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Emergency: Entry #1 – Trapped

By: Paul Jackson
Emergency – Trapped

Day 1

“What’s going on?  What’s all that commotion?”

“Don’t get so close to the window, they might see you.”

“Is that a helicopter?”

“Jon, please come away from the window.”

“It’s ok love, we’re safe up here.  The barrier they’ve thrown up across the road is pretty impressive.”

 

“I know, you said.  I still don’t feel safe.  We could have left you know.”

“Look, we’ve discussed this.  Where would we’ve gone?  Nowhere is any safer than anywhere else.  I’d rather be here, at home, than in one of those bloody refuge camps that they’ve set up.  You’ve seen them on the telly, awful, queuing for everything.”

“I know we talked about it and we agreed to stay here, but I feel so exposed.  I know there’s barriers and soldiers, but that didn’t stop it all getting out of hand in London.”

“Come on, they weren’t ready for it when it happened, they weren’t prepared.  Now the authorities know what’s likely to go on they’re prepared.”

“Really?  You’re pretty naive sometimes.”

“Let’s just say I’m more optimistic.  Hold on, did you hear that?  That popping sound, is that gunfire?  Turn on the TV.”

“Back now to those reports of a more serious incident in Central London.  The Police have confirmed that the death toll has now risen to 56.  Justin what have the police been saying?”

“Well Hugh the situation is fairly chaotic here, I don’t if you’re seeing these pictures, but it seems as if the barriers thrown up by the police are being tested severely in at least two….”

“Why did you turn it off?”

“I don’t care what’s happening in London.  What frequency is the local radio station?”

“Why would I know that?  I only listen to Radio 4.  Maybe there’s something on the web.”

“You know we’ve not been able to get a connection for the last day or so.”

“Sorry, I forgot.  I might take another wander down the hill.  Don’t pull that face, it’s not scary.  Why don’t you come with me?  You’ve not been out of the house since all this started.”

“I don’t feel safe out there.”

“Look, nothing’s going to happen to us.  This will last another couple of days, maybe a week, and once they’re back in control it will be like nothing happened.  You should try and be a little more positive.  It’s exciting, boring normality has gone and anything could happen.”

“You just said it can’t last and nothing is going to happen!  If you’re going to be delusional at least try and get your story straight.  And don’t even think about calling all those dead people in London nothing.  You don’t seem to understand what’s going on, everything is going to be different.”

“That’s what I’m saying, our boring regular lives have been blow away and something new is happening.”

“Different, but not better.”

“Come on, it’s going to be ok, you’ll see.  Come on, stop crying, I promise nothing’s going to happen to us.  How could anything happen to such beautiful people, the world will not let such style and grace be snuffed out.”

“For God’s sake.”

“It worked though, you’re smiling again.”

“I’m not smiling, I’m fighting the urge to kill you.”

“Looked like a smile to me.  Let’s get some fresh air.  Maybe Rob and Jenny might want a walk too?”

“Okay, but do we have to drag Mork and Mindy along?”

“Now, now my dear put the tiger back in its cage.  They’re good people.”

“They’re dull and dress the same.”

“No they don’t.  We both know the real reason they bug you is that Jenny has her eye on me.”

“As I said delusional.”

“Who?  Me or her?”

“She doesn’t fancy you, I’m the only one with that affliction.”

“While I’m thinking of it did you check to see if that camping stuff is in the loft?”

“You were the last one to use it, don’t you remember, when you were up in Scotland about a year ago.  I’ve not touched anything since then.  I thought you said this mess wouldn’t last?”

 “I don’t think it will, but there’s nothing wrong with being prepared.  I’m pretty certain I still have that wind-up stuff, the torch and radio.  You remember the stuff you were ribbing me about.  I’ve even got that little solar panel charger.”

“You really are enjoying this aren’t you?”

“It is something different at least, can’t you feel the butterflies in your stomach.  It’s like when you were a kid, playing hide and seek, that uncertainty about what’s going to happen.  That tingling sense of hysteria, an edgy uncertainty, that’s pretty exhilarating.”

“Yes, but that was hide and seek.  The worse that could happen then was being found, now it’s dangerous and you don’t seem to understand that.”

 

Day 2

“What happened?  Jon what happened?”

“Hold on, I need to…. give me a moment to….get..”

“Do you want a drink of water?  You’re looking a bit pale.”

“Water would be good.”

“What’s on your hand?  Is that blood?”

“Is it?  I must have… I mean I fell over in the courtyard.”

“Sit down.  Here wrap this round your hand while I get a plaster.  What’s happening, why were you running?  Jon tell me, tell me what’s happening.”

“Where’s the water?”

“Stop changing the subject.  It’s started happening here hasn’t it? All that stuff going on in the south, it’s finally reached us hasn’t it?  Tell me!”

“Ok!  Ok, just give me a moment.”

“God you’re irritating.  Hold out your hand I need to put a plaster on the cut.  Jesus, what did you fall on?”

“Some glass I think, a window had shattered in one of the shops.”

“Shattered.  By what?”

“A bullet, I think.”

“Jon, please just tell me what’s going on?”

“I don’t know, I really don’t know.  There was so much smoke, noise, shouting, it was chaos.”

“O God, God.  Have they broken through?”

“I really couldn’t tell.  I don’t think so.  They were planning to call up some helicopters, but no one seemed to know what was going on.  Who’s that?”

“It’s probably Rob and Jenny, I said you were going down the hill to see what was happening.”

“Hello, is there anyone there?”

“We’re in the kitchen Rob, come on through.  Is Jenny with you? “

“No, she’s downstairs trying to pick up information from the radio.  It’s hard to know what’s really happening now the television is dead.  What’s it like down on the line Jon?”

“I was just saying, I don’t really know, but it’s not good.  I think we should maybe start blocking off the entrances.”

“No, really?  You think it’s that serious.”

“Shit Jonny, I told you we should have left last week.”

“Left to go where?  We only know people down south and fuck knows what’s going on there now.”

“We could have headed north?”

“Don’t you remember all the traffic, panic and fighting, all that stuff they were reporting on?”

“Look guys we’re here now and arguing won’t change that.”

“Thank you Doctor Phil”

“Jonny!”

“Sorry Rob, I didn’t mean that.  I’m a little stressed.”

“It’s fine, considering what’s going on I’m surprised we’re all still sane.”

“Hi.  I just let myself in, the door was open.”

“Hey Babe!”

“Jenny, Jon.”

“We’re just discussing the situation.”

“Yes, well I’m not sure that I’m the bringer of glad tidings.  You might want to turn on the radio.  Switch it to the shortwave, up a bit, there you go.”

“This is an emergency broadcast.  The government is abandoning London and all essential personnel will be transferred to Scotland.  A state of martial law is now in operation and the armed forces have assumed control in all counties south of Oxfordshire.  A curfew is in place between 8 in the evening and 8 in the morning.  Only those with essential business should be out at these times.  It is also likely that power and water supplies could be affected across much of England, particularly in those counties south of Oxfordshire.  For more information please retune to local radio stations.”

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