It All Comes Crashing Down

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about a post apocalyptic world. It was inspired by us being let out of school early due to the rooms flooding, as well as WAY to many hours playing half-life.

Submitted: February 20, 2012

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Submitted: February 20, 2012

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It All Comes Crashing Down

 

It was one of those strange, “know something’s going to happen...” days. We were all standing in the school cafeteria waiting for them to open the doors into the school. My ears were tuned in towards the suspicious looking circle of teachers gathered by the burnt bagel stand. 

“We’re getting off early!” A gleeful friend of mine screeched hopping up and down. 

“I doubt that..” I replied, looking dully at the clear sky. 

“Not for snow silly!” She giggled.

“Uh huh, very funny Sam.” I rolled my eyes, “There’s no way we’re going to have some random event leading to sweet sweet freedom.” 

“But Jesse...” I cut Sam off,

“Look, I don’t want you to keep talking about it, it’ll just make me want it more.”
“Fine, go ask the teachers for yourself.” She sighed.

“No! I’ll look like an idiot. If we’re getting out, they’ll tell us. Until then, just leave me alone.” I growled. 

“What if there’s a gas leak...” Sam stared at me wide-eyed.

“If there was a gas leak, they wouldn’t be standing around with all the students here letting everyone get poisoned.” 

“I wouldn’t put it past them...” Sam grinned. She was right though, they weren’t the smartest bunch. Everyone quieted down as the principal stood up on one of the lunch tables,

“Listen up! There are a few flooded rooms...” the hushed whispering began, “And the heating has stopped working. We’ll be sending you home soon...” 

“What do you think caused it?” Sam asked eagerly. 

“Probably just a clumsy janitor...” I said shrugging it off. 

“I’m just happy we’re getting out! This is awesome!” Sam squealed. 

“Me too!” I smiled. I could see the buses lining back up to take us home. I wondered how the elementary kids would get to school, they normally used our buses. We were lining up to go out to the row of vehicles when a loud noise interrupted our procession. The doorway crumbled, and a wave of water came with the ceiling. I grabbed Sam’s hand and tugged her away to the nearest room with a door, which happened to be the bathroom. I slammed the door shut and yelled,

“Toilet paper!” She seemed to know what I was getting at and started shoving the rolls under the door. The were quickly soaked. I didn’t know just how flooded it was out there, it could be just a thin coat on the floor, but I didn’t want to take the chance. We had to get out of here... I turned to scream at Sam for turning the faucets on, but realized they had been on since we’d come in, and were starting to overflow. I tried to pull out the drainage plug, but it was pretty stuck in there. I tugged at the handles, but they wouldn’t budge either. I started throwing more toilet paper into the sinks, hoping they’d absorb the water. We were running out though. The barrier under the door was dissolving, and water rushed through. I thrashed about in the water trying to figure out what to do. Sam was trying to block the water with herself, not working so well. She was drenched. Let’s see, it was about 15 degrees out, we were both sopping wet, and the heat was out. As the water filled the room, and we could barely keep our heads above the liquid, I motioned towards Sam. I swam down and started pushing at the door, it wasn’t opening. Sam started punching the wood, and managed to open it a crack. We swam back up for another breath of air and I grabbed the toilet plunger. I shoved it into the crack and Sam and I finally opened it enough for us to squeeze out of. We swam out into the cafeteria. The whole room was flooded, tables were floating, but I didn’t see anybody. They couldn’t have just disappeared... I scanned the room, searching for a doorway that wasn’t caved in. I saw a hole in the wall and a shoe floating beside it. That must be where everyone had gone. We came through the other side, and I breathed in deep. We crawled up, drenched, into a room on the second floor. It was a little wet, but it wasn’t flooded. I could hear Sam’s heavy breathing, it was comforting, to know at least someone was alive. It didn’t sound like Sam’s breathing though, to masculine. I was careful to breathe as quietly as possible as I glanced back without moving my head. It was a man, and he didn’t seem... sane. He was growling and frothy at the mouth. The biology lab! I grimaced. They’d been working with diseases, mutations of rabies. This was just great. It had somehow spread to the lab rats and he’d been bitten, and I’d be next. I slowly felt around in the damp darkness for a weapon of some sort. I didn't quite know why it was dark, but that was the least of my worries. My hand grazed over something that felt metal, and I slowly picked it up. I identified it as a desk leg. I slowly turned towards him, wincing as I recognized one of my teachers. I didn’t want to bash his brains in if he just had a cold... 

