Max B

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  2. Chapter One
  3. The mouthful of dry chicken and wholemeal bread stuck to the roof of Max’s mouth, causing his face to redden slightly as he looked around the room. However, he was alone in the cramped and neglected staff kitchen and he quickly removed the offending mixture and spat it into the bin by the door.
  4. This morning’s rush had left him with the choice of either making a decent lunch or having a mug of coffee, and after staying up until the early hours binge-watching one of his favourite shows, the caffeine took priority. He scratched his cheek, pausing over the fresh shaving cut that all but two of students and colleagues he spoke to today had made a joke or comment about.
  5. He took his lunch, which was little more than two slices of bread either side of a handful of processed chicken chunks accompanied by a questionable apple, and carried it over to the fridge. The dim light flickered on as an array of strong smells crept up his nostrils. He noticed for the second week running that the same Tupperware box, filled with a vegetable curry covered in an ever-growing layer of mould, was still occupying the top shelf, the only item in there with personal space.
  6. He grabbed one of the many jars of mayonnaise and added a sizable blob to the centre of his sandwich, making a mental note to add an extra half an hour to his workout that evening. Max put away the jar and sat at the stained and chipped table, smiling once again at the “I wish my wife was as dirty as this kitchen” written onto the edge of the tabletop.
  7. He wiped the last of the crumbs from his shirt and lifted up the apple, contemplating throwing it away and attacking the vending machine in the hallway. Before he could come to a decision, the entire kitchen plunged into darkness. He sat motionless for a second, slightly embarrassed of his elevated heart rate, before throwing himself under the table and clutching both hands to his ears.
  8. A shriek, or a thousand shrieks, or a million shrieks all screaming as one tore through the air. It was so loud that Max couldn’t help but let out his own cry as he clenched his eyes closed and tried to make himself as small of a pitiful ball of human as he possible could.
  9. The door, which was the only door in and out of this small, windowless room, rattled as great gusts of wind battered it from the outside hallway. The heavy fire door shuck as if possessed and  the narrow glass window that ran the length of it shattered, peppering Max’s back with tiny shards.
  10. As suddenly as the inhuman wailing had begun, it ceased, leaving Max lying on the cold and greasy floor, ears ringing and too frightened to open his eyes.  The silence stretched on into the darkness, and he found himself thanking whoever was listening for sparing him.
  11. He began to relax, if only because his arms and legs were cramping, and was just about to open his eyes when the lights burst back on, the dazzling aluminous bulbs forcing him to keep them closed. A heartbeat later, he was on his feet, the table knocked on its side and a freshly grazed arm for the trouble.
  12. He squinted through the light, heart pounding in his chest and back up against the wall as a new orchestra of screams echoed throughout the school. These were different though. These were the screams of terrified students accompanied by the scraping and crashing of half the building’s furniture being rearranged all at once.
  13. “Gunman.”  The word flashed through Max’s mind like a bullet, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his smartphone with shaking hands.
  14. There’d been seminars and training and meetings until the entire staff was so over exposed to the horrors of armed gunmen attacking a school that it had become the butt of a whole manner of jokes. When security guards were first employed and the assemblies were held; when the news reports of the attacks at other schools across the nation were still an everyday occurrence, everybody was at red alert.
  15. However, that was nearly two years ago, and security was let go due to budget restrictions and the idea of an attack at Moss Hill Secondary School became less and less like a possibility as the news reporters found their new and exciting tragedy.
  16. Max cursed himself for his part in letting them go. It was probably his damn budget report that encouraged to board that the students’ safety was less important that their bottom line.
  17. He also cursed the piece of shit phone that his white knuckles were wrapped around so hard that an audible crack could be heard. He had attempted to phone the emergency services three times, and three times, he received the same busy recording and apology for the inconvenience. The fourth time he tried, he didn’t even get a recording, it was like he couldn’t dial out, as if making a call from his office phone without pressing the nine key. After the fifth time, to the same result, the phone bounced off the opposite wall in a shower of expensive pieces.
