It began, much as these events do, in the morning. The darkness was fading slowly into a dawn as we struggled out of our sleeping blankets. The winter had turned to spring then summer and we had put away our furs and our tents. Most of us now slept under the open sky and only the guards kept small fires burning around the edges of the camp throughout the night. Fire was still the best deterrent against predators, except for the creatures, of course. Most predators, including the packs of dogs, feared fire, but the creatures feared nothing and would stop at nothing.
We thought we’d managed to outrun, or move away, from the creatures now. The last Split was days behind and we’d not seen any signs of a Split nearby. Even so, none of the recent towns or villages we’d come across had contained any people. Just the packs of dogs wandering each street and taking over the houses, shops and every other building they could get into.
‘If there are no creatures,’ Jen said, eyeing the dawn’s slow creeping, ‘where have all the people gone?’
I shrugged as I prepared a fire for our breakfast. I shook the coffee tin; we could get another couple of cups out of it. Although, it would be closer to water with a vague memory of coffee than actual coffee itself. We even had bacon too.
I noticed Jen was quiet… for once and glanced across at her. She was staring at something behind me.
I turned, half-expecting creatures poised to tear me apart.
Instead, I saw people…. They looked liked soldiers, all armed with automatic rifles, spread out in a ring around our camp. Amongst them, Bert, Jeff and Mary, our guards stood with their hands behind their heads. One of the armed men held a pistol against Mary’s head, watching me, waiting for our surrender.