Saturday, July 18, 2009

#0022 | 07/18 | 01:08 AM

I'm a murderer.

I'm sitting here in the school's main office. I'm lying on my back on a chair, my legs are stacked up vertically against the wall. My heart hurts if I lower myself to a proper sitting position. My thoughts are so disorganized and my brain feels unbelievably scattered.

But my breaths are as steady as could be.

The elder dude from two days earlier, the same dude who I talked to in the yard and explained where I was, is standing on the other side of the office's counter, in the reception area. His hands are tucked in fists into his pockets. He's been staring out the office window into the night for awhile now. Every once in awhile, he'll curse softly.

And there are two more ex-prisoners with us here, in this room. A Hispanic middle aged bald dude and a white dude who looks to be in his early thirties. He's dressed in all black and he looks like a faggot.

They introduced themselves earlier, after it was over, but I can't remember their names now. Not for awhile. My thoughts are in too many places, in too many times. And it hurts.

There's another survivor besides us, but she's not in the room with us. She can't stand to be around men. She's the girl the Bandits raped. The girl who's fiancee was brutally tortured and slaughtered but bought me my chance at freedom. She's in the principal's office now, the room farthest from the infirmary, where they held her. I can hear her tears, we all can, but we can't comfort her. We can't even comfort ourselves.

A heatwave has struck the area as of late but it still seems as if it might rain. Not really, there are no clouds in the sky, but I can see them there. Dark clouds brewing and blowing amongst us. Over us. Pouting anguish into our hearts.

And every scream that sounds from outside, every Freak that wails its monstrous call, is another lightning strike in this storm. A forceful reminder that pulls us from the safety of our minds and pushes the real world's horrors among us.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I need to go back. Back to last night.

I had been hiding inside the southern building's boy's bathroom throughout the day. Taking careful note of the Bandit's positions around the school and the manner in which they handled their security and barricades. And it wasn't too shabby, but careful examination revealed quite a few weak spots among their security. Of course, recognizing weaknesses and putting the information to actual use are two concepts worlds apart.

Then of course, at around evening, the cell phone rang. The same cell phone that I'd stolen off the Bandit's corpse who'd been killed before me the night before.

It rang three times before I opened it in numb surprise and answered with a dull, listless "Hello?".

And to my surprise, a female voice answered. Courteously, she asked, who the hell I was.

I told her it didn't matter, and inquired who it was I was speaking with.

She asked if I had killed Howard or Homer or some other shit like that. I imagine that was the name of the gracious Bandit who had loaned me his phone and weapon. And I answered honestly, no.

She waited a bit and then asked the million dollar question: "Where are you?"

And to that, of course, I lied. I told her I was miles away, walking along an abandoned free way overpass, far from the school.

She cursed loudly, and called me a few names I'd rather not repeat. Then I asked again, "Who are you?".

"The boss around here you son of a bitch."

And then she hung up. I stared at the phone for awhile and then walked over to the window, shielded by tree coverage, I spied on the central building. The goons on the roof had cell phones out and were chatting actively, brusquely. There was a pair of dudes patrolling the central building corridors.

I examined them for a few moments and then, an idea struck me. I lifted the weapon I had taken from the Bandit's corpse, an automatic assault weapon. I'd never fired one obviously, the first weapon I'd fired was the hand gun back in the clinic, and that was apparently long gone. Taken by the Bandits when I'd been captured.

I didn't know how many shots the thing had left but I'd played enough GTA, Halo, and Fallout to think the stock supported 30 or 40 rounds at least. I also knew this was an automatic weapon and I should probably play sparingly with the trigger or I'd come out short soon. Especially since I didn't have any more magazines.

I exited the bathroom through the back door and walked down the southern building's corridor to the back entrance, where the kindergartners and pre-kinder special playground is located. I walked around the building by ducking behind a long bush that runs along the parking lot, beside the building. I reached the north wall, and ducked under the bushes, prostrating myself on my belly, to gain coverage.

I set the assault rifle on the floor, supported by my arms, and directed it at the roof, where the watchout goons walked. The weapon had no scope, I aimed at a fellow to the best of my ability, then I pulled out the cellphone and got the last call number through the memory. I hit send and after a few rings, the same female voice answered.

"Fuck you, bitch."

I hit the trigger and the assault rifle kicked, but not wildly, just solidly, easy for me to control. But I missed completely and the shots rang out loudly, the barrel had jumped at least a few inches away from my target.

"What?!" The bitch spat from the phone, the bandits had heard the gunfire, but confused, they looked around the roof unsure which of their comrades had opened fire. I squeezed again.

Swinging the barrel carefully, my stream of bullets caught one of the Bandits solidly, he stood awkwardly for a few seconds as bullet holes riddled him and blood spurted out unevenly. Then he collapsed.

