Wednesday, 16 November 2011

LOST IN THE WILDERNESS: A Conversation by Firelight

JACK: Is the boy asleep?
BILL: Yes. At last. Mai Ling’s looking over him for now.
JACK: Your au pair, right?
BILL: Uh huh. I’m not sure he’s really accepted his mum and his sister are gone. (SIGHS) I’m not sure I have.
JACK: Sit down. The fire’s not huge but it’s warm enough, and we reckon the cliff here should block the view of it enough with the undergrowth.
BILL: Where’s Jensen?
JACK: Prowling around, keeping watch. We still don’t know…
BILL: How many of those things there are out there. I know. Christ; what the hell is happening?
JACK: I wish I knew.
BILL: Have you seen anything to give you any idea?
JACK: No. Nothing. I haven’t got the first clue what has happened to the world.
BILL: When did it start happening? For you I mean.
JACK: Yesterday. I think. It seems a lot longer. Though I was unconscious for some of that. Maybe I’ve lost track. I don’t know.
BILL: Do you mind my asking…?
JACK: How it started?
BILL: Yeah.
JACK: Well… Not a happy story. I was on a road trip with some friends.
BILL: You and Jensen?
JACK: Nope. He came later. There were five of us. Friends from college. Me, my… girlfriend.
BILL: (PAUSE) You don’t have to talk about it.
JACK: No, I’m fine. Really. I guess I just haven’t had time to think about it until now. But I guess it doesn’t matter, right? It’s just about survival for now. There isn’t time for anything else.
BILL: I don’t know about that.
JACK: Short version: We were on a road trip. We stopped in a town that turned out to be infested with those zombies. Zombies of all things! What the hell is going on!?
BILL: I wish I knew.
JACK: Everyone but me and a friend were killed. We had to leave on foot. We hooked up with some other survivors, including Jensen, but everyone was killed again.
BILL: Except you two.
JACK: Yeah. Not zombies this time. Who knows what. These bald… cannibalistic… I don’t know. Ghouls? And these massive white hounds. Huge things. Real bad asses. I saw one smash through a wooden barrier then rip my friend apart.
BILL: Good God.
JACK: They dragged Jensen and me back to their den to – I don’t know – eat us or something. Then left us there.
BILL: Under guard?
JACK: Sort of. It was in a swamp. There were these bugs. Gigantic slug things and cockroaches.
BILL: But you got away.
JACK: Yeah. Not sure how really. We heard gunfire and the bugs… went to check it out I guess. I don’t know. We just ran. Then a couple of miles further on we saw you.
BILL: Yeah.
JACK: We were headed for the same manor house you were. I still don’t even know where the hell I am! Do you know?
BILL: I thought I did, but…
JACK: What?
BILL: For the last hour of driving… The sat nav stopped—It couldn’t acquire satellites. The map I brought up manually from our last position didn’t match the roads we were on. (PAUSE) What are you thinking?
JACK: Maybe that… I wonder if that, right there, is the biggest piece of the puzzle I’ve found so far.
BILL: The sat nav?
JACK: Yeah. That maybe there's something bigger going on. You know? 

BILL: I don't know. All of this... I just don't know what to make of it.

JACK: (PAUSE) What happened to you? How did you get into this mess?
BILL: My family and I… We were going on holiday.
JACK: You must be loaded.
BILL: Why would you think that?
JACK: The au pair.
BILL: Mai Ling? No Not really. Just lucky. (PAUSE) Or not, all things considered. (PAUSE) We stayed at a hotel in a little village next to a river. Beautiful place. View of a watermill right outside our window. We were having a great time. Everything was perfect. Day one. On day two, we woke up and every last person in that hotel had been slaughtered. Everyone in the village.
JACK: By what?
BILL: I don’t know.
JACK: Still? You didn’t see anything?
BILL: We got the hell out of there. Bodies everywhere; torn apart. Dozens. Hundreds in all. Every single one ripped to shreds or... broken in half. We just drove.
JACK: Shit.
BILL: And the next village? The same. But these had been dead for longer. And there were zombies there. We barely made it out of there alive. (PAUSE) But we managed to get ourselves some weapons. Guns and other stuff.
JACK: I still don’t have one.
BILL: And that’s getting to be a problem. I don’t know how many shotgun shells I have left but it isn’t many.
JACK: Jensen is almost out too.
BILL: See, what if this isn’t localized? What if it’s happening everywhere?
JACK: It can’t be. Surely. We just need to get somewhere with people. Get to the city.
BILL: How can we even do that? We don’t have the car now. We used up two or three times as much ammunition trying to… getting away from those zombies… as we’ve got left. I don’t think we could survive another encounter.
JACK: We have to. We have to keep going. Find a main road. Or a phone that works. Get out of the wilderness. These fields and woods can’t go on forever if we just keep heading in one direction.
BILL: But zombies? Ghouls? Giant slugs? Whatever God-forsaken thing killed the people in our hotel? Or whatever else is out there waiting? We can’t—How can we hope to survive against that kind of opposition?
JACK: (PAUSE) I don’t know. Maybe… Maybe we just don’t think about that. Maybe all we think about is what we’re doing now. how we’re going to survive the next few minutes. And the few minutes after that. And we keep heading east.
BILL: East? Why east?
JACK: Because that’s where the sun is going to rise. (PAUSE) And I for one want to be alive to see it. 

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