“Hello sir...” I whispered. My voice caught in my throat as I was met with an array of gurgling and hissing. He came towards me, growling. I hit his head, hard. I began crying, not sure why as he would have died anyways. We were all going to die... 

“Sam?” I called out quietly. 

“Yeah...?” Her frightened reply echoed through the dark room.

“Do you have any idea where we are?” 

“Yeah. We’re in the social studies wing.” She answered quietly. 

“Come on. It’s freezing in here, there are lockers just down the hall, we can probably get some coats.” 

“Yeah...” Sam’s voice squeaked. We began crawling towards the exit, but before we could get out, that doorway collapsed too. I sighed, lousy builders. People often say that in life threatening situations, the best tool is humor. I was starting to see why. 

“Jesse!” Sam called. 

“Yeah?” I replied, walking towards here voice. 

“We could climb through this vent.” She whispered.

“Good idea.” I said, whacking apart the grill with my desk leg. We crawled into the tight metal shaft, it was pitch black. They must have lied about the heating being out though, it was insanely hot. My hands were starting to steam from touching the scalding metal. Suddenly I could see, the metal was giving off red light and I had my hands covered by my damp sleeves. I slid along on my knees as fast as I could. We finally fell out of the shafts in the boiler room. I pressed my blistering hands against my damp shoulders. Sam was doing the same, her hands a bit more burnt. I focused my attention on the water heater, it was on overload, someone had stuck the lever to the highest setting, and then broken it off. Most likely some rabid teacher or student. It was strange how easily that thought entered my mind. I wondered if we were the only two left who hadn’t been infected. I didn’t have time to think about that though. 

“Come on, we need to get a move on, maybe we can find a window somewhere.” I suggested. Sam nodded. We set off towards what was left of a hallway. The overhead lights flickered. I tried not to look down at the thick brown and crimson sludge we were walking through. I also tried my best to ignore the limbs sticking out from under the piles of rubble. We trekked on, finally reaching a room that had an open doorway. Sam immediately set up a wall of desks in the door way. To keep out rabids and to keep the door from collapsing. I realized we were in the JROTC room. Quickly I scouted out the wall of guns protected by, now broken, glass. I grabbed two of the largest models, a few pistols, and ammo. I was a bit scared seeing how dangerous this room was. Even now, potentially. I needed a way to keep the rabids from getting the guns we left. I grimly decided that we’d be needing them all. I yanked off my coat, it wasn’t as cold as I’d expected. Then again, the boiler room... I shoved all the guns and ammo into my coat and tied off the top with a scarf. Sam stood wide eyed at the door, pointing to a group of... people?

“Hello?” I called out. They moaned back, and walked in a way no human ever should. I shivered, I’d never fired a gun before. I threw one to Sam and she propped it on the pile of desks. I kneeled beside her, hyperventilating. I took aim... blaaalmachkkkocblmaaaaaaaaakkkkkckkkkmbaaaaammnckamkkkkkk

The air was filled with bullets. When the dust we’d stirred up cleared I saw that we’d.... killed... all of them. I’d like to say I didn’t feel guilty, but that would be lying. Even knowing it was us or them, I still felt as though we should have found another way. I grabbed her arm as she finished filled her pockets with the pistols and handguns I’d left for her. I gently took my coat sleeves out of the bag form, and tied it around my waist. I didn’t really want to go anywhere else, this was the safest place in the school.

“You know, we don’t have to leave yet...” Sam started. We both knew we did though. If we stayed any longer, it was likely the rabids would all find us, staying in one place would not work out. We shoved the desks away and ran out into an apocalyptic scene. There was plasterboard covered in blood and bullet holes, crumbled doorways, water soaking the crushed walls pieces... I was careful to walk over the bodies of the fallen. I held my breath as we walked along the wall, I know it’s only superstition to do that, but what if the altered rabies spread through the air? I was going to instruct Sam to do the same, but she was already covering her face with her shirt. I closed my eyes, taking deep controlled breaths, I didn’t how long I’d be able to stay sane in this hellhole. Sam let out a quiet gasp, and I took it for a warning. I pulled out my gun, adrenaline surging through my veins. I gently placed my hand on the corner and peeked around the bend to see what was coming. Rabids. Sam was leaned against the wall behind me. I pressed my back against the wall and slid down beside her. I re-loaded my gun and stood up, still pressed against the damp wall. I held my finger on the cold metal trigger and gulped. I quickly slid out into the hallway and began shooting. 

“Cover me! I’m going to try and see if there’s a way out over here! I see light.” This was one of the few places where all traces of light hadn’t been blocked out by the fallen walls. I ran through the masses, occasionally hitting some rabids with my desk leg. I finally reached the light. 

