Joe: Guy in the alleyMature

Word Count: 840

The week that passed was an unusual week to say the least. There was something going on, something bad. The virus had leaked to other parts of America and they were now setting up vaccine camps for people. I think they were trying to find a cure but all it did was make the situation so much worse. They also set up concentration camps and let me tell you, they were the worst. They set them up in the Nevada desert, isolated from the rest of the world. It was for the infected, they said it would be a safe haven for them where they could recover. Only, once you went there you weren't coming back.

Flights to and from America had been halted which of course caused panic. My parents were trying desperately to figure out what to do. The receptionist at the hotel advised us to stay inside until it had blown over. We could contact our relatives back in England, she said, if we needed to let them know what was going on. We didn't have anyone that needed notifying though; it was just us.

Dad went to the supermarket and stocked up on bottled water and canned goods. He said it was just a precaution, just until this whole thing lifted. We stayed in the hotel room for the next few days and let me tell you it was the most boring few days of my life. By the third day we were all so sick of these four walls and of each others company; we ached to go outside. The television was left on so we could get the latest updates but they seemed pretty tight-lipped about what to reveal.

One day, roughly a week after the news report of the initial outbreak, I wandered out onto the balcony. It was approaching night time and there were only a few cars passing by, the whole place seemed to have an eerie atmosphere, like everyone had just packed up and left, which I suppose they had done. The lucky ones, the ones who could get out of the country, did so. It was unfortunate for the ones who couldn't, like me and my family. We were stuck in this little hotel room with nothing to pass the time other than watching the news and playing some of the board games that the hotel provided.

I watched the world below me and right there in that moment it all seemed so tranquil. It was hard to believe that the events of the past week had really happened. The cool night air soothed me and I closed my eyes against the peacefulness of it.

Something crashing in the alleyway caught my attention.

My eyes flew open and I leaned over the railing, trying to see into the darkness. There was a shadow, about thirty yards from the hotel, stumbling along the pavement. I couldn't tell what they looked like from where I was stood but the build and height suggested he was male. He looked very drunk, falling against the wall every few steps he took and reaching out blindly with both arms. I watched, fascinated. I'd never seen someone so intoxicated before.

Just then he let out the most guttural, spine-chilling groan I'd ever heard.

'Mum!' I hissed back into the room. 'Mum check this out.'

'What?' She appeared behind me moments later.

'Drunk guy in the alley.' I sniggered.

She tried to see where I was pointing and when her eyes fell on the figure they widened and her mouth fell open. 'My God. David!' She shouted back for my dad. 'David get out here. There's a guy in the alley and he doesn't look too well. Should we help him?'

It suddenly became a family gathering on the balcony. Dad, Mum and I were watching the desperate man below us, trying to figure out the best course of action.

'Should we call hotel security?' I suggested when the man approached the hotel entrance.

'I suppose we should,' Dad frowned. 'I'll go downstairs and tell them. You two wait here.'

We watched him leave the room.

The man paused at the doors ,which were now locked. The hotel had devised a new rule that the front entrance would be locked at a certain time now, for the safety of the guests. I was suddenly very thankful for this. He slapped a hand against the glass and started hissing manically. He was becoming much more animated and Mum gripped my shoulder tighter.

'Joe I'm going to go and make sure your dad is okay. Stay here and lock the door behind me.'

'But Mum...'

'No, it's okay. Do as I say.' She darted from the room and I ran after her, peering down the hallway. Should I go after her? My cowardly nature took over and I slammed the door shut, locking it. Nothing to do now but wait.

I went back out onto the balcony, trying to look for the man. He had completely disappeared though.

The End

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