In Fear We Trust
A/N: This is just a random one-shot that has been bugging me to be written for a while. Voila. Can fit only zombie horror, I guess. Contains mild slash. Just a little. Don't like, don't read. Enjoy! And don't forget to review!
Disclaimer: I don't own 28 Days Later. I don't own Bradley or Colin... yet. I do own Emma :D
It was dark. So dark. The only source of light was a television mounted up on the wall, picture lost without anyone to transmit them. The beautiful white noise shined down on us like some sick artificial moon. Ironically, since it was the dead of night. There were no windows here, so we couldn't see the real moon, but the grandfather clock I was leant against was ticking, still working and reminding us how many agonising seconds we'd spent here. I listened to it, feeling the vibrations shaking my body and imagining it was a heartbeat, my mother's to be exact. I found it comforting. And, with what was going on, comfort was a blessing.
To say there was silence was an understatement. Apart from the ticking of time, the white noise humming, quiet sobbing and the several raspy breathing patterns of the people locked up in here, there was the noise from…outside. The sound of feet, going past the barricaded doors every now and then, causing everyone to stop breathing in anticipation, but the feet always carried on. And then there was the screaming. Some was blood-chilling, inhuman cries of the Creatures that had once been human. Some was the terrified last noises of the victims before they were hunted, killed, bitten, eaten, turned and became more Creatures.
The smell. It was horrid. I know I shouldn't complain considering my situation, but the lingering smell of at least six scared, sweaty and blood-stained humans is repulsive. And I'm pretty sure more than one of them had followed through with the fear. I closed my eyes, not wanted to look at wide, petrified eyes and the constant, constant tears. My thoughts are repetitive: I'm only young. I shouldn't be here, at least not alone. But I am.
Who'd have thought everything could change in only a matter of seconds?
Smiling and laughing and crying, I watched the award ceremony, from the VIP area of the audience, seeing the winners walk on stage, listening to the moving and often brief speeches and 'thank you's and beaming as I watched the clips for the nominees. I'd won some stupid competition to be here. I thought I was lucky at the time; how wrong I was. Sat among my friends and a hall full of wealthy, beautiful celebrities, I felt safe. Pearly, fake smiles and bleach-blonde hair beamed back at me and across the screens of the nation.
The doors were thrown open. The bodyguards and the bouncers at the doors ran in, falling about like savages, screaming this… blood-thirsty scream and full of blood. And thus began the death and destruction and screaming and crying and running. I don't remember how I'd gotten here and I don't remember when I'd left my friends behind, I just know I had.
So I sat there, trying to calm a speeding heart and trying so hard not to cry. And as much as I hoped and I prayed, I knew that it's only a matter of seconds before they got in and before I became one of them. You see it in the horror films, how the human race is destroyed in a matter of days and it's the clusters of survivors, like us, that are bitten first. It spreads through the body fluids. Horrifying, I know. And I was stuck in the dead centre of it, lost in a sea of the damned, just waiting for those doors to give way and the screaming to be right down my ear.
And you know what's worse? I was hungry.
"God, I want a cheeseburger…" I mumbled to no one. The grandfather clock ticked at me in reply.
"Me too. And I'm a vegetarian". I jumped at the voice, my eyes flying open. Sat in front of me, lying back against the wall with his knees tucked up, head resting on top, sat a man. He was in early twenties, maybe even late teenage years. And, from the strength of his accent, he was Irish. Staring at him for a moment, I noticed he wouldn't look back at me. Just sat there, looking at the floor, almost in pain. And I imagined he actually was; God knows I was. From the waiting. His pale – almost sickly pale – skin with his high cheekbones shined red with the blood streaks on the television shining down on him. A scarlet moon.
"How long have you been sat there?" I asked, voice mainly curious but with an underlying tone of anxiety. Shady guy comes and sits next to the youngest woman in the room before the world as we know it about to end and inserts himself into a conversation you were having with yourself, you know he only wants one thing.
And then he looked at me. And I realised why he had such beautiful, thin cheekbones. To frame a pair of unbelievably deep eyes. They were, literally, the colour of sapphire. And they were broken. You see it written in books as intense description, but I could actually see it there in his eyes. I could see his broken, grieving and oh so delicious heart. His pupils were wide, I mean wide to the point of loss of colour with fear. It gave me a lump in throat. Who knew a person could be so shattered.
"Oh, sorry. It's just everyone was crying and, it's just so… I'll move". I don't know why, maybe I was taken in by his beauty or shocked by his crumbled interior or maybe I just needed somebody to sit with and talk to, but I replied before he could stand,
"No, it's okay. It is very intense over there. That's why I sat here. Quieter. I don't mind company". Smiling sadly - it didn't reach his eyes – he sat back down; letting his legs relax slightly instead of curling into a ball. But he still hugged his chest together as though it was falling apart. I didn't look at him, closing my eyes again and listening to the breathing, ticking, fizzing, screaming and living death. He interrupted a silence I didn't realise had fallen between us.
