly annoyed expression, she continued along the park area and up into a children’s play area. Surrounding the bottom end of the entrance was a rotted wooden fence shaped like the outline of petals on a flower, a small gate in the centre of the fence bore a faded metallic sign with ‘ENTER’ written on it. Hanging above the fence was a large unusually shaped sign with fading colours with ‘CHILDRENS HAPPY TIME’ screwed into it with bolts and large metallic letters.
Sarah stayed by the fence and looked inside the structure but saw only darkness, no indication of anything inside. A strong gust of breeze briefly blew her clothes to one side, as though silently pushing her on. She wondered whether to go inside, and whether it was intelligent to stay where was or go and look somewhere else in the park. The trouble was, she had absolutely no idea where the hell William was inside this place, if he was even here at all. She had no hard proof either way, he could be here, he could not. It scared her to think so, but this very important decision of just being in here and looking around was an enormous gamble, indeed she was gambling with William’s safety and probably even his life. She literally sat on the fence of the play area staring into the black oblivion inside, deciding whether or not to push on, leave the park altogether, or to look in another part of the amusement area.
I hate to say it, but I could certainly do with those taped voices right now. They’d probably have more luck finding William than I have right now. Its funny, though it sounds crazy to hear myself say it, but I swear I can feel something pushing me inside here, forcing me to go inside. I don’t think I can feel it pushing me anywhere else around here. I guess it could just be my imagination, but . . . I don’t know.
She got off the fence and looked inside the children’s play area again, feeling the strange pressure on her back that told her to continue. Barely a moment passed when she jumped over the fence and landed on the soft and tenuous wood beneath her feet. She steadied herself when she landed and carried on into the darkness.
Her breath grew more and more rapid and intense as she walked further and further into the featureless void, reaching out with her hands to feel anything that she might recognise, or at least, hang onto and get her bearings. All around her was darkness, featureless, inky black darkness that swallowed her whole, the only clear indication of where she walked were the hard sounds of her footsteps on the hard wood floor. Her heart raced, filling her arms and legs with rushes of adrenaline, beckoning and begging her to turn around and leave this place, yet her mind was raging only with doubt and slight anxiety. She had lived to long to be afraid of the dark, or things that might be there but on the other hand may not. She knew she could keep control of her senses and her own mind, but her body and her natural instincts were something else entirely, and could only hope they would serve her and not decided to work off their own initiative. Hoping for the best, she continued further down into the darkness, her arms and legs stretched out around her, like a spider crawling across its web.
Her footsteps suddenly became awkward as she walked, stumbling from side to side as they struggled to gain some steady contact with the ground.
What the hell is it now? She grumbled to herself, tired of all the things that seemed to be holding her back.
She stopped in her tracks and positioned her legs about a foot apart, her arms stretched out wide enough till she felt the strong smooth wood against her fingers. She moved her hand around the wood slightly, realising that the shape seemed angled, not straight as she originally thought. She shuffled her feet from side to side and felt the exact same thing, smooth hard wood in an angled shape.
What its this, what the hell am I standing in?
She broke away from her fixed position, careful not to fall over and began to feel the entire structure all around her, checking everything within reach. She scanned the whole surface structure with her hands, creating an imaginary shape in her mind. After much analysis and pondering, she realised that she was inside what would pass as a kind of ride, an amusement to children. Something that she didn’t have a name to, but could tell that she was inside a long tube-shaped wooden structure that at once upon a time would have revolved round, the person inside having to grab hold and keep steady to avoid from falling.
She knelt down onto a stable part of the tube and slowly pulled her hand away from the wood, feeling the hint of a smile on her face.
Oh, yeah, I’m sure it was a great ride for the kids, but it doesn’t do anything for me.
Realising she had wasted her time, she stood up again and carried on waling through the darkness encrusted tube and out into the open air, not knowing exactly whether she was outside or more or less inside, but could still feel the cold breeze brushing past her face. She embraced her chest tightly and looked all around her, desperate for anything that might resemble human presence around here, living human presence.
Come on, Will, where the hell are you? God, if only you could give me some kind of sign.
Her eyes shot up suddenly wide open as a strong electric light suddenly came on from somewhere, filling the immediate area with dazzling light. Her heart began to pound heavily inside her chest with the strength of a jackhammer. Her sight darted from one side to another as she made sure that no one was behind her or to the side of her, the sudden flicking of the light filled her senses with a strong presence. Yet, there was nothing and no one around her anywhere, aside from the rotted corpses lying on the ground outside. Her eyes followed light, drawing her sight up along where the light was brightest, until she saw that the light was indeed coming from an overhanging electric light bulb. She hurriedly wiped her hands clean as they began to pour with nervous sweat, unable to tear her frightened gaze from the bulb.
There was absolutely no way in hell that the light bulb would have been able to work, the power was extinct everywhere in the city, everywhere in the world. Even if it was a generator, she’d have been able to hear it droning miles away. And the scariest fact of all, it had switched itself on when she had asked for a sign from William. She immediately drowned out any hint of thought that the light was William’s doing, his deceased spirit to be precise helping her out.
“Well, thanks for that, whoever the hell you are.” She said speaking aloud to anyone or anything that may be listening, hoping to god that if there were someone there they wouldn’t answer back. She would certainly prefer and like to believe that there was some natural or simple explanation for the light coming on of its own accord, but there was no reason other than the one that burned inside her heart and mind.
