The Infection Chapter 2: It BeginsMature

(Ch. 2)

I counted the minutes. Then I counted the hours. Chase had
been at the nurse’s office for forever. Did he just get sent home early because
he was in such bad shape? Or had he died because all of his skin peeled off
which caused him to perish from internal bleeding? I shuddered at the latter,
which actually wasn’t too far off from the truth.

At 11:30, my lunch period began. I always took a seat at the
table closest to the lunch line, even though I wasn’t a buyer: I just like the
smell.

Trent and Harry joined me later. Hannah stepped out of the
lunch line. I looked at her, silently asking her to take a seat over at my
table, but Carson walked over and took her to his table, while holding hands.

“Man, that guy Carson is the slime of the world” Harry said,
shaking his head. “The future of our society”.

I looked over at him. “That’s a little depressing of a
thought, don’t you think?”

He shrugged. “I’ve seen a lot of airheads around this
school. They don’t set my hopes high”.

Trent laughed. “Harry, you might wanna stop, your acting too
serious”.

Harry turned towards Trent, ready to make a witty response,
but refrained from making one. I guess he was going to make a comment about his
parents but thought against it. Trent looked like he knew it too, and grinned.

“Are you going soft on me, Harry?” he said, lightly punching
him on the shoulder.

Harry shook his head. “My comment was too deadly for you to
handle”. He made a gun with his hands and made shooting noises.

Lunch continued on as usual, just me and the guys talking
about whatever came to our minds. That is, it was normal until I heard a
banging on the entrance to the cafeteria; loud and furious banging. After the
first three bangs, everyone was stone silent. A lot of people looked up
expectantly at the speakers around the room, believing they would turn on and
one of the school’s staff would briefly explain the problem or whatever was
going on.

But nothing happened. There was silence for three minutes,
which allowed us to hear bone-chilling sounds from outside the door. Gurgling,
snarling, roaring, screaming…so many horrifying noises that I had no idea what
they belonged to. The worst one was this one high-pitched, skin-crawling scream.
It was one shrill shriek that seemed to go on for hours until it was abruptly
stopped. I could hear some girls crying. Some of the guys had stood up at their
tables as though they planned to either investigate or just make a dash for the
nearest exit.

More banging sounds emitted from the door, as though
something was trying to break in. I started to get nervous. That door wouldn’t
hold forever, and when it blew open, whatever was on the other side would barge
inside. I looked over at Carson, who was holding Hannah close to him. He had a
defiant look on his face as though he could talk on whatever was on the other
side of the door. Trent’s eyes were wide open, Harry’s likewise.

Then, pandemonium erupted. The door was blown off its hinges
and sent flying. It landed on a table, crushing two unfortunate students
sitting there. Everyone lost their cool and started shouting and screaming.
Looking through the opening that used to be covered by a door, I saw something
that made me feel so sick I puked on the floor.

It was some sort of extremely disfigured human being. One
half of its body’s skin was torn off, exposing the veins and bones inside. The
eyes of this figure were red, one of which was hanging out of its socket and
darting rapidly back and forth. This thing’s mouth had a row of sharp teeth
smeared with blood, the tongue hanging out. Huge claws took the place of what
could have been fingernails at one point. Those too were bloodstained,
suggesting that this thing had killed. And now it was hungry for more death.

The foot on one of this thing’s legs was missing, in its
place just a bleeding stub. The creature was forced to limp. Around its body
was a puddle of blood. Whatever it was, it sickened me to the core.

Suddenly, the creature moved with surprising agility as
though the missing foot didn’t matter. Just as quickly, the mutant dug its
claws into a student who was nearby the door. The unfortunate victim screamed
and tried shoving the beast, but it was all in vain. It quickly began tearing
apart the boy and eating his skin, tossing away the bones that it could not
consume.

More of these things started pouring inside the cafeteria,
sprinting at the many students scrambling about the room trying desperately to
evade death at the hand of these monsters.

Among these cries was a shout of “Zombies!” I jumped back a
bit.

My God, they were zombies! I was rooted to the spot, scared
and in awe at the same time by these terrifying creatures.

