Arsenal and a nod to Crichton

This scene is inspired by a passage from Michael Crichtons 'Jurassic Park'. The passage was vividly brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg in the film of the same name.

The majestic figure of the Emirates stadium reared up into the night as the ever present drum of thunder circled it like a hungry predator.

A cacophony of whimpers tore upwards into the midnight gloom. Primal guttural fear. The Arsenal football squad stood there. In matching red uniforms they gripped their rifles that reassuring bit tighter. Trees swept in the brewing storm like macabre mutant feather dusters. Rain spat itself on all and sundry, a tingling, cold slap as remembrance.

From between the trees emerged a heavy duty forklift. It’s spotlights, burning starkly fluorescent, lasered off, ever thickening, into the night at unsettling angles. A piercing mechanic whine flew from the hidden depths of its engine, like a curse flying forth from a freshly opened Egyptian tomb. Pat Rice sat behind the wheel, a grim, determined look on his face.

Worried eyes looked on as the forklifts cargo settled to a halt on the pristine concrete. Now that Rices role in proceedings was over, he leapt from the vehicle, turned on his heel and sprinted off into the night. As he ran, his hard hat toppled from his head and clattered to the ground, an Arsenal FC logo emblazoned across it as it rolled to a dismal stop in a grimy London puddle.

The cargo was a reinforced steel structure in the style of a truck trailer. Horizontal slats stroked around its form at a height of six feet. For all the tension this box created, it emmanated a constant silence.

A uniformed Francesc Fabregas stepped forward from the group. He turned his head and gazed up to a large window near the top of the stadium. A fork of lightning ruptured the blackness and momentarily a cross armed figure was silhouetted behind the glass. The figure seemed to nod. Cesc knew what he had to do. He took a deep breath and signalled to four more men.

Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere and Manuel Almunia reluctantly shouldered their rifles, positioned themselves at each corner of the container and heaved it forward along two runners that led to a specialised entrance cut deep into the stadium wall. As the end of the container slotted into the wall Diaby jumped away in fear. His soul was unsettled, like the surface of a lake when a pebble is thrown in, rings of disquiet grew larger and larger, echoing forever. His eyes had met with something through that slat. When he looked upon it, pure malevolence looked back.

The wind howled and whipped at everything with stinging rain as its weapon of choice. Thunder rolled through the night sky like a titanic wave pumelling along a cliff face, shaking the earth to its core.

Cesc signalled to Clichy to climb on top of the steel structure. He shut his eyes, blessed himself and then proceeded to climb the ladder set onto the side. Once on top he grabbed the handle that would pull the front side upward letting its cargo free. Before he did, he looked to the rest of the squad. His eyes settled on Andriy Arshavin, who nodded solemnly. Clichy raised the door.

There was a thunderous movement inside the container. Three thuds toward the open end. A heavy impact. The container was forced backwards on its runners by about three feet. The open end was completely exposed now, a gaping maw, ready to suck in whoever was unluckiest.

Manuel Almunia had had a good start to the day. He had risen early, checked news from home in Spain on his laptop while he ate some wholegrain toast with red onion and Portugese sardines. Driving into training he had gotten nearly all green lights. Never in his darkest most unrelenting nightmares would he have thought that night he would be the one nearest the container. Maybe humans aren’t wired to conjure thoughts that depressing.

As Manuel Almunias terror struck frame was dragged through the gap between the container and the wall, Cesc Fabregas’ heart sank to what seemed like the bottom of all existence. Nevetheless he rallied the squad. They surrounded the three available sides and pointed their rifles through the slats. The muzzle flashes lit up the container like a gunpowder strobe light. These flashes jarred the players vision. The sounds of Almunia screaming were scars indelibly etched into their collective conscience. Cesc could see tears streaming down Samir Nasris face as he repeatedly shot his rifle through that little space. Shooting and weeping. A shell of a man. Almunias screams gave way to a stomach sickening meaty crack.

The view from behind the large pristine pane of glass was expansive. Mr. Wenger watched on as his only fit goalkeeper was torn from safety and disappeared into the steel container he himself had ordered. A bead of rain snaked its way haphazardly down the glass, illuminated by the errant flashes of gunfire that flew up from below. As Wenger bored of watching what seemed like a lightning storm confined to a 12 by 6 metal trailer below he tracked the raindrop with his hawk like attention. Something instantly jostled him from this hypnotic droplet. A projectile was coming directly for him, flying upward from the scene of chaos below. From amidst the rain, screams and gunfire it sailed and hit the pain of glass right in front of Wengers face.

Manuel Almunias dead eyes locked onto Wengers for a second and then his head fell silently away from the window, leaving nothing but a bloody residue as a clue to its presence. Arsene Wenger was unshaken, he stroked his chin. He was down a goalie, but he was up a, well he didn’t know quite how to categorize it, but he was up one Jens Lehmann. A slow grin spread across his face as shouts of ‘Shoot him! Shooooooot hiiiiiiiim!’ echoed up from below like puddle splashes trying to contend with a downpour.

No comments:

Post a Comment