Chapter Twenty Seven: Kyle Stephenson
We walked further into the warehouse, soon to be enveloped completely in the darkness. Once again, our footsteps covered the other sounds that were mixed up, resonating through the building. Having only the sounds of our footsteps reach our ears rather than all the other horrible sounds.
In the distance, a small, lost voice shouted, “be careful.”
There wasn’t anything else, no warning of what to be careful, nor what to do to be careful. The voice, it seemed, had silenced.
“Hello?” tried Aria. “Who are you?”
The small, lost voice piped up once more, this time more shrill and worried. “That doesn’t matter now. You need to go. Now.”
“What?” yelled Aria. “Why? What is there that we need to be away from? Why can’t we be here? Just explain that to my friend please.” As she said this she sent me an ‘I told you so’ look.
“Aria. Kyle. Go. Now. I can’t make it much clearer!” The little voice was agitated now.
“What?” I shouted. “Why? We’ve no reason to believe. Is that you, Martha?”
“Yes. Now go! Before you can be trapped like I am!”
Aria carried on. “We can’t leave! We’re going to rescue you!” Then she added quietly under her breath, “If I only knew what to do. If we only knew what to do.” She bit her bottom lip, the way she always did when she was thinking about something important or trying to figure out a puzzle.
“Well, the first thing we need to know is where you are,” I shouted. “If we keep calm, we’ll get it done much faster than if we panic, okay?” Both Aria and Martha answered with a yes.
“I don’t know where I am. When I was taken from the warehouse/safe house place, I hit my head on the shutters on the way out. It knocked me out and I can’t remember any of the journey here. All I know is that I woke up here with minimal food and a bottle of water and that every time I move, the whole floor rocks beneath me. I daren’t move any more than I need to, to get to whatever I need, because I don’t know where I am.”
“Any specific ideas though?” said Aria, cutting straight to the punch.
“Not really. By that I mean I only have one. I think I’m being suspended in a cage above the floor of the warehouse we’re in now. At least, I’m assuming it’s a warehouse?”
“It is,” I answered, my thoughts racing. All we needed now was some light.
As if reading my mind, a huge light flicked on. It was a strobe light, of a kind. To me, it looked as though it had come off a helicopter used by the police to capture criminals. The only problem was, we weren’t criminals. We hadn’t done anything wrong. At least, I didn’t think we had.
Now that there was some light, I could see Aria and I could also see most of the warehouse. I could see the cage from which the small, lost voice of Martha had come from and now, in the silence, I could also tell it was where the death rattle breathing had come from. Martha wasn’t in good shape from what I could hear. She needed help and fast. I just hoped we’d be quick enough to reach her. I stepped forward.
Around the warehouse emanated a deep, rumbling laughter. I stopped. Wherever that had come from, it couldn’t be good.
The cage above started to tremble and shake gently. I shouted up to Martha to reassure her. We came here to save her, not condemn her. Whatever happened, I now knew I was wrong about before. It was bad to come in here. In fact, it was the worst idea I’ve had in ages, scratch that – the worst idea I’ve ever had. I still couldn’t help but feel like I’d to be here.
“Who is it?” shouted Aria. “What do you want?”
A drawled voice answered. “Such trivial questions for such a smart little girl.” I felt a connection on a sub conscious type of level with the owner of the voice.
Aria’s face was like thunder. “What do you mean, ‘little girl’? I’m fourteen. I’m a teenager, an adolescent or a pubescent if you must call me by my age. Any of those, but don’t call me a ‘little girl’. Now answer my questions.”
“So feisty as well. It is almost a shame that you will not make it to the end of your predicted life span.”
“And what would that be, then?” Aria snapped back.
“Well, your predicted life span being about 80 years as a single person and you dying in, well five minutes-ish if not sooner.” The voice replied rather flowingly. It was like pouring a jar of honey, the flow was nice and smooth and it never went off, but the honey wasn’t sweet. It was clearly a bitter mixture from the second you opened the lid and he began to talk.
I decided to pipe up. “You still haven’t answered her questions you know.” Aria looked at me and then nodded fiercely.
The voice sighed heavily as though this was a chore. “Very well. Since I cannot be in your presence when you die, I might as well answer them now. I am The Fifth Horseman and I want the world. Any more questions?” There was no way of telling where the voice was coming from. It seemed to echo from all around and, at the same time, one place.
Aria went to open her mouth and I could tell there were a million and more questions wanting to spill out. Before she could actually say anything, the voice continued. “No? All right then.”
“Actually,” Started Aria, “there are some more questions.”