A zombie rushed over to Tinna, who was also transfixed to
her spot. I shouted at her, “Run!” but the zombie lunged at her and dug its
claws into her chest. It tore out her heart and starting consuming it, blood
pouring out of it. It turned and looked at me, growling, challenging me. This
is one challenge I didn’t feel like accepting. The creature leaped at me and managed
to scratch my arm. I beat it off with my arm and prepared for it to strike
again.

Trent yanked my shirt collar and pushed me towards the
double doors leading to the gym, sparing me from the monster. Harry was already
pushing them open. I looked over and saw Carson with Hannah behind him. He was
trying to fight the zombies off. One of the creatures charged him, but he
landed an uppercut on it, sending it sliding across the floor.

“Come on!” Trent shouted.

I couldn’t leave those two to be zombie chow, even a kid
like Carson.

“Go on, I’ll catch up!” I replied, running towards them as I
said this.

“Meet in the football lockers!” I heard Harry shout.

The mutants were making short work of everyone in the
cafeteria, and I knew it was only a matter of time before they got to Carson
and Hannah.

“Get moving!” I shouted to them. A zombie leaped out at me,
and I kicked it back. It let out an outraged roar and took another stab at me,
but I sidestepped it.

I looked behind me to see Carson and Hannah making a run for
the double doors. I ran after them, but one of the zombies grabbed my foot and
tripped me up. I found myself face to face with my zombie attacker, none other
than Chase Davids. He looked just as disfigured and mutilated as the missing
foot zombie. I was suddenly fueled with anger; Chase had started this. He was
infecting the entire school!

I punched Chase off of me before any other zombies could
gang up on me. I pushed through the double doors without any trouble: the
zombies began focusing on the people still stranded in the cafeteria. I decided
to take one last look. The cafeteria was covered with blood and various body
parts, some of them currently being ripped off of the bodies of once-living
students.

Moving as fast as I could, I ran across the gym and went
through another pair of doors. I sprinted down a hallway towards the boy’s
locker room. At the back of the room was a locked door which housed the
football lockers.

I banged on the door. “Let me in guys!”

The door opened quickly and I jumped inside. The door was
slammed behind me and locked.

“I thought you were gonna die Tyler!” Trent exclaimed,
pulling me up to my feet. “Don’t scare me like that”.

I looked over my shoulder and made eye contact with Carson.
He nodded at me, as though that was his meaning of thanks for saving his life
back in the cafeteria. Hannah was sitting on a bench behind him, crying. Carson
sat down and put his arm around her. This time I didn’t complain about him
being by her side.

Looking around the room, I was surprised to see that a few
more students had managed to make their way into the football lockers. There
was Burt Williams, the quarterback for our football team, Rachel Yong, Steven
Federer, Michael Laney, Geoff Phillips, and his younger sister Maria. They all
looked beat up and out of breath. I guess you’ll need me to describe them.

“What…are those…things?” Steven asked, referring to the
zombies. Steven was the sort of kid that was normal and just sort of blended
into the background. I didn’t really know much about him up to this point
except that he must be pretty good at escaping the clutches of zombies.

“They’re zombies!” Michael replied hysterically. The polar
opposite of Steven, Michael was the kid that stuck out like a broken traffic
light. He wasn’t really a popular kid due to his nerdy ways and constant video
game conversation.

Geoff shook his head. “There has to be some sort of logical
way with happened. Zombies are science fiction”. As usual Geoff tried to explain
everything with a plausible theory. He was probably the smartest kid in the
school. He had won the spelling bee, science fair, and never got anything below
an A-.

I chipped into the conversation. “I got pinned down by one
of those creatures while I was making a run for the gym. It looked like Chase
Davids, but mutated. He was really sick this morning. Mr. Groffe sent him to
the nurse’s officer, but he never came back”.

“So Chase had some sort of…disease?” Burt asked. He was the
‘tough guy’ of our group as I later found out through his endurance,
leadership, and physical strength.

“Nothing could have caused that” Geoff said, “I’ve studied
tons of diseases. None of them lead to mutation and cannibalism”.

