10 August 2008

Fatal Cure - Chapter 3

My last memory is of toilet paper? Hmmm, there was a roll in my pack. Did I need some? Where was I up to? I’d unclipped the rucksacks’ belt but it still hung off my aching shoulders.
I lower it to the cement and straighten up feeling so light I’m afraid I’ll float away. The ‘urban’ camouflaged, three foot high bag of crap mocks me. It knows I have to pick it up again soon...
...should have gone for the ‘woodland’ variation seeing as Mother Nature hadn’t lost any time reseeding the city’s concrete and steel. As soon as man stopped killing her offspring with chemicals and constant movement she’d taken over...
...my hands are amongst a jumble of pill bottles and packets that filled the back pocket. I’d made a nice haul.
Adderall, the fast acting kind, floated into my hands and several capsules snapped from the foil. I expertly dry swallowed them.
An internal nitrous valve begins to move. Hold on to your arse, speed racer is coming to back you up.
I needed this boost. That Methadone I’d taken in the pharmacy to calm my nerves had left me all doughy.
What else did Santa have in his sack?
Interesting. A prescription of Kadian. That would come in useful later tonight at my post-raid celebration, arranged by me, for me. If I made it.
A sea of other incomprehensible bottles and packets lay within. I guess I’d checked their ingredients in the Rapid Reference drug book behind the pharmacy counter. They must have something good in them. This intravenous stuff shouldn’t be in here, I hated needles. Anti-psychotics, (just in case), ‘feel good’ tablets, ‘I don’t feel so good’ capsules. They make it, I’ll take it...
...the danger of overdosing was fairly high for the average inexperienced user. I didn’t care. What’s the point in moderating your intake when offing yourself is all you think about? My mental machinery was in a bad way. I couldn’t handle this lonely new world. Better to OD than watch myself go crazy...
Oh thank God, here it comes. Oh baby, hang on tight. Goodbye depressing thoughts.
An Adderall rush is a freight train of napalm transmitted in crystal clear, high definition colour, with surround sound turned up to eleven.
Man, it feels GREAT. Awareness snaps back. Energy increases, vitality soars, pulse rate races, heart galloping, breathing accelerates.
Everything I’d done in the last hour replayed at high speed. From the second I’d stepped out of the pharmacy, slapping my visor down, a full bag on my back and a cheerful tune on my lips...
...The host, a skinny, middle-aged bloke, long unkempt hair, bit of a hippie, standing outside. He’d probably watched me tootling around the drug counter for the last twenty minutes; waiting. They were good at waiting, lucky for them because they aren’t very good at opening doors.
A bit preoccupied with sorting out the rucksack buckles, I bumped into him. He whispered something. They all do it. Random gibberish. They’d never said anything that I’d ever been able to understand. I figured the ‘thing’ inside them hadn’t worked out how to operate the speech function properly and, more to the point, I was usually running away very fast by then. But, in that moment before utter panic claimed me, I thought the hissing sound coming from his lips sounded like my name.
I’d squealed in fright, losing my cool in a rush.
“What? Huh? Fuuuuuck!”
My paralysis broke as he grabbed me. The curse screamed into his face did no damage. Pushing him away and whacking him across the face with the rifle butt did. He fell over giving me time to aim the rifle at his chest and fumble with the trigger. I fired. The round exploded through his lower stomach. I ran.
Another freak got me around the corner. I’d been so busy looking over my shoulder to see if the gut shot hippie was following that I stupidly ran into his arms like a long lost lover. This was too easy for them.
This guy clamped me in a friendly drunks’ bear hug. I must have dropped the rifle here I think. Blank eyes bored into mine through the plexiglass shield, and his fetid breath invaded the helmet, filling my lungs. God, the stench. Smelled like it came straight from Satan’s arse. His lips and gums were grey. What the fuck do these things eat?
Me if I didn’t do something constructive!
I slammed a knee into his groin ineffectually. He didn’t even blink. I tried a head butt instead. My nose bumped hard against the inside of the visor. His nose erupted blood and broke his hold. I searched desperately for another weapon in my utility belt and happened upon the chromed hatchet with the super comfortable rubber grip.
The fabled red mist descended. I belted him on the forehead with the blunt end.
Shit, wrong way around you dumb fuck. Blood pumped from the injury and rocked his head back. I reversed the blade and proceeded to hack into Stinky Breath.
I suppose that’s where this sheen of sticky blood that covered my leathers came from. Messy business.
He never gave up, even after I inflicted sickening wounds involving gouts of blood. My arms were getting tired so I'd stepped back and swung with all my strength, hoping to end the altercation by removing his head. Didn’t quite work out; the blade stuck tight in his neck. Don’t believe everything you see in the movies. Put him out of action this time though.
I’d had enough for one day yet I couldn’t rest, another one came at me. He powered through a nearby garden gate, arms outstretched in welcome, leaving no time to retrieve the hatchet jammed in Stinky Breaths’ spine.
Touchy-feely altercations weren't my strong point. I tore out a pistol, firing double handed as I retreated in an awkward sideways gallop. Bang, bang, bang, bang. My wrists were being hammered, I’m not even aiming. He was about thirty metres away when one of my wild shots dropped him stone dead.
I’d resisted the urge to stop and admire my skill. Instead I toddled off down a skinny side street, fast. I took corners at random through the rabbit warren of tight alleys and high fences. I didn’t bother with my map. There were no street signs. Bollards marked a pedestrian access lane. I peered down it and saw a car park and a line of shops. I headed that way. Shops meant main roads and main roads meant I could get my bearings and work out where the hell I was.
The granny from Hell stood in the middle of the car park. Shit, I’d have to go past her. I gave her a chance. I warned her to stay put while I tried to go around. She bravely ignored the threats and took up the chase.
I’m positive these bastards spread out and hunt in this tag team method on purpose. I was stuffed. I couldn't run anymore. Drop the pack? No! Must keep the pack.
A few over-the-shoulder shots weren’t as effective this time. Jog a few steps, reload, turn and fire. Try to hit the chest area. Parasites are supposed to be in the chest. Jesus, out of bullets. That’s when I tripped. Twenty kilos of crap on my back flattened my lungs like pancakes. A few seconds later she landed on me like a front rower.

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