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I slowly look around the backroom in the Cellarbrations Carlisle liquor store as I put down the glencairn of Mortlach 1954 from G & M. It's what I needed to try and steady my nerves. What the hell am I going to do? What the fuck is going on here?
I look at the camera monitors which show views from inside the shop and also the parking lot outside. I can hear pounding on a door throughout the building and I can see that five people are still pounding on the door. I can see that they're covered in blood as they leave smears on the glass doors while they beat on it.
I feel a surge of panic and fear in my guts as I realize that the doors cant hold out forever being glass. I need to figure out how I'm going to get myself out of this situation. I try to call my wife again on my mobile this time, but again there's just a busy signal, I then attempt to call the police once more, again a busy signal, I'm on my own.
I look around for something I might be able to use to defend myself and keep these people off me long enough so I can get to my car. I can't go out there bare handed or I'm dead. I quickly start searching the office I'm in, looking for anything, a broom, a knife, something, muttering to myself under my breath, wishing at this point in my life that I was in the US where the chances of a handgun would be pretty good, but there's nothing to be done.
I finally find a cricket bat behind a pile of empty boxes. Well it's no handgun, but it's better then nothing. I try the phones again, nothing, I grab the Mortlach and head to the cool room. I pull open the doors and there's my buddy Joel lying dead, fuck, this day has gone to shit, more so for him then myself. I need to escape, but just leaving doesn't feel right. I look down at my newly acquired cricket bat and the bottle of Mortlach, before pouring the whisky over my buddy, and then looking around, spying the many high proof vodkas, gins and tequila. I need to leave and it feels fitting to send my friend off viking style, plus if the gods are good it'll distract the creatures outside.
I creep out the side door as flames engulf the shop. Holy crap! The place has just gone up like a torch, aromas of spilled beer, wine, and then chemical aromas filling the air. I peek around the corner as I hear the glass doors finally give way and the creatures rush into the burning building. I run to my car, clicking the unlock button on my key ring and throwing myself into the vehicle as I hear screams of pain and rage echo from the building.
I throw the car into reverse and hit the gas as a flaming body stumbles out of the building, sees me and sprints towards me.
Fuck! He's fast!!
Gravel kicks up as I fly backwards in the car, trying to get to the street outside. I hit the guardrails behind me and am slammed to a stop. The person throws himself onto the windshield as I throw the car into gear and hit the gas again, slamming into him and onto the street as more people pour out of the building, flames licking their hair and clothes.
The tires squeal as I hit the street and shoot on down it, passing three cars that have crashed into one another across the road, with the flaming people chasing behind, but quickly lost into the distance. As soon as I realize they cant catch me I'm able to try and take a breath and realize that I'd driven by three crashed cars.
What the fuck?
For some reason I havent realized what I was seeing, there's crashed cars in the road, smoking, some with flames licking out of engines, blood stains on more then a couple, horns blaring in a couple cars. There's still people driving, but everyone's driving like me, like a bloody maniac. For some reason what just happened, what is still happening in my rear view as I see flames arise from Cellarbrations, just struck me as an isolated event. It obviousely isn't.
I turn on the radio as I speed towards our deli where my wife works, hopefully she's ok, but the continued lack of a phone signal has me terrified. I put the car up to 70ks, then 90ks, then decide the hell with it the cops have more important things to worry about then me speeding and crank the car up to 150ks. The road is zipping by, as I rush to my wife, radio blaring about a city wide emergency, some sort of rabies outbreak, the radio broadcaster is suggesting that people stay inside until the authorities declare the area to be safe.
No shit Sherlock.
People are crashing into trees, other cars, running over people as they get out of their vehicles, slamming into people are infected with whatever is causing them to go so violent....it's chaos....horns are blaring....a radio plays loudly in the background with a different broadcaster, explaining what's gone wrong, it sounds like he's talking out of his ass, but fuck what do I know?
I'm trying to avoid obstacles as best I can as I drive down the Great Eastern Highway, swerving to miss stalled cars, watching as a couple of the restaurants that I'm passing by billow flame from their windows when I see a car that jumps out at me....a lime green smart car, parked at Mane Liquor, one of my favorite shops, which is slowly starting to burn.
