• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 10


She wakes suddenly. Her head is thrumming so much that she thinks she is still at the hanger watching the aeroplane take off. But no, she remembers the long hot journey back into the city. She tries to force open her heavy eyes but fails. She feels a knot in the pit of her stomach, bile rising in her throat. If only she knew where...

She wakes suddenly, becomes aware of vultures circling overhead. She is lying at the side of a barren, deserted road. The sun is quite high in the sky, it must be mid-afternoon. Sweat is trickling down the middle of her back, she feels for her bag, her bottled water. They have both gone. She sees only the black mask staring at her. She opens her mouth to shriek but her mouth is so dry that only a small gasp escapes. She rolls onto her side, knowing that if she does not find shade and water she will soon die. Her head is banging and she can hardly lift it, let alone pull herself up onto her feet. She crawls slowly, on her knees and elbows, taking the weight of her head in her hands as best as she can. She must keep moving forward, she knows the vultures are still circling above. She feels herself sinking again.

She begins to stir. It is cooler now, she notices a refreshing breeze playing on the back of her arms, dares to open her eyes again and there is the black mask staring at her again. Her heart is pounding, she blinks, tries very hard to focus. It is not a mask but window shutters at the end of the small room. Low sunlight filters through the slats, a ceiling fan circles overhead, circling circling... she becomes aware of someone else in the room. Where am I? she whispers.

She stirs again. Weak light filters through the shutters at the end of the room. A ceiling fan circles overhead, round and round it goes but her head is not swimming so much now, even though she has a stiff neck.



'Where am I?' she asks.

'Hush now,' is the reply as she feels a prick in the back of her hand. Vultures are circling overhead, someone in a black mask is watching over her, a voice that is vaguely familiar says, 'Hush now.'