I knew it before I saw them.
They were us. They were people, just like us. Our own age, our own experiences. Jesus, they were monsters like us.
I recognized the girl as she pulled off her mask. She gave me a twisted smile and smoothly extracted a black handgun from her waistband, flicking the safety catch off and moving her finger easily to the trigger. She had long dark hair, easily beautiful, dangerously deadly. There was a smear of blood on her cheek and another on her hand.
Her partner, a boy of maybe eighteen at the most, ripped his mask off viciously and bared his teeth at me in a bloodthirsty grimace. There was fire in his eyes as he flipped a dagger in the air.
"Hello, Ethan," the girl purred with a seductive smile. "Remember me? We were in Miss Rowe's class. I sat in the back and you never even looked at me. Don't you remember?"
The room was spinning as I tried to stay on my feet. "What the hell are you?" I hissed through gritted teeth, hatred like poison.
Her partner grinned at me. "You don't recognize me? I thought for sure you would know me when you saw me. But..." he winked. "Maybe you're just shallow."
"What are you talking about?" I snarled, reaching toward my back pocket where I knew my gun would be.
"Oh, you don't even remember that much? Your little friend Laura. She was so..." he smiled. "Fragile. It was like crushing a bug."
The world crashed down on top of me as I lunged toward him. He easily danced out of the way and I slid across the bathroom floor, twisting to get to my feet again. The girl stepped forward fluidly and pointed her gun between my eyes. "Just try."
The boy--no, the monster, the spawn of Satan, leered at me and drew the knife across his tongue, licking the cold metal blade. "I only hope your dear friend Jade will be a little more...fun," he drawled, as the girl laughed.
A cold, calculating hatred rose up inside of me as my hands curled into fists. These monsters in front of me weren't human. And if I wanted to save Jade, if I wanted to salvage the remains of my ruined existence, I needed to be inhuman too.
I heard a gunshot in the other bathroom and the girl instinctively turned her head, her gun hand pointing ever so slightly away from me. In one quick motion, I kicked the gun from her hand, sending it spinning across the floor, and pulled my own gun from my pocket. She gave a sharp cry as her hand was wrenched backward, and her partner lunged toward me with the knife. I stepped back as he threw himself at me, and brought the butt of my gun down on his head. He gave an animal cry of pain and fell to the ground.
I stepped quickly backward, toward the door where the girl's gun had come to rest. Stooping, I swept it quickly into my left hand and pointed both guns toward them, one trained at each of them.
Their eyes weren't human. No one with that kind of hatred in their eyes was human, and that made it that much easier.
Two tiny motions, two sharp cracks, and I was out the door, leaving two bodies, a lot of blood, and a piece of my soul behind.