“Damn it! It’s just a lamp!” I called back to Sam. I got down low to the floor and started shooting rabids on my way back over. 

“Sam? Sam, you doing okay over there?” I was starting to get worried. 

“Yeah? Sorry!” I could hear pain in her voice.

“Did you get bitten?” I asked cautiously, standing amongst the piles of dead people. 

“No, no. Just dropped a gun on my foot, and it fired.” She grimaced. I rushed over and took a look at the wound. 

“It looks like you’ll be okay...”

“Sure doesn’t feel like it...” 

“I don’t know if I should take the bullet out, it might get infected.” I said, sympathetically.

“Just do it!” Sam cried. I tugged at the half of the bullet sticking out of her flesh. I then yanked as hard as I could. She drew back, but then seemed to relax. I took a bottle  of hand sanitizer from the pocket of my blood stained jeans and poured a few drops onto her wound. I then pulled off my blouse and wrapped it around her foot. It wasn’t warm enough yet for me to be very comfortable in  cammi, but I’d have to manage. We walked on, it may seem like we were being brave, but we were just trying to survive. 

“We should get to the tech ed rooms, they might have gas masks in there.” Sam suggested. 

“Good  idea.” I agreed. We tried to figure out where that might  be, but had no idea how to get there without going through the cafeteria. Maybe we didn’t need to go THAT bad... I knew we did though. If the illness was airborne, we needed protection. Besides, the water should be warm now. Well, warmer at least. We made our way back to where we’d first come from the cafeteria, surprise surprise, it was blocked by a fallen wall. We walked, and limped, around, searching for an entrance that lead to the cafeteria. When we finally did, I hardly recognized the place. Everything had... melted. Yes, the water was definitely warmer. I watched it boil, filling the room with steam. The only good thing about it was, nothing could have survived the water. Problem was, we couldn’t exactly survive it either. I took my shoe off and experimentally poked the boiling mess. I quickly dropped the shoe into the water as it was consumed by the bubbling liquid. I started to reconsider my guess of it being water. It was probably water mixed with acid it had accumulated as it surged through the science wing. We stood on an old light held by a few wires. It dangled a few feet above the death pit. I was starting to feel exhausted from the waves of heat that distorted everything in sight. I half shut my eyes, feeling as though they’d burn out of their sockets. Sweat was already soaking my cammi. I felt like I was in an oven, a giant oven. The fact that it was the cafeteria didn’t help. I saw other lights and couldn’t help feeling like it would be possible to jump from light to light. If we made it across, we could go down the stairs on the other side and make it to the tech ed room. Along with gas masks, there was an emergency earthquake escape exit. That should be reenforced enough to withstand whatever hell was tearing this place apart. I voiced my idea to Sam, who just laughed and pointed at her foot. 

“You can go, I’ll find some other way.” As though the universe was laughing at her statement, a tremendous rumble filled our ears and the way we’d come was blocked off by rubble. 

“It might be easier if we can get the light swinging, then jump off when we’re closest to the other one.” I suggested. Sam nodded grimly. It wasn’t going to be easy no matter what we did. I grabbed onto one of the wires on the corner of the light and it began to sway. Sam grasped the ridges on the lamp, kneeling, preparing to jump. My muscles tensed as I squeezed the wire one last time, then leapt onto the next lamp. I landed on my knees, immediately grabbing the wire. I started this one swaying as well, trying to get it closer to Sam’s light. She grabbed onto the wire of my lamp and pulled herself over. We both sat on the lamp, panting, and smiling.

