Monday, 3 December 2012

Utopia - Prologue

She watched without a word as people scrambled desperately over rocks and rabble, women clutching their children, shielding them from the scorching sun. And the sun really was scorching. Not in the exaggerated way that people usually use to refer to that term. No. Right now, she could see the skin literally being burnt off people’s bones, wooden structures bursting into flames.

It was the cries that were the worst, the pain and agony that emanated from every sound. She had never heard a sound like it. But then she had never witnessed so many people slowly dying in front of her before.

She took a moment to glance up at the sun causing the terrific pain. It was bright, there was no doubt about it. She could only bear to stare at it for a mere few seconds before blinking and returning her gaze to what was literally hell on Earth. She could definitely feel the sun. Beads of sweat fell freely down her head and all of her clothes clung to her, soaked through and through. Although her skin didn’t burn, it only glowed.

She sighed and took a walk around the outskirts of her bubble, taking in the scene from the whole 360 degrees. It was all more of the same really; death, destruction, crying abandoned children, rotting corpses from those who hadn’t survived yesterday’s atrocities. She reached out and let her fingers trace the glass that separated her from the chaos outside, continuing to walk as it stroked the smooth curved pane. She let out a small gasp at first, amazed that even in this heat, the glass remained relatively cool. She rested her head against it, momentarily closing her eyes before abruptly opening them again. No. She thought. I must watch this.

She was about to start to move again when someone caught her eye, a child, standing in front of her and looking straight at her. She stumbled back in surprise. The child was a boy, he couldn’t be older than 7 years old. She could see his yellow shirt was scorched black in so many places and his thin legs burned a bright red under his blue shorts. He continued to stare, not moving as she watched his skin burning and peeling away in front of her. It was as if he was staring straight at her, his face set, his eyes showing none of the pain that he was clearly experiencing. Impossible she thought, he can’t see me, none of them can. Her mind sounded convinced but her body simply shrugged her off and forced her forward again, her hand outstretched as if to attempt to reach for him through the glass.

It was then she noticed, the screams were fading. The sounds of running and scrabbling were falling away one by one. She spun her head around to see what was happening and realised that the boy hadn’t been staring at her at all, instead he had been frozen. People one after the other were following suit, stopping in mid action, some scrambling up, some in mid jump. It continued to happen until the whole world was paused around her. She started to move again, still tracing the outskirts of the massive glass structure she was in. Her eyes were desperately searching for some form of movement, for any form of sound, but nothing, they all stayed completely still. She let out a haggard sigh and fell backwards, tears that she thought had dried out a long time ago started falling freely again. None of them could move, but the sun didn’t stop beaming, it continued to scorch their skin, blisters formed and dark red marks burned away to reveal bone. Nothing showed on any of their faces but they were clearly still feeling the pain. Or maybe not she thought, maybe now that they’re frozen, their pain is frozen too. She nodded her head in agreement, willing the thought to be true.

No sooner had she nodded however, a piercing scream sounded to her left. She turned but no movement could be seen, then suddenly another could be heard, and another. Finally she saw it, the frozen bodies had access to move just one function, their mouths. Soon every single one of them were crying out in a sound that was so horrible she fell to her knees, finally giving in and clamped her hands over her ears, her head buried deep within her knees.

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