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Friday, 23 January 2009

The Rising - Chapter 89: Dreams

Our coach was in the lead, charging round the tight bends in the road after we left the place I hoped I wouldn’t have to call home ever again.

As we sped through Blackchapel, I looked out of the window and spotted Dave’s car in the car park outside the hotel. I didn’t know how or when I was going to see him again but it was comforting to know where an ally could be found.

I turned my attention to the pile of clothes I’d sat down next to. Upon boarding the coach, Peter had told everyone to find a change of clothes that looked good for them. Mine was a dark grey suit and blue shirt. Taking the hint from everyone else on board that privacy isn’t a God-given right of vampires, I stripped down and slipped into my new attire.

As I removed my trousers I managed to transfer the syringes in my sock to the inside pocket of the suit jacket without being seen. The suit wasn’t a perfect fit but was a little too big instead of a little too small, which is always the preferable option if you’re not picking your own clothes.

At the front of the coach, Peter got to his feet and picked a handful of medical zip-up cases from the seat next to him.

Listen up everyone!’ he announced and started to walk down the coach, handing out a case to every one of the troops, ‘I’m going to give each one of you one of these cases. Each case contains twenty-five syringes. There will be no more than two hundred targets on the plane, including the crew. You will each be responsible for treating twenty targets. Your reserved seats are arranged so that your targets will be seated in the rows across from you and behind you. Remember: work fast. You will only have five minutes from the moment the gas is released.’

Peter returned to the front of the coach and sat down. I inspected the case he’d dropped onto the empty seat next to me. I unzipped the case to reveal my ammunition and a plane ticket. The movement of the coach made the vampire blood shake around inside the syringes.

Certain death for twenty-five people. I hope you can live with yourself, Tom.

It had been a long day and I was sure I was going to have a long night so I decided to close my eyes for a few seconds. I wondered where Jane and Doctor Owen were and hoped they were safe.

Have they already met up with Doctor Forrest? Are they hard at work on the cure for me right now?

I doubted the answer to either of those questions was yes but I allowed myself a little hope. For the first time in twenty-four hours my thoughts turned to Sarah, my wife who had been killed five years ago. I pictured us sitting in the park, eating dinner in our favourite restaurant and doing all the things we loved to do together.

She was beautiful. I told myself then as I do now that I didn’t deserve her. She was punching way below her weight when she settled for me and I wished she was still around today for me to tell her how much I loved her.

My thoughts then turned to someone else from my past. Michael Hudson. The man who had brutally beaten my beautiful Sarah to death with a baseball bat. I could see him standing in our kitchen, splattered with blood as Sarah lay on the floor, seconds from death. Michael knelt down beside her. He leaned over her and whispered something in her ear, then opened his mouth and sunk his teeth into her neck.

I lurched awake and heard Peter shout, ‘We’re here, people. Let’s go.’

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