Tuesday, 5 April 2011

From Subway Slaughter to Hotel Hell

I’m just an ordinary everyman who was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and it almost cost me my life, and so I’ve decided to write this story partly to get it off my chest, and partly to let people know just what happened during the fall of Bangkok. Normally in these kinds of stories you are following the exciting journey of a military type or at least someone who knows about guns or medicine but I’m just your ordinary run of the mill guy. Let me first tell you a little about myself before I get into the real meat of the story. I’m a postman by trade and I hail from a nice shiny new town in the south of England called Milton Keynes (Yes it’s a strange name I know but that’s not important anymore) About 2 months ago I decided that I’d had enough letter dropping and promptly booked myself on a flight to the bustling city of Bangkok. As I’m single and not looking to get married anytime soon (I’m only 27 by the way) that wasn’t too difficult to arrange. So here I am on this rooftop in the middle of Bangkok…
I arrived in Bangkok at about 18:00 on the same day that it was taken over by maniacs and I immediately went to my Hotel in the centre so I could unburden myself of the bags and then start my exploration of this aging yet infinitely charming City(used to be anyway!). I’d arranged to meet a friend of mine at a restaurant just a subway journey away from my Hotel at 20:30 so as I had a little time to kill I decided to visit the bustling Chatuchat market, where I’m sure it “was” possible to buy almost anything you could bring to mind. It is… sorry, was a veritable feast of cheap, fake and interesting products for the many thousands of eager to spend tourists and I should know as you only need look in my living room to see the amount of figurines and decorative fans I have. Anyway, I’ll get on with the story now as I’m sure people don’t want to read pages of me going on and on about trivial stuff. I picked up a few things at Chatuchat and then sat in the park for a while and admired the beautiful girls running by, all of them in far better shape than I was and then at about 19:15 I set off for the subway station which was only a 5 minute walk from where I was. On the way there though, something strange happened. I could’ve sworn I saw an escaped lunatic chasing a couple down the path just across from the path I was on but it happened so fast that it could have been anything. I’d heard of the control that the mafia had over here and I just assumed that it must have been something to do with that. The girl who was lagging behind and looking exhausted and terrified, was crying and sobbing as she ran and as I watched them race by it did cross my mind that I could help them but that thought was quickly overtaken by the many reasons why I should never willingly involve myself in those sort of Thai affairs. I was worried that there might have been more trouble brewing in the park so I quickened my pace and made it to the station within a minute. I bought my ticket and then proceeded to wait for the next train. I was looking forward to the trip as the carriages had air-conditioning and I was sweating like a pig due to my brisk walk to the station. What happened on the train was like something out of a George A Romero movie that went on and on and on… until now.
The train was quite crowded so I stood in the part where the carriages connected and leant against the wall just letting the cool dry air do its job. I only had 2 stops to go so I closed my eyes and thought of the wonderful time I was going to have. No work for 2 months. I’d just worked 5 months of 6 day weeks from November to March and I’d had enough of getting up at 4:30 am, picking up my post and walking empty streets in the gloom of winter. I’d become so depressed that I almost begged my boss to give me the time off so I could get some sun on my pasty, tired body. Well I don’t know how but I got the 2 months off, one of which was paid. So I was feeling rather jolly as I thought about the next eight weeks. I was expecting to let loose and paint the town red with my buddy who lived in Bangkok but as it turned out it wasn’t me painting the town red, it was the hordes of unhumans that were about to take over. It started on the subway train of all places, which is probably one of the worst possible places that you could be, come to think of it.
