Saturday, 14 February 2009 - 1:42 pm


Today has been strange. On one hand, more awful violence. On the other, I feel more hopeful than I have for a long time. I want to get outside, but it’s raining again. I want to run around and hug everyone, but we’re all hurting. 


I should start from the beginning. It was this morning, when we were packing ourselves up and scouting for the last bits of useful equipment from the shops here. Dillon came running in, calling for us, shouting that there were people on their way. They were armed, he said.

It seems that those couple of stragglers who tore off yesterday weren’t running for cover: they were running for help. This morning, they came back with a number of friends, enough to match us. And we were spread out across two levels and several stores.

It was a mad scramble to try to get back together. Those of us without any kind of weapon or defence grabbed something nearby; I ended up with a broomhandle. It was light enough to swing easily – that’s not something I ever thought that I would consider when picking up an object. Even Sally picked up a weapon, though she had a rabbit look around her eyes. I didn’t think she’d stick around long if fighting started.

They were in the mall before we could regroup. I told Dillon to find Nugget and hide, to keep her safe. Then it was all about running for the others.

They had a cruel look about them, these attackers, like sharks that can’t help but show their teeth. All young men, they whooped as they swarmed in over the debris of the collapsed ceiling and split up to go for each of us.

One of them grinned when he saw Sally with the stamp of a victim on her. She was closest to me, so I ran over to swing at him. We managed to drive him back, then someone grabbed me from behind. He pinned my arms to my sides, so all I could do was kick. There were so many voices shouting that mine was lost in the din.

My captor let go suddenly and staggered, blood in his hair and down his face. Ben pulled me out of the way and hit him again. We shouted for the other guys. Sax was a short distance away, fending off two of them. I don’t know where the others were.

It was over very quickly. Two of our number were down on the ground, struggling to defend themselves, before the rest of us drove the sharks off. As soon as they lost the upper hand, they turned tail and fled, teeth grinning. Masterson chased after them with a metal pipe in his hand and an unsettling look in his eyes. I think he relished the action a little too much.


The sharks laughed on their way to the door. They weren’t bothered by their friends’ injuries, the blood and the bruises; they had enjoyed themselves. A new one stepped inside only to be shoved out again so that they could leave.

I went down onto the bottom floor to send Masterson back up to the others; there were injuries he needed to tend to. He grumbled when he turned to head up there and I should have gone with him. But that new arrival, there was something about him. I had to get close enough to glimpse his face before I realised what that something was. I stopped dead and stared.

Matt. It was my Matt.


I called his name, loud enough that he looked around. He saw me and I knew it really was him. My best friend is alive. He’s okay. It felt like my heart was trying to lift me right off my feet.

But the sharks were pushing and dragging him off with them, and he was going. I went to run after them, but arms around my waist from behind stopped me. I shouted at them to let me go, but they didn’t.

It’s too dangerous, Faith. They’ll eat you alive. It’s too dangerous, stop.


I don’t care. Matt’s alive. He’s alive and I’m going to find him again.