Again clutching her chest, more tightly this time, she continued along the immediate area, not entirely full of gratitude for being able to see everything.
She looked around and saw that she was indeed still inside the children’s play area, immediately seeing all of the lonely and slightly creepy looking rides and amusements around her. The entire immediate area was situated inside a large wooden structure that housed all of the various things inside. The air was musty, the typical smell and feeling of old wood rotting away into nothing. To her right was a fairly large merry go round and see-saw, mysteriously unaffected by the onslaught of the plague that had turned almost anything made of wood into sawdust. A few yards ahead was a large punching bag hanging from a rusted hook, large holes had been tore out of it, the musty and dirty looking fluff hung out in great chunks. Sarah looked further ahead and saw that there was a second level to the room. An assembled collection of human sized wooden cylinders hung from the ceiling, hanging a few inches from the ground. Barely a second after she had seen them did the cylinders start to rock violently back and forth, banging into each other with a loud hollow wooden sound, great amounts of dust long settled began to escape the cylinders and fell slowly onto the first floor. Sarah’s only reaction to this was a sharp turn of her neck in the correct direction. She had grown fairly used to these strange things happening around her, far from being frightening, they were just annoying and pointless.
She turned to leave through the large open door to her left when she saw something being thrown right at her, immediately darting to the side and falling to the floor.
“Shit!” She said aloud as she hit the hard floor, quickly sitting up and scanning the area for whatever it was that came at her. She quickly noticed it lying on the floor amidst a collection of dusty old green blankets. She walked over to it and picked it up, realising that it was nothing but a broken piece of concrete.
Yeah, but who the fuck threw it at them me?
She ran as fast as she could to the open shutter and looked outside from one direction to the next, fully expecting to see either the scientists or hopefully William trying to get her attention. But, no matter how hard she looked she saw nothing but the eerie and deserted amusement park, bathed into almost perfect blackness, the silhouetted shapes of the surrounding buildings sitting silently in the cold air.
She looked down at the piece of concrete in her hand and immediately let go of it, retracting her hand back to the comforting embrace of her other hand, the frightening thought of what might have been holding it and what might still be around her even now sent shivers down her spine.
Jesus, Will, are you even here, or is it just the dead that’s here with me?
She started to wipe the few flakes of dust from the concrete off her hand when at the corner of her eye, she noticed another light switch flicking on and off. Waiting a moment to calm herself, she looked up and saw that it was inside a building exactly opposite to where she stood. She could tell even from being so far away that the building was used to house a large dance floor, remembering it from the pictures in the brochure that her father showed her when she was a kid. Even as she looked at the lonely building, the light continued to switch itself on and off, waiting for a single moment before switching from one to the other. But, no matter how hard she tried to see closer, she couldn’t see any sign of people or anything that might suggest someone’s presence inside, but, she didn’t have the desire to search anywhere else, at the moment, that was the only place that she might find what she was looking for.
William. God, I hope its you in there, I hope that’s your signal saying that’s were you are. Dear god, let me get it right, let me find him safe and well then we can get out of these nightmare.
Fixing her gaze on the building, she started to run across the sand covered floor, still watching the light go and off as she came closer and closer to the staircase leading up to the door. She ran up the wooden steps, registering only for an instant that they may collapse and stopped when she realised that the door in front of her was covered by a strong wire mesh fence. She instinctively brought her hands up in front of her to stop herself hitting the fence, and stopped dead in her tracks. She peeked through the small holes in the mesh and noticed that the light from inside had switched itself off suddenly, leaving behind only a pitch-black dance floor. The only thing she could see was the deflated remnants of a single balloon lying on the floor near the fence. She held her breath as hard as she could and put her ear against the wire mesh, hoping to hear anything from William inside. But, all she heard was the awkward and struggled sounds of her own breathing.
Gritting her teeth tightly, she began to pull hard on the wire mesh fence, trying her hardest to pull it away and get inside. Then, she looked down as she saw the problem. The lock was still attached and looked like it only needed to be unhooked and the door would open. She unhooked it and pulled on the door, it came away easily. She shook her head and stepped inside, quietly closing the fence behind her and began to walk further inside the dance hall, still seeing nothing but an intense blanket of darkness and shadows. For a brief moment, she swore she could hear at the edge of her awareness the sound of a car driving by outside the amusement park. She ignored it, realising it wasn’t important.
Her footsteps echoed on the hard wood of the dance floor, bouncing off the surrounding walls around her, indicating that the room was bigger than she imagined. Her feet ran into discarded remnants of twisted pieces of paper that she guessed were used in some celebration sometime in the past. She looked up and saw the vague image of an overhanging paper-made box hanging from the ceiling, the long paper straps hanging down from it blew in the breeze.
It was only until she came about halfway into the dance-area that she realised she was in the heart of absolute darkness, standing her like a sitting duck. The fear and agitation immediately began to surge inside her like an erupting volcano, ready to burst into uncontrollable terror. She embraced her chest as tight as she could and stood her ground, unwilling to go any further, her legs and arms shaking with growing fear, the faintest of tears began to fall from her eyes.
Oh, shit, oh, Jesus Christ, William. Where the hell are you. Please god, help me get out of here.
