Rain pelted on his face, as he ran. His legs hurt, his body screamed for him to stop, but he ran. He looked back, they were still pursuing, appearing like hungry wolves pursuing their prey. He faltered and fell, and the wolves pounced. Tearing at their fallen quarry, they laughed frantically as they shoved and pushed him around. He cringed with pain as the fists and the kicks landed left and right. Having had their fill with him, the wolves left. Pain seared through his body. Blood ran down his face. The scar throbbed. He let out a scream and then laughed maniacally.

Stanford High. I looked up at the fading crest. My old school. And fate had me back here. I glanced around. Things had changed. In much worse shape. The building looked in a bad shape; shards of broken windows lay on the ground, spray painted illusions covered a better part of the building. Students filed in the building in large numbers. A scrawny little kid ran past me with a book far more colossal than his own weight, and in bold letters written, “Advanced Chemistry”. He hadn’t made it too far when they appeared. Four big jocks came out of nowhere and surrounded him. The raucous started. They pushed him around, slapped him as other students quickly passed them, no one uttering a single word. Many of them watched, silently, some smirking, some cursing under their breath. But nobody intervened. I had a feeling they knew better than to disrupt them. With a one final shove, he fell to the ground, and the book was thrown right at him. Hitting him squarely in the face. The kid had a scar already. Blood seeped out. Nobody even budged to pick him up. I moved forward and held him by the arms and picked him up. He was muttering, “No more, no more, can’t take it anymore. “ He jerked his hand free and walked off. I watched him go.

The receptionist let out big yawn as I came up to her. Students filed the passageway behind me. The usual hustle-bustle of the school pulled me back to from my reminiscence. The receptionist still stared at me. “I have an appointment with Mr. Baker.”
“The principal’s office is that way”, came the curt reply.

I turned around to the crowd, my eyes darting around. A shadow creeping up behind the gym doors caught my eye. The shadow got bigger and bigger. In its hand there was something. Something familiar. Realization struck. During my time in the army stationed at Afghanistan, it was something which even a kid could be seen carrying in the streets. A god damn bloody AK-47, one of the most deadly weapons known to mankind. A school shootout. Bloody hell.

“Get down”, I managed to shout as I tackled a couple of students taking them down with me as the first shots rang out. Students shrieked and shouted as the floor of the antechamber was quickly covered with blood. Shots rang out again. More fell. Whoever this guy was, he was an amateur. He was just shooting right and left, I scanned around. He was still twenty feet away and the nearest door that I had was a good five feet away. We were still pinned down by bodies. I looked at the two besides me and put a finger to my mouth, they nodded. I glanced at the door and nodded at it. I knew we had to be swift enough to make it. The man with the hood was closing in. It was now or never. With a great heave I pulled the others to their feet, the gun man turned but he was slow.

We ran with all our might, the girls leading the front, me in the rear. Shots rang out from behind us. They dived for the door. A small thud but nothing happened. The door was locked from inside. Sitting ducks. Sitting ducks. And he came.

Thumping wildly on the door, the girls shouting with all their might for the people inside to open the door. I looked around again. The lockers on the either side made it impossible to find a hiding place plus that meant there was no other room on either side for another fifteen meters. The gunman closed in. Even for an amateur, brandishing a gun and hitting a human body was not hard. He aimed and the door opened ever so slightly, and a kick opened it wide enough to scramble through , but he had seen us. He fired. I threw one of them inside but the bastard was running and firing . Suddenly one of the girls got up and ran, ran for the other door, but it was too far away , he laughed fanatically again and fired, and the bullets ripped through her body , as she shuddered went limp. I had no choice but to turn inside. Outside more shots were heard, the hysterical laugh, and a scrawny voice cursed out “Die bitch, you whore, now see who’s laughing”. A chill ran down my spine.

I surveyed the room. Twenty frightened eyes looked back. They were screaming to me for help. I knew I had to help them. We were stuck in a laboratory. No windows nothing. Trapped. Again. The door was the only way in or out. There was a ventilator shaft. But there was no way I could get them up all of them up there and out of here. I had to take him out myself. The freak was still firing and cursing outside. But I couldn’t just walk in there. I needed a diversion. Something big. I scanned around. I saw sugar, potassium nitrate, and aluminium foil. I smiled to myself. Would do the job. Time to give the freak a dose of his own medicine. He had the advantage of surprise but now no more.

I got out; the smoke had started to fill up. The make do smoke bombs in the ventilator shafts were doing their job beautifully. The smoke was giving me enough cover to move without being noticed. The smoke was taking it’s time to spread around but it was good enough. Guns shots followed soon after and more screams. I ran through the smoke and blood filled corridors, slipping and falling but never ceasing. A flash of activity caught my eye. The hooded assassin had seen through my plan. He was trying to get into a corner. He saw me too. He aimed and fired. But there was nothing but a click. He had run out of ammo.

I ran with all my might and tackled him right off his feet. We crashed into a set of lockers. The gun hurtled off into the smoke. He tried to fight back but fall had knocked the breath out of him. I stood up and h holding him by the collar, forced him up. The hood fell back. The smoke was thick but even then I recognized the tear ridden face. It was the boy with the scar.

I stood watching as they took him away. The police sirens wailed aloud. Quivering students passed by me, to the warmth of their parent’s arms.

They would never have expected a reaction from him. Never expected him to fight back. Never expected him to stand up for himself. And when he did, all they could do was cover and run. But the human mind is a funny thing. Makes you do things that one cannot comprehend. Think over it the next time you put a finger on someone…..

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