Tuesday, 13 March 2007


Eventually he managed to pull one of the wooden boards free from its hold. He levered it from the wall and shouted:

‘I’ll be back,’

before he disappeared from sight.

The board found its place against the ancient brickwork with a loud THWACK.

I was alone, outside, in the dimming light.

I held my breath and listened.

My aural abilities were notably improved since I had become ill. I suppose my body was compensating for the loss of the use of my limbs. With my developed sense of hearing I could identify very subtle signs of danger allowing me extra time to take any necessary action. Although what good this would do should I find myself without my companion, subsequently unable to run away, I knew not.

I listened out for the sounds of disturbance. If there were someone, or something else in there, his ambush could well cause a ruckus and he could find himself in trouble.

I knew the chances of finding someone alive in there were slim as we’d checked around the outside of the building before Mike decided to break in. At the first signs of the deluge, someone had taken the time to seal up the windows and doors. Once this building had been well loved and well cared for. Who ever had been responsible for it had made sure it remained undisturbed and water tight and this was the state we’d found it in That aside, coming across living people was rare these days. Even if they’d survived at first the decay in the water would have got to them eventually as it had to me. Either that or one of the animals.

I was fortunate to come across Mike when I did, or rather I was fortunate that he had come across me. Mike had trained with the Army when he was younger, years ago, when the war on Iraq had first started. He’d been shown what to do in the case of nuclear attack. He’d been given antidotes to neutralise the effects of chemical warfare. He’d endured the desert and controlled explosions and being half drowned during survival simulations. Handy skills in the face of an apocalypse.

I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. It was too dark now to see much. There was a noise in one of the trees to my right. A bird probably. I reassured myself. Not really wanting to know any more than that.

Another noise to my right.

My heart began to pound a little.

I knew I had to calm myself down. Mike had told me that the best thing to do was to keep my heart rate as slow and steady as possible to keep the poison from the wounds travelling around my body.

When Mike found a suitable place he was going to treat the wounds but until then I just had to keep still and calm.

Another sound.

As calmly as I could I assessed the situation and possible danger in the close vicinity. The noise was not of something that was fast moving towards me. The noise was not directly by me. It was still some distance away. There was a chance that the thing that was making the noise was not even aware that I was there. The noise was not growling or howling or panting. I was glad of this as I had witnessed a pack of once docile, once domestic dogs tearing a young woman limb for limb when she’d disturbed their den one afternoon. The noise was a delicate noise. The shifting of a leaf, a light leap from one branch to another. There was no sniffing or snorting. More reason to be glad. Pigs had made their way into the suburbs once they’d had their fill of the countryside. In the absence of anyone to bring their swill they ate anything they came across.

I wondered if they’d eat each other eventually.

Another sound. But this time from inside the Church. Clattering metal hitting a stone floor.

Mike spoke.


My hearing tuned out from the rustles and cracks of the open air and into the sound of Mike emerging from the building.

As he came closer to me I could see that he’d retrieved a large golden crucifix from inside.

‘Look what I found.’

He said.

‘A bit late for that now,’

I replied,

‘God took off a long time ago.’

(Written in response to Christopher Campell's recent exhibition 'Epoch'.)

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