The voice sighed and implied that whoever the voice belonged to was rolling their eyes. “Really? I was hoping that we would not have to deal with things such as these. Very well. What are they?”
“You say you want the world,” Aria began slowly, opening her hands and pressing her fingers together. She was acting like a lawyer in a court case. “But what, exactly, do you want with the world. In other words, Mr Horseman, sir, what are you going to do with this planet?”
“I am going to rule it. Do not think that because I am a bad guy and that you are the goody-goody hero that I will suddenly start monologung about my plans to rule the world. I have lived for all of time and I have seen enough films to know that if I start saying things, you will start winning. Next?”
“Hmm. Very well. My next question is this. Who are you? I mean, we know nothing about you apart from that you pretended to be a good guy and that, actually, you’re horrible and your mother should probably have taught you the difference between right and wrong. As in, mass murder is wrong,” continued Aria. I’d to use all the strength I’d to stay relatively silent and not to wet myself from laughing.
“Let me see. How can I explain this? You have a good taste in music, so I take it you know the song ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’?” Aria nodded. “Well, what you don’t know is, when the Devil was beaten, he didn’t just go home and go to bed. What happened, was he felt really sore about being beaten and stayed in Georgia, but not to seek the man who had thrashed him at playing his fiddle, but his sister. Nine months later and here I am. I would also prefer if you did not lower yourself to insulting my family and taking personal jabs at them. If I were you I would stop moaning. They are all dead just like the rest of the world soon will be, so I do not know why you are complaining. Next?”
“This one is just a very simple one. How do we beat you?” Aria said, in exactly the same way she’d asked the other questions.
“You do not. Now, please no more questions from you Aria. I sense the boy has something to say.” The voice paused as I puzzled over how he knew I had a question.
“Well. Um. Why do I feel some sort of connection with you? With your voice?”
“I hoped you would ask me that. This is a real movie moment. Such a shame it will be wasted here, where nobody can see. Kyle. Are you ready?” I nodded. Why was he dragging this out? “You are my son. Say hello to your dear old pappy.”
What? He was my dad? No. Surely not? It’s true, I didn’t know my dad, but I would’ve thought that my mum would’ve mentioned that he was an evil mastermind who was close to taking over the world. It’s the kind of thing you’d mention, surely?
As if reading my mind, the voice of the Fifth Horseman spoke again. “The time for talking and thinking is over. There is not anything that you can do now. All of you must die. It is sad that you’ve been on this journey, thinking that you had hope and promise. You followed your naive little heads and thought there was hope for you, that you might survive. Well, you were wrong. You are not going to be saved. Your time is up. Say your goodbyes. I am just sorry. Sorry that I will not be there to see you perish. Enjoy your last moments on this wonderful world.”
“Spare me the lies!” retorted Aria.
There was a loud banging at the shutters. Aria and I turned to face them and I could sense that the cage behind turn in apprehension too. The rattling of the shutters stopped for a moment and silence was all that returned. No noises bounced around, nothing moved.
The shutter creaked very slowly and began to buckle. Shapes moved behind the shutter, but their noises were masked by the shutter creaking as it folded sideways. Was this the end? Would we die here, like this? Would we ever know what The Fifth Horseman looked like? Would we be able to fight our way out? There was only one way to find out and that was coming in a few minutes.
Silence fell again and so did the shutter. It wasn’t being opened, it was being knocked down with brute force. Whatever it was, we were going to meet it in a few minutes.
As the door fell finally to a stop at the ground, what had pushed it down came into sight. It was the zombies. I turned to Aria and her face was steeled. I didn’t even need to ask to know that we were going to fight to the very bitter end. I braced myself and got ready to fight what would be the last battle I’d ever fight.
Through the doors walked one zombie, scrawny and smaller than the rest. I recognised it. It was the one that saved me when I crashed out on the quad bike. Now I could see his face, I also knew who it was.
“Jason!” I shouted. “Do you recognise me?” He nodded. “Why are you here?”
“To do this.” Came a warped, twisted voice like sandpaper and glue. He made a signal with his hand and all the zombies rushed towards us.
We readied ourselves to fight to the death, but we didn’t need to. Instead of killing us, the zombies picked us up and carried us as a mob outside the warehouse. I was jostled and thrown as I was passed from zombie to zombie, but I figured that if I was to die, this was as good a way as any. I soon realised that they didn’t want to kill us, in fact, they’d somehow got Martha from the cage too, and they were very careful about handling her – she was too close to death to make a mistake or drop her.
“What are you doing with us?” I yelled over the noise when I found myself close to Jason.
“We’re saving you!” Came the answer.
So, we did the only thing we could do. We ran.