The clock sat facing me, mocking me with just how slowly time was passing. Each second felt like an hour and each hour felt like a year. There was two hours to go until I could go home, but until then I had to carry on pretending like I was busy.
The heat contained within the office just added to the tiredness I felt. My eyes drooped and I sat upright, taking a big gulp of water. This was ridiculous.
I was the only one out of all my friends who worked full time; the rest were studying at University or just spending their days alone in their room. Before I had a job at all, my parents told me to find one and when I did they told me to find a full time job, and so mostly just to shut them up, I did. Don’t get me wrong, the money is worth it, particularly after spending three years on minimum wage, but the hours are long and they were something I was still getting used to.
Work was thin now it was nearing the summer. People were taking their vacations and weren’t interested in sorting out their problems which meant there was very little for me to do. I tried pacing myself, stretching it out, but I was so incredibly bored and was praying for a distraction of any kind.
But they always say to be careful what you wish for.
It was at that moment that two things happened simultaneously. One of them came in the form of a high pitched scream of absolute terror, and the other came in the form of something grabbing my shoulder and hauling me backwards. I was plunged into confusion and disorientation as my body hit the floor and I felt the wind knocked out of me. It took me several seconds to regain my awareness but by this time whatever had knocked into me was now leaning over my face and trying to attack me.
I didn’t think then, I just knew I had to get away.
The stench of blood filled my nostrils and I fought back vomit as I wriggled out of the fairly weak grasp of my assailant. I wasted no time in scrambling to my feet and getting to grips with whatever was going on.
A figure dressed head to toe in blood and wounds snarled at me and charged forwards, fingers reaching out in a claw.
I dodged its attack easily and it went flying to the floor. Was he drunk? Had he been attacked? I had absolutely no idea what was going on and I was surrounded by chaos.
Figures were pouring in through the door we had left open and people were fighting and screaming. I could only stand, frozen in shock and fear, as at least half a dozen more people came in through the doors. Only, I don’t think they were people exactly. I didn’t know what else they could be but my mind was telling me that they weren’t human. Where had they all come from? It had been peace and quiet moments ago.
My attacker tried to go for me again and I grabbed the nearest item, which happened to be a plastic bin, and flung it towards its head. It bounced off uselessly, not even deterring him. I had to get out of there.
But people needed my help.
I saw one of my colleagues locked in what looked like an embrace, but their face was twisted in pain and horror and the blood spurting out between their shoulder blades told me something I still have trouble trying to comprehend to this very day. He was being bitten. No, more than that. He was being eaten alive!
Several other figures saw an easy meal and dragged him to the ground. I could only see his legs flailing about beneath a mass of…things. That was all I needed to know. Like the coward I was, I bolted for the exit.
I was followed, of course I was, but my car was only a few yards away. I could make it.
I reached in my pocket as I ran, bringing out my car keys, and flicked the button for central locking.
I didn’t think about those still trapped inside the building. We were placed on the ground floor. Would the others above hear the chaos? Would they come and investigate? It wasn’t too late to warn them. I could ring the police, the ambulance, anything. I could get help.
No Charlie, just run.
Shapes from the field came towards me and I didn’t turn to see how many were following me from the building.
I was running with such force that I slammed into the car, smashing my elbow against the window. Pain exploded in my arm, but that didn’t stop me from opening the door, falling inside and locking myself in just as one of them came running up to my vehicle.
Its gruesome face was pressed right up against the window, growling right against the glass. Blood smeared inches away from my face and its milky eyes stared right into mine, longing for me. Longing for the taste of my flesh.
I put the car into reverse and stormed out of that car park, trying to ignore the screams from my now dying colleagues.