  18. Max stared dead ahead, unable to think with the continuous and blood curdling screams seemingly coming from every direction. As he took a step towards the door, glass crunching underfoot, he froze with the uncomforting realization that if the screams were in fact coming from every direction, then the gunmen must have attacked at multiple points all over the school.
  19. As these speculations ran through his head, and he forced himself to take another step, the lack of gunshots sounding over the screams and running tugged at his thought and once again made him pause. Maybe they were not gunmen; maybe the attackers had knives and blades instead. He turned and walked towards the counter, pulling a kitchen knife out of a draw before he could think about what he was doing.
  20. Within seconds, he thought of how ridiculous it was that he even thought about putting himself in danger by attempting to fight these men. Then the guilt of not protecting the students puffed him up with a mixture of determination and blind panic as he once again reached into his pocket for his phone before remembering that no one was coming to help him.
  21. Not unless he got to another phone.
  22. He convinced himself that the first step they were taught, to “Contact the authorities and provide as much information as you can” was probably the best plan of action. He attempted to bury the shame and guilt of the true cowardly reasoning behind this decision as he hurriedly made his way to the door and opened it before he could change his mind.
  23. Stepping out into the hall, the screams seemed to amplify and he ran past the closed doors to the stock room and the bathrooms towards his office. He shared one, large desk with six over staff members, with computer monitors back to back and just enough personal space to only smell your immediate neighbour. The hallway carried on for the length of the office before turning off to the right, which led to both the medical room and the head master’s office before opening to the rest of the school.
  24. The building was primarily a large, two story square and due to some architects fantastic opinion that only children need natural light, all of the administrative offices are in the centre of the second floor, surrounded on all sides by classrooms and the occasional bathroom.
  25. Max paused outside the office door, one hand stretched out towards the handle before a noise stopped him once again in his tracks. The frosted glass window that made up the top half of the white door was cracked and papers littered the floor, indicating that his co-workers had fled the office in a hurry. Then why, Max thought, was there someone still inside making a whole manner of god-awful sounds.
  26. His fingers tightened on the knife handle, he’d completely forgot he still had it, but the idea of not being completely unarmed gave him the nudge to step forward and push open the door. For the split second that the door swung back to reveal the room, he thought of how stupid he felt for being too scared to enter his own office.
  27. His jaw dropped open and he stumbled back into the hallway, the knife pointed towards the room as his back slammed against the wall, knocking the wind out of his lungs. He opened his mouth to speak, but he could only wheeze pathetically as he stared into his office, unable to move or look away.
  28. Louis, the youngest member of their cramped little office club, practically still a kid who had the crush on Priya, the caramel skinned beauty who’s car and clothes cost more than she made in a year. The source of her extra income had been the topic of much amusement to the rest of us whenever she left the room after showing off her newest purchase. The speculations ranged from rich family members back in India to the more amusing theories delving into the world of escort services and gifts to win the exotic beaut’s heart.
  29. The poor kid never joined in, probably still clinging to the idea that she was a princess and that someday his clumsy but good-natured advances would one-day result in a passionate union upon this very desk. In a way, he got his wish.
  30. Louis’ head rocked as it hung from the edge of the desk, his wide eyes staring at Max, all the life drained but still expressing absolute heartbreak and confusion.  Long stands of black hair, matted with blood and chunks of flesh drooped over Louis’ chest, which had been torn open and the contents spilled across the desk.
  31. Priya was straddling him, head bobbing into the mess of innards as she tore bits of organ and muscle out with her teeth. She sat up, dribbling pieces of office junior down her front, ruining what was once a very expensive, and very revealing, blouse, chewing zealously and not waiting to finish her mouthful before ducking back down for more.
  32. Max was mesmerised, the taste of mayonnaise and chicken crawled up the back of his throat as his stomach tied itself into a dozen knots.  Although the rhythmic lulling of Louis’ head and the gore splatted cleavage was hypnotizing in a collection of horrifying ways, he could not look away from her eyes.
