The school was quiet this early in the morning. Most of the desks were piled against the walls in the classrooms where they’d been placed by the janitors the day before. I’d made it a habit of arriving at school before anyone else, even the teachers. I enjoyed the twilight hours where the silence allowed me to explore my thoughts.

Pulling one of the desks away from the wall, I set it up in the middle of the room and sat down. My eyes drifted closed as I lost myself in memories and dreams. The sharp crack echoing down the empty hallways startled me and only a quick grab at the desk kept me from tumbling down.

My eyes snapped open, scanning the classroom. Nothing there. I turned my gaze to the doorway and saw nothing in the hallway, at least from my limited view. A moment later I saw the barrel of a gun cross the view from the doorway. Before I fully registered what I was doing, the desk I had been sitting on was flying through the air, crashing through the doorway just as the body passed through.

The gunman went down in a heap, cursing and the clattering of metal on tile echoing through the hallway. I swiftly made my way over, leaping over the prone intruder and snatching up the rifle before the man could disentangle himself from the desk. He turned to me with a snarl and took a rifle butt to the face for his trouble. Another hit to the back of the head sent the man crumbling to the ground.

Quickly scanning the area, I saw no more intruders. I dragged the man and the desk back into the classroom then took a moment to examine him. He appeared to be dressed normally. T-shirt and jeans kinda guy really. Other than the rifle, the only thing out of the ordinary on him was the walkie talkie clipped to his belt.

The walkie talkie squawked to life, letting me know there were others in the building. Sounded like there were two others. They were both headed this direction as well. I left the walkie talkie on, listening as the others grew closer. Finally, the first of the others entered the room, calling for the first man. I replied with a clubbing blow from the rifle. I staked the suddenly unconscious man next to the first. That left only one more.

Peeking out of the room, I had to duck back swiftly as automatic gunfire began to fill the hallway. I waited a moment for the shooting to subside, then reached over to toss one of the walkie talkies down the hallway after turning the volume up to full. I then grabbed the remaining walkie talkie and screamed as loud as I could into it.

The startled cry from the remaining invader was music to my ears. I dove through the doorway, the rifle in my hand swinging up to quickly. I sighted a squeezed off a couple of shots, catching the man in the thighs. His own rifle barked in reply, though the barrel had been pointed upwards, stitching holes in the ceiling. Rushing over, I kicked his weapon away.

Ignoring his cries of pain, I tried to calm the hammering beat of my heart. He was the only one of the invaders still conscious. My gaze hardened as I considered what this man and his friend must have done. That first shot must have taken out the lone security guard for the building before they prowled around for whatever it was they were looking for.

As I stood there considering the man and what to do with him, I felt a drop of water hit my cheek. Tilting my head up, I notice water leaking from the holes shot in the ceiling. Soon, more and more water poured from the wounds. I sat down in the puddles covering the tiles, letting the water wash away the fright and anxiety that had enveloped me.

The tap tap tap of heels on tile caught my attention. Turning my gaze down the hallway, I noticed my teacher making her way towards me. She slowed to a stop beside me, one gentle hand coming to rest atop my head. My arms went around her leg and I buried my face into her pants, trying to hide the emotions pouring off me.

I had come to this school for the calm. This was not how my days were supposed to begin.

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