"I'm Colin". I opened my eyes and blinked, surprised to find him looking at me, digging into my core with his eyes, looking for some sort of answer he believed I possessed.
"Emma," I muttered in reply. I think maybe Colin came over here and sat with me because he needed some sort of anchor into reality. He was in mourning. Like everyone.
In fear we trust.
"Are you an actress?" I looked at him and spluttered unexpectedly. My laughed was sloppy but wonderful. Everyone stared at me in alarm. I was hushed to silence and mimed my apologies.
"God, no!" I replied after a while, seeing his lips curve slightly. "I won a stupid competition to come watch. Why, are you an actor?" He nodded weakly and I raised an eyebrow. "Seriously?" He shrugged.
"Greatest mistake of my life. Look where it got me. Stuck in a room with a bunch of scared people, waiting for my death and knowing that it might be him that-" he stopped himself, looking down like someone had just slapped him. I frowned, letting the silence fall. Someone murmured,
"Sorry I'm not star-struck, but considering the situation…" It took me a moment to realise it was me that had spoken. He just made a little noise that had once been 'uh-huh…'
And then it struck me like that grandfather clock had just given way and hit me over the head. This really was it. The end of the world. Or of the country anyway. These could be my last few moments. I had to face it: I was young, female, in heels and had no idea how to survive independently in a world where water didn't come through taps and food didn't come from a store. I was going to be the first to die, and I had to admit it now, or else I would just be kidding myself.
False hope is the cliché parts of a cheesy American horror. This was real. Really real. I was about to die. And in a Goddamn dress! Brilliant. My hair was full of confetti, mascara was smeared down my face and I was in a dress. Perfect. My last meal had been a mixture of WKDs and a packet of nuts. My last day had been spent in bed, curled up having a lie-in followed by spending the day shopping for this very dress and, as dusk fell, getting ready. This was my last outfit. My last breaths. My last night. And these could be my last words, so I best make them count. I turned to Colin, sucking in a breath and announced quietly,
"I'm scared". He just looked up, surprised I'd spoken at all and stared, unsure what to say. I then found myself sat next to him, away from the comforting clock, confiding in a complete stranger. The last stranger I'd ever meet. "That's an understatement. I'm bloody terrified. And I'm alone. What about you?" He just blinked for a moment, probably the same thoughts I'd just been thinking going through his head. This would be his last conversation.
"Yeah. Terrified doesn't begin to cover it". I nodded, looking up at the clock, watching as midnight ticked closer and closer. Perhaps I might live to tomorrow. I didn't feel his eyes on me, watching me watch the clock. I didn't feel his legs stretch out finally, straight and almost casual, like me. But I did feel his hand on mine. "And I'm completely alone too".
Turning back, I looked at him, nodding.
In fear we trust.
"I came here with my friends. I wanted to come with my family but my mum, she said I should go have a good time, just don't come home drunk. So I did". The words wouldn't stop spilling from my mouth, "But when It began, I lost them. I don't – I don't even remember running. Or how I got here. But I know they're out there. And they're probably dead". I just stopped, thank God. Colin just looked at me, eyes full of blank sympathy. And then it was his turn.
"I came with the people from the show. A couple of the other actors, the producers and directors. I don't know what happened to them. When They came through the doors, I just grabbed his hand, and we ran. Everything went blurry around me as I ran, and he was pulling me with him. I didn't even think, just ran. And then he let go and the world ended. He pushed me away and I stopped, and then I just saw one of… one of Them bite him. I still have his blood on me". I looked down, and there on his white shirt, there were droplets of scarlet. Still wet. "He screamed for me to run, so I did". His voice was dead, empty, each word obviously agonising. "I love him. We weren't allowed to tell anyone about the relationship because of the impact it would have on the audience of the show, but I really do. And when I go out there, he'll probably kill me".
Staring, I was horrified. Not meaning to, I replied,
"Okay, you win". His story was so much worse. He just glanced at me sideways before staring at the floor. Some last conversation, huh?
"I'd just got an award as well". He laughed without humour and then it hit me. I knew I'd seen him from somewhere. I'd just watched him acting among the nominees' clips, and he was an amazing actor. I'd thought 'He's going to win this'. And as the doors were thrown open, his name hung in the air. The winner. The final winner. But, like everyone else, the loser.
"Congrats". My last word.
In fear we trust.
Jumping, we both looked up as the grandfather struck five times, so loud I cringed, curling up. Midnight. It was deafening after the beautiful silence from before. And then began the screaming. And the running. And the panic. The things behind the door were pushed out the way and the blood gushed in, great rivers of it. I was pulled to my feet by Colin, who still held my hand, and he pulled me through the room, trying to find an exit. There was only one, though, and it was full of the Creatures. We both knew we were damned. I didn't make it past midnight.
And I was right, you know. I was the first to die. Damn.