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.
Why did I care so much about him and the sickness that had gotten a hold of him? Was it curiosity or fear? Either way, some force compelled me to research about him. During science class, I had skimmed through my textbook and even did online searches. Nothing came up.
The rest of my classes following science didn’t have any interesting action. My schedule had me going to Social Studies, then English, then Creative Writing. Other than a gigantic amount of homework, the classes were as boring as usual. However, there was something noteworthy to mention in Social Studies with Mr. Groffe.
When I entered the class and the bell rung, I looked around the room to see that Chase, who also had this particular course, was nowhere to be seen. It was a relief; I assumed he had been sent home. There was absolutely nothing to fear.
A kid in front of me, Michael Laney, was talking emphatically to a student next to him, whose name I didn’t know.
“I saw how Paul looked, man. If the world starts crumbling, I’m telling you, I’m ready for it”.
“Bullshit. Like what would you do if something happened right now?” his friend replied, laughing.
“Football lockers. The door to it can easily be locked, lots of places to hide. It’s the safest place to go”.
“Stop fucking around” the student laughed once more.
“I’m going straight there and hunkering down. You have my word”.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up on end. It sounded as though Chase didn’t have a unique disorder after all. Could it be possible the area around me was on the brink of an epidemic?
“What are you talking about?” I asked Michael. I wasn’t compelled by interest at this point; I was beginning to get scared of the whole idea of an infection running rampant through the school.
Michael turned around, still visibly annoyed after his friend shot down his statements. “All I’m saying is if something horrible happens in this school, I will be ready. I’ve seen some sick people today. It’s like I’m playing Left 4 Dead or something here, and no one seems to be noticing!”
“That’s because there’s nothing to notice!” his friend chipped in. “Stop worrying about it”.
I wanted to agree with Michael; to tell him about Chase, and how I was encountering the same thoughts as he was. But I held back.
My God, I needed to get a hold of myself! I had been panicking all day, and it wasn’t going anywhere except driving me slowly insane. I was so spaced out that I felt like I wasn’t even on the Earth anymore.
At 11:30, my lunch period began. I exited Creative Writing, which was on the first floor, and traveled down the hall, took a right, and then there was the entrance.
What can be said about the cafeteria? It’s a gigantic rectangle full of tables, with a stage for theatre performances to the right of the entrance. At the far end of the room were the lunch lines and the kitchen, and to the left of them the doors that led into the gym hallway.
I walked to one of the circular tables near the gym hallway doors and sat down; it had been my usual spot for freshmen year, so I guess it was kind of a tradition to sit there.
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.
After a bit of silence, I spoke up. “Anyways, what the hell was up with Science today?”
Trent laughed. “I know! The whole freaking Periodic Table. Was that really necessary?”
“Learn to not take Honors classes, guys” Harry said, grinning. He was pretty smart, but he took a ton of easy classes just because he could coast through them.
“Learn to try in school” I retorted.
“I DO try, but I choose not to try too much”.
Everything continued on as usual, just simply, fun conversations with my friends.
That is, it was normal until I heard a banging on the entrance to the cafeteria. I dismissed it at first… but then another bang came. This time, I wasn’t the only one who heard it; some other heads were aimed at the door. A third bang, and everyone began staring at the entrance.
“The hell is that?” Trent commented. No one was really scared at that point, but confusion was settling in.
“If there’s something wrong, they’ll just tell us… right?” I said, doubting my logic.
Nothing happened. There was complete silence, except for the banging, which continued. Some kids got up and started backing away towards possible exits. Others still looked up at the intercom, wondering why no message had yet been broadcasted.
Eventually, a crackle was heard over the speakers. There was a brief screeching sound, then all that could be heard was static.
From outside the door, a variety of horrifying sounds began to become audible… 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. My muscles were tense and I felt held in my seat by fear’s hand.
More banging sounds emitted from the door, as though something was trying to break in. I didn’t know what ‘they’ was… that was the worst part. 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 take on whatever was on the other side of the door. Trent’s eyes were wide open, Harry’s likewise.
“We need to get the hell out of here” Harry said, suddenly standing up and backing away towards the gym hallway doors.
I saw a few other students get up and run to a fire exit by the lunch lines. They pushed on it as hard as they could, putting all their momentum behind it, but the door wouldn’t budge.
Eventually, people began to snap out of the initial shock caused by the noises and started to get up from their tables. But it was too late.
The door was blown off its hinges and sent flying. It landed on a table, crushing two unfortunate students sitting there. The pandemonium sent everyone running away, 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 missing, leaving nothing but a few strings of flesh hanging outside of it. 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. My head was spinning, my thoughts and emotions in a mix.
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. My voice finally returned to me. I shouted at her, “Run!” and she narrowly managed to dodge the attack. It turned and looked at me, growling, challenging me; now that I had spoken, it was aware of my presence. This was one challenge I didn’t feel like accepting.