Further up the train in the last carriage(the train was 4 carriages and I was in the second from last) someone had been coughing for the last few minutes and it was really getting on my nerves because it was none stop and getting louder. I opened my eyes to look at whoever it was and I spotted the culprit straight away because he was on his knees with his hands gripping the seat in front of him while 3 or 4 people were trying and failing to help him. Every time somebody went near him he lashed out at them, driving them back. I wondered how many more strange things I was going to see that day and as it turned out, a very many strange things!! The carriage he was in began to empty as people made their way hurriedly past me and into the next carriage along, they all looked rather worried and were talking animatedly as they hurried past. I looked back into the carriage where they were headed and saw that everyone was staring and pointing in my direction, obviously at the man but I still felt uncomfortable, so I moved into their carriage and out of the way of the staring faces, I’ve never liked being the centre of attention, you see. From my new position I couldn’t see the man anymore but I could still hear the horribly monotonous sound of his hacking cough. Then curious people from the carriage I was in began to move closer to the other carriage to get a better look at the action I presume and they were crowded into the gap between the 2 carriages. There must have been 10 people standing there when the coughing abruptly stopped much to my relief. That wasn’t the end of it though because people began to either run away from the direction of the man or run in his direction, which I thought was strange so I took a quick look and saw through the crowd that he had collapsed in a heap. Someone then began to perform mouth to mouth on him, which was as I recall not something he would be repeating ever again as for starters he ended up with no lips and secondly he was dead, after what happened next of course. It seemed that he was successful in his attempts to revive the fallen man as the body on the ground began to move. However, the movements were jerky and spasmodic as if the guy was having a fit of some kind and he grabbed the guy who had just brought him back and yanked him forwards at which point the small crowd began to back away. I couldn’t see much still, because of the people but I knew from their cries of horror and disbelief that something awful was happening. Then the screaming started, I couldn’t tell who it came from but it was a scream of pain at first and then it turned into one of terror as the people from that carriage raced past me to get as far away as possible from whatever was happening behind them. I also began to move back as I saw the looks on the faces of the retreating people. They looked shocked and I soon saw why, because through a gap in the rapidly retreating crowd I saw that the coughing man was sat on top of the guy who had revived him and was tearing into his chest which was open and pumping blood everywhere. His hands were filled with chunks of bloodied flesh which he stuffed into his mouth frenziedly, as if he were partaking of some sumptuous feast. That was enough to shock me into action and I turned and fled with the crowd to try and get as far from him as possible. Just as I started to run the train began to slow down, it was about to pull into the next station. People sitting in the carriages we ran through stared at us with questioning looks on their faces and some of the fleeing people screamed at them in their language as they passed which soon got them moving after us hurriedly while looking over their shoulder. The crowd I was in reached the end carriage which soon began to fill up with people. I was pushed and carried into the center of the carriage as people fought to get nearer the doors which were about to open, but most of the people on the far side of the crowd didn’t seem to know what was going on and many of them were trying to see back where we’d come from. As all this was going on it seemed that the screaming was getting closer and coming from more than one person and when I say screams, I don’t mean of fear but of agony and anguish. It was a horrible sound that sent a chill down my spine and the women in the carriage began to cry and yelp in fear as they were jostled and pushed out of the way by fleeing men. It was every man for himself as soon as the doors opened at the station and I threw myself forward into the surging crowd eager to get as far from the terror behind me as possible. A man in front of me fell face down and was trampled in the stampede, no one willing to stop long enough to help him get up and I’m sorry to say I also made no effort to help him as he lay prone, presumably unconscious, “He’ll be fine,” I thought. Then I remembered what we were running from and knew that he wouldn’t be fine.  The station platform had 2 sets of escalators, one at either end and I ran with most of the crowd to the closest one. Nobody waited for the escalators to carry them to the top. Instead, everyone ran as fast as their legs could carry them and I certainly wasn’t going to be trampled by the terrified crowd behind me so I ran from them as well as whatever it was back there in the train. When I reached the top of the one of the highest escalators I’d ever been on, I saw several policemen with their guns drawn standing at the ready by the turnstiles and I can’t remember a time when I’ve felt such relief. They urged us forward and quickly and efficiently got everyone through the turnstiles and out of harms way and their way so they could better take care of whatever was coming up from the platform. As I’d found on previous travels here, Thai people are very curious and love being spectators to any kind of event taking place, sometimes at the risk of their own lives it seems and a crowd had formed just behind the turnstiles waiting for the inevitable battle to begin. I stood near the back as far away from the throng as possible and waited. After what I’d seen on the train I was shaking all over and my heart thumped loudly and rapidly in my chest. I knew I shouldn’t wait there but I couldn’t help myself, I had to be sure if what I’d seen earlier was real. Was that guy really eating the other guy’s flesh on that train or was I mistaken somehow. It had looked like a scene from a zombie movie but zombies didn’t exist, at least that’s what I thought then. I know better now. We didn’t have to wait long. After about 10 minutes, a loud screeching suddenly started up and it curdled my blood because it sounded nothing like a human should sound. It sounded more like an angry baboon getting ready to charge at intruders on its territory. As the screeching grew louder, other sounds joined it like a symphony of terror being played just for us spectators. The other sounds were just as horrible. Grunts and squeals that sounded like pigs. The crowd in front of me was beginning to back away as one, getting ready to run for the stairs which is where I was standing.  