School was a drag. Long hours, boring teachers, and questionable lunch meat. Sure, you had your friends, but you could only really talk during lunch and the brief, 5 minute recess between each class. Too bad most of that 5 minutes was spent dashing to the other end of the school!
Saturday School? Even worse. You had the option of doing homework silently, doing homework silently, or – doing homework silently! No talking at all, even if you were placed next to your best friend. That is, unless you wanted to hear the scolding of Miss Shush, the resident librarian with a penchant for whacking her ruler on her desk, no doubt reliving the old days when she could whack it against a loud students backside instead. At least you were allowed to bring a bag lunch and spare your stomach the torture of frozen shrimp sticks.
This Saturday was a beautiful one. The sun was shining brightly, the air was filled with gentle, cool breezes, and even the older kids found themselves outside running around like they were still little young things without a care in the world.
Unfortunately, on this wonderful Saturday, the Redants brothers were stuck inside a dreary school library with no windows, stuffy air, and the annoying whirr of a janitor’s industrial-strength cleaning machine making its way through the hallways.
Miss Shush kept a close eye on the five students doomed to spend the better part of this Saturday inside the building, scribbling away at homework and glancing up at the clock every five minutes or so.
Charly was the eldest, at 17 years old. He had short black hair, brown eyes, and was one of the school’s best football players. His hobby, though, often left him with detention after detention. Charly loved pranks, and the more elaborate his jokes, the better he liked them!
Paul was in the middle, at 15. Like his brother Charly, he had brown eyes, but a lighter brown hair. He played on the school’s basketball team, though he had just as much fun on a virtual court in his living room than he did playing the real thing.
Alan, the youngest, was only 13 years old. He excelled in Math—so much so that he’d been bumped up a grade, and joined the freshmen class of high school at only 13. He loved both art and mathematics, which made for an interesting combination. Out of the three brothers, he was the bravest—though the elder two would likely never admit it.
And so, the three boys found themselves sitting at a long desk together, bored out of their minds. Behind them were two girls, friends to each other but not to the boys, who casually passed notes when the librarian was turned around. And who knows how many students were sharing their fate, only stuck in the silent classrooms and even the theater auditorium! At least they didn’t have to put up with Miss Shush.
The clock tick, tick, ticked… the minutes passed by with an agonizing slowness in near silence. The only noise was the soft scratch of pencils on paper, the occasional shhh from Miss Shush, and the ever present whirring of the janitor’s machine-powered mop.
And then, suddenly, and without warning—the mop stopped. No one took much notice at first. Then everyone looked up in a curious way, the way a teenager does when their music stops playing but it’s taken them the length of a song to notice the silence.
Miss Shush was the first to stand—not afraid, just curious. What on earth would she have to be afraid of?
“Stay seated, children,” she said, and walked out into the hallway. The students could hear her shoes click-clacking down the library hallway, until she’d passed so far away that they couldn’t hear much of anything.
“Maybe it’s broken,” said Paul. “That thing is so old.”
“The janitor probably went outside to get some fresh air! Lucky!” said a girl sitting behind the brothers.
And then: A blood curdling scream.
The students froze. No one dared move. Charly instinctively took out his cell phone and dialed 911—but the line was busy!
“Busy?!” He said, hanging up and trying again. “How can 911 be busy? It’s—well it’s 911!”
Then they heard the sound of shattered glass, and even more screams.
“We’ve got to get out of here! “ One of the girls screamed.
Alan grabbed his backpack and started towards the back door of the library, which led outside of the building. That’s when he froze.
“Guys… come-come look at this.”
The students hustled to the door, which had a small viewing window in the center.
All they could see outside was blood, and bodies. People – some were their classmates? Teachers?—were chasing others around, grabbing them and biting into their flesh!
“Oh my god—“
There was a crash from behind them, back in the library. Alan peeked past the door and was horrified to see Miss Shush dragging her leg, bleeding and bruised.
“Miss Shush!” He cried out, unaware of the danger.
Her neck jerked in their direction. It was then that Alan saw her skin was all grey and green, and mottled with bites and bruises. Her neck, as it turned out, was backwards.
She moaned and ambled toward the frightened group, dripping blood as she stumbled towards them.
“Listen,” Charly said breathlessly, “I’m going to distract her. The rest of you run out of the library and… and find somewhere safe to hide for now! Don’t go outside!”
Charly took a deep breath—and tackled Miss Shush to the ground!