Her entire body suddenly went cold and frigid when she sensed the strong presence behind her, and the overwhelming and uncomfortable feeling of being watched with piercing eyes. A piece of discarded paper brushed past her ankle causing her to quickly take in a deep breath of air. Her lips began to quiver, her breath was stuck inside her throat, unwilling to come out.
Oh, shit, who . . .who the fuck is that?
Slowly, she started to turn round, moving only a quarter of an inch each time, until she came face to face with the inky blackness and the white, shadow obscured grinning face sitting on top of the unmoving figure in front of her. She stopped in her timid movements as her scared panic stricken eyes stared intently into the frozen figures evil-like eyes.
She hardly made a movement when the lights hanging above her suddenly came on, bathing the whole dance floor, aside from the section on the opposite side of her in harsh bright light, her eyes still on the figure in front of her. She stepped back a step when she realised who it was, a dark sense of foreboding shooting through her veins like electricity.
“I’m glad you could finally make it, here.” Came Oswald Richardson’s terrible unfeeling voice, echoing around the large room.
Sarah didn’t make a sound in reaction to his presence, her heart and senses blinded by repressed rage that struggled to break free, yet somehow being forced backwards. She looked round and saw the assembled group of the rest of the scientists standing a few yards behind Oswald, their faces awash with expressions of hopelessness and utter defeat, their vague glances at Sarah made it seem like they hardly even recognised that she was here. A small wave machine on a small metallic table sat a few yards ahead, a thin horizontal green line stretched from one side of the darkened screen to the other.
She looked on hard and unrelenting at Oswald’s sinister expression, his mouth angled into a fierce creepy grin, his cold eyes piercing her very soul. His face was cracked with a multitude of wrinkles, giving him the appearance of a broken mirror. His clothes hung loosely from his thin, gaunt body, constantly letting off a thick stench of strong body odour. The stench caused Sarah to recoil backwards, holding her nose tightly within her hand. Moving aside, her sight wavered to the slumped motionless figure of William on the floor behind Oswald, his hands and feet tied up with rope. From where she stood, she couldn’t tell whether he was alive or dead.
Her hate-filled eyes darted back to Oswald’s smug expression, she clenched her teeth tightly and ran towards him, shouting loud into the air, stopping suddenly with a slight slip of her feet when she noticed the small revolver in his right hand pointing right toward her. The sudden surprise caused her to fall to the floor, her every muscle bulging with repressed rage and adrenaline.
“Easy, there,” Oswald said. “We both know that that’s not a very intelligent thing to do now, don’t we? If you carry on like that, then my precious little specimen would be full of bruises, and we can’t have that, can we. Get up, now!” He said in a sudden sharp tone, his smug expression quickly changing to nothing.
Sarah followed his demand and stood up, purposely taking her time, Oswald’s revolver following her all the way.
“What the hell did you to him, you piece of shit.” Sarah demanded with a low hateful tone.
Oswald smiled, the same way someone does when explaining something only they understand to an ignorant individual.
“Oh, don’t worry, he’s alive, we just had to make him docile for a while, just enough for us to take him here and tie him up. You like the place we’ve chosen?” He asked extending his arms out. “Its an absolutely perfect place to end the experiment, and end my time on this dead little world. We took some time deciding where we should end it, all of us had different ideas of where it should be, but I, I was the one who decided on the amusement park. Its perfect don’t you think, a place that saw people, families, lovers come and go, enjoying themselves on the fun little rides. And then, that terrible unfortunate day of the plague when all of these happy families died so horribly, still clutching to the tiny little dead hands of their children. Oh, what a pity, ha, ha, ha, ha!!”
The rage inside of Sarah’s body was close to bursting as she listened and watched his maniacal laughter roaring high into the ceiling, the hand with the revolver shaking, while the other hand that was holding his stomach struggled to stop his sides from cracking. She was so close to bursting, bursting with the intensity of a large nuclear bomb, or a huge erupting volcano.
Go on, kill the bastard, rip his fucking head off. Who gives a shit if you’re shot, who cares if it hurts, William’s in danger. But, while her senses and humanity told her to fight, her instincts and inner voice of her physical body forced her back. Yet, in the midst of such chaos and confusion and desires of revenge, the small child-like voice of curiosity raised its small head. She calmed herself down enough to ask him:
“What the hell do you mean the end of the experiment, and what the hell do you mean by ‘specimen.’”
Oswald in turn calmed himself down and retrained the firm position of the gun back onto Sarah, his cold eyes staring hard at her as a strong serious expression took over his face. He sighed deeply before talking.
“The end of the experiment is what we have all been waiting for, waiting all these years for it to come about, for the window of opportunity to come about and give us all this unique chance, and I must say, it’s a chance of a lifetime.”
“Huh, what damn chance?” Sarah asked sarcastically.
Oswald’s fingers held tighter to the revolver, his head lowered a little, his deep cold eyes staring harder into her. “You’re not one us, you never deserved this chance, because you’re a specimen, you can’t understand. But, your presence here will of great importance to us. You being here will finally allow us to unlock the door to that glorious world beyond, then we can finally leave this pathetic world behind and join something far beyond anything we could ever have imagined, everything that was unknown and mysterious before will be second-nature to us. I don’t know why the morons who discovered the voices in the first didn’t chase something like this up. It would have created a better future for all of us. And best of all, we don’t have to lift a finger to do any of this, we don’t have to sacrifice you or any of that primitive junk, your mind alone will do it all for us. Haven’t you figured it out yet, the reason why you have this bizarre and strange ability in the first place? That was the reason why we wanted people to use the Telephone device. We wanted somebody to use it and have a direct mental link to the other side. And then, just like that, you came along, and we didn’t even know you existed. Its funny how things turn out, isn’t it?”
