“We have to find them,” I say, still unable to tear my eyes from the sight of the bodies. I am breathing through my mouth. I have to. This close to the doors I can smell them. It is a coppery sweet smell but over the top is the sharp corrupt smell of death. I once drove past an abattoir when I was visiting a rural village in Wales. The smell had been unlike anything I had experienced before and this reminds me of it. I am going to have to move or throw up. My stomach rolls and I realise that even if I move I might throw up. The guys are already behind me, far enough away to lessen the smell. I just have to make sure though.
I distance myself mentally. I’m not looking for a body, just a pair of shoes smaller than the others. I force myself to do it. The guys won’t. Each pair I scrutinise. Each corner of the room. Nothing.
I walk back to the guys. “He really isn’t there.”
“We have to leave.” Max ignores my statement.
“We have to help the others,” I gasp.
“How?” Max asks. “Look at us. We are three people without weapons. We have no idea what is going on and the army is hunting us.”
“We need information,” Colin says.
“What about the others?” I can’t believe that they are going to ignore them. “We have to help.”
Colin meets my eyes and steps closer. “Bitsy, if we help we are going to die. The army will see us. And they will shoot.” He uses one hand to point behind me. I don’t look, I’ve already seen and I really wish I could forget it. I wish that everything was normal. Instead I feel as if I am in some sort of hell.
“We have to try.” But my voice is weak and I already know that I will give in. I want to live.
Max is watching us. “What if we search for information, to find out what has happened, and if we find the others then we can work out what to do then.”
It’s a compromise but it is the best I think we can do. I nod. Guilt is crawling at my gut. I want to turn the corner and see the group, all arguing and being obnoxious. I would even welcome the annoying child. But the reality is that the airport is quiet, deathly quiet.
“So what do we do now?” I ask.
“We leave,” Max says.
“Can’t use the front doors,” Colin says.
“What about the loading bay?” I ask.
“That’s where we ran from. I think we are going to have to use one of the emergency exits,” Max says. “Do either of you have a car in the car park?”
I shake my head. I was going to use a taxi.
“Yeah,” Colin says. “And it’s on the ground floor.”
Max grins. “Then I think there is hope for us yet.”
I just hope that we can spot the group or at least find out what has happened to them.