The Dead City 3 of 3 /35 (first chapter)
The Dead City
I thought that was it; that I would live no more.
I could feel the very life drifting away from me.
I can only liken the feeling to that feeling one gets when one is asleep and trapped within the body, but one’s mind is awake.
The head begins to spin and you get a sinking feeling; this was the very same feeling I had.
I began to see darkness shroud around me.
These, I guessed, must be my final seconds.
Then a bullet ripped straight through my capturer’s head, splattering his blood over my face.
He fell to the ground and two more bullets flew past as the other tramps tried to make a dash for it, but they were in no condition to do so and they too fell to the ground.
I imagined I might be next, but no more bullets came.
I drew breaths as quick as I could; my lungs ached as if someone had punched them a million times.
I think I lay still for over half an hour as my body caught up with the life that I had been deprived of.
During this time, the owner of the bullets, to whom I owed my life, arrived.
‘Are you alright?’ she asked, as she bent down to look at me.
‘Yes’ I coughed, still gasping for air.
It wasn’t at first that I registered the great significance of our meeting; it was as if it was normal, but it was far from it.
She helped me up and we made our way back to the red bus I had earlier acquired.
‘What happened here?’ I asked.
‘I am not sure.’ she replied ‘I was hoping you might know.’
‘All I remember is waking up.’ I continued, ‘There was a fog, I couldn’t’ see anything.’
‘Yes, same here’ she added.
‘I looked from the hill but could see nothing, it was all covered, but the cities further on seem untouched.’
‘What’s your name?’ she interrupted before I could continue.
‘My name? It’s James.’
‘Mine is Jenny.’ she returned.
‘Where did you learn to shoot like that?’ I asked.
‘My father taught me when I was a kid, he was a policeman’
‘And the gun?’
‘There’s an army lorry abandoned up the road, found the gun and some other stuff there. Put it in my bag just in case I needed it’
We sat talking for hours inside the red bus as, slowly, the sun set.
We both seemed unaware of what had occurred here, where all the people had gone.
Why had some of the city been completely wiped out and other areas left untouched?
What were the visions and dreams all about, the white flashes, the strange sensations and feelings that occurred often, throughout the day?
Why did those tramps want to kill me?
Answers to all of these questions, and many more, eluded us, but by merely being two, we felt more comforted even without those answers.
We drove the bus down the road a little, looking for a house we could stay in.
We pulled up outside the biggest house in the street; conveniently the door was wide open, as so many seemed to be.
It led us to believe that whatever panic took place we seemed unaware or not a part of it.
People seemed to have had time to rush outside before they had disappeared or, as I feared, been dispersed, from the charred ground that we walked on.
What I first thought was gravel because of the noise, could well be that of human flesh and bones, disintegrated.
We walked inside the dark building; the lights were off and not working.
Jenny pulled out a torch from her pocket and shone the light in front of us, revealing a long hallway.
We looked at each other before entering, and closed the door behind us.
Why we did so, I am not quite sure, as we both knew that we were likely to be the only two people around.
And yet customs and traditions of our life as once we had lived it, before, continued, but for how long they would last I was unsure.
For man, by his very nature, adopts and alters with time; without this facility we would still be cavemen.
The house was quiet and still.
It reminded me of when I was younger; in my youth, a friend and I had entered a dark house that was being demolished.
The floors creaked, dust was everywhere and there was no glass in the windows, but it was not the aesthetics that caused this memory to remain, it was the feeling of the emptiness of the house.
And yet, devoid of human interference, it also seemed more alive than a house lived in; it had a kind of dark character, full of mystery and secrets.
And this feeling was again conjured up as I entered this house.
I left Jenny to the downstairs, whilst I braved the upstairs.
I held tightly onto the banisters, as I had no light to see with, Jenny had the only torch.
As I creaked slowly up the stairs, my eyes started to adjust to the darkness that surrounded me, into which I was walking blind.
Once again I was left outstretching my arms so as not to walk into anything.
I walked across the landing into a room that I guessed must be a bedroom; the door was wide open and I could see a bed in there, a chair and table, but no signs of life other than unopened letters, bills I presumed.
Having found that the bedroom was empty, I went to the next room; the door was closed and from the glazed window, I assumed this to be the bathroom.
I slowly opened the door and it was then that I was greeted with a dark shape scattered on the floor.
It took my eyes a few seconds to piece together what the shape once was.
It was then that I was struck by a deadly fright, as that which was in front of me had once been a human body.
Now, in its present horrific state, it was left decaying on the floor.
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