Dead Funny

Dead Funny by Tanya Landman

Book: Dead Funny by Tanya Landman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tanya Landman
    Perhaps I could reach the door. If I leant forward I could edge the chair across the room. My ankles were tied to its legs, but if I wobbled from side to side I could probably make slow progress. Quite how I’d open the door when I got there I didn’t know. I’d work that out later. But first there was the obstacle of Len Radstock’s body blocking my way. How would I get across him?
    I looked at his lifeless form, and a wave of pity and despair washed over me. I began to cry. “I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I should have got here sooner.”
    “Not at all, my dear,” a voice replied in a crisp English accent. “I would have said your entrance was perfectly timed.”
    Jaw dropping, I stared at the body. An open eye stared back at me. For a moment I couldn’t decide which was worse: sharing a room with a corpse, or sharing it with a member of the living dead.
    But then Len Radstock prised himself off the carpet, and I realized he wasn’t a zombie. He was alive, unharmed and untying the knots that bound me.
    “But…” I croaked. “How…?”
    “We’ll do explanations another time, shall we? I think first we’d better both get out of here, before the final curtain falls.”
    “But you’re bleeding…”
    “Ketchup,” he said briefly. “I was eating a hot dog when Toby walloped me. I lay still, hoping he’d think I was a goner. Then you turned up and he didn’t think to check whether I was still breathing.”
    When the last knot was untied we both ran for the door. As we reached it an image came into my head. Mr Punch. The devil. A big fight. Punch winning – sending Satan back to hell in a puff of smoke.
    It all flashed through my head a split second before a mobile phone rang, and the room was ripped apart by a violent explosion.

the flames of hell
    The blood was real this time, and Len’s eyes wouldn’t open no matter how loudly I yelled at him. We’d been thrown through the front door and across the hall by the force of the blast. Len had smashed his head on the metal lift doors and slid down, smearing a scarlet stain all the way to the floor. I’d been behind him, and he’d cushioned my fall, although my back had taken more of the blast. I could feel lacerations across it and on my legs. I knew I was injured, but at least I was conscious. It was up to me to get us both out.
    The apartment behind us was ablaze and already flames were licking out of the front door and edging towards us.
    I tried again. “Len! Mr Radstock! Can you hear me?” I screamed. “Wake up!”
    He gave a faint groan, but that was all. I’d have to drag him.
    I knew better than to use the lift. Graham had once told me that lifts stopped working in fires, and we’d be trapped inside like chickens in an oven. If we were going to escape it had to be by the stairs.
    I took an arm and tugged, but he was so heavy; so awkwardly floppy. I couldn’t shift him. Flames had reached the soles of his shoes and for a moment I was tempted to leave him – to run away and save my own skin. But if I left him to die, I’d be no better than Toby.
    I bent down and tried again. Sliding my hands under his armpits I laced my fingers together across his chest and heaved. He moved. Just a fraction, but enough to give me hope. I tugged again and dragged him towards the stairs. Pulling for the third time, I tripped over something and fell backwards. Pain tore through me but I got up and yanked him away from the flames.
    We were fifteen floors up. We’d never get down the stairs at this rate. The building would crumble before we were even halfway!
    Then I noticed what I’d tripped over. The door to the flat. It had been blown off its hinges. If I could get Len onto that it might be easier to move him.
    I rolled the Punch and Judy man onto the smooth wood. Then I shoved it to the top of the stairs. The flames were roaring now, eating into the roof behind me. Timbers were crashing down, and I didn’t have time to think. I gave a hard

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