The mammoth-ness of all of this weighed down on Sarah and refused to give in. She sank down onto the floor, her hands lying lifeless beside her in awkward angles. Was it all true, had she been used not just by the scientists, but by the world beyond that constantly invaded her mind? How could it all be true, how could something like this be possible? Why would the spirit world offer something like this to these people? She felt slightly betrayed by the voice-entities that constantly came through on the tape machines, betrayed by what they told her as fact. She knew that the voices were never on her side as far as she was concerned, she always regarded them as intruders into her life, visitors that weren’t welcome. Yet, the strong feeling of treachery swept over her with a cold remorseless feeling.
“You finally understand it now?” Oswald said looking down at her with an unfeeling gaze. “You were just a tool in our plans, someone we could use to get what we wanted.”
Sarah began to pant heavily, expelling her breath through her nostrils and mouth filled with gritted teeth, the same way a predator would breath just before going into battle with another of its kind. She slowly picked herself up and stood rigid in front of Oswald, the faintest of tears and deep sorrow evident on her angered and hateful face. She looked over at the other scientists with a scornful glance, hoping that her hatred could be felt by them as she stared intently at them. Their hopeless expressions barely registered her anger.
“So, these pathetic looking sons a bitches are supposed to be the ones who’ll join you in this fucking stupid plan. They look like they don’t give a flying fuck!”
Oswald looked at her with genuine confusion. “What do you mean, you mean you think they are the ones I’m talking about when I say ‘us?’ Oh, no, sorry, I think you’ve got the wrong idea there. Those pathetic weaklings did indeed help me once, but only for a brief time, only to set up the equipment in the Town Hall. No, you haven’t met or even seen the people I’m talking about, and there’s no reason why you should. They’ve been hiding, you see, hiding in the shadows of the city, waiting for me to give them the signal to come and join me. Oh, they’re special people, people to strong to be affected by the plague, too strong, too good and too full of ambition and great dreams to be held back by your pathetic people. Well, seeing as you’ve helped us in all of this, I suppose it would be gentlemanly of me to introduce you to them, they really want to meet you.”
Oswald then walked backwards toward the darkened half of the dance floor, his gun fixed onto Sarah, his gaze at her position not relenting for a moment. The other assembled scientists stayed in their fixed places, all with downtrodden expressions, like a slave staying always were it is told to after being long since beaten into submission. Sarah looked down at William’s lifeless body on the floor, his face lying flat against the hard wood. Looking closely, she could now see that he was breathing, he was definitely alive. She leaned her upper body closer to him, still glancing at Oswald as he ventured backwards further, she whispered to William loud enough hopefully only for him to hear.
“Its okay, Will, don’t worry, we’ll be out of here soon.” She hoped he heard her and that her words brought him some kind of comfort, because they didn’t bring her any.
She returned back to her original position and looked back at Oswald who had now stopped in-between the harsh bright light and the inky blackness and seem to be fiddling with a small fuse box, the revolver still in his hand and still pointing squarely on her. After a few moments of watching him screw around with the small electrical components, he moved away a little from the box on the wall and kept his hand resting above a small handle that pointed upwards. He looked on at the ocean of darkness around him with an unfeeling grin.
“Look here, now, all of you,” he said to Sarah and the others who barely made a response. “These people here now are your future rulers, the ones who will rule all!”
He pressed his hand down on the lever and the lights on the other side of the dance-hall came on and Sarah and the other scientists looked on in horror.
There, on the other side of the dancehall were a collection of heavily decomposed human corpses, all reduced to nothing much more than skeletons. Ranging from male to female, all sat around a long dusty cobweb covered table covered with cutlery and empty plates. All were fixed into various positions that gave the haunting impression that they were still alive underneath their fading strands of white hair, and behind their empty inky black eye sockets. A few of them were leant forward in their seats, their smooth darkened index finger pointing to another corpse on the opposite side, as though engaging in silent conversation. One of the female corpses held a small teacup in its shiny hand, its little finger cocked in a delicate fashion. The female corpses were dressed in smart dark coloured evening wear with long skirts and their perfect white head of hair arranged in a certain style. The male corpses were dressed in dark grey suits and ties with dark brown shoes on their feet.
Oswald Richardson remained stood beside the small generator box and looked on at the macabre spectacle with a great smile. The other scientists retched in horror and shock at what they saw before them, Sarah simply began to laugh out loud, leaning backwards and forwards in hysterical laughter. Oswald immediately turned his head toward her scowling, instantly raising his revolver to her again, yet she carried on regardless, unable to keep in the great humour she felt over the whole thing.
“Shut up, you bitch!” Oswald spat at her through gritted teeth. “How dare you fucking laugh at them, you should show some goddamn respect!”
“Ha, respect!?” Sarah replied in-between frantic giggles. “What the hell do you mean by respect, you crazy son of a bitch. These people are dead, dead for years. You do know that don’t you?”
Oswald narrowed his eyes as he regarded her in his sight, his fingers around the trigger began to tighten, the grip of his shoes on the floor gripped harder as he pushed his feet further into the ground.
