With Drawn: Part 40 — Lockdown

Mystic Island Middle SchoolContinued from: With Drawn: Part 39 — Never Cry Wolf

In the Mystic Island Middle School art room, John Berkley was moving about the tables, helping students with their art projects.

A scream came from the hallway.

John Berkley looked up at the open classroom door. He saw three students running down the hallway past the classroom. “Hey…” John called as he started toward the door to scold the students for running.

Running was against the rules in the school. Unless, of course, the students were running from something that meant them harm, which is what these students were doing.

John saw what looked like a very large dog streak past the open door. “What in the…” John said, but his statement was interrupted when the principal’s voice came over the loud speakers.

The principal’s voice said: “Attention, students and staff. We are now in lockdown. Please follow lockdown procedures…” it then sounded as if the principal was talking to someone else in the office, the principal saying away from the microphone, “There’s a what?” The principal then spoke into the microphone again, his voice booming over the loudspeakers, “You are to lock your classroom doors and, no matter what, you are not to open your doors. I repeat, do not…” The principal’s voice was away from the microphone again as he spoke to someone in the office, “It’s here? Now?” Then the principal was back on the microphone, screaming, “Oh my god. Run for your lives…” Then silence.

The students in John’s classroom looked at John. They were silent and frozen. Their brains could not quite work out if what they heard was real or not, or if it was a joke, or an act, or some strange drill. John was silent and frozen for a moment, too. He also was trying to make sense of the announcement.

But then John snapped from his daze and said, “Okay, you all need to calmly move to the far end of the room and sit quietly on the floor.”

This was the lockdown procedure, and the students did it silently. Usually, during a lockdown drill, the students would smirk and snicker and roll their eyes and not take it very seriously. But this time, aside from a few students beginning to cry, they did it silently. In that silence, distant screaming and sounds of general mayhem could be heard.

John Berkley darted to his desk. He grabbed the key to the classroom and then he darted for the door. Locking the classroom door was also part of the lockdown procedures. And as John went to perform this act, he looked over his shoulder and told the students, “Just sit quietly, everything will be…”

John was going to say that everything was going to be fine. But he saw a sudden change in expression come over all the students’ faces that told him that all was not fine. All the students’ eyes got really wide and their mouths looked like they were saying the word, oh. This was happening because the students saw something that John, not facing the door, could not see. John realized before he even turned back toward the hallway, that there was something in the doorway waiting for him.

John slowly turned toward the doorway to see what looked like a zombie dressed in a baseball uniform. The thing held a baseball bat, and the thing’s droopy, undead eyes fell onto John. The zombie groaned, drool falling from its lips, and it raised the baseball bat as if to strike down John Berkley.

But another zombie dressed in a baseball uniform reached out and stayed the bat. This second zombie waived its finger at the first zombie in a no-no gesture. Then the two zombies walked off down the hallway.

John watched the zombies go. His jaw was slack. His whole body felt slack. In fact, the way he looked off dumbly down the hall, John Berkley almost had the same vacant expression on his face as the zombies had on their faces. But then the comprehension returned to his eyes as the shock wore off, and John slammed the classroom door shut, locking it with the key.

Continued in: With Drawn: Part 41 — Unpleasant Things

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