The amoeba from the ash, p.1
The Amoeba From The Ash, page 1part #1 of The Amoeba From The Ash Series
The Amoeba From The Ash
The Amoeba From The Ash
Copyright ©: Mercedes Prunty
1st Edition Published: 2017
Publisher: Mercedes Prunty
The right of Mercedes Prunty to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All Rights Reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that of which it is published. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, copied in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise transmitted without written permission from the publisher. You must not circulate this book in any format.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, incidents and dialogues are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events is entirely coincidental.
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Other titles by Mercedes Prunty:
In the Alone series:
* The Keeper of the Key
* The Amoeba From The Ash
Why not check out Mercedes Prunty on:
Facebook : Mercedes Prunty Author
Twitter : @MercedesPrunty
For my husband Jamie, who puts up with my strange dreams that I put on paper and for my love of all things zombie horror. And to my daughters for having a crazy mummy. .x.
2:18pm - Hampden Park Station - England
David Lebowski put pressure on the brakes whilst slowly and steadily bringing the train to a halt at the station in the small village of Polegate. He only had one more station to stop at before he would be at his final destination and he was so pleased to know the end was in sight. The strain of keeping it together for the past few stations had been a nightmare, his drained body worked in overdrive to keep him and the train on track and on time, all he really wanted to do was sleep.
His morning had been fairly normal in the grand scheme of things, he had met his wife Melissa for a brunch at their favourite café near the station before he had given her a kiss and left for work. He was on the afternoon shift and always met her for a brunch on her break from work in the big city on a Tuesday. As he walked the five minute walk to the station an eerie mist had swirled in from the River Thames. He hadn’t really thought much of it seen as there was quite often a fog that would roll in over London but it was never normally quite as thick as this.
He had signed in at work, dusted off his uniform as the mist had left a greyish tinge to his clothing, then he went ahead and done his pre-travel checks. Soon enough the train was full of passengers and was ready to leave the London Victoria station and head on its journey to the seaside town of Eastbourne. David pulled out of the station and accelerated the train down the tracks, not really noticing the eerie mist travelling alongside the train and overhead in the skies above.
It had all been going well until he pulled into the station at Gatwick Airport, then the fever hit him and the violent shakes, his throat burned red raw, it was so sore and his eyes stung and watered. He carried on until Haywards Heath where his stomach began to churn and acid rose in his throat making it burn even more. He called through to Head Office to get a replacement driver only to be told most drivers were off sick today, a strange bug going around.
Maybe it was just the brunch I had? Maybe it wasn’t cooked fully? Or maybe I have caught the bug too? He said to himself as he pulled out of the station, he had assured his bosses he would be ok to get the passengers to Eastbourne but he would not be able to drive the train back to London in his state.
Soon enough the passengers alighted to and from Polegate station and David pulled away, his hands shaking feverishly with sweat. “Just one more station David and we’re done…”
He felt water dripping from his eyes and put his hands up to rub it away, only it wasn’t water from his tear ducts it was fresh crimson red blood flowing steadily down his cheeks. Panic fully set in as he now realised he was sicker than he first thought. His hands swam in front of his vision, stained a tainted red, as was the fast swaying scenery outside of the cab.
“What speed…is the train…going?” he said to himself desperately trying to see but his eyes failed him, not seeing what he wanted to see, only a red fine haze before he then began wheezing and coughing, gurgling up blood that dribbled down his chin and over the control panel. His eyes were so full of blood he couldn’t see how fast the train was going, he would wipe at the blood but more would appear in its place. He flailed his hands out to try and find the brakes but he hit the accelerator, causing the train to pick up more speed, too much for this set of tracks but David no longer cared as he passed out, throwing up all of his stomach contents which now merged with the blood over the controls. He no longer cared and couldn’t hear the panicked screams of all the worried passengers as the train hurtled full pelt down the tracks, swaying and wobbling like some drunken idiot trying to walk straight. He no longer cared and couldn’t see the randomly placed car, a silver Nissan Micra sitting on the tracks, vomit and blood covering the dashboard as the driver too had succumbed to the sickness, passing out and steering their metal death machine onto the line. Alarms rang out in the cab as Head Office tried to alert him to the danger on the tracks but also that his speed was too fast for this part of the line but there was no response.
With no one to pull the brakes the train pelted into the car with such force it sliced the car near enough in half and throwing it and its bloodied owner down the side of the train and into fences along the tracks. The sound of crunching metal was sickening as the train tipped to the side from the debris of metal that screamed under the great wheels and steered it nose first into Hampden Park station. Rubble and parts of the building crashed down over the train nearly crushing the cab completely. Acrid mechanical smoke blossomed out into the air from the now unmoving train. The people on board were screaming, crying and collapsing from shock and the mysterious illness that had claimed the driver’s life moments before.
