Restricted Zone

I enjoyed working at the university on a weekend. The campus was often quieter than normal and I could catch up on all the things I hadn’t done through the week. It looked like they were relaying the lawns and pavement outside the physics laboratories. The building looked like a big lump of concrete. Seven storeys high, a fine example of 1960’s brutalist architecture.

Slowly I work my way around the edge, squeeze through this gap and I’m on my way. I can’t help noticing as I pass that no one is doing anything. Lazy sods, I know it’s Saturday morning but this is crazy. There’s seven of them standing, sitting, one on a digger, one on the phone. All with those orange hi viz trousers and jackets on.

The weird bit is, they are motionless. It must be one of those set ups for YouTube. There must be somebody nearby filming. That’s it they’re students, the whole thing is a prank.

“Excuse me mate, is everything alright?” I shout to the guy nearest me sitting in his digger.

Nothing, no response, not a flinch, zilch. As I work my way around the perimeter I find a gap in the fence and decide to go up to the guy in the digger and find out what’s going on. It’s then that the oddest thing that’s ever happened to me, well just sort of happens.

As I move the metal fence to get into the restricted area, my arm and then a leg crossed the threshold of the area inside the perimeter. They both went numb, no feeling in them whatsoever. As I looked around at the stiff staring faces of the guys who had come to fix the paths I realised I better go no further.

I forced myself backwards dragging the two useless limbs with me. On one leg, with one arm I hopped backwards falling on the grass. As I sat looking at the strange scene in front of me it reminded me of group of children’s toys. Vehicles and action figures awaiting their human playmate to bring them to life.

As I sat on the ground wondering what I should do next one of the university’s security guards came around the corner. He was a big burly chap who didn’t fit his uniform well and was sweating profusely. He had clearly been rushing.

“What are you doing here? This area is a restricted area. We saw you on the CCTV. Quickly come with me, we need to get away it’s spreading,” said the guard.

He helped me up and I hobbled, while he huffed and puffed. We moved clear of the fenced off area. That was the last time I was ever at the university. In fact not long after was the last time I was ever in Leeds.

It seems the physics guys had been running experiments like physics guys do. The problem was they were experiments banned in every country around the world. The lure of making that big discovery or a lot of money. Something made them do it. We’ll never know as they were both in the lab when the problems started.

I’ve not really got much idea what they did. Someone says they had set an electromagnetic wave going. That something went wrong and the wave is still going. Heading out from the lab like ripples in a pond. The wave apparently travels at one hundred meters per day. They don’t know if or when it will end. The brightest and the best are working on ways to get back into the lab and switch the machine off. The main problem is that electro magnetic gizmo has its own nuclear power source.

Until they find a solution we just keep getting moved further from the epicentre. Parts of the UK are evacuating to Europe next week. Not everyone agrees, they’re the ones you can see from afar in the street or sat in their cars motionless. No one knows if they are alive or dead. They don’t know whats happening to them. I’m not sure if I want to keep on travelling further and furthr from home for the rest of my life. If it’s not sorted soon I might just head back into the restricted zone.


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