The Grey Office
She couldn’t really feel the device but she knew that it was there. It must have been microscopic to enter her bloodstream so easily and painlessly, and she was uneasy about its presence in her body. But the man was blunt and dismissive – he had the manner of an impatient doctor.
The woman seemed to be wary of him, so held back the questions that she wanted to ask. When he stood up, it was clear that she was supposed to follow him. He took her through a long corridor. This whole building felt military – or governmental at least.
Nothing was there for decoration or pleasure, it was as if things were only around because there was a job to be done. Charmless functionality. She was taken to an office which instantly looked out of place in this building. A nameplate indicated that this was the man’s office and it was full of high-tech equipment. Still, the office was grey and without character. The man seemed to have no need to show his personality here. There were no family pictures, no artwork, no attempt to create any life in this room.
This office was like nothing you’d see at home. These were not laptops and screens that you would buy in your high street store. This was something completely different – almost as if they came from a different world.
It was clear that this visit was not yet over for the woman. But in three hours’ time she would wake up in her local hospital with no memory of these events. Her husband would be on his way to see her after she’d supposedly passed out when giving blood. That wouldn’t feel strange to her at all and she would have no memory of what had taken place earlier. Except there would be a lingering feeling that made her feel uneasy. She wouldn’t be able to remember having given blood in the past eighteen years.
The Holiday Highlight
David and Harriet didn’t really care what we did on holiday – they were just happy that we were all together. Mum was not at work and the garden seemed to be a place for great adventures, even in this terrible weather.
As part of the holiday we had a special visit organized. We didn’t have to pay for it, but we did have to turn up at an agreed time, so that they were expecting us. Mum and Dad were really excited about it. I wasn’t sure what to expect and David and Harriet didn’t care anyway. We were going to an old nuclear bunker which lay hidden in the Scottish countryside. According to Mum and Dad, it was a relic from something called the Cold War, when countries didn’t get on as well as they do now. From what I could see in the news, countries still didn’t get on that well.
Apparently, it was a huge warren of concrete tunnels buried under the ground, the size of a football pitch. At one time it would have been used as a shelter in a nuclear attack. These days, we didn’t need it any more.
A Glimpse In The Darkness
I wish I wore a watch because I have no idea how long I’ve been here now. Never in my life have I known such impenetrable blackness. I used to be scared in my bedroom at night after Nat died, but even then, I could clearly see the objects in my bedroom, though you’d still describe the room as ‘dark’.
Something has been bothering me. I’ve been distracted by fear, hunger and the silence. But I keep thinking back to those last moments before the huge iron doors swung shut. David was right at the end of the long concrete corridor, behind as always. Dad had propelled Harriet along the dimly lit concrete tunnel when he’d seen what was happening outside.
As I stood in the mouth of the doorway, looking up at Mum who was desperately rushing towards the closing doors, I’m sure I saw something else. I’m doubting myself because I know I’m exhausted. But I’m certain she was with a child. The child was my kind of age and height and had a familiar look. Like I’d known them once, but we hadn’t seen each other for a while. I’m sure it was Nat.