We were walking in the farmers market when the sirens went off. My father scooped up my little sister, grabbed my hand and led us to a nearby building for shelter. We made it; safe I thought to myself, for now at least. For the first few minutes the silence was deafening. Then the screams started; the cries for help, pounding on the door. There was nothing we could do. Everyone stood silently starting at the floor.
I scanned the room and took an inventory of the people. A mother and her young child, and elderly couple – I recognized them from the farmers market, a short middle-aged man – probably the same age as my father, and his wife, and a young woman in a green skirt and sweater. Then there was us; myself, my little sister, and my father.
After the first cries for help abated there was silence again — until the next wave started. This time the young woman in the green skirt and sweater ran towards the door. “We have to do something,” she cried. My father grabbed her before she could reach the door. “We all want to help, but there is nothing we can do. If we open the door then we all die.”
“He’s right.” the short middle aged man said as he stood up, reaching out his hand. “Look, we have to stay calm, just wait it out here. Once they get what they came for, they’ll leave. They always leave.”
The young woman in the green skirt and sweater became agitated. “But what if they don’t, what if they don’t leave this time.”
“He’s right,” my father chimed in, “We just have to be calm, patient. We’ll be safe here, but we should move away from the door and windows. We should search the building, see if we can find any supplies — food, flashlights, water.”
The young woman in the green skirt and sweater stormed off down one of the dark hallways. My father and the short middle-aged man agreed to split up and search the building. I wanted to go with him, but he insisted I stay and watch my little sister. Who, by the way, seemed completely unfazed by everything going on around her.
About an hour later my father and the short middle-aged man came back with a few supplies – a flashlight, some cakes that looked like they came from a vending machine and some boards and nails to secure the front door. After the door was boarded up we all sat down to eat, well, not all of us. The young woman in the green skirt and sweater hadn’t come back yet. No one seemed too worried; after all, there wasn’t really anywhere for her to go and she wouldn’t be stupid enough to try and go outside. We could still hear them out there. Scratching on the door. No one dared look outside. It was pointless, we all knew what they looked like, what they were capable of. We tried not to think about it.
The next morning I decided to do a little exploring. We were in an abandoned office building four stories high. I found my way up to the second floor. Most of the rooms were empty, but some of them still had old office furniture and equipment in them — desks, file cabinets, typewriters. I wasn’t sure how long any of it had been there, the building had been abandoned for as long as I could remember.
Smith and Smith Accounting Suite 206, as I turned the handle to enter the room at the end of the hall I heard a noise, crying, coming from inside. I opened the door and peeked my head insidie — it was the young woman in the green skirt and sweater, huddled on the floor. So this is where she ran off to.
“Are you…are you ok?” I asked. She didn’t seem to hear me, so I moved a bit closer, touching her on the shoulder.
She jumped back, startled. “What?! What do you want?”
“I heard you crying…are you ok?”