This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Not Dead Yet @SamieSands


Not Yet Dead - High Resolution

The AM13 Outbreak has affected everywhere, the entire world has experienced infection.

Victims of the virus are no longer human, they've changed, become something scientifically impossible. With their loss of human function and their new lust for flesh, there’s only one word to describe them...

Zombies.

The world is divided as everyone tries to work out how to survive. Many have already lost their lives
in the fight, but there are still a few who are not dead...

Yet!


Not Dead Yet Sample
Cape Town

Movie Transcript

NB: I have included a transcript in with the filmstrip in case parts of it don’t survive.

Scene One

The camera pans around, looking at the wasteland before me. The endless dead, yellowed grass, and rubble from some unfinished building scatter in view. It’s clear just from this one shot that the world is not in a good place. I’m silent, waiting for a reaction to stir in the audience. I already know that this movie will be a blockbuster, simply because I don’t think there’s anyone around with access to the technology that I have, but I wait for the viewers to figure the monumental sights I’m showing them, out for themselves.
Finally, the camera spins right around until it finds my face.

“Hello, my name is Derek Pillay, I’m thirty-one years old, and I’m here to present to you what life in the apocalypse is really like. I would like this movie to be named Dooiesjust in case I don’t make it, although I fully intend toand I think it’ll be one of a kind.”

The camera moves behind me to show all the equipment I own. My face vanishes and I become a voice-over.

“I’ve always wanted to make films about real life, just like this one, but I haven’t yet had my big break. I’ve gathered up all the equipment I could possibly need along the way, but the opportunity simply hasn’t happened just yet. It’s just lucky for me now that I have a generator which I can use to charge up the camera batteries. It’s power I could possibly use for other things to help me get by, but I’d rather sacrifice all of that to capture this. This really is once in a lifetime stuff, I’d have to be stupid not to go for it.”

I move now, through the barren land surrounding my home. I never had a lot, but I think the scarcity of the shot highlights how bad things have become. A homemade wall emerges, with wooden spikes sticking through it.

“I had the concrete ready anyway, building a wall around my property was on my to-do list forever, but I just never quite got around to it. Then this hit, so I had to. Luckily, because I’d escaped a number of infected right in the center of Cape Town, I knew what to expect, so I created the wooden dooies-catchers at the same time.”

I lift the camera up over the wall to show two of the infected impaled up against the wall. One of them got spiked through the head, so slumps there motionless, but the other one glances up and growls and groans.

“As you can see, once a human becomes infected they stop being...well, human, I suppose. Their skin turns gray, they lose their eyes, they no longer communicate. All they care about is food. This is something discussed in Haitian folklore, that no one took seriously.”

I spin the camera back around to face me, my expression is determined and fierce.

“Well, I bet they’re listening now.”

I perch the camera on a ledge on the outside of my home, angling it towards me so the viewer can see what’s about to happen next. I slowly and purposely pick through all my weapons, examining them thoughtfully as I go.
This part is all for show, I know what I want to do but my aim is to keep the viewer intrigued.

“Luckily, I’ve always lived quite far from civilization because I’ve been a bit of a loner my whole life. I live off the land as much as I can, making a living doing this-and-that, so I’m pretty stocked up when it comes to supplies. Not everyone was so lucky.”

I step back and hold onto the gate, trying to amp up the drama a little. If I ever get to the editing stage of development I might add some eerie music or something.

“Not everyone is strong enough to survive this.”

I fling open my gate and one of them bursts through. He’s ferocious, baring his teeth at me, snarling and reaching out to grab my skin. I act tough, so the audience knows that I have this in the bag. I’m clutching an axe tightly between my fingers, and with one swift movement I slam it down into his head, breaking his skull.
He slumps to the ground, dead and defeated.

“I am, which is why I’m the right person to bring you this film.”

I step towards the camera and flick it off. This part is just the introduction. Maybe the people watching will have been through the apocalypse too, but maybe not. At this point, anything could happen in the future, so I want the viewers to know exactly how the infected were, and how it was possible to beat them.

Scene Two

This is a long-shot, showing a hoard of the infected all shuffling along together. The part I’ve filmed is possibly too long here, it may need cropping in editing, I just wanted to ensure that I had enough footage.
When I speak, it’s as a voice-over.

“Fighting one of the dooies one-on-one is one thing, most people could survive that. I imagine what’s killing off the people who weren’t caught by shock in the initial outbreak is a big group of them like this. The infected aren’t quick, they aren’t smart, living humans outweigh them in every single way...but if you get trapped by a big bunch of them, there really isn’t much hope. If there’s no way of escape, then what can you do? After all, it only takes one bite to end up dead.”

After a brief pause, I flick the camera off. When it comes back on again, it shows an actual attack happening. I’m uncomfortable filming this, which is why I don’t speak over it, but I think it’s a really important part to making a factual film about what happened.

I would just like to note to anyone reading this that I didn’t just sit by and let it happen. I set up the camera thinking that I would try and approach the guy (with caution, there’s no telling what people are like these days) for an interview, but before I got the chance a huge group descended on him. By the time I realized, it was too late. There really wasn’t anything I could do.

Scene Three

It’s actually a few days later when I start filming again, but this isn’t established in the film. This is a close-up shot of me in my kitchen, fiddling with the dials of my radio.

“I do this every so often, just to see if anyone else is around. Sometimes there is, more often than not there isn’t.”

At this point I sigh, the hopelessness of the situation getting the better of me for a moment. I’ve adapted to this world, I’ve learnt to survive, but it does get lonely. I hope that message comes across.

“To be honest, it’s probably a pointless exercise, because I haven’t managed to find anyone that’s survived long enough for me to actually find them, but I don’t want to accept that there isn’t anyone else left either. I don’t want to be the only one who isn’t dead yet.”

I fiddle with the dial some more, with varying levels of static coming through. Just as the situation begins to look really like a dead end, a voice bristles in among the buzzing. I jump up in my seat, shock plasters across my expression. It’s clear this isn’t something that I’m used to.

“He...hello? Is anyone there?”

Nothing, just more static. I play with the button a little longer, desperation starting to show on my expression.

“Hello?”

After a few moments the radio falls silent, then a woman’s voice rings out.

“...they are arriving at the destination now...we should be hearing some news soon...”

“Hello?”

My voice is becoming panicked, it’s clear that I’m stressed. My fingers are tugging at my hair as I wait for a connection. I don’t know if it’s going to happen because it feels a lot like I’ve accidentally happened upon a conversation that I probably shouldn’t be listening to, but I don’t give up hope.

