Posted by Barbanne on June 17, 2003 at 00:02:43:
PART ONE HUNDRED
I was shattered!
The fragile facade of mental well being that I had laboriously built up was gone, destroyed by the brutality of the rape. Once again I was that frightened small child who had been so unjustly abused and who had been unable to deal with that betrayal by those she had loved and looked up to.
I had been betrayed and I had been physically abused in the most horrendous way.
My very femininity had been attacked and breached and defiled.
I couldn't stop crying.
I was shamed and ashamed and I felt filthy and I knew I would be unable to share this horror with anyone else. How I wanted to run to Alex and howl out my shame and despair. To bury myself in his powerful and comforting embrace and to have him heal me. But I couldn't. I was dirty and I was debased and I had brought it on myself.
I deserved it!
It was what my stupid promiscuous behaviour had merited. I was unworthy and I was being punished.
I couldn't stop my tears. Great gut wrenching sobs and endless weeping. My face was swollen and red and my despair was complete.
I felt horribly uncomfortable and, lifting the hem of my shift, found that I was still spotting and a wave of nausea rolled over me as I saw the tell tale crimson stains on my underpants.
I hid myself in the darkest corner I could find.
I heard them calling to me and I buried myself even deeper. I curled in on myself and hid in the comfort of the darkness.
Alex was calling. Then I heard the others. There was something about the sound of their voices. A hint of anxiety, a note of worry, fear even.
Then I smelled the smoke.
I lay there wondering what was happening. Something was burning.
Ever so slowly I made myself crawl outside, out from the security of the ablution block to see what was on fire.
Oh christ the whole warehouse was ablaze and as I knelt there, gobsmacked and watching, the flames raced across the dry timber flooring and exploded upwards into the roof. Fueled by the dry old building and the volatile stuff we used for props and makeup and filming, the fire was raging out of control. Everything was going up. Everything that had made up Playdead dot com was going up in flames. All of our records, all of our equipment, everything!
The heat was tremendous.
Thick grey smoke was roiling around everywhere.
I could hear the others calling and crying out and through the opening in the wall between the warehouse and the studio I saw that Alex, Dave and the girls had all made it into the street. Suddenly I wanted to live, to be with them, to escape. If I could be with Alex again, if he could hold me, crush me to him, kiss me, I would be alright. I scrambled to my feet and rushed across the blazing cavern of the warehouse to join them but the heat beat me back. I fell to my knees, my eyes watering and smarting, and I was coughing up the thick oily smoke. Jeez it was impossible. The smoke swirled and filled my vision and I lost sight of them. I heard voices calling out.
"Dave, where's Barb?"
"She's........oh shit, she went in back to set up."
"Come on we have to get her."
"Oh christ there's no way back in there, the heat would kill you inside a minute."
"Has the brigade been called?"
"Yeah Roxie did that in fact they're coming now. I can hear them."
Then the heat gusted out again and I was driven even further back and heard no more.
No more voices that was. I could hear the crackling and the hissing and stuff collapsing as the whole building blazed furiously destroying itself in a frenzy of heat and flame.
Abigail was there, a strange madness lighting up her eyes.
"Abigail you idiot, get out of here. Come on help me we'll find a way out."
"No Barb. If I can't have you no-one will."
"Don't be mad girl, help me."
"There's no help anymore Barb, we're going to die together."
"No we're not. Forget all that stupidity Abigail, help me, together we can get away."
"Barbanne I love you," she started toward me.
"Fine, fine but let's get away. Shit the heat is dreadful, we have to find a way out."
"Never," she grappled with me trying to kiss me.
"Fuck it," I pushed her away.
"Barbanne I love you," she screamed and then I heard the whistling of falling debris and as I looked up a flaming roof timber hurtled down and Abigail looked up and then it hit her across the side of the head leaving a sooty black smudge down the right side of her face and she uttered a small whimper and went down in a heap. I leapt forward and knelt beside her, her hair was alight, I beat it out, burning my hands in the process. I shook Abigail but she just flopped in my arms and made no sign of response. I shook her again and called out her name and slapped her face, once and then again and then I really slapped her hard and my damaged hand stung with the pain of it. It was useless, she was drooling a thin sliver of dribble and her eyes were closed and she was well and truly out.
"You fucking idiot," I shook her again, "oh Abigail what have you done?"
I tried to lift her but discovered that when they talk about dead weight that's exactly what they mean. Abigail seemed to weigh a tonne. She was utterly limp, her face was bruising where it had been hit, her burnt hair smelled horrible andshe was breathing noisily and irregularly.
I heard distant voices.
"Barb, Barb where are you?"
That was Alex.
And then Roxie, high and hysterical, "Barbanne can you hear me?"
"In here," I screamed, "help me."
What use. They couldn't hear me, no-one could hear me, no-one knew where we were.
I didn't want to despair, I wanted to live, oh god how I wanted to live but the fire surrounded us and now the whole building was ablaze and I reckoned it was all about to collapse and I realised that we were going to die.
I heard an awful cracking and glanced up just in time to see one of the roof truss brackets give way and the whole thing shift.
"Oh Abigail," I whispered, "what have you done?"
I covered her body as best I could with mine. I didn't want to die. I didn't want her to die. I just wanted to be with Alex and to have him hold me and to be safe.
Then there was a horrible rending sound and I looked up to see the whole main roof structure burning fiercely and as I watched fascinated, as any creature is when it sees death coming, it collapsed and came hurtling down towards us.