Seeing their friend drop, the other Bandits dropped to their knees, trying to get lower and figure out where the shots had come from. Had they been standing on the opposite side of the building, they would have been out of sight from my sitting position. But they weren't, and from my sweeping position on the floor, I swung the weapon slowly, covering the area in deadly hot metal as I pushed the trigger.

One of the Bandits took it in the chest, he just sort of seized and crumpled. The other was a bit nastier. One second he was sitting there, a man pissing his pants, his eyes wide in disbelief, and then a second later, he had no head to speak of. It had crumpled in on itself from the gunfire.

Unsure how many rounds I had left, or indeed, if I had any, I turned my attention to the two Bandits who had been patrolling the corridor, much more within my view.

They'd seen me, I saw as I turned my attention to them. One was lifting his weapon in my direction, the other was struck dumb, his eyes connecting with mine for a second.

And the next second I squeezed. My body shook with the recoil, and I rained death to the best of my abilities in their direction. And amazingly, despite being the greenest motherfucker in the entire conflict, I brought them down.

Crimson liquid and bullet holes littered the wall behind them as they fell, their lifeless bodies
landing on top of each other, grasping in their last moments.

And then everything was quiet. Everything except for the devil screaming into my ear. The bitch was screaming on the other end of the phone. Obscenities and threats slurred together in fast succession, I couldn't even really comprehend. But I got the gist.

I smashed the phone against the floor. Repeatedly. That helped. A little.

Truthfully, I was in shock. No. Beyond shock. I was dead. For a few seconds anyways.

My breathing was so ragged, so haggard, that my entire body shook. The need for oxygen both existing and long gone. The realization that I'd murdered. So easily, now crashing upon my like the super pressure of the entire ocean upon my frame.

My body crawled backwards unconsciously. Even now, when a part of me was dead from shock, another was rational. I probably didn't have any ammo left, and once they came out (I doubted they would soon for fear of getting riddled with bullets) they'd see the bullet holes on the wall and know I fired from around the southern building. They'd know my location.

I backtracked into the bushes and collapsed into a fetal position and held myself there for awhile. Time passed and I heard people beyond. People shouting, screaming, arguing, and cursing. People searching for me. But they wouldn't find me. Dusk would arrive soon and attempting to find me at night would be beyond stupid.

And then I decided I wanted them dead.

I hadn'd been crying all that time. Just withdrawn, stuck in frozen thought. But then that thought arrived and suddenly, I realized what I wanted, was for the Bandits, each one of them, to be dead. And I wanted that now.

By the time I woke up, it was night. But not by much time. The Freaks were surely active by then, but they were barely raising, and surely not far from their nests yet. Not upon me yet.

I could flee into the southern building, I could wait out the night, but I realized alone, I could no longer kill them. I had taken five that day, a great portion of their fighting force, but only by surprise. And by luck. Using the same tactics would fail.

And then it was obvious.

I ran down the side of the southern building, through the hedges, and entered the southern building through the back exit, near the special playground. I entered the first classroom and searched roughly through the teacher's cabinet drawers. My fingers dug into the deepest part, hidden by print outs and homework, and secured two packs of cigarettes and matches.

This classroom, room 102, once belonged to a lethargic old man who taught the kindergartners. Actually, I had once belonged to his class, many years back. He was notorious among the students for being a chain smoker, the smell that clung to his clothes was powerful, and his hidden packs were something of a sport for the students to discover. Back in the day at least. And apparently still.

Some things never change. Thank god for that.

Fire is how I did it. Fire, aside from the obvious danger it poses to the surroundings, is like a magnet for Freaks. Not because they like the fire or heat, but because of the smell. The smoke. The aroma draws them, again not because they like it, but because it's different. A change in the usual will draw them.

I sauntered then, toward the main office. They were barricaded inside, most likely within the auditorium, but this would draw them out. I set fire to the tree in front of the office, and then ran back, hiding in the southern building.

The fire spread slowly, and I was afraid the Bandits would ignore it completely. But soon noises arose from behind the door and furious scrapping and force sounded. The doors parted, free from the barricades, and four or five men ran out, fire extinguishers held by two, and smothered the fire quickly.

I'd planned this far ahead, I assure, but everything that occurred after this point was only by the divine grace of god himself. And it couldn't have worked out better.

I lifted my weapon, aimed at the densest part of their group and squeezed the trigger. I was hoping for ammo, my plan would go to rot here without it, I needed to down one of the Bandits here, and allow the rest to retreat inside. Then I could retrieve at least another weapon and have the means to kill more Bandits another day.

What actually happened was much better.

