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On a Cold Night (Completed: 11 Mar 2011)
I picked up my pace as I approached my destination. Soon I would forget the cold - I had work to do.
I turned the handle very slowly and opened it, as I did a rush of warm air hit me. I stepped inside and what seemed like hundreds of eyes turned towards me, actually looking back now I think there were ten people in the room but at the time I clearly wasn't thinking straight. A man who looked as if a shower wouldn't hurt him spoke, I wanted to run as fast as my legs would carry me, unfortunately my legs wouldn't move they were stuck to the floor.
"Come forward" he said.
Behind the group, torches were lit in a semi-circle and a series of unusual markings littered the floor. I looked past the group of disturbing eyes and noticed an altar behind the group....on the altar was a site that filled me with absolute terror.
"Come here!!" the man in the centre of the room bellowed. I couldn't move however - the site on the altar was too much to bear and felt as if I were suspended in time. At that point, I heard the crying of a baby, and what seemed like the ripping of meat when it is cut with a razor sharp knife.
Orange in colour and with an eye painted across the front of it, the sight of the stone clearly made the room's inhabitants uneasy. It was the only potential weapon I had in my possession but my instinct told me that it was more than likely the best weapon of all.
"Where did you get that?" the man hissed at me....his eyes wider than before.
"What, scared of an old orange stone? Tell me what the fuck is going on here! Who are you deranged people?" I yelled.
"Open the door" I screamed at them, "Or face the consequences". They all moved as one to the alter at the top of the room. "Come on you cowards, open the door, I'll give you two minutes then see what happens to you".
I was almost believing this crap myself! I had no idea what I would do if they didn't obey me. I heard the sound of a baby crying again and a terror shot through my bones, what the hell was going on in the back room? Should I try to find out or save myself?
Not that I thought I had much chance of that, who was I kidding! I moved forward again.
In the middle of the room was a young woman who had obviously just given birth, but what was lying on the table next to her made me shudder. It was a tiny and very deformed looking thing, kind of half human and half God knows what. The woman looked at me as if to say - help me please - she looked shattered, pale, sweaty, dirty and very pretty. Big blue eyes imploring me to get her out of this hell hole.
I wasn't quite sure how I was going to do this.
Holding the stone above my head and keeping a watchful eye on the door, I put my other arm round this woman's back and helped her into a sitting position. I told her to hang on tight and try to stand up, we were going to get out but I needed her help, I wasn't at all sure she would make it, she had lost a lot of blood looking at the floor beneath the table, but I had to try.
The stone fell out my hand as I fell and cracked on the floor with a blistering tinkle - shards dispersing in all directions. A gasp left my lips and I heard the group also take a step backward in avoidance. At that point, a burst of light emitted from the broken stone - radiating out like the morning sun, blinding and yet also entrancing.
The light began to dwindle slightly and turn from a radiant white to a slowly pale yellow, then changed hues altogether through the spectrum of the rainbow until it grew darker and darker until it was so deep blue, it was almost black.
I heard a cracking sound and the room began to shake violently.
But back to now - who knows what was going to happen next, not me that's for sure, the building continued to shake and the floor beneath us started to split open, the woman clung to me for dear life snd the other morons in the room disappeared from my sight as I desparately hung on to the woman. We were in this together even it it killed us and trust me it was beginning to look as if that was what was going to happen.
After about ten minutes, that seemed like an hour, the shaking stopped and there was complete silence.
I dragged my companion beside the desk and braced myself for the downfall of the ceiling. It began in a slow, ashy shower, followed by bricks and mortar and finally full darkness as I shielded my eyes from the clouds of debris. There was no escape; with each shudder of the earth's quaking the desk pushed us closer to the split in the floor.
From there it could be a very long ways down. But a very short trip.t
Suddenly i heard a huge splash and next thing i knew, i was enveloped in ice cold water, shocking all my senses to life. Kicking my feet and flailing my arms around i had no idea what to do because in reality... I never learnt how to swim.
I tried to scream for help but my lungs couldn't gather enough air for me to even scream. The pull of the water sunk me deeper into the water and i breathed in a ton of the salty water.
I was drowning.
Drowning... which was slightly better than being crushed on cement and left semiconscious for uncertain moments. Or, of course, I could be drowning in lava instead of cold water. That could be worse.
Sometimes my brain has bad timing. My life should be flashing before my eyes, but all I can think about is that this is it. Drowning. I can't believe how boring this is. There are many more dramatic deaths, but this was silent and secluded... except for the sound of pounding; waves crashing to my left.