“...the serum will be developed soon...Yes, the Conradie Hospital.”

This is followed by static, which I try to remedy for a while with no luck. After a few moments, I stand up and flick the camera off. When it comes back on, I’m in my bedroom, with night vision on, and I’m lying on my bed.

“The Conradie Hospital...I can’t stop focusing on those words. The Conradie Hospital. I know the place, it’s in Pinelands, and it’s been abandoned for years. Supposedly at some point, it was going to be torn down, but some mystery buyer prevented that from happening. It’s weird because nothing actually happened with the place after that, it just sat there, owned by some mysterious person. I guess people were interested for a while, but then they stopped caring.”

I sit up, the camera wobbles as I move, but I eventually refocus it on my face.

“The reason it’s weird is because I heard some strange stuff about the place before all of this happened. Some odd people hanging around there, acting suspiciously. I never thought about it at the time but now...after that, I can’t help but wonder.”

I pause for a while, trying to decide on the best course of action. My mind has been freaking out all day and now while I’m on camera I want to finally make a choice.

“I’m gunna go there. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to head out to Conradie Hospital, I will find out what’s happening there once and for all. What if they’re trying to solve this? What if they have answers? As one of the only people who’s not dead yet, I feel like I have a right to know, you know?”

I nod for a moment before the camera goes black...

Scene Four

The camera shows another derelict area, one where the viewer can see glimpses of a slightly-browned, white building up ahead. Most of the windows are shattered, and there’s barely a door anymore. It’s obvious that no one has been looking after the place…maybe a little too obvious, like it’s been staged. When my voice-over comes on, it’s in a whisper because I’m afraid of getting caught.

“There it is, up ahead. Conradie Hospital. I’ve been here for a while now, just trying to track activity, but so far I haven’t had any luck. There hasn’t been anyone going in, or anyone coming out. Still, I feel convinced that there’s something going on inside. I just have this feeling.”

There’s a pause where I hear a noise, but as I flick the camera around it quickly becomes obvious that it’s just another infected moving about. I lie perfectly still for a while, letting it pass me. Luckily it’s far enough away not to be attracted by my scent.

“When I first started this documentary, I intended it to just be about life during the apocalypse, but maybe I’ve found something even bigger to report on here, something that might actually be life changing. I’ll admit that I’m afraid, but I’m excited too. I could actually end up being something important. Who’d have thought it?”

I stand up and make my way forwards, and over the camera, you can hear my breaths coming in ragged.

“Right, this might be dangerous, so I have no idea how this will go down, but I’m going to see what I can learn. I didn’t come all the way out here to leave with no answers.”

I’m holding the camera out in front of me, so the building becomes clearer with each passing second, and the more the viewer can see, the worse the place looks. The scene is oddly quiet, which actually works to amp up the atmosphere.
Eventually, I reach what’s left of the door, which I push gently. The bit of wood swings open, creaking loudly, which causes my breath to hitch in my throat. I’m terrified by this point, but I keep on going anyway. At this point, the main thing on my mind is the film.

“Hello?”

I step inside, my feet hitting the concrete noisily, and I move inside. No one immediately joins me, which suggests that I’m alone, but I know that I can’t be too careful. I walk slowly, as quietly as I can, moving the camera around to capture as much as I can on screen. There are holes in parts of the ceiling, areas of flooring absolutely covered in wooden beams and rubble like something terrible has happened, as I pass the old bathrooms, even the toilets have been smashed to smithereens. It’s almost as if someone wanted to hide any kind of evidence of what used to happen here…not that I have any idea what that was.
When I speak again, I whisper.

“Okay, so it doesn’t look like anything is going on here at the moment, but I won’t be fooled. If they’re doing something secretly then they’ll try their best to keep it this way, won’t they?”

The viewer can probably hear the desperation in my tone. I’m afraid that this will be a dead-end, and that my film won’t be as good without it.

“This is a huge building, there are all sorts of parts to it, maybe I just came in at the wrong bit. I won’t stop until I find something, but for now, I’m going to turn the camera off to conserve battery. If anything happens, you’ll be the first to know. Wish me luck.”

The camera fades to black. When it comes back on again, I focus it in on me, really close to my face so none of the surroundings are visible at all. My expression is manic, which the viewer will come to understand once I start speaking.

“I almost gave up, I almost walked away from this place. I decided that it was just me wanting something to do. Aside from becoming a badass dooies-killer, what more is there to do in the apocalypse? But I didn’t, I stayed for five more minutes, and my God I’m glad I did.”

The camera pulls back and finally the room I’m standing in is revealed. The viewer can see science equipment littered everywhere, all over the sides, even the cracked ones with gaping holes within them. There’s even an autopsy table covered in chemical bottles with no labels on them. It’s a bit like a scene from a Hollywood horror movie.

“Now, from the outset, this might look like it’s just abandoned stuff, which is what I thought at first too, but then I looked deeper. There are test tubes, empty chemical bottles, books, some of which are new and I’m pretty sure have been touched recently...something is going on here, or at least something has been happening.”

I pause for a second while I wander round to pick things up at random. At that moment I’m pondering over what all of this could mean. For the human race, and for my film.

“I just don’t know what to...”

Bang!
I visibly jump as a loud sound rings out through the whole building, so noisily it’s hard to tell exactly what it is. I instinctively lower the camera towards the ground, which means the viewer can’t see the panic on my face. You can sort of make out that I’m shifting my position, but you can’t tell that I’m hiding under a nearby table.
There are voices murmuring, someone is definitely in the building, and I do my best to hold my breath so no one can find me. Eventually, I flick the camera off to keep my position discrete, so everything fades to black.

Scene Five

The camera comes back on to reveal that I’m at home. I stare into the lens for a while with my fingers over my mouth. My eyes look dark in this shot, and my skin pasty. I rub my mouth for a few moments before speaking.

“Well, that was absolutely crazy.”

I sigh deeply and pause while I try to decide how to word the best way to get all of this out. The light streams in through the window, highlighting the shadows under my eyes. This makes me look even more worn out than before.

“I don’t even know where to start with it. I hid, under a desk, and waited for the voices to get closer so that I could hear them. I wanted to make out what they were saying, you know? I probably should’ve kept the camera on to capture it all as evidence, but I didn’t want the light to give me away. So, I just remained there, silently, and from what I could pick up, there were two men, and they were definitely doing...something. ‘This will be over soon enough’, were the words I actually heard clearly. That and ‘once the serum is complete, everything will improve’. Does that mean there really is someone working on a cure for the virus? And have they done it?”