I felt quite safe though as there were about 20 of them between me and whatever was coming up those escalators. When the owners of the screeching appeared it was clear that it wasn’t just the one person that was infected but several of them and as soon as they appeared and spotted the crowd, they began sprinting towards them like madmen. The one in lead was the man who I’d seen coughing on the train and his face and shirt were covered in blood. He was closely followed by 3 others that looked as though they’d been rent by a wild animal with flesh hanging from wounds all over their bodies. They were so fast that the police seemed to be taken completely by surprise. They managed to unload their pistols on them though before they reached the crowd, although the bullets seemed to have little effect on the unrelenting charge of the unhumans (The name given to them by the press). 2 of the unhumans did go down in bloody heaps before they got to the police but the last 2 made it to where the police were hurriedly reloading and tore into them with a fury unlike anything I’d ever seen up to that point(I’ve seen it many times since). They didn’t stand a chance and as they began screaming in agony, the crowd of onlookers turned and surged towards me in terror. I turned and sprinted up the stairs like an Olympic gold medalist both in fear of being crushed by the crowd and of being the next victim of those things. I reached the top and emerged onto the street where more police waited with guns drawn. They ran forward shouting and gesturing wildly for me to move away from the entrance and I obliged them without hesitation. I ran to a taxi at the side of the road and quickly got in and told the driver to take me to my hotel. As the taxi was pulling away I turned to watch what was happening at the subway entrance and it was utter chaos. A crowd of people from food stalls in the street and a few passers by had begun to gather in a scattered group around the entrance and the police were arranged in a semi circle covering every angle of the entrance. At the same time, the fleeing people were pushing through the police barrier and the crowd, desperately trying to escape the horror behind them. One woman fell over a bike that was laid in the street behind the crowd, sprawling on the floor in a heap and then hurriedly jumped up and continued running despite the bloody wound to her forehead which bled profusely. Another of the fleeing crowd, a man dressed in a once immaculate blue suit that was creased and ripped, sent an onlooker who tried to stop him and speak to him crashing to the ground with a shove to the chest, while he screamed something at them and ran off down the street faster than he’d ever run in his life.
 I arrived back at my hotel at about 20:15 and then went straight up to my room and switched on the T.V. to see just what the hell had happened back there. Well it was all in Thai language anyway wasn’t it so I didn’t learn very much more except that the incident on the train wasn’t the only one of its kind to occur. There had been other attacks and more attacks were happening in scattered places throughout the city as far as I could tell from the pictures. The police seemed to be dealing with the situation the only way they knew how, by opening fire on the unhumans and in most cases having little effect and being overrun. However, I did see one report which showed a diagram of the human body with certain parts highlighted as weak points. The head and any part of the leg seemed to be the most effective place to shoot them as some of the police force had discovered. According to the police officer presenting the information, shooting them in the head took them out permanently while shooting them in the legs slowed them down. They were inhumanly fast and seemed only to want to tear as many people apart as they could get their hands on.  What was even more unnerving is the fact that anyone killed by them came back as one of them, increasing their number each and every time. As I sat there pondering my next move, there came a shriek from the corridor outside my room, followed by the sound of doors opening and slamming. Then the pounding started, it sounded like it was coming from the corridor, possibly the room opposite mine. Terrified, I leapt up and ran into the bathroom, closing and locking the door behind me. Just then, from outside in the street, 5 floors below, I heard the screeching of car tires and then a loud smash. Hell had arrived.
As I sat against the bathroom door, I was utterly petrified and sure that at any moment a horribly disfigured monster would be smashing into my room to tear me to pieces, but an hour passed and nothing came looking for me. Outside in the street, I heard screams, gunshots and the horrible screeching I’d heard in the subway station and with each screech, my blood ran cold. I couldn’t stop thinking about those creatures from the station and how horrifically disfigured they were. Even now, I still find it hard to believe that humanity gave in so easily. With all our technology and knowledge, we were unable to find an answer to their savage onslaught that destroyed Bangkok in a mere 2 days. I have no idea if the rest of Asia or even the world is affected with this virus because I’ve been stuck on this roof for a week now, living off peanuts, crisps and the few bottles of water I managed to scavenge from the Hotel refrigerator. The buildings around me are mostly aged crumbling apartment blocks and although in the first couple of days I saw other people moving around through the windows of some of the rooms, it’s been 2 days since I saw anyone human. The streets are literally dead. The few times I’ve braved looking over the edge of the roof, the streets were full of roaming, prowling unhumans, searching for more fresh meat to rend. Although, I hear gunfire from all around almost everyday, as if there are hundreds of battles going on across the city and that gives me hope that there is still a chance I’ll be rescued or at the very least, find someone living.
