The three of us entered the principals office. The office wasn anything grand barring the shining display of honours that cover the entire wall behind his desk, with two shelves on each corner for the trophies and the awards with a higher value being hung right behind the chair around the centre of the wall, shining for attention.
Plants were neatly grown and maintained to add the touch of greenery and placed in multiple spots, with one being placed right on his desk. The TV was placed directly opposite to his chair to facilitate the ease of viewing.
"Ben, turn on the television." Ms. Willis shouted from behind the desk, doing what seemed to be, relishing in the comfort of the best chair in campus.
"Again, you could have done it yourself before hopping on to the other end of the office." The seemingly bullied Willis said while turning towards the TV.
Mr. Willis switched on the TV and what greeted us was pure static and nothing seemed to have the ability to salvage a broadcasting channel out of it, neither the mans display of power on the TV nor the ladys display of impatience on the remote.
"Nothing here as well." I said after having tried the landline on the desk for a possible means of communication. "The landlines dead too."
"Ugh… why are you so calm though? I know, neither of us has thrown a fit either and believe me when I say that I would have if you hadn kept us busy, but I expected a little more of a reaction from you. Doesn this disturb your plans for the day, the ones where you freak out when disturbed?", Ms. Willis said, taking out her frustration on my calm composure. It was a good observation, if I say so myself, and it reassures me to know that she is not completely overwhelmed by the situation and is processing everything herself, but isn she focused on the wrong thing here?
Actually, I could already feel the tension building up in them and I can only imagine the mayhem of emotions that are being portrayed in the classrooms, but we
e in the middle of what could possibly be the beginning of human evolution or extinction, its the obvious thing for everybody to be drowned in their own feelings of excitement or despair, isn it? Ms. Willis taking the time out to consider my emotions in such a situation seemed a little concerning, basing my assumption on the fact that it could either mean ready acceptance to the situation or a downright denial to maintain her calm. Honestly, I didn have the leisure or interest to deduce it then.
"Well, I sort of missed the window to freak out, didn I?" I said with an awkward smile, but my mind was already on overdrive thinking of all the possible scenarios and necessary precautions to be taken. I don think I could ever freak out more than I already was!
The best I could do, however, was to register as much information as possible and try to find someone or something that can help us and pretend to not freak out to save me from future embarrassment. If you ask me though, Id say the last part needs more attention than the rest when I am with this duo.
"So, the only way is to go out ourselves and find someone or wait here until someone arrives?" asked Mr. Willis. Taking the chance to divert the topic, I turned towards Mr. Willis to answer his question.
"Actually, we aren leaving. Not unless we maximise the information that can be obtained from inside the school grounds and not unless we have to. Besides, on the way here, I noticed unusual light refraction around the borders of our campus. There seems to be some envelope kind of phenomenon that is separating the school grounds with the outside." I explained.
Taking another look outside the window, I continued. "I can assume it to be a barrier, but before scouting the premises, I would like to avoid the risk of making our way to the gate to test our chances of passing through it."
The twins rushed towards the window as soon as I finished sharing my discoveries to see the phenomenon for themselves. A solemn expression crept its way onto their faces at the confirmation of the envelope as they once again assumed their previous positions, beside the TV and in the chair.
"So, not only are our communication lines cut but we
e also stuck in school? Why in the school out of all the places?" Mr. Willis vented his frustration in the usual dramatic way.
"Aren frustrated about the wrong thing? What we should think about now is our plan moving forward. Considering the possibility of being isolated for several days, youd want to stock up on food and water. At least the electricity works fine." Ms. Willis summarised my plan for the next few minutes in those words.
"Well, you guys can scavenge for medicine, food, water and any other tool that seems useful in this room. Ill give the radio a try before giving up hopes on communicating with those outside. Now is the only time we can attempt it as the resistance will only grow stronger as the phenomenon stabilises. This is the principals office, so theres bound to be emergency stuff, so search properly without slacking off." I said turning towards our athlete to make sure he understands that the last sentence was specifically made due to his presence.
The two soon got busy trying to find stuff in all the drawers and cabinets while I opened my phone to tune into different frequencies. After several attempts filled with pure static, I reached a point where it felt like I wouldn be able to find anything through this either and when I made the mentally declared last attempt, I could hear faint voices. I increased my focus and tried my best to tune into the signal in the hope of hearing something discernible.
"zzzz….. Monsters ….. area 16 …..I report, Monsters are sighted in area 16. Highly aggressive behaviours are observed. They seem to possess extreme senses to spot the prey. Squad 3 requests back up, enemies are high in number." The man seemed out of breath as he continued to repeat the message requesting for help urgently. All of a sudden, the plea turned into a loud scream and then into a multitude of heavy footsteps before a high-pitched buzz lulling the channel back to sleep.
One thing was clear, he was being chased by something, something dangerous. Terror. Thats what I felt now. Monsters have made their way into the light of our world. And its not just a few. Monsters that could eradicate a whole squad of trained militia. The fear the soldier in area 16 felt was transferred to me, who was in my school. Amplified.
I turned towards the twins just to see a similar expression of despair in their faces. The balancing side for our systems had finally made its existence known to us teenagers, leaving much to our imagination. Only hinting of the danger that we would be put into.
I didn want to die, you know? Not yet. Not like this. Not before achieving everything that I planned out. It was simply too early!
Seemingly driven by the fear we just experienced, we frantically tried to find objects we might need. And in the midst of all this, my migraine showed sudden signs of recurrence. Just as I was about to curse out the timing, I noticed that it somehow felt different from the migraines I had in the past. In fact, all the migraines I felt today felt a little unusual. It was the same old pain but it had a different vibe. It felt like the pain wasn there to hurt me but it was trying to indicate something. I felt like the pain was some sort of a communication medium for whatever wanted to tell me something.
As I slowly turned towards my left side, the side on which my head was hurting, I heard a soft growl and I instinctively realised what it wanted to say to me. With a sudden burst of energy, I pushed Ms. Willis who was standing beside me to the corner of the room, before warning Mr. Willis to "MOVE BACK".
It was then that it happened. The strong and sturdy wall, way sturdier than the door we tried to budge, between me and Ms. Willis was smashed into pieces under the display of brute force by our new guest who seemed to have taken quite a liking to the three of us, indicated by its snarl and drool.
Right in front of us, at the centre of the office, stood an embodiment of our fear, bearing its fangs at us. It was a monster. There was no denying it. A four-legged beast driven by hunger with a size and strength superior to us. Although these alone make us tremble in our places, its hideous appearance, being covered by black skin so thin that you could almost see the insides, sharp claws and fangs paired with an expression of rage, hunger and confidence, held the potential to be the protagonist of my nightmares for many years down the lane. Its existence in this room alone threw us into a state of powerlessness. Consumed by fear, our first encounter with a monster left us deeply rooted in our spots with its presence alone.
However, a sudden bell sounded in my head snapped me back to reality and turned my attention onto a transparent panel glowing in front of my eyes. Fear was slowly pushed back as hope arrived to claim its presence.
I received a notification from the system!