“How can they be dead, you stupid bitch, can’t you see that they’re alive, they’re even talking to each other in front of you, attacking your stupid small petty mind with their clever thoughts and superior minds. Like I told you before, they’re superior to all of you, superior in ever way.”
Sarah ceased her hysterical laughter and calmed herself down, yet still unable to hide the slight tugging of the side of her mouth. Her eyes glanced over from Oswald’s angered expression to the corpses assembled around the table.
“Okay, then,” she said smugly. “Go on, go and tell them that I don’t think they’re alive, ask them what they expect to with me.”
Oswald smiled, much to Sarah’s surprise, turned and looked at the corpses.
“Well, go on then, my friends, tell her that you truly are alive, and not dead like this stupid bitch say’s you are.”
As fully expected, not a single sound of life came from the large fragments of decayed matter, no slight hint of movement in any of their preserved limbs, no slight sound of speech was uttered from their lipless mouths, nothing but the same recognised before of dead people. Sarah looked away from them and at back at Oswald and saw that he still continued to stare at them with a large grin on his face and laughing out loud a little as though from some silent joke, his very behaviour seemed to show that to him they were alive and talking to him.
Jesus Christ, what the hell’s happened to this guy. He’s gone goddamn crazy.
Oswald turned back to face Sarah, a smug expression on his face. “You see, theirs your proof, they spoke to me, they turned their heads and looked at you. What more proof do you need?”
Sarah remained stood in her spot and breathed in a great breath of air. She decided not to continue with pushing Oswald for further proof that they were alive, going any further may antagonise him and cause him to start shooting.
“What are you gonna’ do with me now that you have me?” She hoped this question wouldn’t cause him to crack.
Oswald reached inside his pocket and pulled out a small dusty very old looking gold pocket watch. He pressed a button on the top and the cover over the face came open revealing the ticking hands. He looked at it for a moment and then looked back at the bodies around the table.
“What do you think?” He said to them. “Do you think we have time, do you think she should now exactly what’s going to happen? Yeah, why not, why not.” He put the watch back in his pocket. “I think it would be honest if at least someone else besides us knew the whole facts, like just before they die of course.”
His last statement was so matter of factly spoken, it was almost shocking.
Oswald walked over to William’s unconscious body and kicked him hard in the stomach. After a few moments, William began to awaken with deep groans and slight moans of pain.
“leave him alone you son of a bitch!” Sarah shouted instinctively beginning to run to his aid, but immediately stopped as Oswald raised his revolver.
“But, I want him to be awake for the grand finale, to see what’s left of this pathetic little world go up in smoke before his eyes and see us become something greater.”
After a few more kicks, William was awake, immediately jerking back when he realised he was being kicked, trying in vain to untangle himself from the rope.
“Get the fuck off of me, you fucking freak!” He shouted to Oswald, tugging harder and harder at the vice like grip of the rope around his wrists. Despite the scene happening before her, Sarah was relieved to see William awake.
Oswald smiled and began to walk away from William towards the table of corpses, waving the gun in his hand side by side as he walked. William immediately froze when he saw them and shuffled backwards, looking up at Sarah with a mix of confusion, anger and fear. A slight hint of relief could be seen in his eyes when he saw Sarah beside him.
“You don’t have to be so rude, you know.” Oswald said. “I was only gently rousing you. Oh, and don’t worry about the rope, you won’t need it much longer now. Now that your beloved Sarah is here, we can begin.”
“Begin what!” William shouted up at him, constantly trying to run at him, but being held back by Sarah.
Oswald reached the table of corpses and stood at one end looking at Sarah and the other scientists, his arms crossed over his groin, the revolver hanging from his hand, his legs parted as though prepared and ready for something to arrive.
“Now you will all witness the greatest thing ever to happen to the whole human race. Now is the time for us to cast aside our physical form and ascend to something far beyond anything we could ever imagine. Now we will be gods!”
Sarah continued to hold on tightly to William while constantly struggled to break free, his eyes fixed onto Oswald’s smirking face, overrun with an insatiable blood-lust. The scientists on the other side of the dance hall cowered in the semi-darkness, embracing each other tightly with their shaking bodies, a childlike fear in their faces hinted at some terrible ordeal to come, yet none of them had any idea of what would happen, if anything.
A few agonising moments of complete silence passed by everyone in the large room, a silence so terrible and unbearable it seemed to bring physical pain to all, tightening in their stomachs like a powerful vice. Sarah tried her best to ignore it, concentrating her mind on Oswald and constantly glancing from one side to another, seeking whatever it was that may or may not be here. Oswald passed the uncomfortable seconds by constantly tapping his revolver against the top of his leg, leaning his head from side to side as he waited patiently for the whatever unknown thing he waited for. The large wave machine continued to resonate a low humming tone, the green line on the screen unwavering from the perfectly straight horizontal line.
William motioned for Sarah to lean in closer to him and brought his mouth close to her ear, her eyes still unwavering from Oswald’s tall thin figure.
“Listen,” he said with the quietest whisper. “We can rush this asshole right now, I don’t think he’ll expect any of us to do anything. You distract him and I’ll rush him and get the gun out of his hand.”
“No.” Sarah said flatly.
“What do you mean ‘no.’ What the hell are you waiting for? lets get the son of a bitch while he isn’t looking.”
