The Survivors

Glendora High School - Year 2020

Evening. The deserted campus of Glendora High School was gusting with Santa Ana wind, the air full of static and uncomfortably warm. Lingering quietly in the background of a wasteland was an empty parking lot of sulfur-encrusted cars and one charred school bus.

The fallout had wiped away all but the senior quad, after El Yousef’s sophomore chemistry class had unknowingly crafted a hydrogen acid tornado that had wiped away most of the school buildings and zapped the majority of the population of Glendora, Azusa and San Dimas to chemical ash. The acid had seeped into the soil, where combined with the radiation it had left the ground scarred and burnt. The cities outside had for the moment given up trying to force their way in after nearly two weeks, failing to penetrate the lethal bubble of mucus and sulfuric acid that formed a ring nearly 7 miles wide around the school. The walls were too thick to let anyone in or out.

You see, the complex anatomy of the human body meant that those who were sheltered by the blind spot of the storm in the senior quad had survived, but there was nothing to eat. So the remaining inhabitants of GHS grew twisted and hungry.

Very hungry.

After a week without food, when the last remaining slices of rotten cafeteria pizza had been gnawed to nonexistence, it became apparent that those who wished to survive would have to follow extreme measures. The effects of the radiation began to take their toll, as the chemicals from the blast began to alter the minds of the students. The last meeting amongst those who were left had but one purpose: to decide what would be done now that the food had run out. Any chance of a civil decision had deteriorated immediately after a red-eyed Joshua Rodriguez became the first to give in to the unbearable desire to eat, and lunged at Jessica Chiriboga, who easily escaped.

The hunt was on.

Friends turned on friends as the atmosphere poisoned the students' minds, and it became clear that it was every man for themselves. Tyler Cunningham was devoured by Anna Dykes. Olivia Cooper took to walking the halls at night, searching for anyone who was careless enough to fall asleep. Sarah Davis turned on Abby Moore, but was defeated.

And then there were the remaining faculty. Ms. Bell survived and formed a squadron of former English students who took sides against the rival party, Reigstad’s battalion of AP Research kids. Mrs. Fallon was a double agent, siding with Bell or Reigstad, depending on who supplied more food.

Mr. Lopez could be heard howling on the roof of the ceramics classroom every night. Mr. O’Neal, who had been passing through the senior quad when the tornado struck, was on the watch for anyone who dared trespass on his dumpster territory. Perhaps most terrifying was Mr. Hart, who frequently waited with his baseball bat by the drinking fountain, daring anyone to get a sip of water.

Quickly, the numbers grew sparser. Andrew Custodia got JJ Gonzalez, Mark Kugel fell victim to the tennis team, and Jett Valera was consumed by the remaining Journalism students. Morgan Hough was ambushed by Paulene Ng Chee, who was in turn ambushed by Sydney Lam. All of the Jakes fought until there were no more Jakes left.

At last, Cory Chen stood victorious, having crept up behind everyone when they least expected it, and escaping unscathed every time. The hallways were littered with the evidence of the fighting, and silence crept over the campus as the last few noises were wiped out with more wind. When the rescue team from Los Angeles finally broke through, fresh with resources and first aid kits for the potential survivors, there was nothing left. The students of Glendora High had vanished.

Rayna Martin is a senior at GHS and likes to read creepy Stephen King novels in her spare time. She is absolutely obsessed with mystery and fantasy, especially The Twilight Zone. Rayna would like to wish all seniors good luck on their fall applications and hopes everyone enjoys her story!

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