I swerve into the parking lot, crossing 4 lanes of traffic, horns blaring out as I narrowly avoid getting t-boned by multiple vehicles when I screech into the parking lot.
It is my buddy's car, Sam Dunn, and there's covering the driver side door, a trail that goes into Mane Liquor. I take the cricket bat into the shop with me as I cautiously call out, asking if any of the guys or Sam is there...with no answer.
I quickly wander through the building, checking the backrooms, but other then many broken beer bottles and a few puddles of blood I see nothing, and with smoke starting to fill the building I need to hurry out or I'll die.
As I run out of the burning building the sun is slowly setting in the West....I havent been able to reach my wife all through the day and I feel panic threatening to overwhelm me as I race the car to our deli.
More stalled cars, more bodies strewn about the road, flames rising in the darkness, radio updates, each more worse then the last, a busy signal on my constantly redialing mobile, what the hell is happening in Perth?!
Is it beyond Perth?
Is my wife and family ok?!
I've killed one friend today, and seen evidence that leads me to believe that another good friend of mine is now dead....is the world ending? Is this the end of days? Where is my wife? Where is my brother? Are they ok?
I pull into the parking lot of our deli at 80ks an hour and feel my stomach rise in fear....my car is on empty, I'm hearing screams and shrieks and growls and there's a body lying in the doorway of our deli.
I grab the cricket bat and lock the car, only wondering why I did so after the fact, and head into the deli....the car won't get me much farther, not without any gas, so who gives a shit if somebody takes it, but fuck it.
Into the deli I go, kicking the body away from the doorway and shutting and locking the doors and shutters.
I move through the isles quietly, stepping on overturned chip stands, but other then one puddle of blood and some overturned chip stands I see no one, no sign of where my family has gone to. I try to call my wife's mobile again, my brothers, my in laws, and it's just the busy signal....which is better then what the landline is getting which is just dead air.
"Fuck! fuck fuck fuck fuck!!" I scream again and again, tears streaming from my eyes, until I hear a thump against the door shutters and screams, which quickly turns into pounding.
I shut up instantly, good job you bloody muppet. Danger all around and you bloody well lose your head. Good way to find your family. I quickly run to the back of the shop to ensure the back door is locked and bolted.
It is. Thank god.
The pounding on the front doors continue, and I send another text message to my wife, letting her know I'm ok, that I'm coming for her, is she alright and where is she....only to have it bounce back as undeliverable.
I decide to get myself good and drunk at this point, going into our cupboards in the back and grabbing a bottle of whisky that had just arrived a few days earlier....A Glenfiddich 40 year old.
I grab a glencairn from the cabinet, rip open the top of the bottle and pour what the Scot's call a stoker of a pour, filling up the entire glencairn....I'd bought this whisky as a gift for one of my closest friends, but from what I'd seen today it looks like he's likely dead, and I NEED to drown out reality, even if it's just for a few hours with good booze.
Single cask Glenfiddich 40 year old, drawn from cask 9925. Laid down in 1973.
I bury my face into the glencairn, trying to lose the smell of blood and shit, that other sent of death, the burning buildings, stale sweat and fear and hide in the aroma of the whisky.
Nose Creme brulee, apple pie, rich, but balanced oak, poached pears and hints of tropical fruits, the whisky's nose slowly sucks me into it, pulling me from a reality where I'm scared, for myself and my loved ones, for the city and what will happen next.
I take a huge drink, and pour myself another one, letting the alcohol hit my system and numb me from the day I've just had, a day that I only thought could happen in movies.
Palate: Aged, but still incredibly vibrant considering it's age. The typical Glenfiddich Speyside characteristic comes through with the orchard fruits, dried apples and pears, vanilla, dark chocolate, vibrant oak, but balanced, just the faintest wisp of smoke in the background
The whisky goes down smooth, hitting me in the belly, with a finish that goes forever.
Finish: Long, I could drink an entire bottle of this easily, well my pocketbook couldn't normally, vanilla and orchard fruits, dry and begs you to take another taste.
As I glance down at the bottle I realize in suprise that I've drunk over half the bottle and as I sit down in the corner of our shop, crying, the screams of the infected, the pounding of their fists on my door shutters are drowned out as the whisky reaches into my head and knocks me out......