So Keep Holding On, 'Cause You Know We'll Make it Through
Axel places his hand on the door handle, takes a deep breath, and then opens the door. Lace follows him out of the room, me trailing the pack.
My leg feels better now that it’s numb, so at least I can put some weight on it and keep up with them. Comfort is a luxury right now, my whole body hurts. This leg wound is just an inconvenience at this point.
Axel has his gun out, and I’ve got mine loaded and ready to shoot.
We see a trail of blood leading down the hallway, which might be one of them if they’re wounded somehow. Or it’s just a trail of blood from my leg.
I trail, walking backwards to watch our six while Axel leads. Lace checks from side to side just in case they come from a room or staircase.
Suddenly, I hear steps coming down the staircase next to us.
I turn myself towards it and point to it and then we hide to the side of the staircase, so they won’t see us when they’re coming down, then play the waiting game.
The three of them eventually walk down from the stairs, all three of us staying crouched and quiet. They exit the staircase area and we sneak behind them. Axel quickly shoots one of them in the back of the head and I graze one of them on their side, but I think I hit an artery because an insane amount of blood squirts out of him as he falls to the grounds screaming in pain.
The girl’s eyes widen in fear as she runs away, Axel starts to run after her, but she’s a lot quicker. I recognize her, her picture is up in the hallways because she’s a state qualifying track runner. People don’t really like her because she’s very egotistical, so she doesn’t have many friends. Though, she’s great at running… Even better at being a coward.
The boy I shot is still wailing as he bleeds out on the floor.
I flip him over using my foot and stare at him, tears flowing from his eyes, and I stomp on his wound causing him to scream even louder.
I kneel down beside him, take out my knife, and ask, “Did you kill Patricia and Turner?”
He nods feebly, and I ask, “How many more kids did you kill?”
He coughs up blood and I hold the knife up to his throat, “How many kids did you kill?”
He replies quietly, “Too many to count.”
I inform him, “That’s how many times I’m going to stab you.”
I start to hack at his body, stabbing him too many times to count, until his chest and stomach are a mangled mess in front of me.
I wipe the blood on my jeans and whisper, “That’s for Patricia and Turner.”
I stand up, my icy glare fixed on his mutilated body, tears flowing down my cheeks. Axel walks up next to me and asks, “Are you okay?”
I shake my head, “I just stabbed a boy too many times to count, I’ve killed a lot of people today, I’ve been shot in the leg, and two of my best friends died. What do you think the answer to that is, Axel?”
He looks down and whispers, “I couldn’t get her, we have to go after her before she tells them that we’re still alive. For all they know we’re dead and we’ll have the element of surprise, but if she gets to them then if we so much as step foot into those rooms to save people we’re dead and they’ll start killing them if we leave.”
Lace asks, “Which way did she go?”
He answers, “I lost her down the science hallway, she went up to the second floor I think.”
I ask, “So what do we do? Chase after her or just wait for her to come down?”
Lace says, “She’s faster than us, we can’t chase her. We just have to wait her out.”
Axel suggests, “Let’s stay in the deaf hallway, that way we’ll have a clear view of all the hallways relatively well so if she tries to pass through we’ll hear or see her.”
I nod, “Good idea.”
Lace asks, “But what if she uses the stairwell that’s right by the gym? We won’t be able to see that. That’s where she’ll want to go so she can get to Max.”
I say, “Well, we can’t split up because you don’t have a weapon, and I don’t think it’s a good idea after what happened to Patricia and Turner.”
Axel nods, “Margaery’s right, we need to stay together.”
Lace urges, “But we can’t miss her!”
I quiet her, “Standing here and arguing isn’t going to help anything, we need to make a decision now before she slips away.”
Axel says, “Alright, let’s just spread through this and one person can be at the end and stick their head out and keep an eye on where that staircase is from afar.”
I nod, “I’ll do that since I have the most shooting experience.”
Lace agrees, “Alright, let’s do it.”
