Screams!!! Where is the real horror?
|"We interrupt normal broadcasting to bring you this news. Police are investigating reports of persons being attacked in the area. Residents are advised to stay at home and lock their doors and windows. Further reports will be broadcast as we know more. We will now return to tonight's film, 'Night of the Living Dead'."
Pete looked up at the clock. It was midnight. "Stacey should be home by now. You don't think ..."
"We can't think like that, Pete. She's with Simon. I'm sure she's okay. It's not the first time she's been out until the small hours, is it?" Shirley tried to be upbeat but she was worried too. "Anything happening out there?"
Pete moved the curtain. The street light was flickering again but otherwise all was quiet. "Nothing here. Maybe it's in the center of town. You know, punch up at chucking out time."
As zombies filled the screen, the sound of a helicopter came from outside. A bright light shone through the window and then moved away. "They're searching for someone."
"I wish Stacey was home. Give her a ring, love; see where she is."
Pete dialled, then listened. "Answer phone." He hung up. "She probably turned it off if she's in a club." Everything he said made sense, and any other night Shirley wouldn't be particularly worried. She turned back to the television and watched as a young girl was devoured by a pack of undead.
"Latest news. Police are now attending thirty plus incidents. It is not yet known what the nature of the attacks is, but it is not believed to be terrorist related."
"What aren't they telling us, Pete?" Was it the film that was filling her head with thoughts of flesh eating creatures? "There's no such thing as zombies, right?"
"And no werewolves or vampires. You watch too many horror films." Pete looked out of the window again, hoping to see a taxi pull up. No, the street was empty. The street light had now gone off. He looked up at the sky. Was that something hovering in the distance? The helicopter, no doubt. What was that flash on the horizon? Lightening? Surely not; there was no sign of rain. He listened for the rumble of thunder, but it didn't come.
The film ended and another took its place. An alien invasion unfolded with space ships firing lasers and destroying buildings in their wake. Pete looked up at the sky again. What did he expect to see? Flying saucers? He dialled Stacey's number again. Still going to answer phone.
"The police have asked us to pass on a message from the NHS. Please do not go to A&E unless your problem is life threatening."
"What on earth is going on out there?" Pete was now stuck on the idea of an alien invasion. The police would keep quiet about that, wouldn't they? Pete checked the clock again. It was nearly one. Where was Stacey? Visions of his little girl being raped by aliens floated into his head.
Pete paced and looked out the window. Shirley's eyes moved from TV screen to door and back again. The clock ticked away the minutes. Another flash on the horizon, but this time, close enough to hear a bang. Sirens and blue lights followed. "Come on, Stacey. Come home."
"Was that a car engine?" Shirley jumped up and rushed to the window. "Yes, it's a taxi." She rushed to open the door. "Stacey, love, where you been?"
"We're okay, Mum, we didn't get caught up in the madness." Shirley hugged her daughter tightly. Pete found himself giving Simon a manhug.
"So what is going on out there?"
"It's all over the internet. It's some kind of contest, dare, whatever. Scoring points for throwing fireworks at people."
"Latest news. 147 people have now been arrested in connection with the recent attacks. News from the hospital, one dead, 233 injured, 27 seriously."