I try my best to force a smile onto my face, but it doesn’t quite meet my eyes. I know this should be good news, and I really want the audience to believe that, but deep down I’m having feelings about all of this that I don’t yet understand. All I’m certain of is that there’s a conflict swirling around in my stomach and brain.
I open my mouth, ready to say something else before I shake my head sharply and click the camera off.

The next time the camera comes on, the screen is pitch black. I’m in my bedroom, and it’s the middle of the night. I haven’t slept, thoughts have been whirring around in my mind the entire time and without the camera focused on me is the only way that I can say all of this.

“I don’t actually know how I feel about the idea of a cure. I know I should be pleased, I understand this should be good news, but it isn’t. Not really. My life before...it wasn’t great. I wasn’t glad to hear of an outbreak, I don’t think anyone wants to hear that people are losing their lives and turning into these dooies-monsters. But, at the same time, I was relieved to escape the pit of hell I was in. I had nothing going for me. My girlfriendMelody, her name washad just left me, naming my lack of ambition for the reason. The thing is I never really had a lack of ambition, I always wanted to make films I just couldn’t do it full-time because I had a secret, large amount of debt that I had to keep working towards paying off. I couldn’t be worrying about where I wanted my career to go, not until all of that was sorted.”

I pause for a while, my brain transporting me back to that time period. I haven’t thought about it for ages, I haven’t wanted to, but now that there’s a chance of the world returning back to how it was I need to consider it.

“I guess I felt like I was drowning, suffocating and there wasn’t any escape. I needed something dramatic to happen...then the apocalypse came along was kinda oddly perfect. I just...I don’t know if I can go back into the cycle of working a job that I hate to pay off debts that seem to continue spiraling regardless. To relationships that could or might not go anywhere, just the monotony of real life. In a weird way, fighting off monsters, surviving, that suits me so much better. I don’t think I want to go back. Knowing that there are people out there trying to solve this scares the living hell out of me. I know this film could make me the success I always wanted, but...what if it doesn’t. What if it doesn’t go anywhere. I guess...I don’t know, I’m just not ready for all of this to end just yet. Maybe I’m only filming this for me, maybe that was always the plan.”

A few moments after I stop speaking, and I click the camera off.

Scene Six

There are a few wide shots of Conradie Hospital to introduce this scene. I’ve been traveling here every single day since my last part on camera, just to get these shots. I haven’t felt ready to talk some more, not when my feelings have all been up in the air, but I haven’t been able to keep away from this building either.
As I finally start speaking into the camera again, I haven’t got my face on the screen. I’m speaking over one of the long shots of the hospital.

“Okay, so during my visits here over the last few days, I’ve seen a few people sneaking in and out of the place. It’s clear that the people working in here don’t want to be discovered, they don’t seem to want anyone to know what they’re up to, which makes me suspicious. Why? If they’re curing this virus, then why all the hush hush? Unless they want to make a cure and sell it for money. That’s pretty bad, right? I’m not being a terrible person by suggesting that. Much as I don’t know how happy I am for all of this to end, it’s a definite world crisis, not an excuse to make money, and morally I don’t think anyone should turn it into that.”

I spin the camera around quickly as I see a shadow moving out the corner of my eye. I zoom in on the figure who’s sneaking into the building. There’s no identifying this person, you can’t see them clear enough to work out their gender, age, or any features that might help to work out who they are.
My voice comes back in over the top of the shot in a whisper.

“Oh my God, my heart is racing, I feel like I’m going crazy. What do I do? I’ve done a lot of watching here, but I haven’t yet done anything about it. Maybe it’s time for me to go in there, maybe I should confront someone.”

I pause for a moment, my breaths coming in loudly over the top of the camera. I’m really thinking this through, weighing up the potential consequences with the possible benefits that I could get out of this.

“If I go in there, I could find out the truth. I could work out if they’re trying to make a cure or not, and what they intend to do with it. Maybe I could try and stop them from...from trying to make a profit from it. Maybe I could stop it from being released completely. Actually, no, I wouldn’t do that. Just because I like this new world better than the old one, doesn’t mean the rest of the world should have to suffer. I’m not quite that selfish...okay, screw it. I don’t know what I’m trying to do here, I know that I need to go in. I don’t know why I’m deliberating. Let’s just do this.”

I keep the camera by my side as I go in the building, allowing it to film the floor. Of course I’m concerned about battery life but I also really don’t want to miss anything. I didn’t manage to capture the conversation last time I was inside the building, I don’t want to make the same mistake again.
Eventually, the grass and mud of the ground turns to concrete and general mess as I walk through the hallways of the building. There’s damp and mold everywhere, and at one section of the building, there are even plants growing through the floor, proving how long it’s gone unused.
I stop, and slowly move the camera upright, revealing a woman with long ginger hair, showing something to a hooded figure next to her. I’m not close enough to be able to hear what they’re saying, but I can’t risk getting caught by moving any nearer.
I keep filming them, even as the woman turns around to face me. I consider dropping the camera, to keep my intentions secret, but defiance overcomes me at the last moment and I decide to leave it where it is. I want these people to know what I’m doing.

“Who are you?”

She moves closer, flashing her bright blue, angry eyes at the camera. My heart pounds with fear as she moves, you can’t see it but my fingers are curling around the gun I have tucked away in my pocket. I’m so freaked out, really scared that something terrible is about to happen.

Her: “What are you doing here? How did you find out about this place?”

Me: “I...I overheard someone talking about it on the radio.”

Her: “So, what does that mean? Why have you come here? Get that thing out of my face.”

The camera falls towards the ground, but I don’t turn it off. I don’t want to miss any of this, especially as I’m afraid that I might be about to die. Even though I know the footage probably won’t make it out of the facility if that’s the case, I need to film it all the same.

Me: “I think the question should be what are you doing here? I already know that you’re working on something, a serum, and that you pretty much have it. What makes you think that you can keep it to yourself, charging people to get hold of it? Don’t you think the world has been through enough?”

Her: “Well, as I can tell from that statement, you clearly know nothing about what we’re doing here, so what I’m going to ask you to do is get out of here.”

Me: “I’m not going anywhere. I want to know what your plan is. I’m a human being with rights. If you have a cure, we all need to know about it.”

The other person moves in front of me at that point, but the camera lens is fixed on the ground. It’s a guy with long, lank dark hair and a beard covering a lot of his face. He looks gruff and intimidating, but I try not to lose my cool. I’ve come this far, I don’t want to fall apart now.