“No, I said. I wanna’ see what’s gonna’ happen. I can feel something happening in here, and I wanna’ find out what it is.”
Suddenly, without any kind of warning or even a fraction of sound, a strange light green blurry light appeared in the air, in the centre of the dance-hall, glowing brightly like a firefly, attracting the attention of everyone in the room like moths to a light-bulb. The glowing became more and more intensified as it grew in size, more and more, burning brightly like the sun with unrelenting power. The light grew to the size of a large framed picture, streaks of light peeled away from the mass and disappeared almost immediately, like solar flares escaping from the sun. Everyone shielded their eyes as the glow became too unbearable to watch any more, and covering their ears against the strong feedback like sound that grew quickly in volume all around them.
Oswald made no attempt to shield his eyes and ears, staring deep and hard at the powerful green light, his mouth open wide and his lips quivering, the same way someone would look at a miracle appearing before them.
“Yes, that’s it.” Oswald whispered to the light with a snake like hiss. “Grow, grow, grow. Become stronger, engulf me in your great light, embrace me with all of your power.”
He reached out his hand to the light until it was completely engulfed, drowning it in liquid-like luminous green light, turning his hand from left to left and twiddling his fingers around as he felt the warm fuzzy feeling on his skin.
Everyone but Sarah turned away from the incredible light, their hands clasped tight over their eyes wasn’t enough to shield, forcing them to turn their sights to the darkness in the corners. Sarah stared unrelentingly at the light, forgetting all notions of blinking or even feeling the pain of the light on her eyeballs as they filled deep with lime green light, eradicating the blood filled veins and black iris from view. She released her hold on William as all thought of holding him back was purged from her senses, allowing him to shuffle away to the apparent safety of the darkness behind him. Sarah stood up high and walked zombie-like toward the light, unable to tear her gaze away, yet at the same time not wanting to, her arms waving back and forth at her sides as all strength and free will left them.
She walked on more and more toward the ever intensifying light, staring hard into it, Oswald made no indication that he knew she was there, or even that he knew anymore that anyone was around him, his attention focused solely on the green light in front of him. But, it wasn’t the light itself that had caught Sarah’s attention, she saw beyond that, far beyond. Looking hard into the incredible brightness, she could see figures, figures of people engaging in everyday activities, walking down streets, talking to each other, dancing in black dresses and suits. Yet the whole blurred images that flashed by her like instant pictures in a bright flame seemed strange, strange in the way that the sights before her were not ordinary. She couldn’t pick it out at first, but then it hit her. No-one was smiling, their was no indication of emotion in their faces, no life at all, except for an unflinching corpse-like expression of blackened lips and eyes staring blankly out from a pale flaky lifeless face that was almost completely white.
Then, from out of the myriad number of figures that seemed to swell inside the tiny space that the light provided, Sarah could something else, something that she recognised, something that she had seen once that was full of life. It was a figure, a figure eclipsed in darkness as it became surrounding by the assembled collection of dancing corpses. Its head was leant forward toward the ground, its shoulders being held up solidly like a rock.
Sarah smelled up instinctively as a smell passed below her nostrils, very quickly and suddenly, like a smell that had all but faded from memory. She sniffed in as much as there was, her mind racing to find an answer to identify it and understand it. It was thick and had a rough aroma to it, like something old, something like . . . Leather, it was the unmistakable smell of leather, old leather like on old edition books.
A tear ran down from her right eye as the smell, the sight of the familiar figure and the small collection of fuzzy memories like blurred photographs merged themselves together creating a feeling of ease and contentment, as if all the pieces in some strange and unfathomable jigsaw puzzle had suddenly come together after so long rearranging them to find the correct overall image.
Sarah slowly extended her quivering hand out into the light alongside Oswald’s, feeling the calm warm embrace tickle her skin like tiny pin-pricks. But, she knew that this wasn’t the feel of the strange electrical feeling of the glowing light, it was something else, something more down to earth, something like the warmth of another person she trusted holding her tightly.
Sarah’s quiet and peaceful moment was shattered suddenly as she fell backwards toward the floor, landing hard with a loud thud, the warm tingly feeling on her hand had disappeared quiet suddenly. She shook her head to get her wits together and opened her suddenly sore eyes to the sight of the shadowy hard wood floor, realising suddenly that the strong green light wasn’t reflecting as it should have been doing. She turned her head sharply to the right over her shoulder and saw that the green light had indeed disappeared, leaving behind not a trace that it was ever there, replaced by the cold dark interiors of the dance-hall.
No. She uttered quietly to herself.
She looked further to her right a little as she saw a long white object standing beside her. She looked up and saw the anger and hatred riddled face of Oswald Richardson, looking down on her with incredible contempt pouring out from his eyes.
“You stupid, pathetic, bitch.” He whispered. “You stupid, fucking, pathetic little bitch!” He suddenly raised his left leg up in the air, ready to force it hard on her, out of quick instinct, Sarah recoiled, shielding her face and head in her hands. Oswald with a great surge of power, forced his foot down through the shadowy air toward her then suddenly darted away from her toward the floor as a darkened shape suddenly leaped onto him like a rabid dog.
Sarah slowly removed her hands from her face and looked up, constantly blinking to remove the blurriness from her eyes and saw the two figures of Oswald and William scuffling wildly on the floor, constantly exchanging punches and kicks, Oswald occasionally attempting to bite him, both of them uttering strong curses like acid from their mouths.