For the first time in my life, I felt fear. I stared into the eyes of the beast… an empty, bulging void full of red lines.
The creature leaped at me and managed to scratch my arm. While I screamed in pain from the sudden assault, I quickly recovered and beat it off with my arm. Remarkably, it recovered rapidly, and I 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, Tinna following behind me. Harry was already pushing them open. I looked towards the stage 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.
“What, are you crazy?” Harry protested from beyond the doors.
“There’s still people in there, I have to do something!” I retorted.
“Hannah’s my friend, I’m coming too” Tinna declared, standing beside me.
“We don’t need two people to do this!” I snapped. “Go with them!”
“I’m not leaving her!” she countered.
Harry offered an audible sigh. “Just meet us in the gym!”
With that, the doors closed, and we were left out in the frenzy. 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. Not only that, but I was forced into an uneasy partnership with Tinna, an individual I’d rather not be with.
I took off in a sprint towards 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 already making a run for the gym 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. But before I could enter the double doors, the infected Chase recuperated and blocked my path, with a few other zombies closing in on me. My heart was pounding heavily, and I saw my life flash before my eyes.
All I could think of was how painful their claw and teeth will feel… how long would it take before I blacked out… I saw no hope.
Then I remembered Tinna was with me. I turned around to see if she as still there… but she had left me. I noticed her running down the hall towards the band room, along with some other students.
My options had reached zero. I counted four of the creatures circling in for the kill, just like a pack of wolves… I kept backing up until I was leaning on the wall behind me, sweating and shivering from fear. Suddenly, I realized that I WAS by a wall. The lunch line room was directly behind me.
Everything in my body switched on auto-pilot. My hand shot out for the lunch door and I swung it open, effectively blocking off one of the zombies from charging. I slammed the door behind me as a temporary blockade to the other three. It was a metal door, but not nearly as heavy as the cafeteria door; those animals would have no trouble tearing through this one.
I was stuck in a nearly black environment. I could barely see the outlines of the tables, refrigerators, and other kitchen utensils and appliances scattered around. No humans appeared to have taken refuge in here, leaving me alone in the darkness.
The door behind me began to wobble, and I heard the zombies growling out of frustration, throwing their full body weight against the door. Once again, options were limited.
At this point, my mind began to completely break down. These were former students out there! Something made them turn into humanoid creatures capable of killing people within seconds. I saw the infection happening! I should have known!
I was a fucking soccer player, not a scientist or a magician or anything… I couldn’t keep calm and get out of here! I wasn’t that guy! Michael clearly was… Michael KNEW this—
And then it hit me. Michael Laney was the answer to my problems. If I could somehow navigate into the football lockers, I’d be willing to bet he would be in there hidden under a bench or something, staying true to his word. It was a longshot, but it was my only shot.
Now I settled down and began to quickly analyze my problem: I was trapped in the kitchen. Four doors led to it. The one I came through as the furthest to the left, and the one closet to the gym was at the furthest right door. The zombies were too preoccupied to be checking that one.
To be safe, I slowly crept in the shadows, making as little noise as I could, waiting for the last possible moment to make a sprint for the gym. I needed to make sure the infected were going through that particular door, and when it finally fell down I would already be gone.
As I neared the other door, I heard the original one finally give way to the onslaught of the creatures. It was blown away, sliding across the floor, knocking over all of the tables in its way. As soon as I saw the first abomination take a step inside, I swiftly exited through my door and entered the gym quickly, not taking a moment to pause and oversee the carnage.
I didn’t know what really happened in that cafeteria… how the students died. How many got away, or tried to. Hopefully, I never will know.
Now I could breathe easily. I took off at a jogging pace down the gym hallway, looking for the football lockers. They were near the middle of the passage. When I tried the handle, it didn’t budge. Someone had to be in there.
I banged on the door. “Is anyone in there? Anyone?!”
The door opened quickly and I stumbled inside, breathing heavily. The door was slammed behind me and locked.
“I thought you were gonna die Tyler!” a voice exclaimed. It was Trent, who pulled me up to my feet. “Don’t scare me like that”.
I looked over my shoulder, and made eye contact with Carson, who was leaning on a wall behind me. He nodded at me, as though that was his meaning of thanks for saving his life back in the cafeteria. As much as I disliked him, I was glad another living being made his way into the room. Strength in numbers was key at this point.
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. As far as I was concerned, an apocalypse discontinued any ongoing rivalries.
Looking around the room, I was surprised to see that a few more students had managed to make their way into the football lockers. They must have had the same idea, maybe even got it from Michael himself. There was Burt Williams, the quarterback for our football team, Rachel Yong, Steven Federer, 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, and no doubt they’re coming this way!” I heard someone say. Michael Laney emerged from a corner of the room. 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.