  33. They were glowing. Not the poetic radiance from one of Louis’ drunken texts but a literal and terrifying green illumination, which absorbed both of her eyes like a badly coloured in children’s drawing. Emerald spheres of fire that flickered and trailed with her jerky movements.
  34. It felt like hours had passed whilst Max watched, unable to get the message to his legs to move, to flee from this waking nightmare, to go crawl back under the kitchen table and hide. He didn’t know how long he would have been trapped there, frozen by both horror and gruesome curiosity, but Priya seemingly got tired of having an audience.
  35. Mid-chew, she cocked her head to one side, pointed them ungodly spotlights straight through the doorway, and burrowed them into Max. He held his breath, but could feel his heart beating so fast he was sure his tie was vibrating. Priya lifted one blood soaked hand and began to crawl forward, dragging Louis’ corpse along for the ride. By the time it had crumpled to the floor with a sickening crack, and Priya had fallen next to it, slowly gathering herself and attempting to stand up, Max had slammed the door closed and was currently sprinting around the bend in the corridor.
  36. As he turned the corner, the foot of the small staircase that led to the rest of the school came into view. It was only five steps high, and the floor above was visible from the corridor. It was usually a sight occupied by the ankles and footwear of students rushing to their next class, but now, several bodies were lay upon the tiled floor with their school uniforms soaked red and numerous classmates on their hands and knees, tearing into them.
  37. He skidded to a stop, his impractical dull black shoes already cutting into his feet. The pair of trainers he swapped into at the end of the day were in the bottom draw of his desk. They may as well be at the bottom of the ocean. The squeak of his soles echoed in the empty hallway and he cursed under his breath. Behind him, the sound of cracking glass crept into his head and sudden realization turned his innards to water. He was surrounded by bright-eyed cannibals.
  38. To his left was the medical room, and to his right, the head master’s office. With thoughts of more sharp things as potential weapons, he grabbed the handle to his left. The door rattled on its lock. He contemplated smashing the misty glass that showed the black room beyond, but the noise of shattered glass raining onto the floor around the corner reminded him that he didn’t have time for that.
  39. He spun and threw himself towards the other door. Letting himself enjoy the tiny victory of it not being locked. Max closed the door behind him and rested on it, breathing deeply into the darkened room. The distorted light through the door cast his shadow with several blurred outlines against the far wall, making it appear as if there were two of him in the room.
  40. For the hundredth time, his blood froze. He scanned the room, squinting at all the shapes and shadows of the office, waiting for one to move. With a shaky hand, he flicked on the light switch and truly expected another smoking hot Indian cannibal to lunge at him. The room was empty. It was about the same size as his office, only with nine less workstations, pretty paintings on the walls and a small black sofa tucked in one corner.
  41. There was a deadlock above the door handle, and Max locked it, feeling like the tiny metal bar would do little to stop an eager puppy, never mind a full-grown person. He also closed the blind that covered the glass in the door, anything to put between him and Priya. He took a step back, looking at his handiwork. It practically laughed at him.
  42. He moved over to the large, dark desk and placed his knife upon it, freeing up his hands to grab the edges and dragged it towards the door. The thick legs seemed to claw at the floor as they inched across the floor, groaning with every pull. Max swore as he rounded the desk and threw his weight at it, pushing with all his strength, moving from corner to corner to stop the whole thing spinning away from the doorway.
  43. By the time he had collapsed against it, breathing heavily and with sweat sticking the shirt to his back, he was sure that everybody in the entire school had heard him wrestle with the beast. Nevertheless, the wooden over-compensation was backed up to the door, and it was not moving any time soon.
