The End: Story Two
Lured Inside

By: David K. Montoya

As I stepped from the bus, my rage from the confrontation with the Unlucky had finally subsided and I was able to think more clearly. I should have known that the keys would not be in the bus; they were more than likely somewhere inside the school. I needed to figure out where they could be. Standing outside the vehicle in the rain, I studied the brick building in front of me for some time before deciding that we were going to have to look for the keys if we wanted to get out of this city alive. Then I realized that the Professor would know where something like that would be kept; he said that he had worked in a school for several years before the outbreak of the sickness. I knew I needed to go back inside where the others were before any other unwanted company could appear.

As I walked into the school I saw the others were still waiting for me in the front lobby. I went up to them and said that we needed to find the keys, but other than that, the bus looked to be in great condition.

Rose asked me where we would find the keys; I told her that I was hoping the Professor would be able to answer that question for all of us. He said there was usually a set of master keys kept in the Principle's office, and even though he wasn't certain that they would have a key for the bus, he was still hopeful, since it appeared the school used to be a private institution.

The Professor suggested that we split up, so that we would be able to cover more ground. He said he and Rose would go to the east wing and search there. I told Michael that Richard and I would cover the west wing of the building and for him and Renee to cover the center section.

We all went to our assigned part of the school building. Richard and I had just walked into the west wing when he asked me what the matter was; why had I chosen to partner up with him instead of anyone else?

I told him that something was happening to me; it felt like I was losing control. My brother said he understood—that was the same feeling he had right before taking the cure. There was a long pause afterward, but we continued to walk down the corridor of the west wing.

Finally Rich spoke, apologizing about his actions earlier, swearing that it was the sickness that caused him to become crazed. I cut him off in the middle of his sentence, telling him that if I were to become like that to kill me. There was another moment of silence between us before Richard agreed.

He tried to talk about what happened earlier, and Maria's death, but I would have none of it. I told him that he was a murderer and just to be thankful that a second chance was given. Finally, I told him that the reason I brought him along with me was because there were matters to be discussed. I wanted to know from him that if I were to die before reaching Haven, would he be strong enough to take the lead and get everyone there safely? Before answering my question, Richard asked me if I thought that I would not make it there alive.

I told him that it did not matter; all I wanted from him was to get our family to Haven in one piece.

Richard eventually agreed. He knew Michael was my first choice, but understood that my son was still too young to take that much responsibility on.

We exited from the corridor into the main body of the west wing. There were several worn down doors which lined the weather–stained walls. Walking through light that came in through a window, I saw that the area the two of us were in had suffered from water damage. I looked above me and saw that the rain from the outside was getting in and rolling down the already slime covered walls. We walked toward a set of stairs that led down to the next level. By the time we reached the last step both of us were standing in at least several inches of water.

We slowly moved downward; it was becoming more difficult to see as there were fewer windows in that part of the wing. Richard noticed a light from up ahead. I figured it was coming from the outside like before, but he said it looked as if the lights were on in that part of the school.

Rich and I both walked faster through the water filled hall until, reaching the origin of the light, we found a staircase that was lit by an old set of neon lights. I saw that the stairs led in both up and down directions.

I told Rich that he should take the top stairs and I would use the other set. My brother seemed almost pleased that I made that statement—I had not realize he was so uncomfortable being around me.

Within a matter of moments he had raced upstairs and disappeared from my view without once looking back. I was not so ambitious as my brother; I slowly made my way down the steps. The smell of mildew and rot was much stronger down here, and like up stairs, everything was flooded. It was almost impossible to see as there was only one small window that gave off very little light. I noticed that a huge furnace was in the middle of the room and realized I was down in the boiler room.

I decided not to stick around but to head back upstairs, and was only a few feet from the steps when I heard something which caused me to freeze dead in my tracks. I stood there for a moment and heard the sound again. It was the sound of several hisses; I had heard the same type of hissing back at the Hoover Dam. The sound was made by many baby Unluckys. I tried to slowly make my way to the staircase but was stopped by a deep growl from right behind me.

I spun around, firing a couple of shots blindly into the darkness. I heard the Unlucky shuffling through the water so I decided to fire off a few more rounds, but I quickly realized that was not a wise idea, as I had just wasted five bullets without hitting a damned thing!

Before I could make my way back to the staircase I was blind sided by the creature! I found myself completely submerged beneath the murky water and lost my gun. Quickly I got back to my feet; I tried to feel around in the muck for my weapon, but was unable to find it before the creature made another attack on me. I did the only thing that made any sense—avoid the demon and try to get back to the staircase. But that would be easier said than done since I was suddenly knocked to the other side of the room.

The Unlucky made several more attempts to attack me, but I was able to step out of harm's way with each try. I worked my way over to the wall across from the stairs, but the creature had disappeared!

I saw no reason to stay around waiting for it reappear and make another try on my life, so I made a run for it! Halfway across the room the Unlucky came out from behind a set of steel framed cabinets and caught me by surprise. We slammed up against the algae covered wall as it tried to bite at me face. I held it by the neck, trying to hold the creature away from me. I scanned the surrounding area, searching for something that could be used as a weapon against the monster. Then I saw that right next to the entryway was an old storage unit for a fire extinguisher. If the extinguisher was still inside, it could be used as a bludgeon!

I shoved the monster away from me and went for the extinguisher. I was surprised at what I saw; it was not a fire extinguisher but instead, behind the glass was a fire axe! Without hesitation I drove my fist through the thin glass barrier and snatched up the axe, swinging it wildly in the beast's direction.

I embedded the blade of the axe into the demon's skull, splitting it in two at the center of his forehead. The beast's poisoned blood erupted from the wound, spraying everything in front of the creature with its dark tarry substance.

The beast finally fell lifeless into the shallow water. I reached over, grabbed the axe by the handle and jerked it from the Unlucky's head. I knew that we needed weapons that could be reused time and time again. Before leaving I searched for my shotgun. In the end, it was found lodged in the steel frame that seemed to run throughout the room.

With both weapons in hand I made my way back up the stairs to find my brother Richard.

#

After taking the stairs to the upper level, I found myself standing in the dorm area of the school. It was even more difficult to see than before, since there was no source of light to be found. I called out to my brother a couple of times before I heard him respond. He was farther down the hall. I found him trying to bust down a locked door.

Looking at the door, I could make out the words " Dean of Students " carved into the wood. I asked Richard why he was trying to get into that particular room. He explained that he thought there might be an extra set of keys in there, or a map of the building at the very least.

Without another word being said I took the fire axe and slammed the blade into the thin wooden door. With each stroke fragments fell away allowing the light from the other side to shine through. After the fourth swing, I told Richard to ram the door once more, and this time he crashed right through!

Slowly, I entered the room; it was completely lit from outside, which gave the area a bluish tint. Like everything else in the school, all of the contents were waterlogged and quickly found to be unusable. Before we walked out of the room, I gave a quick glance out the window and saw the crowd of Unluckys had made their way out of the downtown park and were now standing in front of the school.

But they did not try to get into the school. The demons just stood there looking up at the main entrance. Although I had a strong feeling that would soon change, we would hopefully be in the bus before they made their stand against us, but only time would tell.

To be continued…

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