“Do not go outside! Do not go outside! Close all windows and doors…” The message was repeated again and again, on all T.V. and radio stations .It was the only thing that we had heard for the last three days.
Me, Peter and Sophie sat there in this strange apartment in the centre of San Francisco. We had been walking back to our own apartment with a pizza to celebrate my 26th birthday when an army jeep came down the street and someone from inside it had shouted out over its intercom for everybody to get into the closest building. Luckily, we were the only people on the street so once we got into an apartment block we found the nearest free apartment which was on the third floor and we settled down.
There was barely any appliances in here just a T.V., a radio and a microwave like whoever had been living here just didn’t care for any quality of life. There were three chairs in his apartment. I was sitting on a small chair covered in upholstery that this person put his feet up on. I do not know why someone would even put their feet up on it because it was like a rock. Meanwhile, Sophie sat on a big leather armchair. If chairs rose to power her chair would be king it was that big. Peter sat on a spinning chair from under this person’s desk. There was no sign of a computer on this desk just a few pencils and a paper clip, which Peter had already stolen. The apartment smelt of beer and it was also beginning to smell like a zoo but that is probably only the smell of Peter. We had eaten all the food that was in the apartment, which was only a stale ham sandwich and a packet of crisps which were absolutely disgusting.
The only thing keeping us sane and entertained was a fly which had been buzzing round Peter’s head and Peter had been trying to kill it for the past few hours.
“I’m hungry”, wailed Peter slumping down onto his chair. “How could you be hungry”, Sophie shouted “You ate all the crisps and only gave me and Jack a handful”. “Ye said ye didn’t like them”, snapped Peter. “I know we did”, said Sophie “But we still wanted to eat them”. “Guys just cool down, fighting isn’t going to make food appear”, I said calmly, always being the peacekeeper in their fights.
-How about this, Jack and I will go look for food and then when we get back, you, Sophie stay here and kill that fly for me.
-I’m not staying here to kill a stupid fly for you and you’re as deaf as a post! Did you not hear the message on T.V and on the radio? Do not go outside!
-Who cares? I definitely don’t!
“Guys”, I interjected “Let’s stop fighting, take a deep breath and count to ten and when the two of you have stopped fighting we will go look for food”.
They knew I was always the one that made the right choices so they agreed. We gathered any weapons we could find from around the apartment. We got a butcher’s knife in a drawer, a poker for a fire even though there was no fireplace in the apartment and a leg we broke off the armchair which was as blunt as a hammer but would be good for threatening someone.
“Hey but we have no money”, Peter said worriedly. “Peter”, I said “even if we do find a shop which is open I doubt we’ll have to pay if we walk up to the counter with a butcher’s knife in our hands.
So off we went down the stairwell and into the lobby. There was no sign of any life and it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. We headed out on to the streets ready for whatever would face us. There was the distant howl of a dog but apart from that you would think it was a ghost town. We checked all over city but everywhere was closed. We were just finished when we remembered the pizza parlour where we bought my birthday pizza in the heart of the city. When we got to where the pizza parlour was we couldn’t believe our eyes.
There in the centre of San Francisco was a giant hole in the ground! It was like someone had reached down from the sky picked up a piece of the city and thrown it away. Where the pizza parlour had been a man sat at a massive machine gun at the edge of the hole. We could just see from where we were standing, down into the hole. There were large bits of machinery down there beating away at the ground. “Hey, I heard about something like this in Nevada”, said Sophie “They dug down into the ground in the middle of the desert to look for gold, except this time they’re digging in the middle of San Francisco”. “Who’s digging?” I asked. “The Government”, came the answer from Sophie who was gone into a dream-like state watching this magnificent spectacle. “Are they actually allowed close down the city for three days to look for gold?” Peter asked inquisitively. “They’re in charge of the country”, I said “And they can do what they want when they want!” I said disgusted at what I was seeing.
We looked over at the guard again to make sure he hadn’t seen us. He was an old man with a dirty grey beard and a shrivelled-up old face. He looked around like a hawk but didn’t see us. I nearly had a heart attack when I heard a plane zooming past in the sky. “Let’s go down and look for gold”, Sophie said “They can’t do anything to us because we could tell everybody what’s going on here”. I agreed with her but Peter was a bit reluctant but in the end we coaxed him to go down.
We devised a plan that we would throw the armchair leg off in the other direction the machine gun operator would turn towards that and we would climb down one of the many rope ladders around the hole. So I threw the leg away and as I did so we ran across the open area towards this massive hole. I was last one to go down but I was over the surface long enough to see the machine gun operator obliterate the leg of the chair within a matter of seconds of it landing. I shuddered at the thought of being caught by him.
As I am scared of heights I didn’t look down until I was near the bottom of the ladder but the spectacle that greeted me was unbelievable. It was a massive set-up with these drills around the side and a huge amount of massive computers in the middle with guards everywhere. When we reached the bottom we saw a guard with a big snarling rottweiler who was hungry for blood with him. The dog looked like a monster and the man wasn’t far off that either. We ducked off to the side and into a tiny alcove.
“Phew, that was close”, gasped Sophie. We stood there listening to anything we could hear the other side of the wall while Peter carved his name into the stone side of the alcove when the wall collapsed in. Sophie and I turned round to tell him to stay quiet but when we saw what he had done we turned around and did a little jig like two Irish dancers. We followed him into this little room and while I was rubbing my hand along the wall the layers of dirt started to peel and I saw little gold crystals along the outline of the cave. I turned round excitedly to tell Peter and Sophie when I saw three guards holding the two of them at the entrance to the cave. My heart sank as one guard walked forward. He was a tall, burly man who wouldn’t of been out of place on a weightlifting team. He had a bad eye which had no colour in it all. His ears were squished in against his head like he’d been playing rugby. His boots clicked together as he walked over. He spoke in a very official tone.
-Thank you whoever you are for leading us to the gold.
-B…B….But how did ye find us?
-Every single government facility in this great country of ours is fitted with top of the range security cameras and we saw you tricking the guard up above who has been fired. And we saw you climbing down the ladder like a little girl scared of falling.
-What are you going to do with us?
-Put you in Federal Prison for Trespassing on Government Property.
-But we’ll tell everybody what is going on here.
-So we’ll have to make sure you go away for a long time.
He walked up and put the handcuffs on my hands. The cold steel of the handcuffs was like a death sentence. He dragged me and away through the main area. Everybody looked up from what they were at and pointed and whispered. We were dragged away and threw in a cell. The cell wasn’t designed for three people. It had only one bed and a chamber pot. I was absolutely disgusted with myself. I dreaded the thoughts of my parents hearing about this and the embarrassment for them knowing their only son is in jail.
The room was completely dark about from a bulb hanging from the ceiling. Three walls of the room were white brick while the other wall was covered in bars. Sophie sat on the bed crying while Peter and I thought of how to get out. “If we get out”, I started “We will be in the clear as there is a ladder right beside here and there are no guards around. Hey, Peter do you still have that paper clip that you stole from the apartment?” Yes,” he answered as he held it out for me. I took it off him and set to work picking the lock. I jumped for joy like the cat that got the cream when the door opened. We snuck over to the ladder and climbed up it. There was nobody around. The city was the exact same as before we went down except there was nobody at the machine gun. “Where will we go now?” asked Sophie. “Back to our own flat”, I answered triumphantly. “Do you know the saying every cloud has a silver lining?” asked Peter. “Yes”, wondering what he was talking about. My eyes lit up when I saw him produce a block of gold out of his pocket. “You are absolutely brilliant!” screamed Sophie as we ran off as far away as possible from the hole.