Beyond Man and Machines, The Hood, part 2.
It had been two weeks since the chaos and screams outside Ronalds flat had died out, now there was silence. Even the sounds of birds seemed to have disappeared. To anyone else this would seem eerie but to Ronald it was perfect. He began to feel that life was starting a fresh, to him the whole human world had vanished; leaving him with a brave new world to explore.
Over the years he had amassed a large arsenal of weapons, assault rifles, sub machine guns and pistols. It started as a hobby but turned into an arsenal that brought him comfort and a sense of protection from the outside world.
Ronald grabs an M16 from the rack, lifting its strap over his head. He slides a side pistol into a holster strapped to his right hip and feels a bit better about going outside. Fear and excitement; he had never felt so good in years.
Peering through a gap in the boards nailed across his windows, Ronald scans the hallway in front of his flat. Looking past the bannisters that run along the outside corridor of his flat he sees the block of flats on the other side of the street. Some flats are burnt out, others with their windows smashed inwards. Litter fills the street. Occasional pools of blood, days old, mark the pavement a dark red.
With the area seemingly clear, Ronald slides across the three heavy dead bolts: above, below and in the middle, unlocking the door. After a deep breath and a deeper exhale, Ronald opens the door quickly a crack, then slowly opens it wide. Keeping his rifle aimed down the corridor, he locks the door behind him, not taking his eyes of the entrance to the steps ten meters down the hall.
Ronald inhales the fresh air outside of his flat, listening for any noises. The slight breeze brushes past his cheek, it was a good day for an adventure.
Out of the corner of his eye Ronald sees a hooded head pop out from behind the entrance to the steps. Ronald lets out a burst of fire that tear into the spot the head retreated from. In a quick instinct derived from too many computer games, Ronald sweeps the rifle on its sling to his side and slides out the pistol in a fluid motion, moving quickly to the corner, pointing the pistol around the corner firing a three shots blindly.
Waiting a moment for any sounds, Ronald peers around the corner; pointing the pistol in front of him. There is no one there. Before the rifle round had even ricocheted off the wall next to him, Ronald was ducking and then falling flat on his face. The plaster and wall fragments fall around him as the bullets continue to hit. With the rifle uncomfortably digging into his rib cage Ronald curses and covers his head.
The shooting stops and Ronald breathes out a short breath blowing the mortar dust away then breathed in as he raised to his feet, inhaling the dust back in. Coughing out the dust he makes his way up the stairs to the second floor flats.