We make our way to the deaf hallway and take our positions. I lean against the wall and look out towards that staircase, my heart pounding in my chest sounding like a bass drum. I look towards the boy I love, the boy I had been freaking out about this morning. The most stressful thing in my life was whether he felt the same about me or not, that seems so childish now.
But, as I look at him now, he’s just as beautiful as he was this morning. I love him just as much and I just want all of this to be over so I can talk to him. I shake my head, snapping out of my daydream, and focus on watching the stairs.
It seems like I’ve gained so many years of wisdom and pessimism just by this one experience that I’m not even finished with yet.
I’ve killed six people… I’ve taken six lives, and a few of them have been pretty brutal too.
I haven’t just taken lives… I tortured them too and defiled their bodies. I guess they deserve it for what they’ve done to all these innocent people. I’ll just have to tell myself that they weren’t kids who got lost and stuck into something that they couldn’t control. I’ll have to shut down all of that sympathy to keep myself safe, to keep my mind sane for the time being.
All this adrenalin is keeping me running, keeping my mind sharp.
It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how out of twenty kids none of them said something, none of them thought that killing innocent people was wrong. That littering the hallways with the bodies of their teachers who have families isn’t wrong. How killing kids isn’t okay. How torturing and raping them is wrong. Nobody decided to tell the police or tell a friend or counselor, they all had to have agreed with it.
How could twenty people agree with this?
I just… I don’t understand because I’d never have the capacity to do anything like this to someone who was innocent. I didn’t even think I had the capacity to kill anyone regardless of who they are.
That’s the thing, people joke and talk about what they’d do in a survival situation, but you never know what you’d do.
People watch TV shows about survival and take classes, but nothing can ever prepare you for the psychological part of it. Nothing.
As much as a buff, cocky man says he’d step up and save everyone he might not. You truly never know.
Turner cowered in the corner when we were fighting the people at the lunchroom when Axel could have been choked to death and he’s a jock type, he’s the guy who always said he’d be the hero.
Patricia was relatively collected and smart with her decisions, when in her normal life she is a bit scatter brained.
Axel is a self-proclaimed pacifist and does not really believe or condone violence, but he really stepped up and has saved mine and Lace’s life more time that I can count by now and he hasn’t complained once.
Lace, a girl who is scared of her own shadow, killed two people for me. She took the lives of two people just to save my life. Nobody would’ve ever expected that.
Me, when I would talk about a zombie apocalypse or anything like that I’d say that I’d probably let others take the lead and do as I was told and hang in the back. I wouldn’t be the hero, but look at me now. I’m making smart decisions and playing the role of the hero by trying to save everyone. I’ve turned into some brave, hardened killer.
I’ve never been a pacifist or someone who cringed at violence, but I never imagined myself slitting someone’s throat or beating someone with a baseball bat. I never imagined myself watching a soul exit a person’s body and feeling a little bit of relief.
I don’t like killing people, it’s eating me up inside with guilt that I’ve got the lives of six people on my hands. I’ve killed people now, my hands are coated with red.
But… I’d be lying if I said that when all that emotion, all that anger, was coursing through my body while I killed them that I didn’t feel a little bit better that they weren’t on this earth any longer. I know that this sounds bad, but part of it was pleasurable… In a guilty way.
I’m being eaten with guilt slowly and painfully, but they were trying to kill me and part of me just felt so good gaining vengeance for all the people they hurt.
I wouldn’t say I like it and that I want to do it, but when I have to and I do kill someone in this self defense it doesn’t feel bad. That’s why I’m guilty, I should feel bad for taking a life.
I guess I don’t have to feel guilty though, since they’re not innocent and they’ve killed my friends.
I can’t have these feelings right now, though. I need to keep my emotions stifled so I can carry on with what I have to do.
I need to stay stoic, or I won’t be able to finish what I’ve started. I need to stay strong, I need to hide these feelings for now.
I have to if I want to live.