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My body hurt from being hunched over so long, I yearned to stretch out my stiff legs and to crack my back. But the drowning fear in me kept me still. My heart pounded so loudly, I’m sure it would give away my place. I keep trying to tell myself this is just like hide and seek but the only difference is if you get found, you die. At that thought my whole body began to shake uncontrollably, my teeth chattering. Around me were my class mates huddled under there own desks, completely terrified, their eyes huge and haunted. Some were trying to muffle their cries into the crook of their elbows, their shoulders shaking with the effort to stay quiet.
“L-Lindsay?” at the sound of my name I jumped, my heart almost flying out of my chest. I looked to m y left and saw Heath, his big body bending in difficulty under a small desk. His face was streaked with tears, his dark green eyes coated with fear.
“What?” even though I was whispering, my broken voice sounded to loud for the hushed room.
“Why do you think this is happening?” his words caught in his throat, and a tear rolled from his eye.
“I don’t know.” I answered, honestly.
The shooting had started about an hour ago. I thought it was a backfire from a car, I didn’t think anything of it after that I just carried on with my essay I was writing for English, concentrating on remembering where to put my commas and when to drop a paragraph, completely lost in thought.
Then there was a scream, it was close, maybe in the next hallway along. Then another shot and I realised then it wasn’t a backfire, it was a gun shot. I can’t even begin to explain how I felt. My body just seized up, my blood running cold through my veins; my heart beat instantly increasing in speed. Then all the sounds I had been missing in my state of shock, evaded my ears, sounding so loud I’m sure my ears would burst with the pressure. Yelling, screaming, crying – that’s all I could hear while I sat in the middle of it all, dumbfounded. Rumours of what was going on flew around the room, snippets of information falling into place.
“Clark Mell shooting everyone…”
“Mr Clyde’s dead, second shot…”
“He’s looking for someone…”
Mrs Livingston yelled at us to get under our desks, everyone followed her instructions, even though just seconds before they had been refusing to do their essays, to stop talking. Now everyone was silent, listening. I had watched as Mrs Livingston made her shaking legs move to the door, she had locked it shut and – with the help of Heath and Steve – pushed a book case in front of it. Everyone was under desks then, on the right side of the room – so if you looked in the door you wouldn’t see anyone. I was stuck to my seat, my palms sweating, and my body aching in fear.
“Lindsay, you have to move.” Clinton had said, when I didn’t he grabbed me underneath my armpits, physically putting me below my desk, and then scrambling to his. Now we all sat in complete silence, listening for a sound, a sound to figure out where Clark was. There was only silence. The last painfully loud screech of the firearm was at least ten minutes ago. The school lay in silence, a painful stillness. Even though everyone wasn’t talking I could feel what they were all thinking, the same things I was.
“How many dead?”
“Are we the only ones left?”
My last thought lay heavy on my skull, like a huge weight pressing down on me, like if it pushed hard enough the answer would pop out. I tried to imagine Clark Mell in my head, picture the person that was causing this chaos, ruining peoples lives. The Clark Mell I pictured could never hold a gun, let alone kill people. His body is small and scrawny, like a stick, like a big enough gust of wind could blow him away. When he walked around the school, eyes adverted to the floor; his back would be hunched, like the weight of the world was crushing him. His hair went down to just below his ears, dark brown, and always greasy. No matter how many times he pushed it away from his face it always flopped back in less than a second. He wore big round glasses that reminded me of Harry Potters. He seemed pretty nice though, I only had one class with him; Science. He always said hi to me when he saw me. But soon that stopped, people made fun of him for the way he acted, the way he looked – especially his hair and glasses. They made fun of him for talking to me, that he wasn’t ‘cool’ enough. I felt sickingly bad, but soon I was caught up in it all, calling him names as he walked by, watching as his back hunched over more and he seemed to shrink in on himself. Soon I was just like everyone else. A bully. And now this was his revenge, killing everyone that hurt him, that killed parts of him, ever since he stepped foot into pre-school. I started to shake more, loosing control of myself, like little pieces of me were slowly starting to fly away, leaving me with nothing. A strange whimpering sound entered the room, making my heart rate increase.
“Shhh!” I heard Steve shush me. Only then did I realise I was quietly sobbing, my fear escaping me in salt water. I buried my face in my arm, waiting for my tears to run dry as we all listened for something to happen, anything. Suddenly a shot so loud entered the room, it left my ears ringing and my head spinning. Someone whimpered while another started to cry. There was a scream and someone yelled, “Help!” a last desperate attempt to be saved, then there was another shot. It sounded close, maybe four rooms away? A sob burst from my lips before I could stop it. I had recognize that voice – Ally, my best friend since I was five years old, someone who was afraid of violence guns and dying – she had English this period too, in room 12, just three rooms away. I felt arms wrap around me and the desk move from over me, making me feel oddly exposed.
“Ally.” I murmured into Heaths chest, I could feel his body shaking under me, with me.
“Shhh, I know.” He soothed.