Him: “Just get the hell out of here, kid. You have no idea what you’re getting involved with. Maybe it makes you feel good to think that there’s someone out there trying to fix this mess. Maybe it’s the only thing that gives you hope, but we aren’t all like you. Some of us see the positive to these changes in the world, some of us don’t want to go back. It’s better for you to just leave now before you find yourself in over your head.”

Me: “You...you aren’t looking for a cure? Then what are you doing?”

Him: “We want to utilize it.”

The camera fades to black.

Scene Seven

The camera is fixed on my face, although you can see small parts of an unfamiliar room around me. I’m still in the hospital, but this time I have brand new knowledge of what’s going on.

“I’m sorry I flicked the camera off, right as things were starting to get interesting, I just wasn’t sure what I was going to do. The words ‘we want to utilize it’ stunned me. I wasn’t expecting that. Nor was I expecting him to share any of my emotions about the apocalypse. However, hearing it from him made the idea of keeping the world like this sound much more callous.”

I pause for a second, staring thoughtfully into the lens. My face looks a little crazed, which reflects how I’m feeling inside.

“So, anyway, they went on to explain that what they’re doing has nothing to do with a cure. That hasn’t even come into their consideration. How can people with some form of scientific knowledge not want to help the rest of the world? I know the world going back to how it once was isn’t my dream, but it isn’t fair to continually let people die.”

I press my palms into my eyes, just trying to block the memories from flooding into my mind all at once, leaving me confused. That’s how I stay while I state the next part. I try to keep my tone stony and neutral, but I can’t stop that crack of emotion coming through anyway.

“Anyway, it took a while of pressing, but I finally discovered that they’re creating the serum from extracts from the dooies. Or something like that. What they want is some form of biological weapon. They’re so convinced that this virus will be over soon, that the infected will either die out or someone will find some form of resolve. Then, when it does, they’ll have leverage.”

I lift my head up and stare deeply into the camera.

“Do you know what the craziest thing is? They want me to join them. They didn’t even tell me their names, yet they want me to join them on their insane mission to rule the world, or whatever. I guess it’s because I know too much. Maybe it’s join them or die.”


I scrape the chair back along the broken floor and I walk away, leaving the camera fixed on the walls behind where I was sitting. The viewer can see dusty books, broken glass, and empty tubs of God knows what. I have a hefty decision on my hands that I just know will have horrifying consequences either way.
Time passes, but eventually, I come back and I take my seat once more. Only this time I have a vial clutched between my fingers.

“So, this is the serum. Or a small bit of it anyway, there’s a huge vat in the other room. This is the liquid that holds all the power…or at least will do one day. Maybe. They’ve given me this to look at, possibly to change my mind.”

I stare at the vial, starting to feel a little insane myself. There’s no denying that there’s a sense of power there, one that my expression portrays without me even thinking of it.

“I mean, it isn’t like I want to join these crazy people, the thought of power sickens me more than anything else. I just…I don’t want to die either. I’ve fought so hard, I’ve come this far. I don’t want to lose my life, and my film, just because I couldn’t keep my nose to myself.”

My face turns green as the reality of that statement hits. If only I ignored the radio transmission, I could be at home as normal I shake my head rapidly and continue talking.

A voice from outside the room calls to me: “Are you ready to learn more, George?”

I whisper to the screen: “I told them my name is George, it just seemed safer if they aren’t telling me who they are.”

I yell louder: “Sure.”

I whisper to the screen: “I suppose I better learn what I can while I’m here since I don’t think they’ll just let me out of here now.”

I stand up and switch the camera off. The next time it comes on, I’m in the same room, but it’s a long while later, possibly even days. The stress has gotten to me by this point, and that shows in my appearance. My hair is sticking up everywhere, my eyes have deep shadows underneath them, I feel like I’m getting wrinkles and grey hairs, but I can’t really tell because it’s quite dark now.

“I don’t know what happened then, it was all very weird. One moment they were showing me around a room filled with samples. By samples, I mean mangled, blackened organs from the infected, and the man was explaining to me how they extract the virus from them…at least, I think he was. I’m not the most scientific person in the world, so a lot of the words he used didn’t make any sense.”

There’s a long break, with me simply sitting and staring into the camera, my thoughts racing through my mind like crazy. Eventually, I bang my hand down on the table and I start speaking again.

“The next minute, everything was different. I felt dizzy and sick. They won’t tell me why. I begged and pleaded with them trying to work out if they’d done something to me but they denied everything. I’m not myself, I can tell that I don’t feel like me. Why is that?”

I stand up and move towards the locked door, finally showing the viewer that I am actually being kept here, hostage. They haven’t outwardly stated that I can’t leave, but it’s obvious that’s the case.

I yell loudly through the door: “Why? Why won’t anyone tell me what’s going on?”

I don’t even bother to wait by the door because I know I won’t get an answer. I take my seat in front of the camera once more.

“Because I’m not sure which way this will turn now, I’m going to store my tapes somewhere safe for someone to find. I might even write out the transcription to ensure that none of the video evidence gets lost.”

I pause for a second, my lips curling up into a twisted smile as I think about the challenge that lies ahead, then I lean forward and click the button on top of the camera.
Camera fades to black.

Scene Eight

Camera comes on. I look different. My eyes are gone, my face is gross. Something terrible has happened. It’s been days. I’ve been writing my script the whole time. Writing…and changing.

“They did bad things to me. I still don’t know what, no one tells me anything. It hurts, all over. My brain…it isn’t the same. Nothing is the same.”

My heavy body moves, but not like it used to. It takes everything I have to stand.

“I’m not me anymore. Everything weighs a…a ton. I can’t move most of the time. My mouth hurts. My words might not make sense. I will write them.”

The viewer watches me write. It’s hard, my hand aches, but I do my best.

“What did they do?”

I want to cry, but there are no tears. All the water in my body is gone.

“Why?”

A voice yells through the door: “It’ll be time soon, don’t you worry, George.”

I don’t think I’m George, but they’re talking to me. There isn’t anyone else here.

“I don’t know what that means, I’m scared.”

The voice: “Soon all your pain will be gone.”

“Why?”

The voice: “You should have joined us, we could tell that you didn’t want to, so now you have to join them.”

“Who is them?”

The voice: “Haven’t you learned by now? Asking questions leads only to bad things. Maybe this time it’s better to keep your mouth shut, George. It’ll all be over soon.”

