You wake up in an empty room to the kind of silence that can deafen you.
The room is both familiar and strange, a warehouse with cool, metal walls and strobe
lighting. You get to your feet, moving immediately for some kind of escape because
wherever it is you are, you don’t want to be there for long.
You walk towards the door. You try the handle – expecting it to be locked – but it creaks
open. The corridor is dark. But you recognise it. It is your place of work.
The exit is directly ahead, but even in the shadows, you can see the bars across it.
Escape seems futile.
You know that if you don’t get out now, you never will. You need to make contact with
the outside world. You remember the phone in the breakroom.
You waste no time. Dial 999. The receiver beeps into life.
This number is currently out of use. To reach Quarantine assistance. please dial 0181534726.
You don’t understand.
Still, you dial the number. After an agonising pause. someone answers.
Hello? Can I help you?
You open your mouth. but no sound comes out.
Are you trying to reach a safe space? Are you near the infected?
A rasp escapes your throat. A guttural sound. More animal than anything. They sigh.
You can’t speak, can you? We can’t help once the infection has hit. I’m sorry. If it makes you
feel better, they say you soon forget when it spreads. Oh god. I am sor-
The phone cuts off.
You can’t speak. You can’t speak. You turn towards the mirror on the wall. It is only when
you open your mouth, do you see the film of skin that has grown across it.
Nobody hears your scream.
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