Hm. Now there's a though - but no. My lungs gave no time for thought as they shrunk in the frigid water. Only instinct flailed me towards the noise. A sudden current dragged me deeper and the cold pressure made my head ache so badly, I gave up. My lungs burst and every last bubble of hope rose away into the foggy grey water.
Something hit me in the ribcage, and faster than the current was the force lifting me up, up...
I sobbed for air.
Life sucks. The last thing I remember thinking before the roar overcame my mind was I hope I wake up somewhere warm and dry...
A gun butted against my collarbone. "Take it easy," Said the man behind the weapon, "Where you from?"
I swallowed, "I just woke up on the shore. Last thing I remember was falling from a building... it's not making much sense..."
"Hans!" Said the woman with him, "It's all right. I know him."
I was shocked, this was the woman I had rescued... well, almost. "Where are we?" I asked.
"Everything caved in; the world is... changed." She said, "Very few survived."
"Drowned," I said.
"Yes," She said, "Most of them."
I saw the other bodies. Instead of heading to the forest, they were heading towards the shore. Something had torn them to shreds.
"Down here, in the new world, we are not the only People."
"We need to move," Said Hans, pointing. A pack of rangey black dogs emerged from the trees. Their heads were lowered and they paced towards us quietly in a very undoglike way...
Hans thought for a second "follow me" he said and started running towards a cliff face, we followed and i thinking, whatever it is they running from this doesn't seem to be an answer we were heading towards a dead end as far as I could see. But what did I know? I didn't even know how I got to this place, so I followed. We came to a cave a huge cavity in the cliff face, we ducked inside and ran deep into it It was very dark and damp but at least it seemed the only answer. Hans stopped we were all out of breath, this will do, they may be strong and they may be violent but they are stupid and with any luck they won't know how we disappeared.
The pack leader stepped into range, and quickly ducked back as the gun fired.
"Wait!" I yelled at Hans as he reloaded. "Watch this,"
The dog stepped forward again, and waited in the cave entrance.
"What's wrong with you?" Snarled Hans, "Those monsters are out for blood."
"No," Said Emilia, "I told you, they are like us."
"What in the name of-"
"They're People," I said, "We can reason with them."
The dog angled it's head when I said that. It's dark silhouette suddenly seemed less ominous.
"I think they understand us."
Hans relaxed a little. The dog stepped forward warily.
" Please don't be frightened" it said. It's voice was strange, the whole thing was weird actually. I never thought I would ever hear a dog speak my language never mind speak!
" what is your name?" I asked.
Sounds stupid doesn't it? Asking a dog it's name I felt as if I was halusinating or something and pinched myself to make sure this was all real. It bloody hurt so I guessed it was happening.
" My name is Max" he said
"OK, Max" I giggled, sorry but this was very weird.
"Sorry, didn't mean to laugh but this is really strange for us, where do you come from?"
The rest of the pack followed cautiously behind as we climbed the slope. Around us, other creatures stirred. A mountain lion paced several yards away, and birds and other animals made their way towards the top. I saw many animals gathered, not all of them familiar. Deer, rats, birds and tall reptilian creatures.
"We will speak," Said Max, "Plan future. For us, for the world."
I looked down the steep slope to the massacre below. "If you aren't the predators," I said, "Then what killed them?" I indicated the slaughtered humans. Max stiffened.
"They would not reason with us. We had no choice, to protect ourselves we had to kill them. They were not like you."
Hans looked at the dog, and then at me. Emilia said, "You're right, not like us. We'll help you, we'll help plan a new civilization..."
"What is going on?"
The dog looked back and I followed his gaze. The way down was completely blocked.
There was only cliff behind us.
"Max!!!" I yelled.
He laughed. "Forgive me. I lied to you. More than once."
"What are you talking about?"
"First, those people down there fell, just like you're about to. You're the last group to survive, the last humans."
"Why are you killing us? WHY?"
He chuckled, "I lied about that too. After all... I'm not a talking dog. None of us are." He suddenly shifted into a dark shadow and all the animals began cackling madly. Their figures stretched and their eyes became long and yellow.
"We are the demons of the end of the world! VICTORY IS OURS!"
AND THEY CHARGED!
"Dude, you okay?"
I blinked. "No. No I'm not."
A gangly boy with greasy yellow hair sat next to me. "You were out for awhile," He said.
I found myself lying on a couch with a really ugly pug curled up at my feet. It gave me ugly eyes.
"Am I in Heaven?"
"Nah, man, you just drank a bit too much."
"Oh." I said.
The pug chortled humerously.