“Where are they?” I ask, looking around the very empty terminal. The group we were with have disappeared and whoever was shooting has gone as well.
“I don’t…” Colin starts to say and then Max grabs us both and pulls us down below the counter.
“Shhh,” he hisses.
In the background I can hear a door opening. Footsteps come closer.
“The manifest says that there ought to be three more.” The voice is very loud and harsh as it echoes around the large room.
“Yeah, but loads never got on.” This voice is low and smooth. He sounds less cruel but I am not going to stand up and say hi.
“Maybe we ought to do a sweep. Perhaps we can find them.” He sounds sort of excited and I wonder what has him riled up. His pace has picked up as well. He is coming straight for us.
I want to run, but Max seems to sense that I’m going to move. He puts his arms around me and pulls me into a hug. I am stuck. “Wait,” he whispers into my ear. “Calm down.” I realise that my breathing has become fast and shallow. The problem is that I can smell something and I think I know what it is but I don’t want to acknowledge it. Colin leans toward me.
“Match your breathing to Max’s.”
I can hear his steady heartbeat and feel his breathing. He slows his a little more and I try to match it. Colin looks at Max and gives a tight smile. I know I am on the edge of a panic attack. It is under control but it feels tenuous.
“I can’t be bothered.” The smooth voice says. They are almost directly in front of us. I concentrate on my breathing.
“I think we ought to.”
“Nah.” There is a pause and we can hear them walk in front of the desk. We can’t see them, which means they can’t see us.
“Be careful, you get that shit on your shoes I ain’t letting you in the van.” Smooth voice says.
They start to move away and as they do I can feel myself relax slightly. Colin looks at Max and then behind him. Max turns and I look. The door behind the desk is open.
From around the corner we hear one say. “What about this door? Where does it go?”
Colin’s eyes widen and then I am moving. Max has practically picked me up and we are leaving the area behind the desk. There on the floor, is a large sticky puddle, dark red. The smell is blood. The front of the desk is covered in blood. I draw in a breath and I know I’m going to scream. Max covers my mouth with one large hand and then we are running.
There is blood. Sticky and spreading. There is a lot of blood.