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The Classroom Trial
As the room started to shift in just those few, gaping moments, Peter had gone insane. His eyes grew teary as he pushed the walls back as much as he could.
“Clues! We need clues!” Panicking, he stumbled upon a student’s desk in the classroom. He tripped, almost impaling himself with a wooden-shard from a worn down table. “Come on! We are running out of time!” He shouted and found a student’s notebook among the desks. He opened to a page with a sticky-note, finding a riddle among the sheets.
“There are four brothers in this world that were all born together. The first runs and never wearies. The second eats and is never full. The third drinks and is always thirsty. The fourth sings a song that is never good. What are these four brothers?” He hesitated dropping the notebook. Peter tried to push his way through the clutter of tables.“Where are these numbers!?” He cried as he noticed another notebook with a cover design of a fireplace. He opened it up, finding a single roman numeral on it; IV.
“Ok, there’s one! We need three more!” Suddenly, a painting of the ocean, started to fall off the wall. He questioned the room while he removed the piece of art off the wall, revealing another number; IX.
He heard screams, but he wasn’t focused on them. He was focused on his life and that alone. That is when he found a globe. “Earth!” He howlered, as he spinned the globe, not able to find any differences.
Once he figured it out it was on the globe’s stand, he was relieved for a few seconds, and tapped at the number, trying to remember it. “Eight.”
The walls cranked a few more notches during the time that all four walls had started colliding, making the box smaller. Peter had found himself on top of three sets of tables, as he started attempting the combinations.
“Please! Let me out of here!”
The four walls had reached him now as he suddenly noticed there was a roman numeral on the air vent. “Wait… air… wind! The last element was here this whole time! It was six?” As Peter attempted the combination again, no progress was made. “Come on! GET ME OUT OF HERE!” He screamed when the walls pressed against his back, sides, and chest. He felt his head throb, when the walls started to squeeze it, like a pimple ready to explode. A bookshelf that had fallen a while back, was now scraping his legs and arms. Blood continued to gush. All he could get out before everything fell silent was:
Elliot had found a seat among the five other chairs, containing the five yellow mugs, with the five bright, golden handles. He knew what he had agreed to, but wasn’t so sure about meeting the others. His palms were dripping with sweat while he hesitated to stay. You agreed to this, he thought. You have to stay. The first guest walked in not a moment later. Her hair was silky and clean. Her skin was brighter then the sun and smoother then the glass table at Elliot’s homestead. She was a brunette.
She walked over to Elliot, shook his hand, and took a seat next to the right hand window, of the front, sign-in desk.
“I am Jessica.” She said, asking for his name.
“Elliot.” He said shyly as he gripped the handles of his rubber chair and twirled his fingers through his short hair.
“Nice to meet you!” She said while Elliot nodded, trying to be as genuine as her with his expression.
Two other guests walked in right after, finding themselves a chair as well. The first to sit down of the two was Dawson Reyes.
Dawson started yapping away about his football career. He talked about how many tackles he had made in his season and his overall team record of thirteen and three. The other person to enter with Dawson was his girlfriend, Joann.
Joann was a short blonde with the typical cheerleader look, but with the glasses of a book nerd, and the freckles of a red-head. She was clingy toward Dawson and found a seat next to him. While Elliot found himself staring down at the ground, a new voice snapped at him.
“We’ve just got here, and someone is already asleep other than me? Good job.”
It was the rebel of the group, Alan. “Nerd, Athlete, the one guy who doesn’t belong here...man is this feeling like The Breakfast Club..” Alan said, before slouching down in a seat, trying to flirt with Joann.
“Back off!” Dawson shouted, standing upright, as the two almost felt the need to throw punches toward one another. At that moment, the final guest, had joined the group.
“The name is Peter.” He said, shaking everyone’s hands. He wore a market jacket, with overalls attached. He had just spent his final day at work. His identification laid low above his shoulder, as he pushed back his long, wavy, brown hair.
“When do we start?” was all Peter could get out, before the lightbulbs in the room shut off, startling the group. When they turned back on, the front entrance had vanished. A speaker from above screeched at them.
PLEASE ENTER VIA SLIDE-DOOR
The room shook as a sliding hatch had unveiled a small, isolating tunnel, that slid below the surface.