I whisper: “Over means dead. I know that. I will hide this, all of it.”

I lean over and switch the camera off to hide it away with my notes. Still, even now after all of this, my movie is the most important thing. If I must die, I want this to live on. That’s all I know.
cape town


Movie Transcript

NB: I have included a transcript in with the filmstrip in case parts of it don’t survive.

Scene One

The camera pans around, looking at the wasteland before me. The endless dead, yellowed grass, and rubble from some unfinished building scatter in view. It’s clear just from this one shot that the world is not in a good place. I’m silent, waiting for a reaction to stir in the audience. I already know that this movie will be a blockbuster, simply because I don’t think there’s anyone around with access to the technology that I have, but I wait for the viewers to figure the monumental sights I’m showing them, out for themselves.
Finally, the camera spins right around until it finds my face.

“Hello, my name is Derek Pillay, I’m thirty-one years old, and I’m here to present to you what life in the apocalypse is really like. I would like this movie to be named Dooiesjust in case I don’t make it, although I fully intend toand I think it’ll be one of a kind.”

The camera moves behind me to show all the equipment I own. My face vanishes and I become a voice-over.

“I’ve always wanted to make films about real life, just like this one, but I haven’t yet had my big break. I’ve gathered up all the equipment I could possibly need along the way, but the opportunity simply hasn’t happened just yet. It’s just lucky for me now that I have a generator which I can use to charge up the camera batteries. It’s power I could possibly use for other things to help me get by, but I’d rather sacrifice all of that to capture this. This really is once in a lifetime stuff, I’d have to be stupid not to go for it.”

I move now, through the barren land surrounding my home. I never had a lot, but I think the scarcity of the shot highlights how bad things have become. A homemade wall emerges, with wooden spikes sticking through it.

“I had the concrete ready anyway, building a wall around my property was on my to-do list forever, but I just never quite got around to it. Then this hit, so I had to. Luckily, because I’d escaped a number of infected right in the center of Cape Town, I knew what to expect, so I created the wooden dooies-catchers at the same time.”

I lift the camera up over the wall to show two of the infected impaled up against the wall. One of them got spiked through the head, so slumps there motionless, but the other one glances up and growls and groans.

“As you can see, once a human becomes infected they stop being...well, human, I suppose. Their skin turns gray, they lose their eyes, they no longer communicate. All they care about is food. This is something discussed in Haitian folklore, that no one took seriously.”

I spin the camera back around to face me, my expression is determined and fierce.

“Well, I bet they’re listening now.”

I perch the camera on a ledge on the outside of my home, angling it towards me so the viewer can see what’s about to happen next. I slowly and purposely pick through all my weapons, examining them thoughtfully as I go.
This part is all for show, I know what I want to do but my aim is to keep the viewer intrigued.

“Luckily, I’ve always lived quite far from civilization because I’ve been a bit of a loner my whole life. I live off the land as much as I can, making a living doing this-and-that, so I’m pretty stocked up when it comes to supplies. Not everyone was so lucky.”

I step back and hold onto the gate, trying to amp up the drama a little. If I ever get to the editing stage of development I might add some eerie music or something.

“Not everyone is strong enough to survive this.”

I fling open my gate and one of them bursts through. He’s ferocious, baring his teeth at me, snarling and reaching out to grab my skin. I act tough, so the audience knows that I have this in the bag. I’m clutching an axe tightly between my fingers, and with one swift movement I slam it down into his head, breaking his skull.
He slumps to the ground, dead and defeated.

“I am, which is why I’m the right person to bring you this film.”

I step towards the camera and flick it off. This part is just the introduction. Maybe the people watching will have been through the apocalypse too, but maybe not. At this point, anything could happen in the future, so I want the viewers to know exactly how the infected were, and how it was possible to beat them.

Scene Two

This is a long-shot, showing a hoard of the infected all shuffling along together. The part I’ve filmed is possibly too long here, it may need cropping in editing, I just wanted to ensure that I had enough footage.
When I speak, it’s as a voice-over.

“Fighting one of the dooies one-on-one is one thing, most people could survive that. I imagine what’s killing off the people who weren’t caught by shock in the initial outbreak is a big group of them like this. The infected aren’t quick, they aren’t smart, living humans outweigh them in every single way...but if you get trapped by a big bunch of them, there really isn’t much hope. If there’s no way of escape, then what can you do? After all, it only takes one bite to end up dead.”

After a brief pause, I flick the camera off. When it comes back on again, it shows an actual attack happening. I’m uncomfortable filming this, which is why I don’t speak over it, but I think it’s a really important part to making a factual film about what happened.

I would just like to note to anyone reading this that I didn’t just sit by and let it happen. I set up the camera thinking that I would try and approach the guy (with caution, there’s no telling what people are like these days) for an interview, but before I got the chance a huge group descended on him. By the time I realized, it was too late. There really wasn’t anything I could do.

Scene Three

It’s actually a few days later when I start filming again, but this isn’t established in the film. This is a close-up shot of me in my kitchen, fiddling with the dials of my radio.

“I do this every so often, just to see if anyone else is around. Sometimes there is, more often than not there isn’t.”

At this point I sigh, the hopelessness of the situation getting the better of me for a moment. I’ve adapted to this world, I’ve learnt to survive, but it does get lonely. I hope that message comes across.

“To be honest, it’s probably a pointless exercise, because I haven’t managed to find anyone that’s survived long enough for me to actually find them, but I don’t want to accept that there isn’t anyone else left either. I don’t want to be the only one who isn’t dead yet.”

I fiddle with the dial some more, with varying levels of static coming through. Just as the situation begins to look really like a dead end, a voice bristles in among the buzzing. I jump up in my seat, shock plasters across my expression. It’s clear this isn’t something that I’m used to.

“He...hello? Is anyone there?”

Nothing, just more static. I play with the button a little longer, desperation starting to show on my expression.

“Hello?”

After a few moments the radio falls silent, then a woman’s voice rings out.

“...they are arriving at the destination now...we should be hearing some news soon...”

“Hello?”

My voice is becoming panicked, it’s clear that I’m stressed. My fingers are tugging at my hair as I wait for a connection. I don’t know if it’s going to happen because it feels a lot like I’ve accidentally happened upon a conversation that I probably shouldn’t be listening to, but I don’t give up hope.

“...the serum will be developed soon...Yes, the Conradie Hospital.”

This is followed by static, which I try to remedy for a while with no luck. After a few moments, I stand up and flick the camera off. When it comes back on, I’m in my bedroom, with night vision on, and I’m lying on my bed.

