It’s not happening. I refuse to believe it. I shut my eyes, but I can’t keep them shut can I? If I shut my eyes I might feel a hand on my leg - one of these dead things, curling fingers around my ankle. I have to move.

Outside there’s more of the same, more people lying down in the street as if they all simultaneously decided to have a nap at 8.32 on a Tuesday morning and can’t be arsed to get up again. Fatal Lethargy hits City, I think. Corpses cause Rush-Hour Chaos. Sleeping Beauty was wakened with a kiss, but fuck me if I’ll kiss any of these bastards. There’s cars too, and cabs, looking empty because the drivers are all slumped down. Some have stalled, but one has mowed into a bus shelter and a red Astra and a silver Merc are nose to nose, bumpers crumpled. This is London after all, so none of them were going more than five miles an hour.


Maybe those religious nuts are right, I think. Maybe it’s me that’s died. Maybe it’s me who collapsed at the station and right now some paramedic is pumping away at my unresponsive heart. Too late mate. I’m gone. I’ve slipped through into a hell dimension. My personal hell; specially designed with top of the range features for my own personal torment and dissatisfaction. And any minute now this devil will appear and try to toast me on a pitchfork. I almost hope this will happen, because then at least I’ll know what’s going on.

I try shouting again, like I think that’ll help.

The whiteness and the roaring has ebbed a little, but my brain babbles like a hyperactive kid who forgot to take his Ritalin. Maybe I should go to sleep. Maybe I should lie down, be less conspicuous in case... Or maybe I should find a police station, or a hospital. I should phone the Mayor. Speak to Citizen’s Advice. Complain to London Transport. Make a banner and march the streets. Call a lawyer and sue the City for mental abuse. Make an appointment with a Psychiatrist. Have myself commited...

I can’t take any of this in. I can only just manage to keep standing upright. I’m thirsty though. After all that yelling I could use a drink. I feel like getting drunk. I decide to get absolutely fucking hammered. So pissed I go blind. So shit-faced I can’t move. So...

Footsteps. I hear footsteps.

Where I am is at the entrance to Victoria station. The bus shelters are directly in front. A boy of about fourteen appears from the direction of Victoria Street. He keeps looking around and he’s not walking so much as creeping along, close to the wall. I can see his legs are trembling and he clutches at the brickwork. He stops when he sees me and we stare at each other. If I was in a Role-play Game and he was an NPC he’d either fight me or tell me something that would aid me in a quest. Maybe I am in a game. Maybe it’s a new wave thing, seriously immersive.

He fucking runs off, that's what he does. He’s fast, anyway.

That’s when I think of my family...

...and that whiteness spreads again until all I know is my own pain and the sour, disabling bite of fear.

The End

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