Chapter Thirty Eight – Inkocalypse

16 Aug

As much as I hated to say it, he was right – we didn’t have much time. The entire high street was filled with a foot of shiny black ink. Above us, there were all sorts of signs hanging out of the upper windows of the shops saying things like ‘Woe and doom! The end is near!’ and ‘Inkocalypse!’ Below us, I could see two crowded pavements and cars roaring past in the reflection. Before we left, Jules had sprayed our feet with the blue ink. The last thing we needed was chaos in the reflection below us as pairs of cloned feet emerged from the road. All three of us needed to focus.

When we got to the dark door of The Demon, Jules reached into his pockets and pulled out a thin strip of metal. For a second or two, I thought that he’d try to pick the lock. But he just wedged it against one of the windows before jerking his arm violently. The glass spiderwebbed with a loud screeching sound. I looked over my shoulder, there was no-one else around. Taking his jacket off, Jules wrapped it around his arm before smashing the window out and climbing in.

Rosie almost slipped onto the jagged edge of the window as she climbed through, I followed carefully. When we’d got inside, Rosie pointed at the silhouettes at the end of the flooded pub. There were ten wooden models by the doors to the backroom and I guessed that there would be more inside. Jules fumbled through his pockets again until he found an old atomiser filled with blue ink. He looked at me and said ‘Are you ready? Once we’re done here, Rosie will create a distraction – just get past the models and dive into the coffin.’

‘Will I drown?’ I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t thought of that question earlier.

‘No, the blue ink will take care of that, now put on the goggles.’ Jules started to spray my jeans, my feet again and my ankles with the blue ink.

I took my jacket off and put it on a nearby table before pulling the goggles over my head. They gave the world a slightly blue tint – my guess was that this was some kind of coating designed to stop them fogging up. All the time, Jules kept spraying me with the blue ink until he eventually reached my hair. By this time, he was shaking the bottle between sprays.

Eventually, I felt a shivering coldness on the top of my head and he said: ‘There! I’m out! Go!’

I took a deep breath. Rosie walked over to the bar and started fumbling with one of the bottles of spirits and reaching around under the bar. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what she was planning to do. I broke into a sprint and aimed myself at the gap between the two models in the middle of the doorway. As I got closer, I crouched down out of reach and passed between them. Wooden arms whooshed past the small of my back as I got to my feet again.

Everything was dark, I kept moving. I heard splashing behind me. The coffin should be in the centre of the room. There was a clicking sound behind me, followed by a loud fwoosh! Everything got brighter. Surprisingly, there were only three models around the open coffin.

As I got closer, their heads turned towards me in perfect synchronisation. I saw six ornately-carved eyes staring at me. But I kept running. As I got closer, one of them stretched out it’s left arm. Swinging my arm round, I smacked it with my elbow. White-hot numbing pain lanced through the right side of my body as it connected and sent the model bouncing off of the side of the coffin and into the other two models.

Wincing through the pain, I saw my window of opportunity. The coffin was right in front of me. Everything in my mind told me that it was only a foot or two deep, but I tried to ignore it and focus only on the electric pain running through my right arm. Taking another deep breath, I heard the models next to me move again. It was now or never.

I dived into the coffin.

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