[Part 1] - [Part 2] - [Part 3] - [Part 4] - [Part 5]
Have you ever ran like your life depended on it, to the point that your whole body is burning and feels like breaking apart, but you know you just can’t stop?
As mentioned in the previous note, I eventually went to investigate the Myvi, while Dave stayed behind with Cecilia. I still don’t know why I agreed to do it. As a precaution, I chose not to approach the car directly, deciding that it would be safer to circle around, so I made my way to the Toyota beside it instead. Having a physical barrier gives me a better sense of security.
As I made my way to it, I passed by a peculiar looking vehicle, with a boat strapped on the back of it. There was an overpowering stench coming from the boat, over and above the rotting scent already in the tunnel. I had to cover my nose as I walked past it, to prevent me from puking all over.
I arrived next to the Toyota after passing another car, its rusty body separating me from the Myvi.
My eyes did not dare wander to the Myvi the whole time I was crouching over, afraid of what I would see. But now that I was at my destination, it was the only thing left to do.
I raised my head slightly over the Toyota’s door, peeking through the back seat’s window, towards the Myvi. There was indeed a person in the back, directly behind the driver’s seat. The figure was no longer sitting still, rocking back and forth, its mouth mumbling something. Its face was covered by its hair, swaying slightly together with its movement.
My heart was debating on my next course of action, when the figure suddenly turned its head towards me. Not the type of smooth turn when you turn your head sideways, but rather a 90-degree sudden snap towards my direction, as if it knew that I was there, staring at it. I let out yelp when I saw the face. Its eyes were white and glazed over. Skin were peeling off its face, and its lower jaw was horribly disfigured. Maggots crawled around its face.
But what freaked me out was the most was the familiarity of the face. It was Amanda’s. But how could it be? It has only been barely a day since we lost contact with her.
Amanda seemed to read my thoughts, and grinned with her deformed jaw. She moved her mouth, and I heard her. She was whispering, but yet I could hear clearly, her voice coming surrounding me.
“You all left me…” she croaked, her voice dry and cold. She opened the car door and stepped out, revealing an almost skeletal figure. Her skin hugged her bones tightly, her clothes worn and tattered.
“No… We didn’t… we didn’t leave you,” I replied immediately, almost in a whimper. I moved a few steps backwards, away from Amanda who was slowly dragging her feet towards me.
She shook her head slowly, her hollow eyes never leaving mine. “I waited for you all, I searched for you all, I didn’t stop, and I drove and drove until I reached this place…” She walked past the Toyota, coming to face me directly, her voice trailing with each drag of her feet.
“…and now I’m dead… D-E-A-D… dead… because of a STUPID WISH!” she screamed as she lunged at me. My reflexes kicked into action and I avoided her by mere inches, I was sprinting for my dear life away from there. I looked back a few times to see if Amanda was gaining on me, and to my horror saw several dozen more bodies dragging themselves from across the bend we saw earlier. The groans seemed to grow louder, the stench of decaying flesh stronger, filling every available pockets of air.
Each of the figures looked equally horrible, one had half his face missing, another seemed burnt from head to toe, the skin black as charcoal. But they all shared the same pair of dead, blank eyes, all focused on my direction, the hatred from them burning through me, and mixed with the fear that they must have felt when they were still alive.
Cecilia was already on Dave’s back when I reached them, and there was no need to explain anything. They had seen everything from where they stood. Dave simply shouted “Run” towards me, and we ran like we never had before in our life, zig-zagging through the empty vehicles, away from Amanda, away from whatever creatures that were chasing us.
I did not know how long or how far we ran, but the vehicles around us seemed to grow older, more ancient, and more distorted. The flames that we saw flickering when first step foot into this place grew brighter as well, bringing with it an ominous vibe. As if death itself resides there. Behind us, the mass of creatures seemed to have grown larger in numbers, still coming towards us. Just when I wondered if we would be running towards the flames Dave pointed to structure nearby.
“There! Head there!” he shouted towards me, and we made our way there. The structure looked like a lifeguard tower you would normally find in a crowded beach, reaching towards the ceiling of the tunnel. A ladder reached up to platform a few metres above the ground. It looked strangely out of place standing there, in the middle of all the abandoned vehicles, but it was a welcomed sight, nonetheless.
Dave shouted for us to climb the ladder, and both Cecelia and I hastily made our way up through the metal rungs, finding ourselves on a platform overlooking the tunnel. Dave made it up shortly after and pulled the ladder up with him. He gave a long relieved sigh and the two of us collapsed unto the platform, catching our breath. Cecelia sobbed softly into Dave’s chest.
Below us, the voices of the dead drifted upwards, as they reached futilely for us. I could still hear Amanda’s voice mixed together with theirs, accusing us of abandoning her, leaving her to die.
The three of us didn’t talk for a long time, relishing the short break that we had, letting reality sink it.
We would most probably meet our end here, there is little doubt on that. I peered towards the direction that we came from, the Myvi is but a tiny speck now. In the opposite direction, the vehicles went on and on as far as your eyes could see. I struggled to see if there was anything else beyond it, but it was hard to make out anything after certain distance.
The exhaustion was starting to kick in when I laid back down on the platform, staring at the ceiling which is now not far from us. Amanda’s face kept coming back to me. Her decaying skin, her skeletal body, the deformed jaw. It doesn’t make sense. According to my notes, we had only been gone less than a day, but the condition of our car and her death suggested otherwise. I shudder to think of how long we’ve actually been here, and if we would end up being like Amanda if we do die here, which seemed very likely now.
Dave seemed to read my thoughts, and his left hand squeezed my shoulders. “Don’t worry, I promise that this will be over soon. I will make sure of it.”
I hope he’s right.