“I thought this would be my own hideout, no, the more people here, the easier they’ll find us, okay?” he continued, pacing around. “Oh man… oh I KNEW this was happening. And everyone decided to follow my lead at the last second”.
“Sorry for trying to live” Carson said plainly.
Geoff shook his head. “There has to be some sort of logical reasoning with what happened. Zombies are science fiction”, he said, taking us back to the original topic. 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. He was a hulking figure, at least 6 foot tall, with large arms and legs: the build of an all-star athlete.
“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, Steven 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, Geoff’s sister. She was about as tall as me with curly brown hair and soft features. She seemed stoic, without any emotion. Suddenly, she started crying. I could think of nothing else to do but to put my arm around her.
“Something like this doesn’t come out of the blue though” Burt said, still on the topic of the source of the disease. “This must have been some sort of freak accident. This couldn't have come from nowhere. Maybe a science experiment gone wrong".
“Yeah, around those lines” Steven agreed.
We all looked keenly at Geoff, whose face was locked in a stern expression. “There was some classified info leaked onto some independent, secret sites about possible scientific tests on modifying the human physique”.
“Woah, wait, how would a kid like Chase get chosen for this sort of thing?” Harry asked incredulously. “It’s not like the lottery. ‘Hey, step right up and buy a ticket! If ya win, get your body fucked up!’”
“It was a random selection, with promised medical care and payment for servicing” Geoff explained, though he too seemed unconvinced. “That’s the best I can think of. I doubt it was anything serious. Surely not harmful enough to be the cause of this”.
“Government conspiracy, I’m telling you!” Michael said, shaking his fist. “They’re after our money, now our lives!”
Trent broke up the conversation. “This whole thing is confusing… we all get that”.
“We need to think of something more important” Maria added quietly, understanding Trent’s thought.
“Maybe there are more survivors” Hannah spoke, standing up. “Maybe Tinna’s still out there. I saw her save us!”
I looked over at Hannah, and she looked back at me. I had to say something… I couldn’t lie about something like this.
“She’s gone, Hannah. She left me in the cafeteria to fend for myself and ran off to the band room”.
“She wouldn’t do that!” Hannah immediately retorted, standing up.
“But she did!” I replied, anger building up.
Carson, in what I presumed was a protective action, instantly stood to face me. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t talk like that to her”.
I couldn’t stop myself from hating him at the moment. I just plunged right into something I instantly regretted. “Going to take me out back and beat me up because I saw you smoking pot?” I cooed mockingly, the anger still present. “Or erase all my work so I can get in trouble for a project you ruined?”
“Tyler” I heard Trent say behind me.
“I was surrounded by four of those things out there”. Once again, my sanity took a dive. “They were closing in on me, ready to kill me. I was about to die… I SHOULD HAVE DIED!”
“Tyler!” Trent shouted, attempting to calm me down. I looked over at him and saw the concern in his eyes. My rage wilted, and I slowly walked off into a separate side of the room.
“Well… you heard Tyler. 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.
“Someone’s gotta do something, we can’t just stay put!” Harry snapped.
Carson spoke up. “Let’s think about this. Alright? What do we know about these creeps?”
Everyone looked at me expectantly. I was the one that was pursued by them, literally inches below their claws.
“They’re fast” I started. “It’s not some stupid zombie movie. These things can move. They’re not unintelligent, and I’d venture to say they’re just as smart as us, if not more so”.
“This is impossible” Geoff said breathlessly, shaking his head.
“They can outrun us, and they will. So if we do decide to head out, we go together” I declared. “We need to look after our own”. 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 please rethink this” Rachel spoke up. “We just ran from those things, and we’re running right back at them? Who’s that going to help?”
“They started in the cafeteria, they’ll certainly be setting up shop there” Steven agreed with her. “If we attempt anything in that area, they’ll run us down, simple as that”.
“I agree with her too” Harry said with trepidation. Even in a zombie assault, he was nervous around Rachel. “Why don’t we just sit for a second. Catch our breath”. Rachel gazed at him as though seeing him for the first time.
The conversation died soon after that statement. No one was in the mood to speak about anything other than business. It was pure silence. Not even the monsters could be heard from the cafeteria. I believed they had already entered the band room at that point, but I wasn’t prepared to bring that topic up again.
Tensions were clearly high, mine included… it was a scary situation. Not because of the creatures necessarily, but because… of us. We were all scared, so scared we shouted everything, disagreed and agreed with anything.
I especially felt awful for mistreating Carson and Hannah… despite my true feelings for him, now was not the time to act childish…
I walked over to the bench Carson was residing at and sat next to him. He didn’t notice; he was too busy saying something to Hannah, who rested her head on his shoulder.
“Uh… hey” I began innocently. His head snapped towards me as though I just caught him shoplifting.
“Need something?” he asked, business-like, practically devoid of emotion.
