“Should we really be running in the direction of the screaming,” Mar asked, as she and Jenny hurried to catch up with Cindy.
“But we need to get help,” Jenny said.
“That, I won’t argue with,” Mar said as she saw fighting going on in the courtyard of her high school. Over this was a constant stream of shouts, cries, and horrid growls. To her right, a girl she knew, Nancy, a usually quiet and self absorbed junior, came out of a building and grabbed another girl by the hair. This second girl screamed. A moment later the scream changed into a high pitched cry of uncontrolled terror that cut through the courtyard like a razor blade. Mar could just see a blossom of crimson, before Nancy pulled the other girl back into the school.
Mar eyes scanned the courtyard trying to find a safer place, but as she did, she noticed that more people were gathered in intervals around the outer chain link fence. Loud moans could just be heard as they, like the two freaks they have just fled from, rattled the tall fence.
Jenny appeared to be trying to call her parents, but soon alternated between crying and cursing. Mar almost lost sight of Cindy, but her friend had hesitated when two boys started fighting only twenty feet in front of her.
“You freako, get off me!” the first boy ordered. The second remained unphased by the words and rushed forward grabbing and clawing at the first guy. Mar saw that the attacker’s shirt was a gory mess as was half his face and one of his arms.
Mar had seen enough, rushed forward, and grabbed Cindy by the arm. This caused her to shriek and her yell was quickly followed by a groan.
Mr. Johnson the security officer that guarded the school parking lot had been attracted by Cindy’s shriek and stumbled toward them. His usually starched white shit was red with splatters of fresh blood and by the looks of his neck; most of it was probably his.
No one should be walking around with a wound like that, she thought. No one could be alive with a wound like that.
She grabbed Cindy’s arm and started to half drag her to Jenny who was still so absorbed with her phone that she didn’t see Mr. Johnson coming at them.
Seeing easier prey, Mr. Johnson turned toward Jenny.
“Jenny, watch out!” Mar screamed.
Her friend looked up and uttered a scream of her own. Mr. Johnson took a few steps closer and reached out for Jenny, but that was when a smaller boy, probably a freshman, barreled into Mr. Johnson in his hurry to escape from something else.
The security guard’s hands clamped down on the boy and all three girls screamed when Mr. Johnson took a huge bite out of the top of the boy’s head. They watched in riveted horror as Mr. Johnson set himself to devouring the struggling boy.
A scream from behind her helped Mar push herself back into survivor mode. She didn’t know what was going on, but it was real and she certainly didn’t want to be eaten alive.
Mar pushed Jenny and grabbed Cindy by the hand. “Come on, we need to get out of here. The fence doesn’t cover the entrance to the parking lot. This place could become a death trap.”
Children and teens ran everywhere. Some teachers tried to steam the tide of chaos, but at least half of them proved barely better than the students and ran by them headed to their vehicles.
It became Mar’s turn to scream when fingers closed around her arm. Fearing the worse, she turned expecting a madman, but instead saw Phil. Vance was with him and called out. “Jenny, hey wait. Hold up.” It wasn’t any secret that Vance had a huge thing for Jenny, but then who didn’t? Jenny liked him too, but just tended to make men work for it. Mar had often suspected that Jenny enjoyed the chase more than actually being caught.
All the girls stopped.
“Where are you all going?” Phil asked her.
“Anywhere but here, I think.”
“It doesn’t look that safe out there,” either he said, but then vice principle Anderson let out a watery moan and started hobbling toward them on stiff legs. He was another person who was bitten through the neck. “Damn dude, should’ve taken off the tie.”
“We have to do something,” Cindy squealed. “More of those things are already getting into the parking lot. Jenny, we have to make it to your car.”
“Wait,” Vance said. “I have an SUV. It will fit all of us and be safer.”
Anderson drew closer.
“Alright then,” Mar practically screamed. “Can we just F-in go?”
“Yeah, come on,” Phil said while grabbing her hand and dragging her along. She had strong mixed feeling about letting him lead her, let alone touch her, but figured this wasn’t the time to worry over such things.
On there way to the car, a snarling man, that appeared to have been scalped, blocked their path.
With a yell, Vance ran up to the guy and kicked him in the chest. The blow proved enough to knock the bloody faced man back onto his ass. “Come on,” he yelled. “Keep going!”
They rushed by the scalped man as he struggled to regain his footing. Just as the small group made it to Vance’s SUV, another voice called out to them. It was Tyler the well dressed guy that sat next to her in chem. “Hey wait, let me come too, guys.”
The two men with them slowed, but Cindy yelled, “Just open the damn doors.”
Vance clicked the doors open and Cindy and Jenny rushed inside. Mar hesitated with the guys for a moment.
“Come on,” Tyler called out as he rushed towards them. “This place is going nuts. People are dying. I need to get-” But his sentence ended in a scream as the scalped man grabbed him and bit into his cheek. “Don’t leave me, Help me!”
Phil said, “come on don’t you think we should…” but just then a bloody hand smacked on the window and a person with a fleshless face stumbled around the side of the car.
“Hell no,” Vance said, “He’s on his own. Let’s go.”
The three of them barely made it into the car before the grasped fingers reached them. With a squeal of rubber, Vance raced the car free of the parking lot.
Check in every Saturday for the next chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!