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WE WALK into class.

"Cap off," Ms Mills instructs me without even looking up from her laptop.

So I start re-positioning it backward - which is like pretty much the same thing.

"I said off," she demands, still typing away.

Damn, some sixth sense that lady!

I sigh, obeying her.

Sits are taken. Class has commenced.

"Alright everyone, come on, hand it in," Ms Mills bursts everyone's bubbles. "Sorry to burst your bubbles but I haven't forgotten about it." She goes from desk to desk, taking everybody's homework.

"Here ya go, Ms," Brayson holds up his paper, pretentious as hell.

"Jeez..." I scoff, shaking my head.

Ms Mills surveys it with a, "hmm," and then makes eye contact with me!

I clear my throat, handing her mine.

She takes it calmly, staring at me like I graffitied the school walls or something.

I look down, opening my textbook and acting like 'brah I ain't got shit to do with this'. She knows Brayson copied my work, she's definitely known other times as well, and soon she's gonna bust both our arses for it; just a matter of when.

"Last time I'm doing this for you, bro..." I mutter to Brayson.

He chuckles because this isn't the first time I've said that.

"Open to Chapter 15," Ms Mills instructs, heading back to the front. "For today's lesson, we are learning about 'Microworlds'," she writes the word down on the whiteboard. "Jace start us off."

He groans, "I read last time, Ms."

"Jace," she arches an eyebrow above her lens.

He flips through the textbook indignantly, locating the chapter. With the clearance of his throat, he begins reading, "'a non-living microworld exists beyond that of microbes.'"

Great, he's reading exaggeratedly. That's Jace for ya. His mate cracks up next to him, so do a few more students in the class. I very much know how this is gonna end. Ms Mills is gonna kick Jace the fuck outta class and into the principal's office. Then we're all gonna have to stay back for extra-time like it's our fault.

He continues, "'this is occupied by viruses that are-'"

The school's sirens begin wailing, nuclear alarm alert, something like outta 'The Purge'.

Brayson gets startled from its sudden piercing noise; it's extremely loud as it rings through the foyers and classrooms. Jace automatically halts and glances up at the speakers. Then he faces Ms Mills, deep worrisome in his expression.


This must be another drill - I'm thinking. Never has there been a time it wasn't. Whatta waste of time...although that don't bother me because it's class time it's wasting. Ha.

"Move to the walls and stay below the windows." Ms Mills walks over to lock the doors as standard procedure, obviously.

But I notice something off... It's what Ms Mills does.

She glances to the class opposite us, to Mr Damien (our Coach + PE teacher). They both share a look of mutual perplexity like they weren't told there'd be a drill taking place this morning. That does not seem one bit promising to the rest of us.

"Today everyone, come on, hurry it up!" Ms Mills claps her hands.

I'm assuming it's 'cause we're all moving like we woke up with a hangover.


No one knew what was going on. Classrooms locked shut from door to door. We thought this was a practice drill but from the look on Ms Mills' face, this was no practice drill. We've been down on these uncomfortable floors for quite some time now and the majority of us are getting real-restless.

Ms Mills tries to make some phone calls but she's clearly outta luck. She really has no idea what's going on, does she? The teachers are no more informed than we are and that's what scares me the most.

I stare at the fan above us - my elbows on my knees and my fingers interlocked as my thumbs try to tap away at my anxiety.


I notice the atmosphere darkening around us, mimicking the way a sun withers away for a few seconds, leaving you in a blue state of calmness before returning back with pure intensity. 'Cept it just keeps getting darker for us. The calm before the storm. The lull. I guess those storm clouds are finally waking up and I'm getting super anxious. Anxious and fed-up.

Outta nowhere, we hear cop sirens. A lot of them. Something's happening. Something bad.

My phone buzzes. I unlock it to find texts from my mum.

I face our teacher, "Ms, what's going on?"

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I face our teacher, "Ms, what's going on?"

"Shhh," she urges.

"Dude, my bet," Brayson leans into me, "is that there are probs freakin' terrorists out there."

"I dunno, bro," I murmur, "but I'm getting tired of waiting, aren't you?"

He opens his mouth to reply when:




With each shattering gunfire, my heart skips a solid beat. Gunshots. GUNSHOTS. Am I even hearing right?! They came from outside the building. Now...the sounds of helicopters follow. Helicopters?! The floor rumbles and my eyes slowly drift down. I lift my hands up in front of my face. They are evidently shaking. No way...no way! Tanks?! Freaking tanks?! You've got to be shitting me!


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