I slip several Valium between crusty lips and crunch them noisily. A stop gap measure to mask the anxiety of what we have to do next. More Vodka washes bitterness down a parched throat. I need water bad.
Kristine hears the rattle of my pill container and complains. No wonder her friends ditched her, they probably got tired of all the whinging.
“Are you taking more drugs?”
I refrain from pointing out the bigger concern. The motley collection of silent figures on our right.
She gives me another hard push in the back to keep me moving. If she had a cattle prod I know she’d use it. And it wouldn’t be on the lowest setting.
We’re about a third of the way along the fence when that ‘we’re not alone’ feeling dawns on her.
She sees them.
Instantly forgetting how slowly I’m moving, she scoots to my off side and hides behind my bulk. Her hands clasp my elbow in a deaths grip. That shoulder creaks.
I forge on, averting my eyes like a prude visiting a nudist colony.
A two metre fence encloses the car park inmates on one side. A shorter guard rail protects us from a ten metre sheer drop on the other. The narrowing cycle path runs between them.
We’re hemmed in though reasonably safe. Yin and Yang balances precariously.
I don't like the look of the next fifty metre stretch.
The Valium’s soothing influence begins to rest my fevered brain. I stop, propping my arms on the railing.
I should have warned Kristine before she looked down.
Below are six inbound lanes of the motorway. Hundreds of Creeps move purposely along it.
I remain detached despite the terrifying view.
Creepies tramp the highway in both directions. Some head into the city carrying small unidentifiable items. Here and there a few wait in eerie stillness, much like their car park counterparts.
Fear no longer colours my perception. I see the hosts objectively for the first time. Their apparent random patterns of movement are not punctuated by collisions or bunching. They weave complicated, harmonious patterns, efficiently navigating around each other to unknowable destinations.
Kristine freaks out enough for both of us. She remembers to whisper. Her self control is amazing. Without the drugs my throat would be screamed raw by now.
“Ahh, ahh, ahh, oh fuck, oh God, shit! This place is crawling with them. We’re goin’ back, right? Right?”
In blissful resolution I point at the bridge.
“No way! We’ll be trapped. They’re everywhere!”
“Juss alk slo ike ey do.”
Saw it in a movie. Idiotic, but what better time to test the theory.
“Walk slow? Are you kidding? That’s fucking stupid.”
That’s nice. We finally agree on something.
Leading by example I shuffle off in a Zombie-like manner dragging her with me. This strategy works for another ten metres.
I suppose a large man, wearing a helmet and huge pack, with a scared girl moulded to his side, is bound to hit a Creep’s radar eventually. The closest one, a tall bloke in a dirty black suit, has his back to us. His head rotates at the sound of our boots. We freeze like spotlighted rabbits. He evaluates us.
A rush of amphetamines clears the way for a second insight into parasite behaviour in as many minutes. The Creeps DO communicate. If my over-stimulated neurons can be trusted, I clearly see news of our presence spread without a single word or gesture from our business suited discoverer.
The ripple effect turns every Creepy’s head in our direction.
They move towards us like iron filings to a magnet.