“She said nothing else, just that you are gone once you catch it,” I say.
“Gone… That could mean anything?” Max exclaims.
Colin stays thoughtful, just looking around us.
“What?” I say, noticing Colin’s wariness. “You expecting a horde of zombies to appear.”
I say it with a smile but when he looks at me his face is very serious. “I don’t know.”
“What?” I say, shock filtering through me like ice water.
“Well,” Colin says, still scanning the area with wary eyes. “We don’t know anything.”
“So, we have to find out,” Max says.
“Where?” I say. I can feel the frustration building. We have been around and around this conversation and it is getting us nowhere.
“We need somewhere with power,” Max says.
I look up and down the street. There is no sign of any power or any people anywhere.
“If we had power than we could go online.”
Online… “No,” I say suddenly. “All we need is a smart phone!”
How could I have forgotten? My smart phone will access the internet. It is as if I have brain freeze, my mind has not been thinking logically. Going back to the car I reach for my bag and fumble inside. In my defence I don’t use the phone much, just for emails, but I should have worked it out. As I reach for it I just hope that there is a full battery. Flipping it on I wait a moment. There is three quarters of a battery and I sigh with relief. It is short lived as it flashes, no signal.
“I can’t connect,” I say. The guys are looking over my shoulder and sigh.
“Mine says the same,” Colin says.
“Why didn’t you say?” Max asks.
Colin just shrugs. It reminds me that I don’t know anything about these guys. Only that I have spent the last hour and a half with them. I check the time again. An hour and a half, that is all it has been since we landed. It feels like ages.
“What about WiFi?” Max says.
“No power,” Colin reminds him.
“I know, but what about somewhere with power.”
“Hospitals have generators…” Max says.
“They stop the signal, some sort of jamming device,” I say. I only know this because I had sprained my ankle last year. Sitting in A&E, I had been annoyed that there was no way to check my email.
“Not in the wards,” Max says. “And anyway there will be information there. Maybe even an emergency centre.”
I nod, although I feel uneasy. There are no sounds of sirens or cars. Surely we aren’t too far from the fire to hear something…
“Where’s the nearest hospital?” I ask. I am not sure about this area.
Max points up the road, away from the smoke, Heathrow and further from my friend.
“Hillington,” he says.
“How far?” Colin says.
“Half an hour by car.”
“What’s that, an hour on foot?” Colin says.
Max nods and I sigh. We have to get answers but I feel at a loss the further away from Mel we go. Still as the guys go back to the car and get a water bottle each, I join them, taking two. Luckily my bag will hold them. Then we set out. I keep an eye on the houses, looking for any sign of life, any sign of a curtain twitching, anything.