Riley: Cold AirMature

Screams filled my ears, rebounding off of the insides of my brain and all I could focus on was the shrieking people who could use mine and Jack's help.

It had all happened so fast, a young patient of Jack's who I had been attending to had died suddenly, no one knows why  - he was only in here before a mugger had bitten his arm. But then something strange happened, he just stood up but every single machine we had hooked up to him claimed his heart no longer beat. After that, everything was a blur - he attacked some of the nurses and doctors and patients and visitors. That's when everything went haywire. Other cases like this had been reported all over the hospital but they had been "contained"; whatever that means. 

The sick people who were chasing after us gained speed as we lost it. Jack's grip around my fragile wrist tightened and he yanked on me harder as we neared the hospital's exit. I kept sliding along the newly polished floors, trying to catch my breath. I wasn't fit, or fast, or strong so running away from mentally ill people who were trying to assault me wasn't my strong point. 

Once we'd burst through the fire exit, we slowed a little, the door locking behind us bought us some time. But not much. There were people like them, like the ones in the hospital outside, also. But they were yet to notice us spinning around in search for a suitable car frantically. 

A terrifying strangled roar reached my eyes as the patients pounded on the glass doors, cracks emerged as they strained to reach us. Other began swarming towards us as the other let out her moan. 

'Get in! Get in!' A voice yelled loudly at us, and a ridiculously large Hummer pulled up behind us. My bottom lip quivered with relief as Jack swung me into the huge vehicle. 

Jack gripped my hand tightly as the driver of the hummer began to hit the accelerator mercilessly. Carnage filled the carpark; men attacking women, women attacking men, mothers aimlessly swinging at their own children. I held back my frightened sobs - crying in a car full of men wasn't going to help the situation, only make it more difficult. 

'What the hell is going on?' Jack asked quickly, leaning forward to speak to the pair who had so graciously picked us up without batting an eyelid. 

'We don't know yet.' The man with cropped dark hair and tan skin said curtly. 

The driver swerved to the opposite side of the road and the bonnet of the car slammed into a couple of civilians. My jaw went slack in utter horror. 

'What the hell do you think you're doing you maniac!' I burst out in a manner much unlike myself. I brought myself forward so I was in the drivers face directly.

'What?' He asked, his voice raised, 'they were in my way!' 

'You can't just run innocent people down you moron!' I whispered, my voice cracking in terror, 'Jack! Jack! Tell him! Tell him...' 

But Jack wouldn't meet my gaze, 'Riley... you saw them in the hospital...' 

The man with dark hair said without any remorse, 'look, whatever these things... people... are, they're not people anymore. I have no idea what they are. But they're not people.'

'What are you talking about?' I cried helplessly, 'they're just sick! Sick I tell you, aren't they Jack? Just sick... they're just..' I broke down into sobs and buried my head in Jack's hard shoulder. 

The pair in the front were left speechless at the pair off men in the back of their car, and Jack broke the silence, 'look, thanks for picking us up, and I'm sorry for,' he gestured to me I think, 'but where are we going?' 

The man with the dark hair replied quickly, 'a diner. It's not far from here.'

The driver then said pretty crudely, 'was that waitress chick hot? 'Cause, I mean, if I was a chick, and you saved my life... Know what I'm saying?'

I threw him a disgusted look, and Jack just laughed nervously. I shifted so my head was leaned back against the car seat.

'Just drive.' The dark haired man said, you couldn't exactly see it, but I could tell he was mortified by his friend's words.

We basked in a painfully awkward silence for around five minutes, before I offered, 'my name is Riley by the way, and this is Jack. Doctor Jack. We both work - or worked, at the hospital.'

'Lieutenant Gray.' The man with dark hair said. 

'Robin.' The rude driver nodded. I eyed up their uniforms,  I had originally suspected that they had been paintballing or doing some outdoors activities, but given their names and beast of a car, it was quite the opposite.

'So.. you're really  in the army? You have weapons, you can protect people, right?' I asked quietly.

No one answered me, but Jack said, 'I really can't express how much I appriciate you picking us up like that... those people... the ones in the hospital... they went crazy - like wild animals. It was all I could do to grab Riley and get out...'

'Don't mention it. We're trying to save as many people as possible.'

'But truth be told, you're the first people people we've come across so far.' Robin admitted.

I caught my breath.

'The only ones?' Jack asked, half to himself.

'But we've not looked very many places so far.' Lieutenant Gray reminded us.

'I'm sure there will be other survivors  somewhere. Don't worry, Riley.' Jack murmured to me, kissing the top of my head. I glanced up at the pair in the front, but Lieutenant Gray didn't seem to notice and Robin just looked away. 

'So... how far away is this diner? Are you sure the people inside will be safe?' I asked slowly, carefully. 

'We can't be certain yet. I told them to lock the doors, barricade the windows and not let anyone in. Hopefully they're fine

'Is that the place, Col?' Robin asked quickly. I looked up at Robin's informal use of Lieutenant Gray's name. "Col", eh? I wonder what that's short for, I mean, there are lot's of things "Col" is short for. Col... col.. Collin? Colby? Or maybe it's just Col, that wouldn't be unusual would--

'Riley!' Jack hissed as Lieutenant Gray agreed that it was indeed the correct diner.

'Sorry.' I whispered, on edge as we approached the eerily quiet diner. 

Everyone hopped out of the car, excluding myself and made their way towards the diner. Robin hung back a little to watch Lieutenant Gray's back.

Lieutenant Gray knocked on the door cautiously.

I heart Jack snort without humour and say, 'what good will knocking do?' 

'I don't want to scare them by charging straight into the diner!' He snapped, trying to door carefully. 

But Jack, being the outgoing and straightforward person he is threw the door open and stormed straight in. 

The other two followed him into the diner, Robin hanging back a little again. But still inside the diner. I felt my pulse quicken and stomach drop as I realised I was completely alone outside; in the carpark.

That was the one thing I'd rather die than be. Being alone is the scariest thing about life.

I dashed into the diner behind them, skidding to a halt abruptly in horror as I saw the bloody red mess that littered the diner's walls and floor.

My blood went cold. 

We were too late. 

The End

98 comments about this exercise Feed