“The hell is that?” Trent observed. 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.
Everything I had thought throughout the day return to me and compound in one moment. My face was bright red and I felt sweat pop up all over my body. I had myself convinced that Chase and Michael were linked to this somehow. Something was going very wrong.
Eventually, a crackle was heard over the speakers. There was a brief screeching sound, then all that could be heard was static. A few seconds passed and even the static ceased. By now there was a lot of conversation in the cafeteria as people got up and looked at each other and the door, confused and scared.
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, cut off with an invisible knife.
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. Shouts and screams and cries were erupting all around me.
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.
This wasn’t a school shooter or any sort of regular intruder. Everyone else seemed to be thinking the same thing; this wasn’t something school protocol covered.
“We need to get the hell out of here,” Harry stated, 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. No alarms sounded. Cell phone screens were alight, but nobody seemed to be making connection.
Eventually, people began to snap out of the initial shock caused by the noises and started to really 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 without a single word spoken.
I looked towards the stage and saw Carson with Hannah beside him. They were trying to fight the zombies off and escape to the band corridor. One of the creatures charged Carson, 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.