The camera clunks on.
Excited voices speak over each other.
“-ck are they doing?”
“Turn that thing on!”
It starts on a floor littered with cans, before being lugged up. In front of it is a set of double doors. Reinforced with – but with dizzying speed it’s spun round. Paused, rewound. Reinforced with steel cross bars. The only thing that’s getting in there is what the occupants want to get in there. The movie starts again.
The camera seemed to be in an armoured truck. Instruments blur past before coming to a rest, pointing out, between two seats up front.
Both are occupied.
The passenger turns, impatiently. “Are you getting this?”
“Of course I am. I’m the cameraman – remember?” Irritation is clear in the cameraman’s voice.
The shot zooms through the dirty windshield, up an alley way to a group of ill dressed people shuffling along the street.
Except. Not shuffling.
“Are they…walking?” The camera man asks, incredulously. “They can’t be.” The cameraman answers himself. “They don’t walk.”
“Well – what do you call THAT?” It’s the passenger again. “I’d say that was more like walking than anything else they’ve done.”
The driver speaks. Snaps. He sounds angry. “Where are they going?” He shouted. “Ears. Find out if there’s anything going on in the area.” He has an accent.
The group continues to file past, their flesh grey and tight. That’s if there have any. Most with visible bite wounds, revealing the bone beneath. They move in staccato jerks. It looks as if just walking takes all their concentration to keep the procession together.
The cameraman speaks again. “This isn’t right. Since when did these things think? Or organise?”
“This is Free News 15 in the City. This is a call to Home. Come in, Home.” This off camera, to the side.
“Home here. What the hell are you doing on this frequency.” The responding voice is distorted – coming though a radio speaker.
The drive speaks again, louder this time. “Tell the bastard that there’s a group of Dead walking towards downtown from the Station. Tell him there’s hundreds of them. Tell him that they’re walking. Not shuffling. Not sprinting. Walking. With a purpose. Tell him they all dressed specially for it. And tell him that his mother is a whore, that’s why he’s a bastard. And finally tell him if he talks to us like that again I’m going to find him, rip his head off and use his neck as a shitter.” It’s a Scottish accent.
The truck sniggers.
“Ok, Free News 15. We’ll check and get back to you. Thanks for the update.” The voice from Home replies with barely concealed anger. And a little shame.
The camera hasn’t wavered. It focuses on the endless parade of the dead – ill dressed in suits, sports gear, hip hop wear, bridal gear.
“I’m getting out there.” The camera pulls back to the first speaker There’s a squabble of voices.
“-Not putting us at ris-“
But the door opens, then slams shut.
“Shit.” The cameraman again. SOMEONE COVER HIM!”
The camera seems to fall, bouncing against a leg, and then is pulled up, and outside the light briefly causing it to over expose. “Dude, get back in the car, man.” The roof, with mounted guns, is briefly seen before the autofocus removes the blur from the shot. “Come on, it’s not safe.”
“Then let’s be quick, OK?” The guy on camera is cocky looking – all waved hair, fake tan and stubble. “Come on. Come on.” He has a mike pinned to his top. “You getting me, Ears?” His voice is louder and clearer than any we have heard before. From below the camera man comes an affirmative yell. “OK, let’s roll.
He smiles. A greasy, unctuous smile. “I’m Dan Bruge, with Free News 15, and we’re downtown watching something incredibly strange. HUNdreds…of the dead -” He motions with his hand behind him, the camera tracks to –
“SHIT – MOVE! GET BACK IN THE CAR!”
– a set of the dead has peeled off from the main group, and sprints towards Bruge. They movie fast. So fast, the camera can’t track them.
“Shi-” Bruge tries to run. Tries to get to the car, – “NO” – but one of them, a guy in a wedding dress, complete with veil, leaps at him, slamming him, hard, to the ground.
The camera man starts yelling for someone to help. Another Dead arrives, scratching at the fallen reporter.
Then a third.
And a fourth. Bruge is a covered in a mass of hungry, salivating Dead.
Their fingers claw at him, – “GOD. NO. HELP ME.” ripping skin from his back, legs – “PLEASE! GOD. DON’T LET THEM TAKE ME!” They pull at him, tugging to get their food. One rips off his arm. The scream then was so loud, the speakers distort.
One of the Dead looks straight at the camera. It’s mouth bright red and wet, muscle hanging from it’s mouth – its milky, soulless eyes staring. It sniffs, grins. Bruge’s mike pics up an animal growl from deep inside it. It tenses to run.
A shot rings out and a bloody smudge replaces it’s head. The splat is amplified by the mike. The camera points skywards, before falling. It crashes to the floor of the van. The drivers feet rush past. “Ears” is sealing the window, gun in hand.
The screams of Bruge play over the final images. The inside of the truck. The wet noise of flesh being ripped. “Ears” throwing up in a bag. Bruge screaming; pleading for help; crying; calling for “Diane.” Appologising to her.
Over and over again.
Then a shot. A second shot. And Bruge stops screaming.
The driver’s feet walk in and out of shot, taking his seat again.
“It’s the best we could do. At least he won’t come back.” He powers up the van and tears up the alley, ploughing through the walking Dead still crossing it’s mouth. Bones and bodies crunch under its wheels. Hands hammer against the side.
“Turn that thing off.”
The camera clunks off.