There are figures up ahead.
On the lonely stretch of black road are a crowd of figured, all varying in different sizes and shapes. I can't see their faces, nor can I hear them, so they remain figures until we begin to move slowly towards them.
"Do you think they're infected?" Asks Lyra as I adjust the zip of my jacket, keeping my eyes straight ahead of me.
I stop and turn to face her, "I don't know. But, if they're infected Lyra, take Chance."
"I can hear you," Chance interrupts.
"Take Chance and get him to the hospital," I carry on, "you could probably try going around the smaller back streets." I'm slightly worried how Lyra would find the hospital worst comes the worst, but whichever way she goes she's going to have to get to a hospital at some point, right?
"Come on," I stride up the road and leave Lyra to wheel Chance behind me. I've become suddenly aware that I have no weapon on me; I don't even have the blade after I dropped it back at the prison. Before I know it, we approach the figures, and I take a few steps back.
There are about fifty of them, all lines up along the road in a big crowd. At the front of the crowd stands a person with corpse grey skin that is pulled thin and weary. His eyes are bruised and red, like two ripe tomatoes have taken the place of his eyes. The clothes that he stands in are ripped and worn down to rags, but there is something about the way he stands and the way he looks at us that only says one word. Danger.
Seconds stretch slowly into minutes, and it feels like an eternity of waiting. Waiting for what? I don't know. After what feels like hours, the man steps forwards and snarls, bearing a set of black sharpened teeth.
"What are you doing?" He hisses, hunching over and walking forwards slightly. Every bone and muscle in by body screams to run, run away and never look back. I want to throw up, but I swallow the bile that rises in my throat and keep it down. I don't answer, and when he realises that I'm not going to answer he roars loudly. Behind him, the other people come closer, so close that I can smell their stench of rotting apples.
"You have trespassed little lady. Don't you remember the rule?"
I glance at Lyra, who has gone so stiff that she looks dead. She's going into shock. Crap.
"I...I don't know-" I begin.
The man, or whatever he is, looks behind him and says something under his breath. Before I know it, my head hits the floor with a sickening thwump, and the world goes black.