Sunday, 16 December 2012

Chapter seventeen


Christiana stared at the bottom of her empty glass. 

“That is the fifth pint of water I have drunk.” She said. “I officially need to pee.”

“You’re going to have to hold on,” Jason said as he mixed up the fourth cocktail from his order. “I’m almost finished.”

“Nope,” Christiana said. “I draw the line at peeing. That I can do on my own.”

She got up but Jason walked over and sat her down again. 

“The moment you sit your arse on that toilet seat in a nice quiet room alone, you will feel all those urges to drift away to sweet sleep come crawling back. I am coming with you whether you like it or not.”

“I can’t stay awake forever!” Christiana said. “Sooner or later, me falling asleep will just mean sleeping, how will I ever know the difference?”

“I’ll tell you.” Jason answered and walked back to his drinks. 

“But I really need to go now.” Christiana complained, wriggling about in her seat. 

“Then go.” Jason said.

Christiana gave Jason a look of disgust. “That’s hardly hygienic.” 

“You’ll be the one mopping it up,” Jason said. “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you take all the necessary precautions to ensure it’s nice and sterile again.”

Christiana sighed overdramatically. “When did you get so serious?”

“Right about when you made me an aid to your suicide act.” Jason finished off the drinks and handed them to yet another random waiter.

“It wasn’t suicide.” Christiana muttered. “I was just having a weird day.”

Jason gave her a look of sympathy. “Trust me, we’re all having a weird day.”

A loud roaring noise came from the huge sliding doors at the other side of the room. 

“What was that?” Christiana asked, getting up from the stool and peering for a better look. 

“How many times do I have to tell you?” Jason said. “They’re watching a movie.”

“It sounds so real.” Christiana said. “Remind me to check that place out later.”

“Sure,” Jason answered. “I might even come with you.”

Christiana turned back to face him, “Can you come and hold my hand while I pee now?”

Jason smiled. “Sure. He said.

He went to take Christiana by the arm, however when he touched her, a sharp pain ran through her skin, she flinched. 

“What’s wrong?” He asked. 

Christiana inspected her arms once more, the skin was getting dry and hoarse and seemed to weather away under it’s new bright red colour.

“You’ll be pleased to know the alcohol’s wearing off.” Christiana said, “It’s starting to hurt again.”

“That’s some sunburn.” Jason commented. 

Christiana shrugged, she really didn’t want to talk about it right now. She had managed to keep that whole mess out of her head for most of the day and wanted to keep it that way. However, as she thought it, she felt the throbbing intensify across her arms. She let her finger lightly caress the skin, it was really hot to the touch, and white blisters were forming in spots spreading randomly from her shoulder to her hand. This had to be the worst sunburn she had had, but then she had been told it wasn’t a sunburn... what was it that Kelly had said? It was from one of the exploding trees? It seemed to make less sense to her than it had earlier. She shook her head and closed her eyes tight, rubbing the palms of her hands against her eyeballs. 

“Too drunk to care!” She said out loud and threw her hands out in front of her, shaking them as she shook her head, trying to push the thoughts away. 

“I’m sure you are.” Jason said. “Still want to pee?”

“It actually feels as if there are rocks pushing down on my bladder.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

Jason put his arm around Christiana’s waist to keep her steady and walked her round the bar towards the toilets. Christiana tried her hardest to let go of earlier events but her arms were really beginning to throb, acting as a constant reminder that she was going to have to face whatever had happened eventually. 

“Jason?” Christiana said. 


“Why does this restaurant have a hospital?”

Jason stopped short, forcing Christiana to stop with him. 

“Why do you ask?”

“I was in there earlier,” Christiana explained. “It looked brand new.”

It took a while for Jason to answer. Christiana rested her head on his shoulder while she waited for his response. He still hadn’t started walking again. 

“This place isn’t just a restaurant,” Jason said eventually. “It’s more of a hotel.” 

“I don’t know many hotels that have hospitals either.” Christiana said. 

“You obviously haven’t been going to the right ones.” Jason replied and started her back into a walk. 

“Kelly said something different.” Christiana said. “She said it was more like some kind of bunker.”

Jason stopped once again and turned Christiana to face him. 

“Christiana.” He said. “How did you hit your head?”

“Connor landed on me.” Christiana replied. “I was trying to open the door to get out of here but I couldn’t. Connor was still outside.” She let out a small shudder. 

“Why did you want to leave?” Jason asked. 

Christiana thought about it for a while, it was really hard to answer all these questions, she felt like there was an important answer but she couldn’t work it out. 

“I didn’t want to leave,” she said after a while. “But I wanted to get Connor in. It wasn’t nice outside. It was… scary. Dangerous. There were trees exploding everywhere and people were screaming and… and…” she faltered, her eyes met Jason’s, filling with tears. “I saw a person catch on fire.”

Jason didn’t say anything, he just looked at her. It was then that it hit her, she wasn’t meant to say anything about any of this, she groaned, Kelly was going to be so mad. 

“Please don’t tell anyone about this,” she added. “Kelly told me I was going crazy, she said that it was bombs, that we’d been attacked- Damn!” She shut her mouth again, she wasn’t meant to tell anyone that either. 

“Do you think it was bombs?” Jason asked.

Christiana didn’t say anything, her mouth firmly shut. However after a moment, she slowly shook her head. 

“Listen to me Christiana,” Jason said. “Things are about to get really shitty really quickly. I need you to stay calm and not worry.”

Christiana looked at him blankly, her mind still too foggy to work out what he was trying to say.

“It’s going to get better.” She said. “Kelly told me.”

“No Christiana,” Jason said. “It’s not.”

With those words, it was as if something shifted. The cloud of fog that was clogging her brain cleared enough for a massive realisation to sink in. 

“That room.” She said. “It’s not a movie.”

Jason nodded. One small little nod, barely noticeable but Christiana saw it. She gasped and staggered back. 

“Please, no.” She whispered, she brought her hands to her mouth and realised she was crying. “It’s still going on?” She asked. 

Jason nodded again.

Christiana let out a sob. All of a sudden a new determination hit her.

“Tissue,” she said. “I need a tissue.”

Jason let her go to get a tissue out of his pocket. Christiana saw her opportunity and took it. 

She ran. Straight in the direction of the large sliding doors.

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