I was running.
Why, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. One could say it was nothing but a sudden burst of foolish audacity. Either that or the events that had unfolded this morning must have short-circuited my brain and it was no longer functioning. All of those people… dead… how did it happen, I still didn’t know, and did it really happen, I still didn’t know. Was this all just a twisted nightmare and nothing was real? A figment of my imagination which is equally twisted?
There was no time to think; the vehicles were closing in, gaining every second, their loud sirens blaring endlessly. I heard a loud voice, a series of shouts, the loading of a gun… I sprinted onwards. I could only hope that everyone else was okay…
Then, the bullet hit me. That’s when I grasped the full reality of what happened…
I woke up in a pitch-black room. I tried to move my arms to try and get a bearing of my surroundings, but they wouldn’t budge: something cold and metallic held them together. I tried moving my legs, which were also held firmly in place. Neither my eyes nor any other aspect of my body could assist me. Was I already in a prison cell? Did the others get away in time?
My questions were silenced by the sudden emergence of a light source, revealing the environment I was in: the interrogation room of a jail. My hands and legs were handcuffed to a desk that may have been gray, but had long since lost its color. Gray walls were the only things I could see. A single light bulb dangled from the ceiling. I felt as though my sanity was going away from me. The school, the explosion, the chase… now stuck in this dark prison.
I felt a feeling of loneliness quickly take hold of me, combined with my fear of losing the others. I turned my head and noticed something on the right wall; there was a glass panel there. I couldn’t see through it, but I knew there were people on the other side of it watching me.
Some sort of hatred began to build inside of me. I didn’t know why, but I suddenly wanted to tear the men hiding behind the glass apart. My hatred soon morphed into desperation.
“I want my phone call” I said simply.
I don’t know why I said that. I knew that a phone call would be one of the many things the police force wouldn’t grant me. I guess this was another sign of my sanity slipping through my fingers.
“I want my phone call!”
I continued to shout at the people hiding behind the glass.
“I want my phone call, I want my phone call, I want my phone call…”
There was the sound of a door opening, then footsteps which sounded as though they were coming towards me. I heard a conversation between two officers who were outside of the entrance to the room I was in. My shouting stopped instantly so I could hear them.
“Did you learn much from the girl?”
“No… just crazy talk. Something about a virus, zombies…it’s a load of crap if you ask me”.
“She might just be crazy. Go in there and interrogate the boy, see if he has anything to say”.
The door opened and a big officer came in. Big might have been an understatement for this giant. He looked to be about 6 foot 9, with a strong build. His face had a pair of blazing blue eyes that seemed to cut into my soul, various scars, and jet-black hair. The nametag on his uniform read, “Officer Hardy”. I didn’t have the energy to laugh at the name.
He pushed the chair opposite me aside and stood instead. He slammed a folder on the table with such force that it made the surface vibrate. The large officer then began talking.
“Tyler Goades” he began in a deep voice, “The perfect example of a normal teenage boy”. He opened up the folder, skimmed through some papers, then continued talking. “You’re a straight-A sophomore student, no records of any misbehaving in classes. You play soccer on the varsity team, one of the best players. Other than that, your life is the perfect definition of basic”.
He walked over to my side. “Despite all of these details, however, you somehow are involved in an interesting affair”. He began pacing around the table. “There was a large explosion at Rueger High School. All building residents excluding seven students were killed. One of them was you. Coincidentally, you were ‘friends’ with these survivors”.
“Let me explain, there was this kid named Chase, and he-“
Officer Hardy held up a hand. “You’re in no position to talk right now”. After he was sure I was to remain silent, the officer went on:
“One of these survivors was a girl. Hannah Stoffer. She is in an interrogation room in here”.
I breathed a sigh of relief. At least I knew that Hannah was okay.
“We questioned her earlier. She had many interesting things to say. Instead of saying the explosion was an act of violence, according to her the whole scenario in the high school was a zombie infection. Naturally, no one believes a tall-tale like this. It’s a simple fact that zombies and monsters such as them do not exist”.
“We’ve simply written her off as a mentally unstable individual, probably suffering from the trauma of the event. Maybe she was fully involved, maybe she wasn’t. All we heard were zombies. Zombies running around and killing people”. He laughed after his last statement.
I remained completely silent the whole time, fighting back my urge to interrupt his talking. Instead I just stared intently at the table in front of me, avoiding eye contact.
“Do you have anything to say to this?” I heard Officer Hardy say. I looked up at him, maintaining my fierce glare. Officer Hardy waved his hand and nodded, motioning that now he wanted me to start talking. “Make our lives, your life easier by just giving us the truth”.
I looked up at the officer. “There is no way that you’d believe me. But I guess I have to talk. Let me say before I begin, that no matter what you think, this story is completely true. It may seem completely far-fetched, but it is nothing but the truth”.
The officer dragged the chair he pushed aside earlier to his side and sat down in it. “Go ahead” he said. He leaned forward. “I like a good story”.
I took a deep breath. “So, it started out as what I thought would be just a normal day going to school…”