“The Conradie Hospital...I can’t stop focusing on those words. The Conradie Hospital. I know the place, it’s in Pinelands, and it’s been abandoned for years. Supposedly at some point, it was going to be torn down, but some mystery buyer prevented that from happening. It’s weird because nothing actually happened with the place after that, it just sat there, owned by some mysterious person. I guess people were interested for a while, but then they stopped caring.”

I sit up, the camera wobbles as I move, but I eventually refocus it on my face.

“The reason it’s weird is because I heard some strange stuff about the place before all of this happened. Some odd people hanging around there, acting suspiciously. I never thought about it at the time but now...after that, I can’t help but wonder.”

I pause for a while, trying to decide on the best course of action. My mind has been freaking out all day and now while I’m on camera I want to finally make a choice.

“I’m gunna go there. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to head out to Conradie Hospital, I will find out what’s happening there once and for all. What if they’re trying to solve this? What if they have answers? As one of the only people who’s not dead yet, I feel like I have a right to know, you know?”

I nod for a moment before the camera goes black...

Scene Four

The camera shows another derelict area, one where the viewer can see glimpses of a slightly-browned, white building up ahead. Most of the windows are shattered, and there’s barely a door anymore. It’s obvious that no one has been looking after the place…maybe a little too obvious, like it’s been staged. When my voice-over comes on, it’s in a whisper because I’m afraid of getting caught.

“There it is, up ahead. Conradie Hospital. I’ve been here for a while now, just trying to track activity, but so far I haven’t had any luck. There hasn’t been anyone going in, or anyone coming out. Still, I feel convinced that there’s something going on inside. I just have this feeling.”

There’s a pause where I hear a noise, but as I flick the camera around it quickly becomes obvious that it’s just another infected moving about. I lie perfectly still for a while, letting it pass me. Luckily it’s far enough away not to be attracted by my scent.

“When I first started this documentary, I intended it to just be about life during the apocalypse, but maybe I’ve found something even bigger to report on here, something that might actually be life changing. I’ll admit that I’m afraid, but I’m excited too. I could actually end up being something important. Who’d have thought it?”

I stand up and make my way forwards, and over the camera, you can hear my breaths coming in ragged.

“Right, this might be dangerous, so I have no idea how this will go down, but I’m going to see what I can learn. I didn’t come all the way out here to leave with no answers.”

I’m holding the camera out in front of me, so the building becomes clearer with each passing second, and the more the viewer can see, the worse the place looks. The scene is oddly quiet, which actually works to amp up the atmosphere.
Eventually, I reach what’s left of the door, which I push gently. The bit of wood swings open, creaking loudly, which causes my breath to hitch in my throat. I’m terrified by this point, but I keep on going anyway. At this point, the main thing on my mind is the film.

“Hello?”

I step inside, my feet hitting the concrete noisily, and I move inside. No one immediately joins me, which suggests that I’m alone, but I know that I can’t be too careful. I walk slowly, as quietly as I can, moving the camera around to capture as much as I can on screen. There are holes in parts of the ceiling, areas of flooring absolutely covered in wooden beams and rubble like something terrible has happened, as I pass the old bathrooms, even the toilets have been smashed to smithereens. It’s almost as if someone wanted to hide any kind of evidence of what used to happen here…not that I have any idea what that was.
When I speak again, I whisper.

“Okay, so it doesn’t look like anything is going on here at the moment, but I won’t be fooled. If they’re doing something secretly then they’ll try their best to keep it this way, won’t they?”

The viewer can probably hear the desperation in my tone. I’m afraid that this will be a dead-end, and that my film won’t be as good without it.

“This is a huge building, there are all sorts of parts to it, maybe I just came in at the wrong bit. I won’t stop until I find something, but for now, I’m going to turn the camera off to conserve battery. If anything happens, you’ll be the first to know. Wish me luck.”

The camera fades to black. When it comes back on again, I focus it in on me, really close to my face so none of the surroundings are visible at all. My expression is manic, which the viewer will come to understand once I start speaking.

“I almost gave up, I almost walked away from this place. I decided that it was just me wanting something to do. Aside from becoming a badass dooies-killer, what more is there to do in the apocalypse? But I didn’t, I stayed for five more minutes, and my God I’m glad I did.”

The camera pulls back and finally the room I’m standing in is revealed. The viewer can see science equipment littered everywhere, all over the sides, even the cracked ones with gaping holes within them. There’s even an autopsy table covered in chemical bottles with no labels on them. It’s a bit like a scene from a Hollywood horror movie.

“Now, from the outset, this might look like it’s just abandoned stuff, which is what I thought at first too, but then I looked deeper. There are test tubes, empty chemical bottles, books, some of which are new and I’m pretty sure have been touched recently...something is going on here, or at least something has been happening.”

I pause for a second while I wander round to pick things up at random. At that moment I’m pondering over what all of this could mean. For the human race, and for my film.

“I just don’t know what to...”

Bang!
I visibly jump as a loud sound rings out through the whole building, so noisily it’s hard to tell exactly what it is. I instinctively lower the camera towards the ground, which means the viewer can’t see the panic on my face. You can sort of make out that I’m shifting my position, but you can’t tell that I’m hiding under a nearby table.
There are voices murmuring, someone is definitely in the building, and I do my best to hold my breath so no one can find me. Eventually, I flick the camera off to keep my position discrete, so everything fades to black.

Scene Five

The camera comes back on to reveal that I’m at home. I stare into the lens for a while with my fingers over my mouth. My eyes look dark in this shot, and my skin pasty. I rub my mouth for a few moments before speaking.

“Well, that was absolutely crazy.”

I sigh deeply and pause while I try to decide how to word the best way to get all of this out. The light streams in through the window, highlighting the shadows under my eyes. This makes me look even more worn out than before.

“I don’t even know where to start with it. I hid, under a desk, and waited for the voices to get closer so that I could hear them. I wanted to make out what they were saying, you know? I probably should’ve kept the camera on to capture it all as evidence, but I didn’t want the light to give me away. So, I just remained there, silently, and from what I could pick up, there were two men, and they were definitely doing...something. ‘This will be over soon enough’, were the words I actually heard clearly. That and ‘once the serum is complete, everything will improve’. Does that mean there really is someone working on a cure for the virus? And have they done it?”