2.45pm - The Light Side Of The Tracks
Pippa Dawling sat rapping her fingers in irritation over the steering wheel of her Black Vauxhall Zafira ‘mummy wagon’ as she sat in the huge tailback of traffic that had become the bane of her working and married life. Since having kids with Ned, getting married and buying their first home together in the small but busy village of Hampden Park she had become accustomed to the blight that was Hampden Park train station. Apparently it was meant to be the busiest train station in the United Kingdom and maybe even Europe with around fourteen trains an hour off peak and around twenty in peak times, although Pippa had never actually really bothered to count them, to her it could have been a hundred an hour with how long the gates actually remained in the ‘down’ position.
She had been sitting in the same spot in the traffic jam since she had joined the queue after leaving work at 2pm. She knew she should have left work earlier but she felt obliged to help out her boss set out the new window display in her pokey fashion boutique in Stonecross. Her boss Anita had just come back after having a hernia operation and Pippa couldn’t stand the thought of her boss come ‘friend’ busting her gut, ‘literally’ to get the new stock out.
Pippa had contemplated turning the car around and going the other way via the hospital to get to her son’s school the other side of the line gates but that way too was normally chocka
She huffed to herself annoyed, if this traffic didn’t move not only would she be late for picking Daniel up from school but her washing that she had carefully hung out on the line that morning would be saturated with rain water and she would be forced to wash it all again. Sighing she then thought, Maybe there’s an electrical storm, maybe it’s affected the gates and their stuck down? It wouldn’t be the first time the gates had gone down and got stuck, it was a highly regular occurrence since the rail company got rid of the man in the box and left the controls to sensors more than a year or so before hand.
As she sat there annoyed that she hadn’t even moved her car an inch towards the station she noticed two police cars rushing down the empty lane that was meant for the traffic coming the other way, they were escorting what looked like a Public Health Organisation truck. She bit her lip, she had watched enough cop and horror T.V shows and films to know that the Public Health Organisation was initially the U.K’s version of the American ‘CDC’. Which were the first port of call for when diseases or illnesses reared their ugly heads. The Centre’s for disease control and prevention where only called out when the police couldn’t control or contain something.
A feeling of unease swept through her as she grabbed her handbag from the back seat and took out her phone. Yes it was illegal for mobiles to be used in the car but it wasn’t like she was actually moving anywhere. She dialled her daughter Alicia’s number but got no answer, so she quickly sent a text telling her to leave college ‘ASAP’ and go and get her little brother Daniel from school. She knew very well that Alicia was going to be pissed at her for getting her to leave a lesson early and also her friends but something told her deep inside that something wasn’t right here. Especially not if the Public Health Organisation were involved. She wanted Daniel picked up from school safe and to be at home waiting for her, even if it was with Alicia.
Bleep…‘K’, Was the reply Pippa got and although it was blunt and made Pippa fully aware a full blown row was probably going to happen when they got home, it made her feel better… Better than Daniel would be taken care of.
Next up she dialled her husband Ned’s number and sighed thinking of her teenage daughter. Neither of them had been getting on for quite some time, mostly down to raging hormones, boys, drinking and amongst other things. All of this was strangling their once loving relationship. The rows were colossal between them some lasting day’s even weeks, one time the neighbours had phoned the police thinking she was beating two craps out of her own daughter but they didn’t know what a force Alicia was to be reckoned with. She breathed in deeply and tried to brace her mind for the almighty argument that would most likely face her when she got home. After a few rings Ned answered, “Hey Hun what’s up?”
“I’m stuck in traffic at the gates, don’t think I’m going make it to the school on time”.
“Well get Alicia to pick up Daniel, I’m sure she won’t mind”, he half laughed knowing full well their stroppy seventeen year old daughter was going to mind a lot.
“She is”, Pippa bit her lip, “The Public Health Organisation are going to Hampden Park station”.
“The PHO?” He asked, “You sure you’ve not been watching too many crime scene shows?”
“No Ned this is serious, I’ve been stuck here since 2! The police and a Public Health van just rushed past. I think something bad has happened”.
“You’re just over thinking it, I’m sure it’s nothing. Their probably just stuck down”. As he spoke she could hear a muffled noise in the background.
“Where are you Ned?” She asked with a hint of accusation.
“Just coming back in from a call out. Lot of sick people out there today. Think it’s something to do with the strange weather”.
“Is ‘She’ with you?” She asked.
“Of course she is with me Pippa we work together, she is my team mate, my partner”.
Pippa felt like hissing down the phone at him but held her tongue, “You know I don’t like it, you two working together”.
“There is nothing going on Pippa…” He paused as if quieting his tone, “How many times do I have to tell you. Jill isn’t like that, she’s…”
“Into women, I know you told me before”, Pippa replied bluntly.