  44. A wet thud against the windowed door snapped him upright and he edged backwards, tripping onto the sofa. Although he couldn’t see, he could hear the offending creature slide itself across the glass, the squeal of sodden flesh against the smooth surface sent a shiver up Max’s spine. As he sat, watching the unmoving barricade, a bud of hope slowly began to grow, before the giant boot of poor planning stamped on it and smeared it into the dirt.
  45. “Well done…” Max said to himself, looking around at the windowless office he had very efficiently trapped himself within and stabbed the knife blade into the sofa cushion. “Well fucking done.”
  47. Chapter Two
  48. Max’s stomach rumbled. He had completely lost track of time whilst he had been pacing back and forth. He hadn’t worn a watch since the realisation that he always checked the time on his phone, the same phone that he had smashed against the kitchen wall. In addition, in his haste to block the door, he had knocked the computer monitor off the desk and it too had smashed, and so, he had no way to know how long he’d been trapped. For all he knew, it could be the middle of the night, his windowless prison was really messing with his internal clock.
  49. He had already set up the desktop computer on the floor, losing patience with trying to access the internet without being able to see. The landline proved just as useless, the emergency services were still too busy to answer his call, and no matter how many times the pre-recorded woman apologized for the inconvenience, he still didn’t believe her. Every other number he could think of had just rang out, but that was only his local pizza place and the taxi company with the catchy advert on the radio.
  50. He stopped pacing, standing silently until he heard the thud of his warden pawing at the door, and sighed. As the minutes or the hours or the years had rolled by, she hadn’t given up. Max had once thought that she would go back to eat the rest of Louis and give him time to escape, but that would be too easy. He looked over to the knife still embedded into the black leather. It wasn’t the first time he’d thought of moving the desk, opening the door, and stabbing her right between them magical eyes of hers. He stroked his chest, imagining how it would feel to have it ripped open by them perfectly manicured nails, and dismissed the idea once again.
  51. His stomach growled once again, and he decided to put the maddening mission to escape on the back burner and accepted the minor task of finding something to eat. He wasn’t hopeful; the office was practically empty with no place to hide food except the draws of the desk, or inside hollowed out books upon the bookcase. After searching through a randomly selected assortment of books, finding no secret compartments filled with chocolate or whiskey, he set his sights on the desk.
  52. Max had purposely avoided touching the barricade since she appeared outside, imagining that a single finger would somehow nudge it out of the way, allowing her to crawl inside and tear him open. He picked up his knife and edged closer to the desk, looping a single finger around the handle to the first draw and pulling with as little force as possible.
  53. Focusing on the door, listening for any changes or the first signs of cracking glass, he peered into the draw. It was empty of anything remotely edible or interesting. With growing confidence, but still moving as if the desk was some sort of antique, ready to fall apart and become worthless, he worked his way through the draw on the right hand side, finding little more than a stapler. However, in the large draw at the bottom of the left side didn’t budge when he pulled. At first he thought it was locked, but as he applied more pressure it began to slide out.
  54. It was full to the brim with what looked like silver paper, but once a number-pad and a small handle came into view, it became obvious that it was a small safe, face up inside the draw. Max pulled until the entire thing fell out of the desk it fell to the floor, cracking both the wooden side of the draw and the wooden beam of the floor.
  55. His hunger disappeared as childlike excitement set in. Although it made no logical sense, thoughts of gold or diamonds flooded out all others. A result of too many movies and an over active imagination he was sure. Max tried the handle. It was locked, as he suspected, but it was worth the attempt.
  56. He settled in next to the safe and stared at the numbers, trying to remember any sequence that the headmaster may have had a preference towards. He was just about to get up to begin his search for personal documents and birthdays before stopping himself. They had an issue earlier in the year where one of the students accessed the headmaster’s email account and sent an email to the entire contact list explaining that the school will be closed for two weeks instead of one for half term.
  57. Even though countless emails and phone calls were made to rectify the mistake some days later, a quarter of the staff were still unaccounted for come the first day back after the break. Max had later found out from a guy in IT that the headmaster actually has his professional email password set as “1,2,3,4”.
