Borneo, part two.

On top of the dunes I met my parents, out for a beach picnic. My legs were burning now but I didn’t stop moving, I slowed enough to shout something about the living dead, infection and run, get the hell out of here. But I knew from the start that they would want a fuller explanation and stopping to give one might well be the last thing I would ever do, so I didn’t stop. With any luck my panic would be infection enough for them, and they would leg it, sharpish. So I left them, bewildered, in a dangerous place.
I knew where I had to go to survive, but even survival instinct can be compromised.
Home first. A home is a hard thing to leave without notice, and besides I was going to need stuff; my swiss army knife and other assorted survival kit that every man unconsciously hoards in preparation for extreme circumstances.
My studio apartment was on the top floor of a long, curved white block looking down across long green slopes to the sea. One big room with a glass front wall and entrance door, high ceilings and white walls – great to look at but was now a security nightmare. The apartment was the last on the balcony landing so any approach would come from the right. Minimalist furnishings left me with no place to hide, and since I walked through the door I could feel a closing creep of dread from outside.
I dragged the single bed across the floor and pointed it towards the door, this way I could crawl under the bed and, so long as I didn’t move too far forward, I should be invisible, mostly. I did this calmly, but in a hurry, I was feeling trapped and knew that coming here was a mistake, I think I always knew it was a mistake, but sometimes there are mistakes I insist on making for reasons I don’t understand. It’s called thick-headedness.
In the sweating silence the dragging step of my imagination became audible, there was something close by. I saw feet outside;  girls black shoes and white socks. Two short shuffle steps and I could feel her peering through the sun glare.
After a while I could see she was swaying, and a short time after that she toppled, like a felled tree, making no attempt to catch herself. I could see her then, flat out on the deck. A young girl, about eleven maybe, chin resting on the wood, unseeing eyes open towards the wall. Maybe this was final stage of the virus or whatever it was; the host burning out and collapsing.
Her eyes rolled to the left, towards me, blankly. The pupils dilated and her dead face suddenly lit with a black grin, like we were sharing some private joke.
I exploded from hiding and ran through the door like it wasn’t there, so much for the lock, or hinges, or whatever. Trailing glass shrapnel and blood spatter I shot across to the stairs like a bullet, and dropped down them like a bomb. Jesus fucking Christ, time for a holiday. How about Borneo?

 

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