“Then why are you still brining this up?”
“I don’t trust her, I think she wants you… No I know she wants you, I can see it in her eyes”.
“Pip, you taken your pills today? You know what the doctor said about coming off them?”
“It’s not the F-ing pills Ned. I’m not crazy”, she scolded him, then remembered her window was slightly open and the couple in the car next to her looked over.
“I was just asking hun, but, have you?”
“YES”, she snapped.
“Good, ok, that’s good…Er hang on Pip”, His voice broke up as she could hear the radio sounding in the background, “Pip we got a call out, a stabbing at a gym over you’re side of the line. Look Pip my boss has just mentioned a train crash at Hampden Park, multiple casualties he’s already there with his paramedic crew, so you might be a while, maybe turn around and go the other way home. I gotta go”.
“Be careful Ned!”
The phone went dead and a chill ran up Pippa’s spine, Train Crash, Multiple casualties and the Public Health! Her mind raced with all the things that could have gone wrong, that still might go wrong, she had a good imagination like that.
She jumped out of her skin and looked up at a tall and slender police officer who wore a face dust mask, his dark hair had been swept out of his face by the new issue flat caps so as not to discriminate against man and woman.
She wound down the window and spoke sweetly, “Sorry officer I just wanted to make other arrangements for my kids pick up, been stuck here a while you know”.
She shook her phone at him and his face softened.
“Don’t worry miss, you were stationary this time so I’ll let it slide”, he was young maybe twenty two or so but she noticed he sounded wheezy.
“Why the mask officer?”
“What? Oh this? I’m asthmatic and the mist the other side of the line was playing havoc with my chest”.
“Mist? What mist?”
“Dunno really, it just came in thick and heavy this afternoon, over the downs”.
Pippa noticed how he had another paper mask attached to his belt, “Officer would you mind me borrowing your other mask? I’m asthmatic too”, she leant into the glove box and pulled out Daniels spare inhaler to show him accidently knocking her pill packet to the floor that she had hidden in the car to stop Ned from seeing she hadn’t been taking them. The police officer glanced down at them.
“My allergies are really bad this time of year, helps to keep an emergency supply in the car right?” She said smiling sweetly and feeling her palms clam up with sweat at the lie. If he wanted to look closely at the pills he could and there was nothing she could legally do to stop him and if he contacted her doctor or the mental health then they would lock her away for sure. Or maybe not, she wasn’t actually doing anything illegal, just letting Ned and herself down.
He nodded and handed her the mask, “Sure keep it”.
She took it and placed it over her nose and mouth and thanked him, “What’s going on down there anyway?” She sounded muffled and odd, not like her normal voice.
The officer looked saddened, “Train crash, apparently hit a car and veered right into the station”.
“Are people hurt?”
He nodded again, “Yeah most of the passengers, a few are dead and so is the driver”.
“Oh my god”
He just looked at her.
“Sorry for all the questions but why did the Public Health Organisation drive past?”
He looked a little rattled by her question, “I dunno miss, I can’t really disclose information yet, no one really knows what’s going on”.
“Is someone sick?”
“Look my advice is go home and leave us to work. We will take care of anyone who is poorly”.
“I can’t, my home is the other side of the line”.
He sighed, “Then stay here and stay safe until it has freed up for you to turn around”, he then left her moving onto the next car.
Pippa sat back in the seat, there was something officer friendly wasn’t telling her. She knew something was up, someone or some people must be really ill for the Public Health to show up, maybe the driver crashed because of a suspected illness? Maybe it was spreading and that’s really why the officer was wearing the dust mask? Maybe some idiot had come back from holiday abroad and brought back a hideous disease with them? Maybe some kid who hadn’t had their vaccinations was now infecting others? Maybe rats, mice or other vermin had wondered around giving everyone an illness. Maybe, Maybe, Maybe???
Her mind raced out of control and she needed some air, she could feel the anxiety attack coming. She stepped out of the car and took five deep breathes, each time counting in her mind to 10, slowing down her heart rate and washing the panic away. Finally she felt a little more settled.
Knowing she couldn’t just sit here and wait, especially seen as her home was the other side of the line anyway she decided to walk down and have a nosey, just to put her worrying mind at ease. Once she saw it was just a normal freak accident and not a pandemic she would feel better, she just knew it. Turning back to her car she grabbed her handbag and phone then locked it. Through the window she spied the pill packet, she bit her lip under the mask, I don’t need them, I’m sane, I’m better now, I’m not crazy plus they make me feel so tired and miserable when I do take them. Turning on her heel she left them behind making her way down the line of all the heavy congested traffic and approached the station where a sight like nothing she had seen before greeted her eyes.
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