“GO GO GO!” he said, getting up himself and taking off when his brothers and the girls were near the doorway. They skidded into the hallway, slipping on what they saw to be blood, and looked for somewhere to hide. But where was safe? They heard more screams, groans, and the sound of carnage everywhere they turned.
“We need to find a weapon,” said Alan. “Charly can’t tackle them all!”
“The gym!” Paul said. “There’s a gun in the security office there.”
Charly nodded. “It’s our best shot.”
And so the little group nervously made their way down the hallway. So far, there was nothing but the streaks of blood Miss Shush had left behind.
Then, they heard a moan from around the corner. The girls clung to each other and suppressed screams. Charly and Alan peered as quietly as they could—and immediately took a step back.
“It’s—it’s the principal!” Alan said. “Only he’s covered in blood…”
But the group wasted no time in running in the opposite direction.
“Wait,” Paul said. “Look, I’ve watched a lot of horror movies… we can’t be out in the open like this. Especially with nothing to protect ourselves.” He led the group into an empty classroom, and began looking for anything to be used as a weapon. “Just, whatever you can find. Something is better than nothing!” They grabbed a heavy teacher’s hole puncher, a chair, and various other heavy items that could at least be used to knock any attackers away.
Before they left the room, Charly tried 911 again.
“Well, if those things are—“ One of the girls said, shaking. “You know…”
“Zombies?” Paul offered. “Looks like it. I mean, you saw Miss Shush. And taking bites out of the people outside? What else could it be?”
They left the room and crept down the hallway, occasionally darting into classrooms when they heard a telltale scream or groan. But when they reached the main hallway, they had nowhere to run—the zombies darting the area were an immediate threat.
Their makeshift weapons came in handy. They threw the hole puncher at a half-eaten cheerleader, and tossed a chair at zombified janitor.
They had the gym in their sights. All they had to do was run down the rest of the long main hallway, which seemed to be free of zombies—
Just then, the two girls screamed! The brothers ran ahead and turned around, only to see their two peers being munched on by bloody zombie secretaries!
“Go, go!” Alan yelled, pushing ahead his older brothers to make their way into the gym.
“Oh no!” Charly cried, as they stumbled onto the basketball court. The gym was definitely not a deserted haven. Zombies ambled along the court, a few of them trying to crawl up the bleachers. They turned towards the brothers when Charly cried out.
They backed up—but there were zombies behind them, too. Nowhere to go.
Paul suddenly looked to the line of basketballs on their side of the gym.
“Paul…” Charly said, noticing his brother’s gaze.
“Dude. I—it’s the only thing I can think of.”
Paul grabbed a basketball, and with all of his strength and might, “passed” the ball to the nearest zombie head.
The zombie stumbled at first. And then, its head rolled back, tore from its decaying skin, and plopped on the gym floor.
Alan and Charly were at a loss for words.
Paul wasted no time, and took another basketball, hurling it at top speed towards a zombie. Plop! Their head fell clean off. He went down the line of balls, which had thankfully been filled that day, and polished off the zombies in the gym.
The brothers hurried to the small security office, and found it streaked with blood, but thankfully empty. They busted open a small drawer and retrieved a single pistol.
“It’ll have to do,” Charly said, taking the gun into his hands. “Now we have to get to my car, and fast!”
They left using the side gym entrance and were greeted to a horrible sight. The peaceful parking lot of their school was covered with blood and mess—broken cars, a few limbs here and there, truly a terrifying sight.
They maneuvered around the parking lot, shooting several times at a rogue zombie that had wandered from the school or nearby streets.
They made it to Charly’s car, an SUV, safely, and quickly jumped inside. Charly started the car and sped from the parking lot, not surprised to find the streets were also beginning to flood with screaming people, zombies, and other cars.
“The gun’s out of bullets anyway,” Charly said. “Might as well throw it out.” He moved to toss the gun from the car, when Alan interrupted—
“No, you have one bullet left! I counted,” he said, “you only used five! Keep the gun. There’s one left.”
“All right, all right,” Charly said, carefully handing the gun to Paul to hold.
He sped towards the nearest freeway, silently, until…
A low groan came from the back of the car, and Charly swerved in fear as he saw the bloody zombie crawl up from their open trunk space.
Paul screamed, and used the last bullet of the gun to shoot the zombie squarely in the head. The single bullet saved all three of them from a chewy fate! It fell backwards, dead once more.
Charly screeched to a halt and the boys dumped the zombie from the car.
As they sped into the zombie-filled sunset, Charly sighed.
“If we survive this, remind me to never harass you about being a math geek again.”
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