Survivors of the Z’s- Graham Jackson, Nottingham, UK
The town centre was crammed full of people. Everywhere you turned a new face with different emotions either raced passed you or walked.
One on their phone
One with children
One with a loved one
One on their own
I had to move out of the way now and again. A young lad barged into me later on.
My blood boiled
I looked around and went to walk after him but I was stopped.
“Leave it Dad,” Evelyn told, “we’re supposed to be having family time”
I looked around and saw my granddaughters looking up at me. They all looked concerned. Like they were begging me not to cause any trouble.
“Chill out old man,” Eveyln told
“Sorry, I’m just a little agitated, I just hate leaving them”
“Theresas with them,” she told
“I know, are you sure she’s ok to be left there?”
“She wanted to be, so yes, it’s going to take all of us along time”
A tear ran down her cheek and she quickly wiped it away. Staying strong for the kids was the main priority for her.
I looked around and saw something that would cheer anybody up. An ice cream van stood their in the scorching heat. The sky was blue and we all wore our thin materialed clothes so our skin could breath. I began walking toward it and the kids followed. Running in front as if they already knew what was coming.
“Who wants ice cream?!” I shouted
“We do!” They told
They were already on their way toward it.
“Do you sometimes wish you had more kids?” She asked
“Sometimes I guess, why the question?”
“I dunno, I just wish that I had an older brother or sister or something”
I smiled and put my arm around her and watched the kids nearly knocking other people over.
Never look where they’re going.
“It would’ve been nice, but me and your mum decided one was enough at the time”
“That’s ashame, either when I did have David,” I saw her gulp, she sighed after and I held her tighter, “I felt alone… when I see my friends with their siblings, I just get that feeling”
“I would have one now but I don’t think I’ll have the stamina”
“Too much information”
I grinned, “sorry”
We walked quickly alongside the kids and we reached the van. The late summer breeze was warm. It brushed our skin.
It was a welcoming feeling
I looked up at the blazing sun and felt the joy it brought.
With all the darkness that had surrounded us. It was a welcoming sight.
The kids laughter
It made it that tiny bit lighter.
A small sun that was getting bigger in what looked like a permanent night sky.
The kids jumped up and down at the van after queueing for a few minutes, they were getting wrestless, “What flavour kids?” I asked
“Vanilla,” Katelyn said
“Chocolate,” Michelle told
I thought for a second and thought did I want one. The sun soaked me to the bone, so I needed something to chill me.
I looked at Evelyn, “Do you want anything?”
“Go on then, I’ll have a mint chocolate”
I told the man what we wanted. I got the same as Evelyn. The ice cream came. I handed them over to the kids and I watched the joy spread over their faces as they tasted them.
“Don’t drop them,” I said
I frowned and saw something strange. I didn’t want to think anything of it at first
I couldn’t help it. An elderly man had suddenly sat down looking a little off. A little ill or something. I watched him as we slowly walked down passed the many shops. A few buskers stood around with beautiful voices, but this one thing stood out to me. I grew paranoid and tried shaking it off.
“Dad,” Evelyn said, “you ok?”
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah yeah I’m fine”
But I wasn’t. I didn’t want to alarm her. I watched him longer as we gotten closer and closer. The man tended to be shaking. He abruptly dropped to the floor and a few women came racing over. My heart beated fast as I had seen it first hand.
Maybe it wasn’t it?
Maybe it was?
Should I help?
I stayed close to my family. I looked back and kept an eye on things. The man wasn’t moving. I found myself stopping in the middle of the walkway to watch.
“Dad,” Evelyn said
She saw it. I saw her face change. I then knew she was feeling the same strong feeling as me.
An enormous eruption of screams then boomed out. The man had grabbed hold of the woman’s arm and tore into it.
“Kids, let’s go,” Eveyln told
She grabbed their hands and I followed. We tried to be as calm ss possible.
“Mummy, you’re hurting me,” Michelle told
“Keep moving sweetie,” she said
People began to scatter. We were in the middle of it. We were getting barged left right and center. Police cars could be heard in the distance and it wasn’t long till they were there. My breathing had quickened immensely. I tried staying close to Eveyln and the kids, but I was getting pushed away by the sudden panic in the large crowd.
“Eveyln!” I shouted
I tried pushing my way through.
It was just too much. I tried again and resulted into being more psychical.
Getting close to them was proving difficult. They were getting further and further away.
My heart was beating out of my chest. I saw her face. The same look had risen once again.
The look she had in the car…
It was hectic. The screams were getting louder and the pushing and shoving was growing more violent.
“Dad, I can’t get to you!”
A cry was close to my ear. A piercing scream. I looked in the direction where it came from and suddenly
A young woman had me around the neck.
Blood was pouring out of her neck, mouth and eyes. A huge bite mark made the skin fall loose. I grabbed her by the hair and yanked her head back and punched her in the throat. I just kept going and going until she let go. She came at me again. I got ready and put it all in one punch to the temple.
I watched her fall
Then my focus was on my angel once more. I gazed in every direction as possible, but she wasn’t there.
Gun shots were soon fired. I looked in the direction and saw the police and army rush in.
Shields at hand
I had to get out of there. They were firing at will. The crowd had scattered, so I had space to run into where I felt Evelyn must have gone.
“The shopping centre”
I bolted toward it.
I felt like I had let her down
That same dream haunted me
I felt like I was going to loose her
The shopping centre was near enough empty. I got a glimpse of a few bodies scurrying out of the exits
Fear had took over
Fear had made everybody run for their lives.
More gunfire was heard from where I last stood. I flinched every time.
“Eveyln!” I cried
“Help me!” A man cried
He came running toward me.
Came chasing him around the corner. Suddenly I had no choice but to run like crazy. I ran toward some escalators and pelted up them. I was on the top floor. The man was behind me
Like I had a plan
Like I could save us both
We ran toward the coridoor in front of us, but in the next moments, I heard gut wrenching cries.
I looked round in horror
It was him. Some part of me wanted to help
Some part of me wanted to get as far away as possible.
“I’m sorry,” I muttered
I ran through the coridoor and slammed the first door shut. I faced the room I was in
And slid down the door. As I reached the floor I began to beg to the heavens.
That Eveyln was ok
“I’m sorry, Eveyln, I’m so sorry”
I had to stay quiet. I heard footsteps and screams coming from the outside.
It was right there
Right on the opposite side of the door…
I had to think
What was my next move…?