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THE WALLS of all four sides of the classroom enclose in on me. I feel claustrophobic to the touch, about to suffocate to the max. Everything that once made sense is now crumbling to pieces. The laws of sanity are being defied.

Ms Mills and Mr Damien - teachers' that I have known for the past 11 years are dead. Dead because of me! Had I zipped my mouth? Had I just sat back and let time handle it? Had I not been such a nuisance, they would still be here!"

Think Dean, think.

Shit, Amber!

I force my mind to accept this actuality and get a grip on the task at hand.

"Bro..?" Brayson appears muddled when I aggressively free myself from him.

"I have to get Amber - she's trapped in the library."

"With those things?" he emphasises like I don't already know myself how fucked up this situation is.

I turn around abruptly. "I don't have a damn choice, do I, Brayson?"

He has trouble answering me.

"Woah, woah, hold up," Jace stands up from his seat. "What the hell do you suppose the rest of us do?"

"Do whatever you like, but I'm getting out whilst I have the chance."

"Dean," Brayson says, laying a hand on my shoulder, "you've got to be tripping if you think I ain't coming with you."

"You don't have to," I look him in the eyes. "This isn't your fight."

"Bruv," he holds a rhetoric expression, "what's your fight is my fight."

We give each other a fist pump before turning for the doors.

"You can't just leave us here!" another voice interrupts us.

I close my eyes and exhale irritably. The longer I stay here, the more time I waste. I spin around again. "Well, you do have legs, don't you?" I snap at Carmen. "So leave if you want to, ain't nobody stopping you."

"What?" she scowls. "T-that's not the point!"

I realise her point, being that she wants to leave, just not alone.

"If you - if anyone wants to come, come, I really don't care," I speak to the class as a whole. "But my sister is my responsibility and my parents will kill me if anything happens to her with me under the same roof as her."

"And those things will kill you if you don't take some backup with you," Jace notes confidently.

"Who's to say he doesn't have backup?" Brayson remarks, offended.

Jace exhales, clenching his jaw, "look, all I'm tryna say, Dean, is that if you want to save your...?" He seems to have forgotten.

"Sister," Brayson unhappily fills in for him.

"Right, your sister, then I'll help too," he puts forth. "I don't know about you but I reckon we should all stick together because frankly, I don't wanna see another one of us get eaten alive. Besides, why say no to the extra help?"

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