“So I guess we walk?” Max says, but he makes no move to open the door.
No one says anything; we just look out of the windows. We are in a suburban street, the houses are terraces but not workers cottages, instead they are large and plush. It’s obvious that there is money here. What is odd is that there are very few cars. Normally we would be hard pushed to find a parking space but there are dozens.
“Where are all the cars?” I ask.
“Don’t know,” Colin says.”But it is very strange.”
I can’t help a bubble of laughter that escapes me. It is slightly hysterical. “Strange?” This whole day has been a nightmare and I don’t think I can wake up. This is my reality.
Colin is watching me. “You okay?”
I nod. I don’t want to say anything. If I do then I may cry. And once I start I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish.
“We are going to have to walk,” Colin says. “Does anyone know where we are?”
I shake my head.
Max looks at the houses. “Maybe somewhere near Sipson Road?”
Colin raises an eyebrow in surprise. “I didn’t realise we had got that far.”
Max just shrugs. “Not sure…”
“Where is Sunbury?” I ask.
“Behind us,” Max says. “About a half hour car journey.”
I look behind us at the smoke that is hanging over the airport. It obscures the area completely.
“I guess I am not going to get there easily.”
“You will though,” Colin says and he smiles.
“So we are walking then?” I say, trying to sound happier than I feel.
The others smile and we open the doors. The first thing I notice is that the air smells of burning, but here it is most like burning hair. Max takes a deep breath.
“Fibreglass,” he says. “Burning fibreglass.”
“I thought it smelt of hair,” I say and then I realise what I have just said. I put a hand to my mouth and my eyes go round. Colin reaches toward me and holds my arm, giving me a slight shake.
“It is just fibreglass,” he says.
I nod, but the idea is there in my mind, resting like a malignant growth. I know it will bloom at night, sending me into a dream that will terrify me. You see I have always had nightmares, ‘night terrors’ they said at the sleep centre. All I know is that it feels as if I can’t move and something is there in the room with me. I have never been physically attacked but it took a long time before I was able to get over the anxiety. Now it happens less than once a month, but tonight feels like it will be a bad one. Not that I’m surprised.
“Fibreglass,” I mumble in affirmation.
Colin nods. “Right,” he says. “Where to?”
“We need information,” Max says.
“So,” Max points at a house across the road, “let’s ask.”
The house across the way looks like an ordinary terrace but the lower downstairs net curtain is blowing in the breeze. Except there is no breeze and the window isn’t open.
“Ring the bell,” Colin says.
“You are the most non-threatening of us,” he says.
“Great,” I mumble and walk toward the house.