“We made it!” I said gleefully. Sam was quick to point out that we still had three more lights to jump across. I sighed, bringing my fingers to the edge of the tear ducts of my closed eyes. I crawled to the far side of the metal lamp top and tugged at the wire. Another jump, still safe. Two more lamps to go. The heat was beginning to make my hair frizz, not that I cared, I was just worried about how long it would take for my skin to lose all its moisture. We made the next jump, a little shaky, but we were still alive. I jumped to the last light, my heart pounding against my ribcage. I waited for Sam to cross. Okay, now we just had to make it to the floor on the other side. I swung the lamp, and jumped. I could feel my heart skip a beat as I fell short. I screamed, Sam screamed. I grabbed onto the floor, but it was wet, with blood. I couldn’t pull myself up, I could barely hold on. I heard creaking behind me, the I felt flesh touch mine. I almost cried out, but realized it was Sam. She’d made it across. She yanked me up, then pulled me into a sheltered area. I heard a loud splash, when we came out of hiding, the light was sinking in the acid, well, more dissolving really. I shivered realizing that could have been us. We began to move towards the stairwell. I pulled out my gun, prepared for whatever mob of the damned we’d encounter next. Sam held her gun sideways beside her face as she edged along the wall. I opened the door, as quietly as possible. I ran in quickly, then pressed myself against the wall and listened. I couldn’t hear footsteps, but that didn’t mean anything. We slowly made our way down the blood covered stairs. I began to wonder where all the blood was coming from, who had died here? And where were their bodies? Did that mean there were other people trying to escape? We weren’t the only people still sane? Or were the rabids killing each other, and eating the bodies... my stomach lurched at the thought. We reached the bottom of the stairs. I heard voices. The people spoke in sentences, beautiful comprehendible sentences. I almost screamed in pleasure. We were free, the police had come to rescue us! I rushed towards the voices, Sam followed. I really hoped I hadn’t just lost my mind and the thought, the necessity of rescue had become a reality in my new world. We reached the source of the voices. A man in a thick, white, rubber suit, mask covering his head, boots, no exposed skin. This wasn’t a rescue team, he was here to keep the epidemic from spreading. We needed to convince him that we weren’t infected. 

“Sir! Sir! We need to get out of here, everyone is crazy, and we’ve been searching for a way out for hours.” I said as civilly as I possibly could. The man looked at me. I heard his breath filling the mask, saw his eyes looking at me, then Sam. I saw his eyes stop at the gun I held tightly. 

“Sir, we don’t mean to harm you, we’ve had to protect ourselves from the rabids.” I saw his gaze move on, resting on the makeshift bandage around Sam’s foot. 

“It’s not a bite wound. She dropped a gun and it fired on her foot.” He looked skeptical.

“I promise you sir. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind showing you.” Sam bent over quickly, pulling the shirt off her foot. She pointed to the single large hole in her foot, then rewrapped the wound. The man looked satisfied and motioned us to follow him. We walked cautiously behind him, ready to fire should the need arise. My senses were on full alert, my eyes shifting back and forth. My mind raced, thinking of possible escape routes, should he betray us. It may have been paranoid, but I did want to leave with my life. If that meant a few traitors had to die... I didn’t want to kill anyone. The rabids were different, they weren’t quite human anymore.The man called to some people in the next room. He closed the door, then took off his mask. 

“Sorry to scare you, we have to be careful about who we let in here. You two seem to be the only sane people around here. It’s hard to tell who just snapped, and who’s actually infected. You seem to be doing pretty well.” 

“Thanks, but I wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to last out there, it’s just mad.” The man nodded in agreement. Sam stood by the door, her gun aimed. 

“I hear somebody banging on the door.” She said quietly, her eyes narrowed. 

“It’s fine, they can’t get in here. We’ve sealed it off.” Sam relaxed a little. She walked over to us, but kept her gun tightly in her grip. 

“You probably think we’re trying to contain the virus to this one building. I wish we were. The truth is, it’s already spread all over the country. There’s no stopping it now. We’re trying of course, but it’s not going to be long before the whole world’s in pandemonium. We’re trying to group all the healthy people together and start a new society underground.” 

“But, it’s only been a few hours!” Sam and I yelled at the same time. 

“In here, yes. The explosion caused a time loop and you’ve been doing the same things over and over. We’re back to normal time now. It’s been months since the epidemic started.” Sam and I looked at each other. This was a little much to handle. 

“So, you’re saying it’s been months since this morning?” Sam asked.

“Yes. The loops were spontaneous and some things you might have done once, others you may have done hundreds of times. Oh! There’s the alarm! Okay, we’ve got to move. They’ve found some others.” 

“Where?” I asked.

“According to the code, somewhere down in... oh bless the poor souls. They’re in city 23 on street 6.” 

“What’s that mean?” Sam asked before I had the chance. 

“Well, that’s where the rabids found guns. Pure chaos down there.” He grimaced.

“Do you know what caused the building to collapse?” I asked.

“Buildings. No, we’re working on that though. So far all we’ve gathered is that there was an explosion somewhere underground. The fact that this place was flooded didn’t help you out either. Buildings all over have been falling apart, there have been countless explosions.”

“That doesn’t sound good.” Sam frowned. 

“So, let’s go. You have enough amo?” He asked.

“Yeah, plenty.” I replied, motioning to my bulky coat. He nodded, and we set off. I thought the school was bad, but just one look at the outside world made me wince. There were rabids everywhere, fires that no one had the time to put out, rubble, dust, blood, soldiers with guns... We sprinted to the closest building. 

