Monday, June 13, 2011

Dead Rite chapter 63.01

Dill turned the phone off when the display began to get dim. He didn't want it to die since it was the only way Sam could get in touch but using it as a torch had been a mediocre idea at best. He fished out his cigarette lighter and flipped it open, the flame sputtering to life on the third try. He held it aloft and moved forward.

It must be a trick of the stonework, but at one point he could almost swear he heard voices. He extinguished the lighter. The air smelled of sulphur as he paused and waited for the sound to return.

A light flashed further down the tunnel, reflecting of the silicates and mica on the walls. “Is that a light down there?”

Dill shrank back.

The light at the end of the tunnel divided as one came further into the darkness. Dill froze, ending his habitual breathing half-closing his eyes lest the light reflect off them and give him away. He could do nothing about his sense of smell and hearing. The man coming toward him was rich in body fluids and meat; his intelligence almost a visible nimbus around his head.

Dill's mouth watered and he clamped his lips together to stop the drool escaping.

“Can't see anything, sir.” The man paused holding his light aloft. From this distance Dill could see it was a candle. A relief, certainly. A candle gave out only one candela of illumination, by definition. You had to be right on top of something to see it.

“Anything?” The other voice was more of a baritone as it echoed through the tunnel walls. That was interesting. Dill could visualise the sound waves bouncing. Was this how ordinary zombies sensed prey? He almost laughed. Ordinary zombies? What rot.

The closed man called back. “Nothing.” He lowered his voice, talking aloud to himself. “Why am I here? Why is it always 'off you go, sergeant'? Why does he never do the stupid bits? There could by a fifty foot drop in this tunnel and I'd never notice until I was half way down it.” He turned back.

It was all Dill could do not to run up behind him and tear his head off.

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