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░▒▓█ 5 █▓▒░

THIS IS insane. This is unbelievable. This is insanely unbelievable. I instinctively look at Ella. Why? I don't know. She glances at me with surreal trepidation in her eyes. That look we both share for those brief 5 seconds couldn't get anymore mutual: we must get outta here before it's too late.

It's been a while.

Everyone's still in shock but being in shock isn't going to save us right now. I take this opportunity to do a quick head-count. We have me, Brayson, Jace, Carmen, Ella, and a couple of more students. Most people have wagged due to the upcoming holidays. The jokes on me, why didn't I?

My phone ringtone suddenly breaks the silence. Heads turn my way.

Ms Mill looks at me with an intense-muddled expression, "you're phone's supposed to be-"

Seeing the caller's ID, I press accept without a second thought.

"Hello, Dean? Dean..hello? Why won't this stupid thing work!" I hear thudding from the caller's side, figured from them wacking the phone and whatnot.

"Amber! Yeah, I'm here, Amber! Where're you?"

"Oh thank God, finally!" she's thrilled but her voice is too quiet for someone who's 'thrilled'.

"Amber, wait, are you okay?" I question curiously.

"I-I was in the stall when the sirens went off... I tried to get to the nearest classroom but...but.."

"'But' what?!" I pressure.

Her words are muffled and I'm not clearly understanding her.

"What the hell, Amber..!? Where are you now? Get to a damn classroom."

"...I'm-I'm in the library. No one's here but...there are these things outside, Dean. They...they look deadly. Almost like..."

She's seen them too.

I scrunch up my hair in a mad-fistful. "Fuck..."

"What's going on?" Brayson asks me quietly.

Amber continues, "Dean, d-don't tell me that they're..."

"Zombies," I cringe. I hear gasps from the students in my class.

"Oh my God... I can't believe this. It's actually happening?"

I put my cap on, having a hard time believing any of this myself.

"Wow..." she chuckles in disbelief. "I mean, you and Brayson always talked about this crap but I never imagine it to actually happ...just wow."

"Amber, look," I say into the phone, "as much as I would love to sit down and chit-chat about this, we don't have the time for it. Don't move from where you are. I'll come get you." I hang up. Then Mum's caller ID shows up on my screen. I exhale, I seriously don't have any time for this but she needs to know that we're okay. I answer it. "Mum, really can't talk-"

"Dean they're evacuating the whole town!" she's crying.


"They won't let me get you guys!" she screams into the phone. "There's cops, feds, the military for Christ sake! They're evacuating everyone!"

"Wait, Mum, Mum, hold on. Slow down," I express, my heart jumping. "Why are they evacua-"

"Son, listen up!" Dad's on the phone now. "We have no idea what's going on. I've made some phone calls but no one's saying anything. I'm looking into it but right now, but you need to-"

A small explosion from Dad's end goes off, similar to a grenade being thrown. Civilians erupt with crazed screams. Gunshots. More mini-explosions. It all seems to be happening within close proximity to them.

"Jesus Christ!" Dad yells. "It's bloody hectic out here! Dean, we don't have much time but we will find a way to get you both! You stay strong and take care of Amber, alright?!"

"Dad..I..!" I'm lost for words. "I don't kn... H-how am I supposed to.."

Men are barking out orders in the background, babies crying, the sounds of people getting beat up. There's just so much happening all at once and the room I'm in is spinning.

"Baby, stay safe!" It's Mum again. "We love you so much. Tell Amber we l-"

"Mam, we've said it once and we won't say it again," a voice fumes. "Turn your goddamn device off now!"

"Hey, hey!" I hear Dad shout. "Who the fuck is in charge here!? Why wasn't I fucking informed on any of this?!"

"Hand the device over now!" the same merciless voice instructs.

"No, no, no," Mum pleas, "you can't do this-you can't make-this isn't right!"

"Orders are orders! Hand it over!"

There's some kind of struggle.

"Take your filthy hands off my wife!!"

The call ends abruptly.

"Mum!...Dad!" I cry out. "Hello?! Mum??" I desperately call my Mum's number again. "C'mon, pick up, pick up." No answer. "Fuck..!" I try a second time. No answer again. "Dammit, pick up, Mum!"

"Dean..." Brayson lays his hand on my shoulder.

I try my dad's. Same shit. No answer. "Goddammit!!" I express with frustration.

I stand up and take my cap off, hurling it to the ground in exasperation. I run my hands through my hair when I notice it's unusually quiet... I look up to realise that the entire damn class is gaping at me, their eyes popping out of their skulls.

"Bro," Brayson stands up, "would you mind telling me what the heck just happened?"

"Mate," I face him determinedly, "we haveta get outta here as soon as possible."

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