  58. He typed the numbers and grabbed the handle. A smile pulled at the corners of his mouth as the heavy door came free. He could not open the door fast enough, his curiosity practically pulling the metal box from the drawer.
  59. Lay at the bottom of the safe, accompanied by two thin boxes, was a tiny black revolver. The dull metal seemed to absorb the light with no hint of a reflection. Like a child on Christmas morning, not wanted to break a freshly unwrapped toy, Max gently retrieved the weapon with both hands, turning it over and examining it like it was as priceless as the gold or jewels from his imagination.
  60. Max knew nothing about guns. The barrel was only about two inches long and reminded him of one of them little dogs with the squashed in faces. After much fiddling, whilst keeping it pointed very much away from himself, he managed to get the cylinder open, sliding it out to the side only to discover that all five of the chambers were empty.
  61. He recovered one of the boxes of ammo from the safe and opened it, spilling cartridges onto the floor. The adrenaline pumping through his veins was making his eyes ache as he carefully fed the bullets into the gun. It took two attempts after the first four slid back out as he accidently tipped the gun in his search for the fifth.
  62. With five full chambers, he gingerly closed the weapon once again, now definitely guaranteeing that the business end pointed anywhere but towards him. He got to his feet, lifting the revolver ahead of him, feeling awkward and embarrassed; the weight put an unfamiliar strain on his wrist until he made the conscious decision to relax.
  63. He turned around and faced the far wall, focusing on a framed painting of various shapes of autumn colours that hung above where the desk once was. Every cowboy and detective character from everything he’d ever watched seemed to be snickering at his attempts to aim. His posture was unnaturally rigid and he couldn’t decide where to put his feet. In the end, he got angry at the voices in his head and just pulled the trigger.
  64. The air in the room exploded as the blast evaporated the silence. His hand ached, his ears rang and when he finally opened his eyes, he smiled at the smoking bullet hole in the dead centre of the orange blob near the top of the painting. Ignoring the fact that it wasn’t the shape he was aiming for, he was nevertheless pleased with hitting the picture at all, and amazed he hadn’t done himself damage in the process.
  65. He levelled out the gun once more, this time relaxing his grip and helping steady the barrel using both hands around the grip. He fired another shot. The explosion didn’t seem as loud and the ricochet didn’t hurt nearly as much, but his aim was off, and a second smoking bullet hole had appeared in the plaster a foot away from the target. He took in a deep breath and pulled the trigger again, and again, and then once more as he mentally counted off the rounds.
  66. The revolver was warm in his hands, and as he lowered the weapon, he surveyed his handiwork like a proud artist. Two of the five shots had hit outside of the frame, but from that distance, Max was happy with the results.
  67. He opened the cylinder much quicker the second time around, although it was still too long for him to take any pride in the accomplishment, and five empty casing clattered to the floor. He practiced loading and reloading, fiddling with the rounds until he could load just by touch alone. He slid the full ammo box into his back pocket and filling his front with the loose bullets, then tightened his belt under the extra weight and readied himself to make his move.
  68. With the fully loaded gun in his right hand, he leant over the desk with his left out-stretched towards the blind. He couldn’t quite reach the string that was used to retract it, so he settled on ripping the entire thing from the door. As the plastic and fabric contraption clattered onto the floor, Max stared at the distorted green orbs staring straight at him through the blooded glass. The rest of Priya could be made out every time she pushed her face against the window or slowly swung at it with a limp arm.
  69. As far as Max could tell, none of the students had wandered down the stairs and into the hallway. It was just the colleague that couldn’t get her head around the mysterious ways of the coffee machine, a very stressed out school administrator, and his revolver.
  70. Max regretted the plan as soon as he put it in motion. He had the desk away from the door, but all of movement and his close proximity had seemed to give the cannibal in the hallway a new bout of energy. The tiny deadlock strained, paint flaking from its edges, as the door rattled on its hinges. Priya had also started moaning, and not the fun kind.
