September 12, 2012

A Spot of Fiction: Part 2

I creep through the darkness, feeling my way along the wall of the building until I reach the corner. A sliver of a moon shines wanly above in an otherwise empty sky. The light it gives is just enough to make out the shapes of other buildings against the horizon. Thick black against an even thicker black.

I'm walking almost blind here. It's going to be hell trying to move around in near pitch. I can't figure out how to light my way without giving up my location so I squint hard into the inky night and will my eyes to adjust. Thinking back to when I awoke in the grass, I vaguely recall the layout of the complex. There was a small shed on this end of the building and I think it's almost directly ahead of me. With no other viable options I might as well go for it.

Pushing myself away from the cooling wall of the building I start to cross the void, moving in the remembered direction of the shed. After what seems like forever my outstretched hands make contact with the corrugated metal surface of my sanctuary. I let my breath out in a rush and gasp for air. I didn't realize I'd been holding my breath the entire way across!

The handle turns easily in my hand and I gently, slowly ease the shed door open. Just before I make enough space for myself to slip through the gap the door sticks. I swear under my breath and give it a little push. The door doesn't move any further and I can't quite squeeze myself through the opening. A nervous sweat breaks out and chills the skin on my back. I push again, harder.

The rusted hinges shriek in protest as the door opens fully, slamming against the opposite wall like booming thunder!

"Fuck fuck fuck!" I hiss through my teeth. I look back at the building and see movement in the upper windows. More lights flaring to life, seeming far brighter than they did earlier. Flash, flash, flash, flash, the windows light up in progression, as though in response someone traveling through the building. And heading in the direction of the ground floor entrance!

Abandoning the idea of hiding in the shed I sprint through the darkness towards the structure on the far side of the compound. I hope the noise from the shed has caught their attention fully enough to provide me with a distraction and give enough time to make it there.

Halfway across the open sea of night I'm feeling lucky not to have crashed into any of the detritus on the ground. I instantly freeze in place as the door of the first building thunders open and two figures exit. Brilliant beams of light from flashlights in their hands slice through the lightless murk.

Frozen in mid-step, I stand there praying that they don't swing their lights toward me but they don't and head directly toward the little shed instead. I listen intently but can't make out anything distinct, although if I had to guess I'd say the conversation was a terse argument between the two. I decide that now's my chance to complete my escape. Yeah right, escape. Another building with unknown contents or occupants. Freedom at last...

Telling my irony-laced inner voice to shut it I hastily get moving again and make it over to the opposite building. I pat my way carefully along the outer wall and trace the bottom shape of a window with my fingers but continue moving until I can make out a door. Examining it more by touch than sight I can tell that there is a sign on the front of it and a window in the top half of the door.

I try in vain to see through the window but the glass and darkness make it impossible to see anything. I can't even see my reflection on the dirty glass, but I decide to try my luck anyway. Slowly applying pressure to the thumb latch I meet immediate resistance. Motherf...this door's locked too.

What the hell could be so damned important around this place that you'd need to lock up a half-destroyed building!?

I feel my way along the wall again, continuing away from the shed and being extremely careful not to make any further noise. I look back in the direction of the shed hoping to see whether the searching figures have started back this way, but the thick veil of night has swallowed them whole. Nice, now that's a disturbing thought. Best get a move on before they make it back this way.

Rounding the corner I encounter more debris and end up almost crawling on all fours to avoid falling down and drawing more attention to myself. My search for another door goes unrewarded. At the far end however I have a stroke of luck and find a window. It's large enough for me to fit through and I try pushing it up just a little. It slides up easily enough so I decide to take my chances and climb inside the building. Into the breach we go...

While I'm wriggling through the window a brief flash of light from the returning guards catches on the sign of the locked building. WARNING: BIOHAZARD - Danger of Infection. Authorized Personnel Only.

From across the yard, a pair of struggling legs can be seen as they graceless disappear through the window frame of the small building. The mass of watching shadow waits another moment and then turns disinterestedly away.

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