“Please be quiet!” someone begged us in a shy voice. We both fell silent; I muffled my wet snotty cries into Heaths chest, as he rubbed my back, soothing me. I gripped onto him like he was my life preserver. Three shots fired, getting closer. I whimpered and held on even tighter to Heath. My heart ached slightly at the thought of loosing him, because of course we were going to die, we were both mean to Clark, Heath maybe just a little worse than me. Heath and are best friends, and he had just asked me to go on a date with him – this Friday, tomorrow. Tears escaped my eyes for a whole other reason. More shots, one, two, three…four, no screams this time. The shots sounded like fireworks exploding, and if I closed my eyes and thought about it hard enough I could imagine I was some where else, somewhere happy, where the sky was exploding with colour and light…not blood. I thought about my little brother – whose birthday is today, turning fifteen. He was meant to be having a party after school, a group of his friends coming round, probably just to play Xbox. He had science this period, Lab B. Was he still alive, still in this world? I thought about all my friends spread out over the school, English, maths, science, food technology. Were they alive still? Or were they gone too?
“I Love You.” Heath whispered then, breaking my thoughts off. I stared up into his huge green eyes, the eyes I fell in love with over the years, and always remind me of summer, lush green grass, high temperatures, the sun directly above in the sky. I had watched as Heath grew and matured, from a child to a young adult, until now – an almost adult; his eighteenth birthday is in three months. I remember when we were eight, he came to a family and friends Christmas dinner and he ignored me the whole night because I had stolen his bouncy ball the day before and refused to give it back. When we were thirteen and he saved up all his pocket money over six months and bought me a love heart necklace, white around the edge and pink in the middle – which I still wear now – and gave it to me for my birthday. At the age of sixteen when he kissed me on New Years Eve and then told me later it was all a dare, I cried myself to sleep that night. And then two nights ago when we sat in his car, after he was dropping me off from a party, the sun just falling into the sea, like the water was putting it out, and he asked me on a date, no dare this time. I was so happy I couldn’t sleep all night; I planned what I was going to wear. As another shot filled the air I came back to reality, Heaths wide eyes filled to the brim with tears, watching me.
“I Love You too.” I choked out through my own tears. Another bang, another scream only this time it was closer. So close it sounded right in the very room. My heart thudded, feeling heavy, like lead. My hands shook, along with every part of me, while my body was ice cold. There was a bang on the door to our room, room nine. Someone screamed, and sobbing filled my ears, erupting like a volcano, no one was quiet now. We had been found. Another bang to the door, a shot of the gun, more banging, another shot. It felt like such a short time before the lock rattled open by the force on the other side, and the book shelve got shoved forward slightly. A scream, a sob, and someone yelled, “STOP IT, PLEASE!” I gripped onto Heath as my heart reached fill speed in my chest, a feeling of disbelief ran through my blood stream. A shove to the door, a rattle of the lock, a thunk of the door hitting the book shelve.
“Is Lindsay Kingston in there?” I recognized Clark’s voice straight away, slightly deep and nasally. My whole body froze; Heath tightened his grip on me.
“He’s been looking for her.” I heard someone say, it sounded like Mrs Livingston. Someone in there panic yelled out, “Yes, yes she is!” With a final shove to the door Clark made a gap big enough for him to fit through, he walked in, gun ready in hand. He looked totally different; his eyes were crazed, wild. He had no glasses on and his eyes looked huge without them. He had his hair cut, it was now short, stuck up with gel all over his head. He looked older, more mature and totally…evil. He smirked when he saw me, a slow creepy smile falling over his face. I shivered and squirmed into Heaths side.
“Always so beautiful.” He murmured. Someone sobbed and he lifted his arm, and shot them, without flinching or even seeming to care. In fact I think he found some pleasure in it, like he was finally in control. I squealed and hid my eyes from the blood that now trickled from Mrs Livingston’s head. Without another pause he reloaded his gun, still smiling, and once he was done he shot everyone in the room apart from Heath and I.I couldn’t look anywhere now without seeing blood or blank, dead, staring eyes. I started sobbing hysterically when he lifted the gun again.
“DON’T!” Heath yelled, and pulled me behind him just as a shot filled the room. Heath went limp and fell to the floor.
“NO!” I sobbed, scrambling to his side. His eyes were still open his heart still trying to frantically beat.
“I’ll always be here for you, babe, forever and always,” he choked out, as a gurgling sound took over his words, “Your guardian angel..” and then he was gone, his last breathe whispering my name. I stood up facing Clark, the killer, the person who just murdered my only – and first – love and possibly half the school.
“You!” I shook angrily as I went to confront him, but before I could carry on a slow smile crept over his face, he lifted the gun slightly. Another shot filling the room, a final shot, then blackness overtook me.
My eyes fluttered open to the sound of struggle and low muted voices, my leg ached, throbbed. The light above my head felt too bright, too clear. Then my memory came back, the shot, screams, blood, Clark…Heath. My heart ached as I thought of him, and I gave an involuntary sob. I sat up woodenly, feeling stiff. I looked down to see someone bandaging up my leg where a bullet had been shot. They tried to get me to lie back, but I ignored them. Clark was being handcuffed, the police finally here, but a little too late. Heath lay out next to me, eyes closed, forever at rest. I tried to ignore the pool of blood around his head, bright red. Tears poured down my cheeks.
“WHY?!” I yelled at Clark who was being dragged from the room, he paused and turned to look at me, “Why didn’t you kill me too?”
He shook his head sadly, like I should know the answer, like it was obvious.
“Because you used to be good,” He stated, “With them gone you can go back to that.” And then he was pulled from the room, leaving broken hearts and death behind, a smile still covering his face.