Sarah’s thoughts shouted and screamed for her to help William, but every nerve and ounce of free will in her body had left her along with her conscious mind, leaving behind a dead husk haunted by rambling and lost thoughts.
Oswald and William continued to fight to the death, until Oswald clasped both his fists together and tore them through the air toward William’s face till they came into sudden bone-cracking contact forcing William to the ground beside him halfway between consciousness and a deep coma, groaning with great pain.
Oswald quickly scrambled on the floor as he sought to stand up, his hands and face awash with blood and gashes. Eventually, he stood on his own two shaking feet, wavering from side to side as though he was about to fall over. He slowly lifted his head up to face Sarah who by now was drawing back all her wits to her mind and looked at her with the most contempt and hateful expression she had ever seen.
“Guess your stupid fucking plans have screwed you over, asshole.” Sarah smiled as the words poured from her lips, all fear and timidness that she felt before of Oswald were gone, leaving behind an irrepressible deep feeling of revenge that made her shudder with excitement at the thought of exacting it.
Oswald didn’t respond at all to her words as his whole upper body wavered from side to side as the ounce of free will and inner strength to simply stand up poured from him like blood from an open wound. With a quick scowl at Sarah, he turned to run, blindly firing off a few rounds into the empty air, Sarah immediately ducked for cover and quickly shuffled over to William’s moaning body. After the shots fired and their ear cracking ringing disappeared into silence, she looked up and saw the ghostly figure of Oswald running, or rather shuffling into the darkness of the outer edges of the dance-hall through a small open door into an adjoined room, dragging his left foot behind him until he disappeared into the shadows.
Sarah looked to the left and saw the group of huddled scientists in the corner embracing each other in a state of great fear and terror, whimpering like children. She looked down to the floor at the messy shadowy figure of William as he struggled to come back to his senses rocking from side to side on his back with deep long moans.
“William,” she said aloud. “William, for gods sakes, do you hear me, its me, its Sarah. Wake up.”
William responded with yet more moans as he struggled to find which way was up. Sarah had no patience to wait for him to wake up himself and quickly responded with a few hard slaps on his face causing him to moan in sudden pain and wave his hands frantically in the air as he futilely tried to fend off his unseen attacker.
“Get off, get off of me!” He shouted before quickly sitting it up in one sharp sudden movement. He quickly turned his head from side to side as he looked for something before turning and seeing Sarah knelt beside him. He blinked his eyes and shook his head a little.
“Sarah,” he said in the lowest whisper. “What the hell was that, what was that weird green light.”
Sarah sighed and looked deep into his eyes, stroking his messy hair with her fingers. “I don’t know,” she responded. “But whatever it was, I think it helped me fight my demons and told me something I’ve wanted to know for a while now.”
William leaned closer to her, staring harder into her eyes that had unusually seemed to gather a few hints of age in the space of the last few minutes. “What was it that you wanted to know.” He whispered, preparing himself for what seemed like to him would be a great answer. But, Sarah simply looked on into his questioning eyes, smiled and patted him on the shoulder. “It doesn’t matter, now, its all finished. All except for one more thing. Oswald. He has to die. He’s brought us all nothing but pain and misery. He said he wanted to break free from this world and become part of the great unknown beyond. Well, I don’t know about you, but I won’t disappoint him.”
William raised his hand up toward Sarah’s cheek and rubbed it delicately before leaning in and quickly kissing her. “Neither will I.” He said. “That bastards gonna’ die.”
After a brief nod from the both of them, they helped each other up from the floor and began to walk toward the silhouetted doorway at the other side of the hall in pursuit of Oswald. They stopped suddenly underneath the doorway as William noticed something lying on the ground.
“It’s the revolver,” he said with great surprise and happiness quickly picking it up and holding it tightly in his hand.
“Let me take it.” Sarah said extending out her flat palm. “Its me that must do this.” William smiled a little and nodded before placing the gun in her hand. She gripped the handle tightly and the two of them ran into the darkness behind the door.
They stopped suddenly as they entered the adjoined room, their footsteps scraping against the hard feeling floor. Sarah kept a tight hold of the revolver and the two looked around the room.
The lights were out in this room and no light from the previous room seemed as though it could shine through into here. They could make out vague shapes through the perfect darkness, shapes that seemed to suggest cars, trucks and other kinds of transport equipment lining the walls all around the apparently small room. Numerous small boxes were dotted around in various places, but apart from those things, Oswald was nowhere to be found. He briefly considered the possibility that he could have found a way out of the room from somewhere else and was right now running across the open sandy floor outside, but then realised that they would have been able to hear him running, choosing to consider that as fact rather than think about anything else.
William began to shiver a little with unease at not being able to see anything, or even see Oswald anywhere, he couldn’t shake the disquieting feeling that he was sitting up high somewhere in here, watching them both closely and waiting for his moment to strike. Sarah simply stood her ground and slowly scanned ever inch of the room that she could see, holding the revolver firm in the air in front of her.
A feeling of eternity that really only lasted a few moments passed between them as they considered numerous possibilities of Oswald’s whereabouts and thoughts of whether or not to just leave and get the hell away from here.
Then, without warning, a powerful beam of white light pierced the almost perfect darkness, blinding them both and forcing them to shield their eyes. Sarah brought her hand up within touching distance of her face and peered as much as she could through the tiny gaps in-between her fingers. Looking hard at the light and taking in enough before the tingling pain forced her to look away again, she could tell that the beam of light was separated in two sources of light, both emanating from the same source.