I try my best to force a smile onto my face, but it doesn’t quite meet my eyes. I know this should be good news, and I really want the audience to believe that, but deep down I’m having feelings about all of this that I don’t yet understand. All I’m certain of is that there’s a conflict swirling around in my stomach and brain.
I open my mouth, ready to say something else before I shake my head sharply and click the camera off.

The next time the camera comes on, the screen is pitch black. I’m in my bedroom, and it’s the middle of the night. I haven’t slept, thoughts have been whirring around in my mind the entire time and without the camera focused on me is the only way that I can say all of this.

“I don’t actually know how I feel about the idea of a cure. I know I should be pleased, I understand this should be good news, but it isn’t. Not really. My life before...it wasn’t great. I wasn’t glad to hear of an outbreak, I don’t think anyone wants to hear that people are losing their lives and turning into these dooies-monsters. But, at the same time, I was relieved to escape the pit of hell I was in. I had nothing going for me. My girlfriendMelody, her name washad just left me, naming my lack of ambition for the reason. The thing is I never really had a lack of ambition, I always wanted to make films I just couldn’t do it full-time because I had a secret, large amount of debt that I had to keep working towards paying off. I couldn’t be worrying about where I wanted my career to go, not until all of that was sorted.”

I pause for a while, my brain transporting me back to that time period. I haven’t thought about it for ages, I haven’t wanted to, but now that there’s a chance of the world returning back to how it was I need to consider it.

“I guess I felt like I was drowning, suffocating and there wasn’t any escape. I needed something dramatic to happen...then the apocalypse came along was kinda oddly perfect. I just...I don’t know if I can go back into the cycle of working a job that I hate to pay off debts that seem to continue spiraling regardless. To relationships that could or might not go anywhere, just the monotony of real life. In a weird way, fighting off monsters, surviving, that suits me so much better. I don’t think I want to go back. Knowing that there are people out there trying to solve this scares the living hell out of me. I know this film could make me the success I always wanted, but...what if it doesn’t. What if it doesn’t go anywhere. I guess...I don’t know, I’m just not ready for all of this to end just yet. Maybe I’m only filming this for me, maybe that was always the plan.”

A few moments after I stop speaking, and I click the camera off.

Scene Six

There are a few wide shots of Conradie Hospital to introduce this scene. I’ve been traveling here every single day since my last part on camera, just to get these shots. I haven’t felt ready to talk some more, not when my feelings have all been up in the air, but I haven’t been able to keep away from this building either.
As I finally start speaking into the camera again, I haven’t got my face on the screen. I’m speaking over one of the long shots of the hospital.

“Okay, so during my visits here over the last few days, I’ve seen a few people sneaking in and out of the place. It’s clear that the people working in here don’t want to be discovered, they don’t seem to want anyone to know what they’re up to, which makes me suspicious. Why? If they’re curing this virus, then why all the hush hush? Unless they want to make a cure and sell it for money. That’s pretty bad, right? I’m not being a terrible person by suggesting that. Much as I don’t know how happy I am for all of this to end, it’s a definite world crisis, not an excuse to make money, and morally I don’t think anyone should turn it into that.”

I spin the camera around quickly as I see a shadow moving out the corner of my eye. I zoom in on the figure who’s sneaking into the building. There’s no identifying this person, you can’t see them clear enough to work out their gender, age, or any features that might help to work out who they are.
My voice comes back in over the top of the shot in a whisper.

“Oh my God, my heart is racing, I feel like I’m going crazy. What do I do? I’ve done a lot of watching here, but I haven’t yet done anything about it. Maybe it’s time for me to go in there, maybe I should confront someone.”

I pause for a moment, my breaths coming in loudly over the top of the camera. I’m really thinking this through, weighing up the potential consequences with the possible benefits that I could get out of this.

“If I go in there, I could find out the truth. I could work out if they’re trying to make a cure or not, and what they intend to do with it. Maybe I could try and stop them from...from trying to make a profit from it. Maybe I could stop it from being released completely. Actually, no, I wouldn’t do that. Just because I like this new world better than the old one, doesn’t mean the rest of the world should have to suffer. I’m not quite that selfish...okay, screw it. I don’t know what I’m trying to do here, I know that I need to go in. I don’t know why I’m deliberating. Let’s just do this.”

I keep the camera by my side as I go in the building, allowing it to film the floor. Of course I’m concerned about battery life but I also really don’t want to miss anything. I didn’t manage to capture the conversation last time I was inside the building, I don’t want to make the same mistake again.
Eventually, the grass and mud of the ground turns to concrete and general mess as I walk through the hallways of the building. There’s damp and mold everywhere, and at one section of the building, there are even plants growing through the floor, proving how long it’s gone unused.
I stop, and slowly move the camera upright, revealing a woman with long ginger hair, showing something to a hooded figure next to her. I’m not close enough to be able to hear what they’re saying, but I can’t risk getting caught by moving any nearer.
I keep filming them, even as the woman turns around to face me. I consider dropping the camera, to keep my intentions secret, but defiance overcomes me at the last moment and I decide to leave it where it is. I want these people to know what I’m doing.

“Who are you?”

She moves closer, flashing her bright blue, angry eyes at the camera. My heart pounds with fear as she moves, you can’t see it but my fingers are curling around the gun I have tucked away in my pocket. I’m so freaked out, really scared that something terrible is about to happen.

Her: “What are you doing here? How did you find out about this place?”

Me: “I...I overheard someone talking about it on the radio.”

Her: “So, what does that mean? Why have you come here? Get that thing out of my face.”

The camera falls towards the ground, but I don’t turn it off. I don’t want to miss any of this, especially as I’m afraid that I might be about to die. Even though I know the footage probably won’t make it out of the facility if that’s the case, I need to film it all the same.

Me: “I think the question should be what are you doing here? I already know that you’re working on something, a serum, and that you pretty much have it. What makes you think that you can keep it to yourself, charging people to get hold of it? Don’t you think the world has been through enough?”

Her: “Well, as I can tell from that statement, you clearly know nothing about what we’re doing here, so what I’m going to ask you to do is get out of here.”

Me: “I’m not going anywhere. I want to know what your plan is. I’m a human being with rights. If you have a cure, we all need to know about it.”

The other person moves in front of me at that point, but the camera lens is fixed on the ground. It’s a guy with long, lank dark hair and a beard covering a lot of his face. He looks gruff and intimidating, but I try not to lose my cool. I’ve come this far, I don’t want to fall apart now.

