I let the door swing open the rest of the way, revealing a hallway that looks like it's been through a tornado. Glass, desks, books, chairs, and more were all scattered everywhere. There were huge fires among the destruction causing large clouds of smoke to fill the air. Most walls had at least one hole in it, but the wall in front of the storage closet looked like it had been removed. I guess that's why the explosion was so loud, it was right in front of us. On the floor there was also strange dark red stuff that I had a pretty good idea of what it was but I tried not to think about it. Everyone stood up and went to the door to get a better look. I turned around and went behind them. I put my hands up, blocking my view of the things to my left and right. I can feel myself shaking but I don't want to cause them to worry. I need to be strong. My change in demeanor must have given me away though and I can feel them all turn to look back at me. My face heats up in embarassment but this is just too much. I'm terrified about what we might be able to see if we go much further.
"Close your eyes." Kyleigh said, sensing what my worries were.
"We'll lead you out."
I take my hand out of Katie's and place it over my face, keeping my eyes shut as tightly as possible. I feel someone grab onto my shirt and pull. Blindly I follow, but I'm thankful for their understanding. They whisper directions to me quietly, if I need to turn or step over something. Every now and then I hear one of them make a noise in surprise but again I don't want to know what it could be. We walk down a flight of stairs, and to my right I can feel the heat of fire warm my skin. I flinch back but once I realise it's not close enough to touch me I stand back to where I was before. Once we get to the bottom I finally hear a door push open with a loud WOOSH and I feel the autumn breeze from the outdoors. I still don't trust it, I don't want to look just yet. Underneath my shoes I feel the tile of the school shift to concreate. We keep walking, everyone silent until we get to grass. I break the silence and ask,
"Is it safe to look now?"
The person holding onto my shirt releases their grip.
I uncover my eyes, and it takes me a moment to get used to the bright sun in replace of the darkness that was there just a second ago. When I can properly see, the first thing I notice is the fires. They're everywhere. In the trees, on the ground, even in some of the houses across from the school. Just like in the school building, everything is thrown around everywhere. It looks like the end of the world. Is this the end of the world? I look at my friends and their faces all convey the same amount of confusion, worry, and surprise as I feel. I'm about to ask if everyone's okay when Katie starts to talk instead.
"What just happened??"
Emma bends down and we all look in her direction. When she stands up again, she's holding a phone in her hand. She tilts the screen towards us so we can see. The phone is very cracked, it must have been dropped in someone's hurry to get away from the explosions. I hope they're okay.
"Solar Flares: Coming to Earth"
I read out loud for the group.
"Thats great." Katie replies.
"Recent footage from NASA shows solar flares coming from the sun at higher distances than usual. Experts say not to worry. They may cause power outages and radio blackouts due to large amounts of electromagnetic radiation." I continue.
"My phone isn't working!" Bri interupted.
"Not to worry?" Tonie repeats in a sarcastic tone ignoring Bri's outburst.
"I'm not an expert on solar flares or anything, but shouldn't we not stand in an open area like this after explosions just happened?" Kyleigh quickly asked.
"We should probably find some kind of shelter. Not the school." Rynn said.
"What if there's more explosions while we're looking?" I questioned.
"Then we'll run." Rynn said.
I glanced at everyone and saw they were staring at the woods. Even Bri stopped her vigrous tapping on her phone. Well, here we go again.
Dylan ran first, then me, and everyone followed behind. Once we reached the woods, the ground became bumpy and rough. I had to jump over roots and push tree branches out of the way. The wind was blowing my long hair all around like crazy, I should've put it up today. I checked behind me every few seconds to make sure everyone was still following, they were, but I noticed they were tired. After what felt like minutes of running we finally came across a house. Well - kind of a house. It looked like a small cabin. I slowed down and the others did the same. It looked safe enough, there was no fires in this section of the woods, and the cabin didn't look inhibitated.
"Should we stop here?" I asked. I winced hearing myself sound out of breath.
All I got in response was a few tired shrugs and nods.
Good enough I guess.
I walked ahead of the group towards the front door. Each wooden step creaked loudly when I put my weight on it. After a moment, I heard movement behind me and again more creaky steps. My friends all gathered behind me and I stopped right in front of the door. Maybe we should still knock, just in case. It would be really bad if someone actually lived here and we broke in. I raised my hand into a fist and knocked on the wood.
I turned back to my friends.
"What should we do?" I asked.
"Try again? Maybe they didn't hear." Rynn suggested.
I took a deep breath and knocked again.
I hesitently reached for the door knob and slowly turned it.
The door opened a crack. I pushed it open all the way and peeked in. The lights were all off, but that's to be expected since according to that news article the power is messed up. From the situation outside, it looks like it might be a long time until we get electricity again. The door opened into what I'd assume to be a living room. There was a couch to the right with a television and a large book case. All the way to the right next to the televison there was a dark hallway that seemed to lead to a lot of different rooms. Looking to the left, there was a small kitchen/dining area that looked like it hadn't been used in a long time.
"HELLO?" Bri yelled right next to my ear making me and the others jump. I saw many people give her a quick glare but no one said anything about it.
I cautiously took a step inside, the others following close behind. Once everyone got in, Katie made sure to shut the door. It was still bright outside, probably around noon by now. The sun made up for the lack of electricity providing light for us to see. There were a lot of windows in here.
"Should we split up and check things out?" I asked.
"What?? No!" Tonie exclaimed.
"That sounds like a horror movie?" Kyleigh said.
"Okay, I guess we'll go together then."