Looking down the large flight of stairs, she studied the huge, barricaded metal door that had sealed hundreds of innocents to their fate. The barricades were nailed across the doors and braced against the door and the granite stairs she stood on. Even from here she could see the stress lines across the wood created from the doors as those inside had tried to get out.
She thought back to the fateful morning when police and army officers had rushed down the stairs dragging the huge planks of wood behind them, and those at the door threshold had been forced back by the armed officers. Despite the display of force it had been relatively calm, incomprehension of why they would want to close the main exit blinded people to the real danger amongst them. Not Anya. Standing shoulder to shoulder she could see the grey pallid complexions of her fellow passengers dotted around the room. Thinking back she realized now she had seen them while on the underground trains, as they disembarked and during the climb up the flights of stairs to the main terminal. It was only when they began to close the doors did the realization dawn on her.
As the daylight was blocked off, she first made her way to the stations lockers, stowing her bag and pocketing the key, before making her way toward the bathrooms, and there she made a phone call to the outside world. Her mother had sounded worried as Anya described her situation and the reasons why she thought they were being blockaded in. Then Anya listened as her mother tried to describe the television pictures of sealed off apartment buildings and train stations until suddenly the signal had been cut off.
All had remained calm for several hours as people listened to the stations Public Announcement system declaring the situation temporary and for their own protection. Inside the toilet stall Anya had heard the first screams while she was pulling back on the ventilation grate. The screams of horror and panic, shouts of “Infected” and “Open the door” filled the air as people began to rush toward the sealed doors and back down the stairs toward the rail tracks and eventual freedom.
Stopping her escape work she tucked herself into a ball and covered her ears. As she had guessed the government had not forgotten about such an obvious escape route. The deafening boom from the of explosives and collapsing rail road tunnels had shook the entire station while the pressure wave had smashed windows, mirrors and blown countless eardrums. Picking herself up, she had pulled again at the grate, cutting her hands on the sharp metal corners and covering her dress in thick black dust.
She closed her eyes and fought the vivid image of her crawl to freedom, the chocking dust and the screams as people began to turn on each other both in fear and in hunger.
Now she made her way slowly toward the door, covering her nose at the stench emanating from the other side she walked up and pressed her ear against its cold metal exterior. The only sound was her own heartbeat thumping rhythmically over the wind that whipped around her feet. Stepping back she thumped her fist against the metal before shouting if anyone could hear her.
She moved back to the door and pressed her ear to the metal again, while this time holding her breath, she strained her ears for the slightest hint of movement beyond.
With a deafening crash something hit the other side of the door. Anya jerked back, her ear ringing and stood wide eyed looking at the door. Another blow hit the door, and another. Rapidly more blows struck the door, vibrating the hastily constructed barricades that had been battered from the long winter and hot summer. Stepping back up the stairs Anya watched the first wooden brace fall away from the door and land with an ear splitting crack on the hard granite floor.
Anya swore and began to race up the stairs as more pieces were shaken loose, before finally, the doors exploded outward in a shower of splinters and dust. Turning back she saw blackened and moldy figures pushing through the opening before she turned away and ran toward the nearby survivor camp. All thoughts of the bag she had gone to recover were forgotten as the threat and terror of what she had disturbed filled her mind.