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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Safe Haven

The diagnosis for survival was not looking good. It was hard not to be dejected after losing so many friends. There were five of us left now sat huddled in the dark, shivering with cold as well as fear. I was glad the others could not see me, the fear etched into my face would not have settled nerves. It was nearly time to move again, staying in one place too long was a sure way to get dead.

We had already enjoyed this oasis of calm for longer than was prudent but dammit we needed the rest. Exhausted we had found this room and quickly made it home. No one had any energy left to keep watch, we had just collapsed and slept. We had been running for hours, no time for food or water.

I woke up alert, moving into a crouch. I was ready to run again but experience taught me patience. Listening for a repeat of the sound that had woken me, I waited. It came again and I relaxed. Just crying nothing to worry about, unless the sobbing grew louder. I do not know when it was I became numb to sorrow. If I had to guess, I would say the moment my wife was ripped from me in a crimson spray of blood.

I remember scrubbing the blood from me. Even now I can still feel its sticky wetness all over me. I am sick of blood and death, I try to remember better times. Two years now I have lived life on the run with my new family. Moving by day and hiding by night had become the routine, our lifeline. Never staying in the same place twice. It was the only way to avoid the seekers.

I do not know where they came from but in the space of three days most of the population had been wiped out. Bodies were left where they fell, so I knew we were not food. Maybe they just liked to kill, the sound of screaming the spray of blood. I had come to think of them as the artists of death. Small pockets of us remained, every now and then we managed to kill one of them. We were not so much waging war but buying time to run.

Heading across the country towards the last known safe haven. A military bunker that was sending out a broadcast on repeat. It changed only in the date it left, so we all knew that it was still current. Hope was in short supply and I clung to this as a drowning man might cling to a twig. More than twenty of us had set out, I remember the excitement on their faces when we first heard the message. We thought we had it all, like the cat that got the cream.

As the weeks wore on, we lost people and found others. We all shared a mutual desire, to find shelter. To feel safe and not wake up in the dead of the night, heart pounding. Clothes sticking to the skin, a scream caught in the throat. It seemed we were no closer to our goal as I peeled the clothes from my skin.

The others were awake now, I could hear them all talking in whispers. A weary sound, the muted conversation. Defeat hung in the air and was as dangerous to our success as the enemy. I took charge, issuing hushed instructions to get ready. I moved to the window and slid the blackout blind to one side ever so slightly. Putting my eye to the gap I felt my heart jack hammer in my chest. I found myself staring in the large unblinking eye of death...


  1. Wow. I could clearly see the images I know you were seeing while you were writing this.
    Very intense and profound my friend.Well done!