Realising what was happening, she lowered her arms from her face and pointed the revolver straight toward the beams of light, trying her hardest to see properly through her almost completely closed eyes.
“Alright,” she shouted as loud as she could. “Get the hell out of there, if you can’t tell from there, I’m holding your revolver straight at you. Come out of that fucking thing and step into the light so I can fucking see you when I shoot you!”
“What, what is it?” William asked shuffling toward her in a crouched position, his hands almost covering his entire face from the light. “Is he over there? If he is then shoot!”
But, before she could fire off a single round into the powerful light, the engine of whatever it was suddenly started up, roaring and grinding with ferocity and power, the strong smell of the smoke from the exhaust began to find its way to their unwelcoming noses. The vehicle began to move forward toward them, slowly at first and then with ever increasing speed. William retreated backwards toward the box covered wall behind him, Sarah protected her eyes with her left hand while trying to keep the revolver steady in her other hand. Taking a quick guess at where she was aiming, she fired off a couple of rounds then ducked for cover with William as the vehicle approached further and further. The sudden cracking sound of the bullets reaching what sounded like a metallic target rang through the room, bouncing off the walls and darting in all directions.
Sarah carefully moved her hand away from her face and looked at the vehicle, realising that the shots she fired had knocked out the powerful lights of the vehicle. She peered in closer at the semi-darkness at the approaching vehicle and saw that it was a forklift truck, the silhouetted driver sat up high in his seat with greatly hunched shoulders, his hands holding tight to the levers and controls as he moved further and further toward them both.
“You’re a fucking bitch!” Said Oswald as his venomous and high pitched screaming voice bellowed out from his tall lean figure, Sarah could hear it clearly over the ceaseless droning of the forklift’s engine.
Suddenly finding the strength to tear her fearful sight away from the ever approaching immanent death, she looked down at the floor in front of her and saw that it was a mere few feet away from them both. In the fraction of an instant, she had decided what she would do to finally end it.
“William, William!” She shouted to his hunched and cowardly looking figure in the corner next to her. “Get the fuck out of here, now!”
William was too frozen with shock and fear for him to even register that she had said something, his mind focused on the immanent danger that steadily approached. Not wasting a second, Sarah took a tight hold of both his arms, then summoning up enough strength, she picked him up off the ground and threw him as far as she could across the room into a pile of boxes, well away from where she was. She looked back at the forklift which by now was almost touching her with the long sharp pieces of metal that stuck out like knives out the front of it. She raised her head and looked hard at Oswald’s shadowy figure, an expression of a ravenous appetite to kill in his wild eyes, saliva dripping like water from his hissing mouth. “Die, you bitch, fucking die!!” He screamed.
Sarah gritted her teeth as the long pieces of sharp metal began to dig themselves into her skin, piercing it and drawing blood. With quivering hands and a rush of tears from her eyes, she raised the revolver up toward Oswald’s shadowed body and began to repeatedly pull the trigger, firing off shot after shot at him. His whole body was thrust backwards as the heated small pieces of metal tore through his soft body, an ear-piercing shriek of pain filled the darkened air around them as washes of blood swept across the cold steel of the forklift like a raging waterfall.
The thunderous gunshots ceased as the barrel became empty, proceeded by quick clicks of the trigger which gradually became slow and steadily quieter until the revolver fell with a thud against the hard concrete floor.
William groaned as he slowly regained consciousness, stopping suddenly with a grunt of pain as he felt where he landed against the boxes. He scraped his shoes against the floor as he brought himself up to a standing position, his head feeling a little dizzy. His whole body shuddered suddenly into a defensive position as he remembered what was happening, then he saw the forklift truck lying still facing the wall, the grinding engine still continuing and belching out black smoke. He looked at the drivers seat and immediately noticed the silhouetted still figure slumped in the seat over the controls. William jumped up at the figure and quickly saw who it was when he turned their head, as well as noticing the numerous collection of bullet holes in his torso. He put a finger onto Oswald’s neck as he felt for a pulse to be on the safe side, he sighed with relief when he felt none.
His head slowly raised itself upwards as he noticed the strange shape of something directly in front of the forklift. A sudden tense feeling of fear and surprise took a tight hold of him when he saw what it was. He jumped down from the forklift and ran toward the sitting figure of Sarah in-between the forklift and the wall, then recoiled in horror as he saw the blood that covered her whole body, the walls and the sharp metallic forks that were embedded deep into her body.
“Sarah, no, Jesus Christ, god, no!” He screamed as he beheld the horrid sight before him. He fell forwards onto his knees and reached for Sarah’s head and moved it round so it faced him. Her eyes were closed, her mouth open a little and a few splatters of blood underneath her chin. William began to cry. He pulled as much of Sarah’s body as he could away from the forks that stuck her to the wall and embraced her cold body, feeling the icy chillness of her cheek against his and sensing her lifeless arms that hung at his sides. He held tightly to her body, unwilling to let go. The strong rapid beat of his heartbeat feeling muffled against the heavy hollow of Sarah’s torso as it lay over his.
“Sarah!!!” William screamed into the air as torrents of tears fell from his stinging eyes onto Sarah’s cold unflinching cheeks.