“Alright guys, last
time we left off discussing the Victorian values in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
But I want to hear your thoughts on what themes you can find that reflect those
in our own modern society. Anyone other than Samantha…?”
The silence was broken by a distant hammering sound echoing
from outside the classroom. The hammering noises continued in steady rhythmic
intervals. I sighed. What’s going on now?
A shrill scream reverberated from the hall. I burst out of
the classroom, I saw a girl frantically limping through the hall, crimson blood
poured from a large hole in her thigh. She collapsed on the floor. I rushed
over to her and checked her pulse. Nothing.
My students were crowding around the doorway. I hastily
herded them back inside.
“I don’t know what’s going on outside, but it’s not
safe out there. I need you all to stay calm and hide under your desks.” I
cursed the design of the classroom; the desks and chairs were bolted to the
floor, nothing to barricade the door with.
Some students started sobbing. They all crawled under the
narrow row of seats. The hammering sound resumed, louder and closer. Fear tied
a knot in my stomach, but I knew my kids were depending on me.
“Okay everyone listen up, stay where you are and out of
sight. I’m going to lock the doors to the classroom. Do not open it under any
circumstances do you understand? You’ll be safe here; I’m going outside to get
My students protested.
I spoke up. “We don’t have time to argue. I need you all to
be brave and stay where you are. I’ll be okay.” The class fell silent and
I exited the classroom and locked the door. I slowly made my
way across the hall. My heart was beating a mile a minute. I was terrified. Oh
god I wondered, what if this is how it all ends for me? I tried to banish the
fearful thoughts gnawing away at my mind. Think about the kids I thought. They
need you. I reluctantly pushed forward.
I heard heavy footsteps around the corner. I froze. A man
with a clown mask appeared around the corner. His bright mask was stained with
blood spatters. He brandished a large assault rifle. His gaze met mine. He
raised his rifle.
“WAIT!” I screamed. The masked man paused with his rifle
still pointed at me, taken aback by my loud voice.
I dangled the keys I
was still clutching.
“Please just let me live!” I begged. “I’ll give you the
keys to the classroom, the kids are all hiding under the desks. You can have
them! Just let me go!”
The masked man silently stared at me, and then motioned
for the keys. I gladly tossed them to him.
After all, I had to think about the
kids, my kids. What kind of a father would I be if I died before I could raise