  71. It was more like the air in her lungs was just escaping like a puncture in a tire than an actual attempt to communicate. It came in long and low drones, punctuated by sickening thuds and cracks as she fell against the weakening door, using her body as some sort of battering ram with no regard to how many bones she might break.
  72. Max stood beside the painting he had riddled with bullet holes, clutching the black revolver in both hands, which shuck uncontrollably as he pointed the snubbed barrel towards the entrance. The sweat was pouring down his face, the cut on his cheek stung, and he was just about to wipe his eyes when the door flew open, bouncing off the wall and slowly creeping closed before a shapely but blood splattered leg wearing a broken high heel and short skirt stopped it in its path.
  73. Priya’s glowing eyes entered the room. Her jaw hung open with dried up chunks of Louis still clinging to her teeth. Her hair had become as straight and bizarre as a handful of neglected paintbrushes, the stands knotted together with grease and blood. She lifted her arms towards him, they were red-black from the elbows down, her nails broken and splintered at the end of curling fingers that seemed to reach across the room and drastically invade his personal space.
  74. “Priya?” He asked in a desperate whisper. The idea of shooting an actual person, however possessed they might be, made him want to vomit and cry and run home to hide under the covers. She didn’t respond, just dragged one foot in front of the other and advanced into the room.
  75. He closed his eyes and squeezed the trigger before she stumbled past the end of the desk. The bullet struck her just below the shoulder, and apart from a small jolt backwards that had more to do with physics than acknowledgment or pain, she didn’t so much as blink.
  76. The smallest and unmanliest squeal escaped Max’s lips, then he pulled the trigger again, this time the shot went over her head, and Priya crossed the halfway point, losing a shoe in the process.
  77. When Max was six, he had wet his pants after being unable to find the bathroom at a new school. The children had circled him, pointing and laughing as he cried helplessly until a teacher came and hurried him away. The memory had haunted him, giving him an incredibly shy bladder, and was probably the only reason it had not yet released itself in horror as he pressed his back up against the wall.
  78. The muzzle flashed once again, and time slowed to a crawl. Her head snapped back with her ruined hair flicking out as a spray of black and red splattered the wall behind her. Her body followed the momentum, falling backwards with her arms flailing into the air, her fingers curling ever tighter around nothing. The back of her skull met with the corner or the desk and a sickening crack sounded as Priya span and landed on the floor face down.
  79. Max was still pressed against the wall so hard he was standing on his toes, staring wide eyed at the unmoving body leaking in the centre of the room. Tears rolled down his cheek as he allowed himself to exhale, but his stomach took this as an invitation to evacuate and he dropped to his knees, vomiting onto the hardwood floor.
  80. He stayed crouched down, spitting and breathing heavily as he dry heaved, inching his knees away from the pooling mess he’d made. He wiped his eyes with the back of his arm, and then rubbed them with his fists and looked up. The colours danced in front of his blurred vision, until all but two green dots remained, hovering by the open door.
  81. Max panicked. He fumbled with the revolver before he had chance to focus and the room exploded once again as a shot fired out and put a fresh hole into a potted plant. He gripped the handle and pulled himself up, using the wall to balance as the blood rushed to his head. His vision cleared, and a young man with short dark hair, fiery green eyes, and a hole the size of a cereal bowl carved out of his chest.
  82. Louis crossed the threshold and began to stumble towards Max. Being without lime green high heels, he had less trouble planting one jerky foot in front of the other and progressed across the shrinking office at an amazing speed considering he was dead.
  83. “Zombies?” Max thought, feeling ridiculous all over again. He was so preoccupied with trying to explain the glowing eyes that he completely missed the big picture. A strange thing happened to him, probably the result of over exposer to too many video games and movies. A switch clicked somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind and the guilt and sickness he felt after shooting Priya disappeared. Somehow, the realization made it all ok. He wasn’t a murderer, he was a survivor.