Getting up here wasn’t easy. I’ll never forget the short journey from my room to the rooftop because the things I saw were vile beyond belief and I was forced to destroy an unhuman. It was either that or be ripped apart. Finally, after 2 hours of cowering in the bathroom I managed to build up enough courage to unlock the bathroom door and enter my room. However, before doing so, I ripped the shower railing from the wall, as quietly as possible, to use as a weapon just in case. It was hollow of course but would still serve as an eye-stabbing weapon. I’d never so much as slapped anyone before so stabbing someone or something in the eye was going to be a big ask or so I thought.  Once in my room I quietly stuffed everything from the refrigerator into my small backpack and slipped it over my shoulders. I could have stayed in the room, but that was too risky, knowing that the more of those things there were, the more of them there would be hunting and searching, looking for something to kill. Shaking with fear and holding the bar in my hand ready to thrust it forward, I quietly opened the door to the corridor, expecting to see blood and bodies but the corridor was empty and worst of all, silent and still. Where had the unhuman gone? Was it waiting down the corridor around the corner? The door opposite my room was smeared with bloody handprints and the wood was dented in places where something had smashed against it. I had no idea what to do at that point, and then the thought occurred that I had forgotten to check the news so I could find out what the hell was going on and whether or not help was coming, preferably in the form of heavily armed soldiers. I crept back into my room and quietly closed and locked the door before turning on the T.V., keeping my finger pressed to the volume button to lower it lest the noise attract any unwanted visitors. Normally the channels would be filled with soap operas and comedies but every channel I flicked to was reporting the chaos that was taking over the city. Most channels were reporting what I already knew, that the city was being overrun by unhumans but one of the channels was much more interesting. That channel showed a Thai professor or Doctor talking to the news reporter from some undisclosed location and I was able to follow because they were showing English subtitles. They knew the cause of the infection, mosquitoes! Mosquitoes had somehow become infected with a virus they had never seen before, and although dormant in mosquitoes, when passed on to humans it activated and killed the infected within an hour. The deceased would then reanimate and seemed to have only one purpose, to kill the living and any killed by the risen would then reanimate, thus adding to and swelling the numbers of the unhumans.

The Journey to the roof
As I mentioned before, the journey to the roof was the most heart-stopping experience I’ve ever had the misfortune of having. Something tells me that was nothing compared to what’s coming soon though, as I can’t stay on this roof forever. Unless I kill myself, which at the moment, doesn’t seem like a very intelligent idea, considering I don’t know the full extent of this, whatever “this” is.  Anyway, The noise outside was scaring the shit out of me and I knew that unless I got out of that room then, I probably wouldn’t get another chance. I decided, as I stood there, my hand resting on the door handle, that I’d take the roof. At least up there, I could wait this thing out until the army arrived. I was on the fourth floor, which meant I had another 7 floors to traverse to get to the roof, so I decided the stairs were the best option, the safest option as who knows what horror awaited in the lift, either in it or waiting for me as I was leaving it. I’ve seen far too many horror movies involving lifts to be that naïve. After trying and failing to get my hand to respond and push down on the handle numerous times, I finally managed it and as before, the hallway was silent and empty. I avoided looking at the door opposite because for all I knew, it contained a nasty surprise. I crept quietly down the hallway and headed for the stairs. I passed 5 rooms on the way to the stairs but not a sound could be heard from any of them, the place was as silent as a tomb, although in the distance I could still make out gunfire and sirens from the streets below. Either the occupants had fled or they were hiding. Either way, I wasn’t man enough to check. So, I made it to the stairs without incident and began to ascend, my backpack on securely and the pole held in front of me ready to thrust. Walking up those stairs seemed to take forever and once I got between the first 2 floors I almost panicked, my imagination getting the better of me. I kept thinking, “What if I get trapped between floors?” “Maybe I should go back.” Then there was my heartbeat, it was incredibly loud and I worried they would hear it or it would drown out sounds of their approach, and they would creep up on me and rip me to pieces. Up until the 9th floor, I was my own worst enemy, what was waiting on the ninth floor for me was far worse and was to be my first experience face to face with one of the infected unhumans. I had quickened my pace and was beginning to think I was going to make it without incident, when I heard crashing sounds like breaking furniture suddenly from the corridor of the ninth floor. I immediately halted both my