During the entire time I was trapped, I never imagined that I would get out of there and everything would be safe, with rescue teams entering the school. First because the intermittent screams didn’t allow me to have so much hope, second because I was too focused on my own misfortune. I don’t like to be a nonbeliever, but I’ve never trusted the efficiency of public safety. In addition, I also followed the news while they were allowed to reach us about the first infestations of the virus and everything was the same: although we did not know exactly its nature, none of the infected cities managed to contain it. The disease before we lost contact. I was foolish to think it wouldn’t make it to Latin America, but we all have been this whole time. For these reasons, the nagging thought that my suffering and fear were far from over kept pounding in my head.But now I felt strangely safe, as if the risks I’d taken all morning had finally come to an end here, outside the library’s second-floor
By instincts not yet trained by that world, it wasn’t until several seconds later that I had the urge to turn around to see if the hallway would be clear.I came across an almost empty hallway, but that wasn’t what made my stomach turn.Only after taking my attention away from the two zombies trying to punch a hole in the glass door did my ears adjust to distinguish a sound that sounded familiar: busy classrooms. I could hear sounds behind the wooden doors, but they weren’t common sounds of conversation between students, but intermittent groans, angry grunts, slamming on doors, and—very softly, deep down—anguished screams from people like me, a stunned reminder that not everyone was lucky enough to escape.Some rooms, however, had their doors open and were presumably empty. Still, I can only imagine how many people were unlucky enough to find themselves trapped, unable to reach the door that separated their lives from death. Locked doors like the one behind me, having been sealed in a
No, I was not.I mean, he hadn’t dragged me into any kind of danger.It’s just that “safe” was simply something that had ceased to exist, although at the time I didn’t know it.The first person I saw was Carlos Dutra: another third year, more familiar to me because we studied in the same room. He had dark skin, black eyes and hair, and an expression of few friends. Unlike most of our peers, he had defined muscles and more adult features. I was idly by the wooden door that divided the hallway we were coming from from the rest of the high school classrooms, in a sharp curve. When he saw us, he assumed a nervous posture as he realized how fast we were running.I noticed that he was holding an iron bar in his hand. There was blood on him.William didn’t seem surprised, as he continued running towards the door. By then, I had managed to establish my balance and was running with him, a few steps back.“Close the door when we pass!” Guilherme said, as we approached. “There are others coming!
“Melissa, what happened to your leg?” I asked, finally realizing that Professor Rogerio was tying a blood-stained gauze around his thigh.Melissa looked at me, intrigued by the sudden approach.“She wasn’t attacked.” Carlos who answered, behind me. “She cut her leg on a wire as we tried to get out of the yard. It was bleeding a lot, but it’s nothing serious. ““Sorry to be so rude, it’s just…” I began, looking into the girl’s moist honey-colored eyes.“It’s alright. She looked at her leg, shrugging. “I think it’s a valid concern.” Talking seemed to calm her down a bit.“So, did you make it?” asked Ana, looking in Guilherme’s direction and putting an end to our business.William, again, just shook the keys in his hand, the jingle reaching everyone’s ears.“Sorry, that room is only the keys to the third year rooms. I couldn’t look any further because things were going up.” He apologized, looking at no one in particular.Someone muttered “no problem”, Ana huffed, but there was no complai
“Are you going alone?” asked Carlos, slightly surprised, as he followed me out the door.“I don’t know what you guys are going to do, but I’m going home today.”When I said that, several looks came my way. Professor Rogério was already on his feet, arms crossed, and looking at me.“Do you think it’s safe to try to go home, Rebeca?” He asked, his voice worried. “Everyone is saying that public transport has stopped.”I looked at him and thanked him for his concern.“No problem, professor. I’ll walk, if I need to, I’d just have to cross the bridge,” I said calmly. “I need to meet my grandmother and Mei.” I justified myself, not realizing that maybe they didn’t know who I was talking about.“How do you plan to get out of the building?” The curly-haired black girl asked me. She seemed calm enough about the situation. “The courtyard is crazy, and to get to any exit you would have to go through it.”I was silent, not knowing exactly how to respond. Although a very strong impulse made me sure
I immediately cursed my stupid decision to scream.Not content with just ripping chunks of flesh from my friend sprawled on the stairs, three of them turned their grotesque heads to me and started running toward me.They weren’t fast, but that didn’t make them any less scary.“REBECA?” I heard Victoria’s voice boom above me. “LAURA?”“I am fine!” I yelled back, unsure how to report Laura’s condition.I turned to run back up to my group, but I tripped and fell to the ground. My shin bumped against the edge of the step and a grunt of pain leaked from my lips. Only then did I realize how I was shaking. The metal bar continually hit the floor, emitting a constant metallic sound due to the lack of instability with which I held it.With no time to waste, I supported myself on my arms and climbed some stairs on all fours until I was able to stand. I ran to the end of that flight of stairs and looked back.One of them was very close to me. How close did he come to grabbing me while I was down
The emergency stairs swayed in the wind, creating an uncomfortable sway, followed by the clatter of the metal frame slamming against the building’s wall. Each beat was punctuated by a squeal from Melissa, who was trembling right in front of me. Helena, beside me, looked at her with disapproval, rolling her eyes and landing them on me, trying to identify my opinion on that. I silently agreed with her, chuckling to try to express my disapproval. “Melissa, can’t you shut up?” Ana asked, ahead of her, focused on the steps and squeezing hard on the safety rail. Melissa stay quiet, trying to hold back the next little squeak as the structure we were in shook. As she turned to the next flight of stairs, I could look at her face and saw that two paths of tears stood out on her tanned cheeks. I immediately regretted my mocking laugh, feeling sorry for the terrified girl. “We’re almost to the ground, Melissa,” said Guilherme, beside Carlos, at the head of the entire group. The two boys were t
As you rethink all your values to escape a cruel fate, you may discover that surviving the dead is just the beginning.My heart raced again as I remembered the need to get out of this place, as if the mere mention of that idea was evidence of my undoing. Still, the fact was that in one morning I had already seen more carnage than even my most visceral nightmares could count; and surviving that freak show to death locked in a bathroom stall seemed like the least digestible thing about my day. I thought if I was going to die, it would be from exhaustion trying to fight these monsters, instead of suffering like a scared rat.Too bad those heroic thoughts were useless in motivating me to leave that fetid bathroom I was locked in. Courage is beautiful in the books, but in real life it weighs a ton and stinks like death.I heard the groans once more and knew they were there—as if I’d ever really been able to forget them. There was also a corpse. These elements were familiar to me because I