“Maybe this is something new” Rachel said. “Something that
hasn’t ever been seen before, or recorded”. I wasn’t too surprised to see
Rachel in our group. She was a gymnast, incredibly athletic and fast. It was no
wonder Harry had loved her. I wish they had gotten to be with each other
longer.

Rachel’s comment caused a blanket of silence to wrap around
our group. Finally, Michael took it off.

“Think about it. If this is something new…it could spread.
Maybe it already has”.

He was right, I thought. This disease caused people to
become creatures that spread the disease by injecting it into a human’s system.
If this disease can spread so easily, it could possibly destroy this world. And
there’s the possibility that this infection has already taken this world by
storm, and we haven’t heard of it. I shuddered at these thoughts, due to the
possibility they could all be true.

I took a seat beside Maria. She hugged me and began crying
softly. She liked me, and must have been happy I had made it out of the
cafeteria alive.

“Maybe there are more survivors” Hannah said, standing up.
“Maybe Tinna’s still out there”.

I looked over at Hannah, and she looked back at me. She must
have read what I was about to say from my eyes, because she sat back down and
started crying again.

“She’s right. Some of them might have made a run for the
band room” Burt said.

“But should we risk looking for survivors, or stay here and
make a plan to get out?” Steven questioned.

Harry walked into the middle of our group. “I’m the least
popular, right. I’ll go take a look”.

Trent ran over to him. “Don’t, Harry!” he said, shaking him
while he said this.

“If we do decide to head out, we go together” I declared.
There was a murmur of agreement from the group.

“I say we go look” Burt said defiantly. He was a pretty big
guy and could move a group to make a decision pretty easily.

“Let’s do it” Rachel said, standing on her feet. Harry
walked over by her side. “I agree with her” he said. Rachel looked over at him,
noticing him for the first time.

“Dang zombies won’t take all of us!” Michael said. “I’m in!”

Everyone else agreed to our plan of looking for survivors,
though I could tell the majority of the people in our group looked extremely
nervous and afraid. After what had happened, I couldn’t blame them.

“There’s a back door in the janitor’s closet up the hall”
Burt said. “If we go through there, we can loop around outside and reenter the
school using the entrance to the chorus room in the secondary entrance to the
school”.

“Wait, wait, wait, hold up” Michael protested. “If we can
get outside, let’s make a break for it then!”

“No” Trent said. “There might be other students still inside
here. We’ve got to try”.

“Yeah!” Steven said. He ran to the door and opened it and
raced out of the boy’s locker room. The rest of us tailed behind.

It was a relief to see the zombies hadn’t reached the gym or
the locker rooms yet. We continued on without trouble.

Burt ran ahead and yanked open a door near the end of the
hall. “Through here” he said, motioning for everyone to head inside. At the end
of the room was a door leading outside as Burt had said. Maria tried to open
it, but it wouldn’t budge.

“This thing” she said while trying to pry the door open,
“won’t open up”.

“Maybe it’s just stuck, try harder” I said.

“Let me try” Carson said. He pulled as hard as he could, but
even for someone of his strength the door wouldn’t give in.

“How?” Carson said breathlessly.

Geoff walked over to the door and pointed at something.
“There’s some sort of white substance holding this door together from the
outside” he said.

“We’re boxed in!?” Michael shouted.

Burt pounded his fist on the wall. “Darnit!” he said. “The
only other way to the band room would be through-“

“The cafeteria” I muttered, cutting him off.

Harry shook his head. “No way are we going through there” he
said. “It’s zombie central!”

“Then what do we do now?” I asked. “If this door is
blocked…all of the other exits might be as well. Maybe even the windows”.

“Let’s try the other door at the other end of the hall”
Steven said, racing out of the room with us following behind. Burt tried to
open the door, but this one refused to open as well. “There’s more slime on
here” he said. “Darnit”.

“Help me!” Rachel called out. She was trying to grab the
handle of the only window in the gym area. Harry ran over and gave her a boost.
She got hold of the handle, but was unable to open the window. “The windows are
sealed to!” she said, defeat in her voice.

“The windows are sealed, the doors are sealed!” Michael
shouted.

“We’re trapped” Hannah whispered.

The End

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