“Hello?” Dawson yelled, feeling the metallic walls start to leak with lead paint. He felt it drip among his tongue, as he wiped it off almost instantly. “Looks like we have our first tribute!” Alan said, not even hesitating. Soon enough Dawson was shoved down the windy path, and into a new room. He shouted as he fell from the tunnel, onto a desk. The desk broke right after, as he screamed in pain.
“Is it normal for your leg’s bone to be sticking out of the socket?” With that, Jessica gasped and jumped right in the tunnel to make sure he wasn’t injured.
“I went to college for medicine.” She said, after reaching the floor of the next room, and barely missing a desk, nearly injuring herself as well. She examined the wound, knowing the bone was misplaced and most-likely broken.
“Out of my way!” A raging Joann said, as she threw herself down the slide. She shoved Jessica away to see Dawson for herself. Peter soon found the courage to follow and then Elliot jumped in as Alan chuckled, being the last one to enter the tunnel. Once the group figured out the room was a classroom, the bell glared; sounding like a fire alarm. “What the—” Dawson yelled, as the room started to rotate.
After the room shifted one-hundred eighty degrees, a new pathway was taken up from the hole, which we had fallen through. It was a large air vent, enclosed with a lock.
“We need four numbers!” Alan said, as he jumped, peering at the air vent while the siren went off in the room again. It was louder this time, and almost caused Elliot to completely lose his hearing. This time the walls started to crank inward. The group didn’t seem to notice until a desk in the back of the room fell over.
As the room started to shift in just those few, gaping moments, Elliot grew worried for the group’s survival.
Peter started to go insane. “Clues! We need clues!” He yelled, panicking, as he stumbled upon a student’s desk in the classroom. He tripped and almost impaled himself with a wooden-shard, from a worn down table. “Come on! We are running out of time!” He yelled, finding a student’s notebook among one of the desks. He opened to a page with a sticky-note, finding a riddle among the sheets.
Peter read the riddle, instantly dropping it right after, being stabbed by the dissolved desk. He screamed, as blood gushed from his back.
“Peter!” yelled Jessica feeling worried for him. Most of the group was trapped after a large bookshelf had fallen, blocking them. Only Peter was free. “Oh geez.”
Peter yelled trying to push his way through the clutter of tables. “Where are these numbers!?”
“Testing. Testing.” The ISO officials spoke softly into their microphones while they wiped them off, trying to get the darkest sound quality imaginable. Chandler Corbin studied his screen almost instantly, every day. After weeks turned to months of hard work, their psychological test for the cure was done. The test was ready to be used. As of now, it was in progress toward being finished.
Chandler’s lead representative, Otis, stared definitively at the screen, laughing at Peter’s struggle to find the way out. As Otis twisted the knob of the lever, he heaved it slowly, moving in all four walls at an even rate.
“Why isn’t this working?!” Peter screamed, as he felt the walls nip at his ankles.
“Well, looks like he is oblivious for the order of the riddle.” Otis said, chuckling as blood gushed into his drink. Chandler realized Otis was getting the illness. “Wear this mask Otis or I’ll have to terminate you like the others.” Otis took the mask openly, throwing it over his large nostrils and puffy, red cheeks.
“Come on! GET ME OUT OF HERE!” Peter screamed, as the walls pressed against his back, sides, and his chest. He felt his head throb as the wall started to squeeze it, as if it was a pimple ready to explode. A bookshelf that had fallen a while back, was now scraping his legs and arms. Blood continued to gush. “Right there.” Corbin said, as Otis stopped the lever. Soon enough, another lever was pulled, releasing the floorboards and dropping everyone in the room. Peter, Alan, Joann, Elliot, Dawson, and Jessica were alive.
“Nice one,” Dawson said, laughing at Alan for the way he was acting. “You screamed like a girl.” Dawson continued, as Alan felt the urge to strangle him, right there. Corbin and Otis greeted them as if they were old friends and gave them a hundred dollars each for coming today, to be a lab’s guinea pig.
“Thank you all today for your hard work. Now remember everything you have learned here. That world won’t be a pretty place after the contamination declines and more dead are allowed to wander freely.” He waved his hand toward the open door, as they were each handed a mask and a pair of gloves by Otis.
“The world is a dangerous place. Treat each other well. Help each other.”
At that moment, the group had opened the large, school-like doors, as they had headed out into the zombie-filled, real world. The test was completed, and now they were one step closer to a cure. Because of the whole group, some might get to live longer. Live long enough, to see what the future holds. The classroom trial, was officially over.