movement and my breath, frozen, ears pricked like a buffalo being stalked by Lions. I was so close to the top, I had to keep going, all I had to do was run up the stairs, round the corner and I’d be onto the next flight of stairs leading to the tenth floor but once again my fear got the better of me. I waited there or should I say was petrified and glued to the spot, pressed up against the wall on the stairs leading to the ninth when the noise suddenly stopped. Now once the noise stopped, my fear increased tenfold. Where was it? Was it moving towards me? Was it standing, waiting for me to round the corner before leaping on me? I had just blown my chance of getting away without risk of death, although if I could just get a hold of myself and run, I might make it. So I psyched myself up the only way I knew how. I repeated a mantra over and over, “You can do this, you can do this, you can do this.” Finally, after a hundred or so times I felt better and ready to run. Gripping the pole tighter than ever and giving silent thanks for the soft carpet covering the floor, masking my footsteps, took a quick look around the corner towards the lifts and looked straight into the bloodshot eye of an unhuman! It was or used to be the hotel receptionist. She was once quite pretty and I had thought of asking her out once I’d gotten settled, however, she had gotten really ugly all of a sudden and the only thing she appeared to want was me dead. I was frozen, which I seem to do very well when I’m afraid and luckily she didn’t make any move either, she just stared at me with her one eye. The other eye was gone, as was the side of her face. I could see bone and the flesh that remained looked as though it had been chewed on by wild animals. Her clothes were hanging off her in shreds and as she took a step closer, I saw that one of her breasts was missing too, on the same side as her chewed face. The next step she took was the beginning of her sprint towards me. Driven by fear and self-preservation I turned and ran for the stairs feeling the adrenalin pumping through my veins, I got there before she got to me and began to leap up the stairs two at a time, never letting go of the pole which was what saved my life. I made it to the tenth but that was as far as I got because she was upon me, grabbing my backpack first and pulling me backwards with her, shrieking horribly as she did so. We both tumbled back down the stairs and crashed into the wall hard. Thankfully, she had landed behind me and cushioned my fall otherwise my head would have cracked like an egg. Despite the crushing fall, she still had hold of my bag and one of her hands made it round to my face, the fingers slipping into my mouth and yanking my head back, where I could hear the snapping of her jaws as she obviously sought to chew on my face as her own had been. Disgustingly, I had no choice but to bite down hard on her fingers which were covered in something that tasted foul, it worked, though not because it hurt her but because I managed to yank the hand out of my mouth, on account of her fingers being bunched up between my teeth. I knew while all this was happening that if there were other unhumans in the building they would be racing to the scene. I knew I’d be fucked if that happened so I wrestled out of the back pack straps, picked up the pole, turned and froze again. I heard once that fear was supposed to help us when we are in danger, but it sure wasn’t helping me. She was climbing to her feet and there I was frozen, petrified, shaking like a baby. Part of me was screaming, “stick the fucking pole in her eye NOW!” while the other part of me was saying, “This isn’t me, I can’t do this.” The unhuman, bleeding heavily from a head wound clambered groggily to her feet and that’s when I listened to the right voice. Roaring as I did so, I hefted the pole and thrust it into the unhuman’s face, missing her eye with the first blow, blood spurting from her nose and hitting me square in the chest as her nose caved in, I quickly followed that up with a another roar and thrust. The second thrust hit the mark, spearing her through the eye socket and into the brain. She stopped dead and fell without a sound, save for the squelch as she landed in her own pool of blood. Still in shock, I picked up my backpack which, surprisingly, wasn’t too bloody and ran all the way to the 11th floor, adrenalin rushing through my veins and lending me strength I’ve rarely felt before. Thankfully, I heard no sounds of pursuit, so I hadn’t attracted anymore of those disgusting creatures. The door to the roof is one of those fire doors that requires you to push the bar in the middle to get through so although there is a chance that one of those things could get up here, I’m not too worried, because from what I have seen so far, they are as thick as two short planks. There is a ladder leading up to an area where the satellite dishes and aerials are so that is where I spend most of my time. If they do get on the roof, I’ll fight them off from the top of the ladder with my pole. I’ve killed one already and I’ll kill more if I have to. If things get really bad and they do get up here before the army shows up, I guess I could always take the easy way out and jump off the roof. Only time will tell. For now, I have enough food and water to last 2 maybe 3 days and after that I really don’t know.

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