City Exit

Sauf-effing-ampton! The Atlantis of Hampshire. Not. If you ask me the Titanic hit that iceberg on purpose so it never had to return to port.

I was supposed to be on secondment for six months and now I was trapped. It was month twelve.

Before the trouble started, my rule was NEVER to go into the city centre on a Saturday afternoon. This was the peak time, the spike in the head, sorry I mean, demographic where bovine creatures shuffled along in their tracksuited finery, drooling debt like crash test dummies reanimated by Dr Frankenstein. The missing link? Scarily evident and it was breeding.

I used to wish that a huge iceberg would crash into Southampton and unleash an armageddon of bazooka-toting polar bears and penguins with Uzis. It could happen. Global warming, right? And flying killer whales, yeah, that would work. A brattish kid having a strop on the High Street then whoosh! A killer whale swoops in and minces the child in seconds. All that is left of little Tommy would be a bloodied shoe and red rain falling from the sky.

Sometimes I would go into the centre on a Sunday and pretend to be a homeless guy with Tourettes. Used to have some good scraps, especially on match day, until the rozzers turned up and I had to leg it.

People say I have anger management issues…they can go fuck themselves! Anyway, I threw a Molotov cocktail through Primark’s window one night. I was beered up and it seemed like a good idea. I was never identified because I was wearing a Mexican wrestling mask.

A while back I was attacked by a girl. I had made a harmless comment about her hair and she tried to burn my face off with ceramic hair straighteners. I think she was Lithunian or something. That’s why I decided to get a gun – angry birds, the Southampton edition. I popped over to Millbrook to do some shopping and take in the lovely architecture. Left with a snub-nosed revolver and a box of ammo.

You may be judgy and say it is a bit extreme me packing heat like some gangster from Thornhill but I had a premonition something bad was going to happen.

Southampton is now a quarantine zone. Anyone trying to get out over the barricades is shot. The bodies piled up quickly at the beginning. People could not believe they would be executed in cold blood. Blame Brexit.

The bridges into the city were blown up. No one had any interest in getting in. The city was left to fester, decay and burn.

No one really knows what happened other than a cruise ship crashed full tilt into the docks late one night. The emergency services attended and the virus escaped the ship. It’s called the I-Virus and it is one of the most virulent known to humankind. They started burning the bodies alive or dead and the cruise ship was blasted into oblivion by fighter jets. They thought it was airborne virus. They were wrong. It’s passed through saliva. The virus attacks the red blood cells which mutate at an exponential rate. Symptoms manifest in murderous rage and cannibalism.

I still shiver when I think of the first time I encountered an Infected. It ran towards me screeching, its eyes were terrifying, I shot it in the face.

I have not felt pity for a while. The Infected are no longer human. It’s still bad if you have to kill one you know. I shot Dave the plumber. That was tough. He had fixed my ballcock once, decent job for a decent price. Plus he wasn’t stingy with the beer either. I was gutted. I had hoped he was okay because I had a leaking pipe in my flat.

Marvelous, isn’t it? Successive governments allowed the NHS to crumble into ruin, the train services were medieval and the police spent more time filing paperwork than accidentally shooting Brazilians on the Tube YET one little outbreak of contagion and Southampton was walled in quicker than a dead pharaoh. Personally, I think the government always had a plan to do it, they just needed an excuse.

I like the city more than I used to, which is a bit screwed up I guess.

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