“Okay, we’re going to take the train.” the man said as he pushed a button. The platform we were on started to sink down into the earth. I got my gun ready.

“Don’t worry, there shouldn’t be any rabids down here.” 

“Yeah, shouldn’t be. None of this should be happening.” I shot back. We got off the elevator and I looked around at all the people. Most everyone was dressed in black, and most people were wearing hats. The lights flickered on and off, but nobody else seemed to notice.The train slid into the station. A few people got off, but most of them stayed. The man began to walk towards the train, I nudged Sam and we ran after him. 

“So, we’re going to that one city?” I asked.

“Yes. I’d like to get the two of you someplace safe, but under the current circumstances, that’s next to impossible.” We boarded, and the train lurched forward. I gripped the pole closest to me. 

“How long will the ride be?” Sam questioned.

“Depends on how many stops we have. I’d say at most probably around twenty minutes.” I sat back into the red leather seat and watched the lights on the walls flash by. I must have drifted off, when I woke up Sam was staring at my face,

“What the hell Sam!” I rubbed my eyes and stretched a bit. “Where are we?” 

“We’re in the city.” She replied.

“Why...” I drifted off as I felt my heavy coat on my hips. Right. We were killing the rabids. 

“Where’s that guy?” I asked.

“Oh, he’s just getting off now. Come on!” She tugged my arm. I ran after her, dodging the people waiting to board.

“Do you have your gun ready?” 

“Yeah.” Sam replied, turning off the safety as we reached the top of the trash filled stairway. I quickly took my hand off the slick metal railing, sticking out my tongue and rubbing my crimson stained hand off on my jeans. This city looked even worse than the last. Bullet holes filled every window, and I had to watch my step as to not slip on the blood coating every inch of the sidewalk. 

“Do you think we’ll find our families?” I asked as we caught up with the man.

“I doubt it. It’s been months. They probably thought you had died, and evacuated the city with the rest of the population.” 

“I don’t think they would leave without...” I started,

“Look, when I say months, you probably think I mean three or four months. I mean, it’s been more like ten or eleven months.”

“Why didn’t anyone come get us before?” Sam asked, rightfully angered.

“We didn’t think anyone had survived that collapse. Or the acid, or had escaped the infection.” I still glared at him, they could have at least checked. Though it looked like they had a lot on their hands right now. 

“How are the laws...” I asked.

“What laws?” The man laughed. “Society as you know it collapsed a few months ago. They’d tried to keep some laws in place. I think it really started falling apart when they couldn’t get guns registered fast enough. Eventually people started breaking into stores and taking guns. It’s just survival.” I nodded, grateful that we’d at least had weapons. Even if we had been in a time loop for almost a year. 

“Look out!” The man shouted as he ducked behind a car and started shooting, we followed his lead. I saw about fifteen rabids coming towards us, they had guns. 

“Cover me! I see the survivors!” he shouted as he ran from pile of rubble to pile of rubble. Sam and I ducked behind the car and shot through the windows. Luckily the rabids weren’t the best shots. We took them out fairly quickly, then ran after the man. We found the survivors huddled in a large van. 

“Come on, we’ll take you to the train station.” He said, already running off towards the station. We followed, the group right behind us. 

“Rabids!” Sam shouted. I ducked behind a car and began shooting. There were too many, and I sprinted off towards the stairs, the man was motioning us in, and calling to the survivors to hurry up. He then slammed the metal door before the rabids could come in. We all leaned against the walls panting. 

“Alright. We give this choice to everyone we rescue. You can either evacuate, or stay and help with the rescue team. We can’t promise evacuation will be that safe, the disease is spreading. We need people with bravery and good aim.” Sam looked at me, and I her. Our families were either here or long gone. We had pretty good aim, and were familiar with the rabids. 

“I’ll stay!” I said, raising my hand.

“Me too!” Sam nodded. I waited for the comment that we were too young. He just nodded, then looked towards the rescued group. Two of the five wanted to stay. One was a young man, the other a middle aged woman. They didn’t have any weapons, so I reached into my coat and pulled out some amo and guns. 

“Okay, you four can stay with me, we’ll be patrolling this city until everyone’s found or killed. You three, the next train comes in about 20 minutes.” He motioned us to follow him, and we walked back towards the exit. We ran out into the bloody streets and took aim. Everywhere I looked, there were people shooting the rabids. I guess it hadn’t quite sunk in. There were no laws, no structure. This hit me hard as I saw a young, maybe seven year old girl, surrounded by fire, standing on a collapsed rooftop, rife in hand, shooting the rabids. Tears filled my eyes, and reality came crashing down. This was life now.


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