What bought me back out of my own world was a bell - presumably the bell for the end of lunchtime. I took out my earphones and hit my head on the grass a few times angrily. Such a large part of me wanted to leg it out of the school and go home, but doing that would let the train crash win. I wasn't going to give in.
The school bell didn't stop ringing. I frowned, staring at the building. Probably just fucked up as usual. The school I went to was tacky and run down. The hallways were littered with cracks, and every classroom had scuff marks filling the walls. The carpets were ripped, the ceiling had holes in and in almost every corner wet mould was spreading. We were meant to be getting government funding to have the school refurbished, but due to the recession and budget cuts that was no longer going ahead. I pictured us sitting in piles of rubble in a few years time if something wasn't done soon.
People started emerging from the doors, which I couldn't understand. Surely we should be going inside if the bell was ringing?
Wait. It was a fire practice. Of course - how could I have been so stupid?
I slipped my headphones back into my ears and concealed them under my hood. Fire practices were the most pointless thing ever to have been thought up - no one paid any attention to them. If there was a real fire, people would just freak out. No one would remember to 'walk swiftly and quietly in an orderly line out onto the field'. Hell would break loose.
I lined up with the few people in my form that had already come outside. They were moaning about the cold and one of the teachers - Mrs. Kelsey.
Then I saw something that made my throat close up. Smoke.
"What's going on?" I said quickly to the person next to me, some girl who was in my Maths class.
She shrugged, "I heard someone set fire to one of the classrooms, but it's probably a lie. There's never really a fire when everyone says there is."
"What's that then?" I said, pointing to the smoke.
She frowned, "Maybe it's from a chimney."
"The school doesn't have a chimney..." I trailed off. Something inside me told me to go into the building. I don't know whether it was curiosity, instinct, or something that I couldn't place. But I couldn't fight it, so I headed for the door.
Just as I placed my handle on the old creaking door that led into the main school, Mrs. Kelsey shouted from behind me, telling me not to go in. In a burst of bravery and stupidity I ignored her and ran inside. My legs were moving without my control, my mind pounding heavily. I couldn't see any obvious fire, but it was a big school, and the smoke looked like it was coming from the other side. I ran down the now deserted corridors, my feet thumping loudly on the cement floors of the PE block.
I climbed the stairs, heading for the Science and Maths rooms. Above me I heard wild commotion. People were running around, yelling, screaming. It reminded me of the train crash that happened so little time ago. Was this real? Another disaster so close to the last one? Was I cursed? Or was I imagining all this? Was I insane?
I reached the top of the stairs and saw the large opaque door that led to the top corridor. I yanked it open, and was engulfed in thick yellow flames.