After Z-Day – Part I – Chapter XIII

Chapter Thirteen

Location: Unknown
Date: 13 October 2016

Lucy woke slowly. She was aware, faintly, of some distant pain, some bright light, the sterile smell, but the sensations slipped through her mind like smoke.

Her eyes stuttered closed. Prised themselves open. Lucy groaned quietly, through parched lips.

Where was she? Wasn’t home, she was sure of that. Home didn’t feel like this, didn’t smell like this. She forced her eyes open again, blinking at the bright light. It was humming faintly, she noticed, and she stared at it until her eyes hurt, until her mind was a little less fuzzy.Read More »

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After Z-Day – Part I – Chapter XII

Chapter Twelve

Location: Hackney, London
Date: 12 October 2016

Naomi was making lunch when I got in. She gave me a sympathetic look as I dragged myself over to the sofa and dropped onto it, burying my face in the cushions.

“You want some?” she asked. “You should eat.”

“What is it?” I muttered into the fabric. She heard me anyway.

“Quinoa and veggies.”

Vegan, of course, because I wasn’t enough of a hypocrite as it was. My stomach clenched and I realised I hadn’t eaten…for a while. Maybe not since yesterday?Read More »

After Z-Day – Part I – Chapter XI

Chapter Eleven

Location: Hackney, London
Date: 12 October 2016

I thought about it all the way home. I got off my bus a few stops early—a child was screaming its head off and I couldn’t think—and walked the rest of the way, still dwelling on the symbol and where I’d seen it before.

It had to be recently; it didn’t feel like something I’d seen years ago. But what? I came across so many different things—I was going to have to go back over everything I’d done the last few months and work out what this was all connected to.Read More »

After Z-Day – Part I – Chapter X

Chapter Ten

Location: Waltham Forest, London
Date: 12 October 2016

My phone kept ringing. I’d put it on silent but I didn’t dare turn it off altogether—just in case. So instead, I could feel it vibrating in my hand every time someone called.

Naomi had called, but had given up after the second time. I’d sent her a text; I didn’t want to worry her too much.Read More »

Tacenda – Chapter Four

CHAPTER FOUR

scopaesthesia

(n.) the feeling of being stared at

The trees hugged the edge of the village in a way that meant Amber only realised she was crossing into it when she saw the first sign.

Welcome to Lower Cwealm. Amber paused, staring at it for a moment with a frown. Underneath, it said, Twinned with, and then instead of a town in France or Germany, as she expected, there was a word she couldn’t read.

She wasn’t even sure what alphabet it was in.Read More »

After Z-Day – Part I – Chapter IX

Chapter Nine

Location: Waltham Forest, London
Date: 12 October 2016

I slept, all in all, for maybe thirty minutes that night. By the time I got back to the flat, it was gone two, but Naomi was still awake, had waited up for me. I knew she didn’t like Lucy that much, but still, she sat with me when I cried, hugged me and offered to sit with my phone while I got some rest.

At four, I told her to go to bed. She went but kept her door open a crack and I knew it was in case anything happened, in case I did anything stupid. I couldn’t blame her for that—I wasn’t in a great frame of mind for doing sensible things.Read More »

After Z-Day – Part I – Chapter VIII

Chapter Eight

Location: Waltham Forest, London
Date: 12 October 2016

I stumbled off the night bus, not even caring about the stares that were being tossed in my direction. Lucy’s flat was off to my left, but I ran right, racing to the park I was sure she’d gone to.

It didn’t make sense and I had to go to the park—even though Jake had told me to meet him at the police station—because I had to see for myself that she wasn’t there. I’d only spoken to her a few hours before. How could she have gone?Read More »