Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Killing Some Time

To kill some time, I've edited a small writing sample that I worked up in practise. It's not a serious piece, but who knows, someone may get some enjoyment from reading it. I quite enjoyed the opening, which was the whole reason I wrote the rest of the piece; to give it some closure.

Anyway, here it is.

"Rock And A Hard Place"

I was in the toilet, of all places, when the first attack came. Sat in the cubicle with tissues pressed hard to my bleeding nose, the shouts were dying out. Minutes ago I had been out there, en route back to class, when a fight had broken out. Typically for me, my face was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and took the brunt force of an elbow to the face as the two combatants had begun -wrestling. The free-flowing blood from my bruised snout followed my path across the toilet and into my cubicle, in a bright crimson trail on the tiles. It was beginning to dwindle, mirroring the noise from the hall so, stuffing some balls of paper up my nose, I resolutely left the cubicle and headed back to class.

Stepping into the corridor, I turned at an unusual combination of whimpering and snarling. The thug whose elbow I had met so intimately just a few minutes ago was backed up in a corner, a five foot blonde stood in a half-crouch before him. My eyes found the drip-puddle of blood pooling about her feet and wondered for a brief moment if she had had some female-related trouble, at least until my eyes took in the detail of the rest of the hallway.

Fellow college students lay cast about the laminate floor, limbs tangled and, in some cases, missing. Body matter had been scattered, accompanying the spray of blood that had decorated the poster boards on the walls. Ripped clothes framed slashed muscle, and the full horror of the situation hit me. Like most kids of my generation, I’d played Resident Evil; I’d seen the films too and even had full-on discussions on what we’d do in the event of such an outbreak. But never in my wildest dreams had I thought that it would ever actually occur. The realisation escaped in a slight gasp from my mouth, quickly stifled but a moment too late.

She turned at my slight interruption, anger bred from the viral chemicals rampaging around her system decorating her once-pretty features. The blood stains on her blouse and the clinging human matter in her locks sent a shudder through me. Lacking her attention, the cornered heavy attempted to sidle away from her. Fingers curled into a claw, she whirled, slashing his throat and sending him gurgling to the floor. With her slightly distracted, I bolted. Down the hall and up the stairs I reversed my headlong dash when I saw the group of creatures hammering on the door to my classroom. Through a brief gap in the raging mass of bodies, I glimpsed my classmates huddling together whilst a few brave souls attempted to hold the door against the onslaught.

Returning the way I came I ran headlong into my petite pursuant at the top of the stairs, barrelling her over and carrying us both bodily down the stairwell. The whirl of limbs and blood, mainly from her but my nose had erupted again in our collision; we landed at the base of the stairs with an audible crack. I froze, fearing I’d damaged something important and awaiting her rage-fuelled teeth or claws in my skin. Slowly I unfurled from my foetal position, my face meeting her frozen rictus of hate at an odd angle – it had been her neck that had cracked.

Retracing our path on the stairs, I briefly marvelled at the patterns our fall had cast about the walls, before continuing cautiously towards my classroom. To my relief, a few more of my classmates had joined the others at the door and were managing to stalemate the strength of the disorganised creatures. Amongst them I spied one of our lab techs, Dan, his once-jovial features snarling and contorted in his thirst for my classmates flesh. I could see a door opposite me that I knew led to a connecting door to my classroom; all I had to do was get there without being seen.

I withdrew my wallet, figuring I wouldn’t need I.D. or money in the days to come – if I made it that far – and flung it frisbee-style down the hall past the horde. It slapped hard against the connecting-double doors at the end of the hall, drawing the attention of the lot of them, and I darted across to my target. To my relief I managed it without any of them noticing, though in my haste I forgot about the mechanism that shuts the door. With a moderate clunk it closed, and I stood with my back pressed up against it with baited breath. Thinking myself safe, I eased away from the door and headed along the shelves of lab equipment and into my classroom.

My entrance was met with initial shrieks of fear, until I managed to explain it was just a nosebleed and a close encounter that had resulted in my bloodied appearance. With a few hugs of acceptance and relief, I joined them and took in our situation. Somehow the second exit had eluded their minds in the midst of the struggle, but my entrance had rung the proverbial bell in their minds. An ominous crash came from the door – the creatures were breaking through. Having managed to bypass them myself and fight off one of their number, my friends and teachers looked to me for leadership. An ear-splitting crack from the door signalled the imminent breaking of the door and desperation seized me. I cast about for ideas to stall our adversaries advance, and a chill crept up my spine as I noticed a bite mark on Jonny’s arm. The situation was hard, and it was about to get harder.

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