I sighed. This was hard to do, given our history. “I… I am sorry, Carson. I shouldn’t have exploded on you”.
For once in our lives, he smiled at something I said. “It’s fine. No need to host a rivalry when zombies are after us. Am I right?”
I nodded, then stood up to leave. Beforehand, Carson leaned in and whispered, “Just stay the hell away from us. Clear?” He seemed to enjoy using the word.
All I could do was laugh and utter a simple “So much for no rivalry”. I went back to my corner of the room, where Trent sat on a bench, staring at a wall of lockers. I sat next to him and looked at his face, which appeared thoughtful.
He was shy. He never really liked that many people, and people really didn’t like him. I wasn’t sure what was going through his head, but I guessed it was the fact that he was thrown into a group-work situation he wasn’t accustomed to.
“Is it wrong” he suddenly said, “for me to hope this whole scenario ends up making my parents resolve their differences because their child almost died? Is that… selfish of me?”
It was as though a personal blow had struck me. He was such an innocent teenager… just like the rest of us, in the grand scheme of things. I couldn’t think of anything to say, so I just embraced the silence that followed.
Finally, I heard Maria of all people speak up.
“I say we make a pact now… that we are a group. That we look after each other and we stay together. We don’t betray or abandon”.
It was an important statement, and the gravity of her words began to sink in. We were in a survivor situation… we were possibly the only ones left. We were a group of lucky soldiers that avoided getting killed by the enemy.
“Dang zombies won’t take all of us!” Michael stated suddenly. “I’m in!”
Carson glanced at me. “We’re probably all that’s left. I’m in”.
“So long as we get a good plan going” Burt commented.
“Well… what is that plan?” Hannah asked.
“Get survivors or look after ourselves” Steven replied, nodding.
“There’s too many of them and too few of us. I see no problem with trying to get others.” Carson said.
Hannah looked at me as though she was waiting for me to object. I didn’t match her gaze and remained silent. I allowed the rest of the group to make the decision.
“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”.
“What happened to looking after our own?!” Michael countered, getting into hysterics. “Let’s not forget that those things are lethal! Why don’t we go and get firepower or something, call in the military, something?”
Maria scoffed. “I see you’re looking for government help now, Mr. Conspiracy”.
“Don’t start anything” Geoff glared at her.
“No, it’s fine, let the bitch go on and say what she—“
“That’s the first time you insulted my sister, let there not be a second” Geoff said coldly, standing as still as a statue.
“Michael’s right!” Steven responded, backing up his friend. “They can bring in actual support. We’re high schoolers. We don’t have training with weaponry, nor do we have the means to get any other than that”.
“Zombies are science fiction!” Geoff rebuked. “Therein lies the issue. If we do manage to make a call to the local police or the United States military, would they believe us? Do we even know if our phones are working?”
“We do now” Rachel said, holding up her phone. There was no signal. “I tested it. We’re on our own”.
Michael walked towards the exit of the football lockers. “Well. I suggest we go. You guys go ahead and look for other survivors… but I’m sorry, I cannot stand this. We are surrounded by the INFECTED! The LIVING DEAD!” He gave off a nervous laugh. “And they said it was only for video games”.
“Come with us” Hannah said. “We’ll go to the janitor’s room. You can feel free to leave. But before that time you stick with us”.
“Come on, Michael” Steven pleaded with him, moving away from his friend's plan. “Rachel showed us. We’re on our own”.
For a time, that was the scene; everyone standing up in a lopsided circle with Michael hanging out by the door.
“Fine” he finally said. “Let’s go”.
“Yeah!” Steven roared. He ran to the door and opened it and raced out of the boy’s locker room. The rest of us tailed behind. We quickly remembered the situation we were in and slowed down, making our footsteps quiet. Steven, at the front of the pack currently, peaked his head around the corner.
“Nothing” he said, motioning for us to come out.
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.
“Here we are. This takes us to the side lot. Take a right, and we enter the chorus room” he stated. He looked behind at the rest of us. “Now can we agree to be civil and remain as a unit?” From then on, it seemed as though Burt was the group leader; being a quarterback, he seemed to fit the position like a glove.
Maria stepped forward. “I’m sorry… I’m just—“
“We all are” Rachel said simply, guessing Maria’s words. For now, the inter-party conflicts had ended.
Michael gestured to the door. “Why don’t you do us the honors” he said, a small smile on his face.
Maria continued to the door as our muscles tensed in anticipation. Then… everything came tumbling down.
“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. “Damnit!” 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!”
“Could they already be outside of the building?” Maria exclaimed, visibly alarmed. Her cry went unnoticed.
“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. “Damn it!”
“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 too…” she whispered, defeat in her voice.
“That’s not possible!” Geoff cried.
“The windows are sealed, the doors are sealed!” Michael shouted.
“We’re trapped” Hannah said.