  84. He was still terrified. His hands were practically vibrating and he had chewed on his lip so hard he drew blood. When Louis stepped the arm of his one sided love story and fell at Max’s feet, reaching a clawed hand within inches of his trousers, Max levelled the revolver shakily at Louis’ upturned face and fired the final round.
  85. A bloody crater tunnelled through his head, swallowing the glow of Louis’ right eye. His entire body seemed to freeze for a split second before collapsing at Max’s feet, who quickly hopped to the side and circled around the bodies, not daring to look away.
  86. He ended up stood atop the sofa, still pointing the revolver uselessly as a million thoughts crowded his mind. Throughout the madness, he managed to cling to a couple of useful bits of information. He was currently in a school that was suffering from a slight zombie infestation. Just like in the movies, a clean shot to the head puts them down. Unlike in the movies, their eyes glow like eerie balls of green fire that look like bad special effects in a cheap Sci Fi movie.
  87. He looked at the door, wide open and half covered in blood and bits of human. The coppery smell was already stinging his nostrils, and he’d seen enough of them four walls to last him a life time. He opened up his weapon and shook out the spent casings; they bounced and rolled into the creases of the sofa cushions.  He dropped a number of bullets whilst reloading, and was just about to bend down and collect them when something moved.
  88. He had been watching the door, when not focusing on reloading, expecting another undead nightmare to join the party. What he didn’t expect, was Priya’s shoulders to rise, bits of skull and brain matter dropping onto the floor as she slowly got to her feet, reaching her full height before lifting her head, loose bits of skin and bone hanging on around the sizable exit wound at her crown.
  89. She turned, her intense eyes ablaze once more, and stared straight at him. Her jaw lowered, and he half expected her to call him out, to ask why he’d do such a thing, to curse at him and insult the size of his manhood. Instead, another low moan stretched across the room, standing every hair on Max’s body on end and seriously testing his bladder.
  91. Chapter Three
  92. Her knee twitched in his direction, and that was all Max needed. He vaulted over the desk and ran straight out of the office sliding on the drying blood covering the tiled floor and crashing into the medical room door opposite. It held, and he cursed as pain shot through his shoulder as he pushed himself free, slipping once more before reaching the foot of the stairs.
  93. The floor above was clear. The half dozen dead students being eaten by their former friends had all risen and moved on, no doubt trapping some other poor soul inside a classroom or closet before breaking down the door and ripping them apart. Max stopped at the top of the stairs, peering around the walls on both sides.
  94. Another corridor stretched out in both directions, wide enough for six schoolgirls to stand side by side, giggling to one another as you try to rush passed them to get out to lunch as quickly as possible. Most of the doors to the classrooms where closed, each had one of them hinges where the door slowly closed itself unless held open by something.
  95. Both directions ended in a T junction, and either turn lead to a staircase to the ground floor, one being at each of the four corners of the building, and the hallways set out like one big figure eight with Max at the centre. He had hated this layout before it may cost him his life, now he vowed to find the architect and set him up on a blind date with Priya.
  96. Before he could give any thought to choosing the path of least resistance, his undead colleagues stumbled into the hallway behind him. Already leant against the right side of the staircase, he decided to stick with that direction and quickly situated himself in the centre of the corridor, well away from the masses of grabbing arms he envisioned reaching out of every doorway.
  97. As he walked swiftly, peering into every open door with the revolver at the ready, he grew more and more nervous about the complete lack of bodies. Nearly every surface had some amount of blood and bodily fluids smeared across it, with large pools of dried blood dotted around and thousands of hand and foot prints connecting them.
  98. With that much evidence of the horrors that took place, he was overcome with a growing expectancy that once he turned a corner, or passed a certain door, the entire student body would descend on him, laughing at his tiny weapon as they fought over which body parts to eat first. He stepped around a severed arm; it torn off at the elbow and completely covered in bite marks. He subconsciously pulled both his arms in closer.
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