Him: “Just get the hell out of here, kid. You have no idea what you’re getting involved with. Maybe it makes you feel good to think that there’s someone out there trying to fix this mess. Maybe it’s the only thing that gives you hope, but we aren’t all like you. Some of us see the positive to these changes in the world, some of us don’t want to go back. It’s better for you to just leave now before you find yourself in over your head.”

Me: “You...you aren’t looking for a cure? Then what are you doing?”

Him: “We want to utilize it.”

The camera fades to black.

Scene Seven

The camera is fixed on my face, although you can see small parts of an unfamiliar room around me. I’m still in the hospital, but this time I have brand new knowledge of what’s going on.

“I’m sorry I flicked the camera off, right as things were starting to get interesting, I just wasn’t sure what I was going to do. The words ‘we want to utilize it’ stunned me. I wasn’t expecting that. Nor was I expecting him to share any of my emotions about the apocalypse. However, hearing it from him made the idea of keeping the world like this sound much more callous.”

I pause for a second, staring thoughtfully into the lens. My face looks a little crazed, which reflects how I’m feeling inside.

“So, anyway, they went on to explain that what they’re doing has nothing to do with a cure. That hasn’t even come into their consideration. How can people with some form of scientific knowledge not want to help the rest of the world? I know the world going back to how it once was isn’t my dream, but it isn’t fair to continually let people die.”

I press my palms into my eyes, just trying to block the memories from flooding into my mind all at once, leaving me confused. That’s how I stay while I state the next part. I try to keep my tone stony and neutral, but I can’t stop that crack of emotion coming through anyway.

“Anyway, it took a while of pressing, but I finally discovered that they’re creating the serum from extracts from the dooies. Or something like that. What they want is some form of biological weapon. They’re so convinced that this virus will be over soon, that the infected will either die out or someone will find some form of resolve. Then, when it does, they’ll have leverage.”

I lift my head up and stare deeply into the camera.

“Do you know what the craziest thing is? They want me to join them. They didn’t even tell me their names, yet they want me to join them on their insane mission to rule the world, or whatever. I guess it’s because I know too much. Maybe it’s join them or die.”


I scrape the chair back along the broken floor and I walk away, leaving the camera fixed on the walls behind where I was sitting. The viewer can see dusty books, broken glass, and empty tubs of God knows what. I have a hefty decision on my hands that I just know will have horrifying consequences either way.
Time passes, but eventually, I come back and I take my seat once more. Only this time I have a vial clutched between my fingers.

“So, this is the serum. Or a small bit of it anyway, there’s a huge vat in the other room. This is the liquid that holds all the power…or at least will do one day. Maybe. They’ve given me this to look at, possibly to change my mind.”

I stare at the vial, starting to feel a little insane myself. There’s no denying that there’s a sense of power there, one that my expression portrays without me even thinking of it.

“I mean, it isn’t like I want to join these crazy people, the thought of power sickens me more than anything else. I just…I don’t want to die either. I’ve fought so hard, I’ve come this far. I don’t want to lose my life, and my film, just because I couldn’t keep my nose to myself.”

My face turns green as the reality of that statement hits. If only I ignored the radio transmission, I could be at home as normal I shake my head rapidly and continue talking.

A voice from outside the room calls to me: “Are you ready to learn more, George?”

I whisper to the screen: “I told them my name is George, it just seemed safer if they aren’t telling me who they are.”

I yell louder: “Sure.”

I whisper to the screen: “I suppose I better learn what I can while I’m here since I don’t think they’ll just let me out of here now.”

I stand up and switch the camera off. The next time it comes on, I’m in the same room, but it’s a long while later, possibly even days. The stress has gotten to me by this point, and that shows in my appearance. My hair is sticking up everywhere, my eyes have deep shadows underneath them, I feel like I’m getting wrinkles and grey hairs, but I can’t really tell because it’s quite dark now.

“I don’t know what happened then, it was all very weird. One moment they were showing me around a room filled with samples. By samples, I mean mangled, blackened organs from the infected, and the man was explaining to me how they extract the virus from them…at least, I think he was. I’m not the most scientific person in the world, so a lot of the words he used didn’t make any sense.”

There’s a long break, with me simply sitting and staring into the camera, my thoughts racing through my mind like crazy. Eventually, I bang my hand down on the table and I start speaking again.

“The next minute, everything was different. I felt dizzy and sick. They won’t tell me why. I begged and pleaded with them trying to work out if they’d done something to me but they denied everything. I’m not myself, I can tell that I don’t feel like me. Why is that?”

I stand up and move towards the locked door, finally showing the viewer that I am actually being kept here, hostage. They haven’t outwardly stated that I can’t leave, but it’s obvious that’s the case.

I yell loudly through the door: “Why? Why won’t anyone tell me what’s going on?”

I don’t even bother to wait by the door because I know I won’t get an answer. I take my seat in front of the camera once more.

“Because I’m not sure which way this will turn now, I’m going to store my tapes somewhere safe for someone to find. I might even write out the transcription to ensure that none of the video evidence gets lost.”

I pause for a second, my lips curling up into a twisted smile as I think about the challenge that lies ahead, then I lean forward and click the button on top of the camera.
Camera fades to black.

Scene Eight

Camera comes on. I look different. My eyes are gone, my face is gross. Something terrible has happened. It’s been days. I’ve been writing my script the whole time. Writing…and changing.

“They did bad things to me. I still don’t know what, no one tells me anything. It hurts, all over. My brain…it isn’t the same. Nothing is the same.”

My heavy body moves, but not like it used to. It takes everything I have to stand.

“I’m not me anymore. Everything weighs a…a ton. I can’t move most of the time. My mouth hurts. My words might not make sense. I will write them.”

The viewer watches me write. It’s hard, my hand aches, but I do my best.

“What did they do?”

I want to cry, but there are no tears. All the water in my body is gone.

“Why?”

A voice yells through the door: “It’ll be time soon, don’t you worry, George.”

I don’t think I’m George, but they’re talking to me. There isn’t anyone else here.

“I don’t know what that means, I’m scared.”

The voice: “Soon all your pain will be gone.”

“Why?”

The voice: “You should have joined us, we could tell that you didn’t want to, so now you have to join them.”

“Who is them?”

The voice: “Haven’t you learned by now? Asking questions leads only to bad things. Maybe this time it’s better to keep your mouth shut, George. It’ll all be over soon.”

I whisper: “Over means dead. I know that. I will hide this, all of it.”

I lean over and switch the camera off to hide it away with my notes. Still, even now after all of this, my movie is the most important thing. If I must die, I want this to live on. That’s all I know.

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