Chapter Twenty Six: Aria Stephenson
“What makes you so sure that he, I mean, The Fifth Horseman, is a bad guy then?” started Kyle as we walked closer to the warehouse.
“Well, let’s see. He uses crows to deliver messages. You don’t think that at least it is a bit odd? Ominous almost?” Kyle paused and seemed to think about it. “Also, he knew that we four would be at the church. You can’t call that fate, it's just weird. There is no way humanely possible that he could’ve known that we were going to be there. All of us I mean. What about knowing that Jason had died, or that Martha was kidnapped? She’s most likely to be dead right now. What about that? Does that not make it at least slightly suspicious to you?”
“What if he just happens to have a gift? If he can see into the future or something like that? Maybe he thinks we’re worth saving.”
I laughed. “Are you being serious? That has to be a joke. There is absolutely no way on this planet that he cares about our safety. If he really does, I promise you now: I’ll eat my hat,” Kyle gasped dramatically and rolled his eyes in a staged fashion.
The huge metal doors swung open after a minute or two of strenuous pushing. Our bags weighed heavily on our shoulders, sweat pouring from every pore of our bodies. It was pretty disgusting to say in the least. The blood at the floor flowed into the warehouse and created a small stream of the rusty, trickling substance.
Silence echoed eerily around the dark, dank cavern that appeared to be the inside of the warehouse. Nothing was there other than the darkness, at least, nothing visible to the human eye.
I looked at Kyle, hoping for some sort of guidance. All he did was look back at me and smile. “What have we got to lose? We might as well just go right ahead. Let’s not keep them waiting, eh, Aria?”
“I suppose not.” I said worriedly. At this rate, I was certain that we were going to die soon. Instead of concentrating on all the bad things, all the things that could go wrong, I tried to push them from my mind and think about the positives. It’s just a shame that I couldn’t find anything positive to think about.
I looked at Kyle and he looked back at me. Taking a deep breath, we walked into the building. Almost immediately, I could feel the damp, musty, hot air wafting against my skin. There was something ominous about the feeling, something not quite right. I wasn’t sure about being here anyway, but anyone with a weaker appetite for danger would run a mile if they got that feeling. Not me. I was too stubborn to know when to quit. Or just very stupid. Either way, I wasn’t going to turn back, no matter what the odds. If Kyle was going to go in, then so was I. I’d done my best to convince him otherwise, but it hadn’t worked.
The darkness slithered around me like a snake. It was cold and unfeeling, horrible and numbing. Heat washed over our bodies, the dust and dirt in the air sticking to my skin. It felt like slime as it clung on to my body.
Together, we took a few more steps into the warehouse. There was no light, not even from what was left of the sun outside. No brightness whatsoever seemed as though it could ever penetrate this darkness. It was too dense – so much so that it was like walking through steaming hot, completely opaque treacle. I hated it in here. I knew that nothing good could ever come from us being here, so I didn’t see why we bothered coming here. I knew my original plan was much better. Go back to the other warehouse, the one we knew was safe. As much as I thought that, I knew I’dn’t follow through with it, not without Kyle, anyway. We didn’t have a very good chance fighting off the zombies together, so it was logic that told me that we’d even less chance once we were on our own.
In here it was dark, musty, dank, dirty and dusty and I didn’t like it. What was the point of coming here if we couldn’t even see anything? What was the point of putting ourselves in any more danger than we’d to? And what was it that made Kyle feel so strongly about coming here? Our roles had reversed. Usually, it was he that was the cautious one and I was the one who would jump into the middle of the danger.
As we walked further and further into the darkness, our footsteps echoed around the warehouse. It sounded as though this room was huge, bigger than the other warehouse. If that was so, then why did this place not have lights when the last one did?
I could hear something in the background, hiding behind the shield of our footsteps. I reached out and tapped Kyle’s arm and then whispered, “Shh. I think I hear something.”
We paused and waited. Straining to hear something, we breathed as shallowly as we could and tried not to move a muscle. After a few seconds, I could hear it again. It was a struggled, haggard breathing. In fact, it was more than that; it was a death rattle. Whoever’s breathing that was, they weren’t going to live much longer.
I looked at what I could of Kyle and from what I could see, I wasn’t imagining things. He could hear it too.
That wasn’t all I could hear. There was obviously more than just us here in this warehouse, but now we knew there was more than more than one person with us. Someone else was breathing differently, but this time, there it wasn’t someone who was having trouble breathing, it was a panting type breathing. It sounded as though they’d been running, or as though they were panicking. I didn’t blame them if they were panicking, to be honest, who wouldn’t in this horrible place?
Now we’d stopped and weren’t making any noise, just listening to others that were already there in the warehouse, we could hear others, not just the breathing.
There was a light plinking sort of noise. I couldn’t tell what it was at first, but it sounded familiar. It was something I should’ve been able to recognise immediately, but I just couldn’t work out. I strained harder to hear it, convinced that I knew what it was. It sounded like rain, but there was only one drip. I’d’ve to settle for thinking it was a loose pipe or something like that for now, because it wasn’t as though I could see it in this darkness.
It was sweltering in here, hotter even than outside. I know everyone always complains about the awful British weather, but I think I much preferred the cold, rainy, windy, cloudy weather we always have. Well, had. Before the apocalypse. We were sweating so much because of the heat, it was disgusting.
As well as being covered in sweat, we were also covered in the slimy, grimy substance that had coated our skin when we first walked through the doors.
I reached out and tapped Kyle on the arm again. “Come on. Shall we go now?”
“Go? But we just got here.” He whispered back. Then, he started to smile, but soon enough, he caught the look I shot him and he wiped it off his face. “You mean outside? Or do you mean further in?”
“Further in.” I said and he nodded.
“Let’s go then,” he said, holding my arm. Breathing deeply, we looked at each other and walked further into the darkness.