“I’m not the monster,” Dee says, and for a moment I know what she is talking about. I mean the real monsters are outside or even the man in front of me. He was part of this, but still I can’t trust her.
Maybe it is the desperate look or the fact she finds it difficult to look at me, her gaze sliding over mine as if she has something to hide. Fully dressed I look behind her at the lengthening shadows.
“What did you find?” Max asks, looking at me, but not turning his back on Dee.
“Well, they are there.”
“What?” Dee shouts, shocked. “You talked to them?”
I nod. “And a guy who offered us help.”
“Who?” Max asks, eyes narrowing in suspicion.
“Well,” I say. “That’s the problem. His friends are at the Tate Modern and he said they would escort us to the WHO. He didn’t say but I think they were military.”
Max shakes his head.
“I know,” I say. “And we will have to make our way to the Tate Modern.”
“Aren’t the WHO sending help?” Dee asks.
“No,” I say.
“But…” She starts but I decide to cut her off. I am tired and hungry.
“We need to find somewhere safe to stay the night,” I say, avoiding any questions or answers I don’t want to hear. I don’t know who to trust.
Max looks at me and nods.
“I know somewhere,” Dee says.
Our attention is on her, but she is looking outside, at the growing darkness.
“I’ve been clearing it out.”
She sets off toward the back of the kitchens. We follow but I feel as alone as I did outside. More so. I have a feeling that I’m about to shut myself into a small space with two people I don’t really know. I want desperately to trust Max but I don’t know how I can.
“Can I trust you?” I ask as he walks beside me.
“Yes,” he rumbles.
But I don’t know if I can.
He slows and looks in my direction. “I know you can’t… But you can and I want to earn your trust.”
“Okay,” I say, wondering if I am developing a crush on the man. He isn’t my type. I normally like them skinny and sophisticated. Max is more like a bear than having cat-like grace that I look for, but somehow his presence is comforting. I feel safer with him around. And he has saved me, a couple of times.
Ahead of us Dee has stopped in front of a metal door.
“It’s the freezer,” she says.
Pulling it open I see that there is a handle on the inside. It is cold and I can see that it is mostly empty except for a shelving unit in the middle of the room.
“I wasn’t going to move it but with all of us in here it’ll be more comfortable if we do.”
“Let’s just move it to one side,” I suggest.
“Why not get rid of it?” Dee demands.
“Because shelves can be useful…” I say. But what I’m thinking is that we could stock up with food and water. I’m hungry again.
Max nods to the other end as he grasps it. I don’t try to lift it. Instead I move it across the floor, wincing at the grating noise as it scrapes along the concrete.
Dee watches us. “What now?”
“Food, water and blankets,” I say, my voice echoing around the twelve foot room. It is surprisingly big for a freezer, but then I suppose it is needed for a hospital this size.
We leave and go on our own foraging adventures. It would be great if we could stick together, not least because I could keep an eye on them, but we are running out of time. As the light fades I run toward the drinks and snatch up a few. Taking off my jacket I fashion it into a sort of bag and fill it with water and fruit drinks. There are also some stale looking sandwiches. I pick them up too. I stagger back with the bag and into the freezer. Max is there putting his finds on a shelf. Dee appears at the doorway and places a bucket inside.
“Sorry, it’s just I don’t trust you.”
I watch in surprise and horror as the door swings closed with a click.
Max hasn’t moved but the look on his face is not one of surprise.
“What?” I ask, but there is no answer, just the sound of our breathing. You see as the door swung closed the light went out. We are standing in complete darkness. I can’t see anything.