Two slugs fired out from my baby. One, hit one of the Bandits on the hip and caused him to scream and drop his weapon in pain and fear. The second, hit a fire extinguisher, and before I knew it, the group cluster of Bandits were sent flying outward in a mini explosion.

Unsure of how to proceed at this point ( I hadn't counted on them being incapacitated, even shortly), I waited a few moments for the Bandits to rise and regain their composure from their sudden hit. And then I heard the scream.

They heard it too, the fear was visible in each of their faces as they hit the floor.

Two adult female Freaks hit the scene running, they wasted no time, and butchered the entire group of Bandits clean, ripping them apart with wide claw strikes, and crunching bites and tears.

One Bandit had the time to reach his fallen weapon, turn around, and fire a short round (which missed) before a large claw swiped his midsection, and gutted him clean.

Then the Freaks turned on themselves and pounced and fought amongst themselves, for the newly prepared meal.

I don't know. It's sorta weird to say it like this, since Freaks were at one point or another human beings, but seeing the way they hunted and interacted amongst themselves, from a safe perspective, it was amazing how natural they seemed. I mean, aside from looking like strange inflamed, mutated small bears, their behavior and social dynamics were...there!

Ugh... look. All this time, all I knew Freaks as were crazy infected monsters. Mistakes. But for that one moment in time, seeing the way they hunted, seeing that they actually cooperated and interacted amongst themselves... it just sort of opened another perspective on them I guess.

Regardless, these things were obviously not any sort of real animal. Vicious and ravenous, as soon as they finished feeding their plentiful meal, they were on the hunt again. One of the females gave a winded howl into the night and the pair entered into the main office through the still-open door.

And whatever happens after that is beyond me. I wasn't in there, I didn't see, but I can guess. There were screams, some belonging to the Freaks and others not. Gunfire, rounds and rounds of gunfire. And laughter. The Freak's laughter as they hunted.

I slowly walked to the bloody mess of the Bandits before the office. I was unsure. I didn't want to be caught out in the open in case another Freak appeared, but I needed the chance to gain a firearm. I reached the body of the Bandit who had a rifle clutched in his cold hands and relieved his corpse of the weapon.

And then there was a wild scream, one full of adrenaline and emotion, one that did bot belong to a Freak. Gunfire reigned a final time as the Freak's surreal laughter filled the night and then there was silence.

I wanted to take off. Hide in the southern building. Get away.

But I didn't. I steadied my shaking weapon and entered the main office which was was still in remarkable condition, all things considered. I passed the counter and passed into the side passage, reaching the fork in the way. One door, closed, I knew led to the infirmary. The second way, was a path to the auditorium. A backstage way that led to a side passage. And there was breathing coming from this passage. High, hurried breathing.

I walked down that path. It was dark and long, a step took me unto something wet, and I realized I was stepping over bodies. Fresh bodies. Fresh blood.

My eyes adjusted and to my surprise, I found a large body a few steps before em, downed. One of the Freaks, riddled with holes.

A continued on, over the bodies and found a door ahead, closed. Ahead of the door was the second Freak, crunching and tearing ensuing from its ducked head. A person beneath it. It was feeding.

To the victor go the spoils.

Fuck that.

Without even thinking, I opened fire on the thing. It screeched horribly and turned to face me, but in the narrow passage, there was no error for mistakes. I hit all the rounds dead on and before the Freak could cross the distance between us, it fell. Life seeped from it.

And there I was. The victor.

A gasp sounded and I raised my weapon in alarm. But I needn't have worried. The sound issued from the person behind the Freak. The person who had been chow just recently.

I approached them and was surprised to see a female, a rifle tossed not far from her body. Her entire bottom half had been shredded, and there was a deep gash running along her belly. She wouldn't live long. She looked half-delirious anyways.

She seemed to recognize me. Her words were muffled by a continuous gasp and shaking breaths, but she recalled I had been one of the newest prisoners a few days earlier.

She smiled, called me a dick. Said I ruined everything. "Fuck," she wheezed.

She was a tough woman. Strong. Middle-aged, in her late forties; formidable. She had commanded the Bandits. And now they were no more. She passed away from her wounds there, in a pool of her own blood.

And the rest is history. I sealed the main office that night and discovered the girl in the clinic, a victim of abuse; an emotional wreck. The next day I freed the prisoners from the classrooms and most of them took off straight away. A few stayed a bit longer. I organized the Bandit's supplies (food and weapons), and split it amongst the few who stayed (against my better judgment; I don't feel well knowing others have guns anymore). Five in total. I placed my share into a shopping kart, and prepared to get back home.

But of course, I hit a snag. Time; the day went on and by the time I was ready to get home, dusk was encroaching so I decided to stay the night. I'll get home later today.

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