Rest in Peace - An Apocalypse Short Story by Jason Trujillo

Ringing through the halls, the booming bell marked the beginning of another fourth period class. The night prior had been one of neglect, sloth, and, consequently, late night work for Tyler. So late at night, in fact, that he had risen for school not even an hour after he had descended into rest. Now, he fought, both tired and tirelessly, to stay awake.


Despite his best efforts, Tyler was startled to consciousness roughly forty minutes later through the sharp kicking of his desk from behind. His head flew skyward, lifting from a pool of slobber that had gathered on his desk, and gazed around worriedly. All students were flocking to their lab tables to begin an experiment.


At first, uncertainty in what was happening hindered the dazed boy from doing anything; though, the teacher’s glare from across the room sparked an even greater fear of punishment within him. Racing, in his mind and legs alike, he arrived at the table of chemicals and grabbed the closest things he could manage. Just as quickly, he returned to his provided beaker and began mixing everything in one, death-colored, potion. The teacher, typically relaxed, now bore a face of pure terror and sprinted as fast as she could for the boy, albeit a moment too late. The brew, already boiling over, was set into explosive action by a single of Tyler’s hairs falling in the container. Suddenly, a noise, louder even than the bell itself, erupted as a strange, gooey substance blasted from the container and sent everyone to the ground. For a time, all was still and calm in the midst of this chaos, the eye of a storm.


The victims of this explosion did not remain in shock for long, however, for moments later they all began to rise around Tyler. Still caught in his prior fear, he quickly tried to make amends to the students and teacher surrounding him, though they did not seem to be in the forgiving mood. Tyler figured as much would be true, though they hadn’t looked angry either. They simply stood there, staring at him. “How long has it been since they blinked?” he thought. A few, long seconds later, as if they could hear his suspicions, the mob charged him in unison.


Perhaps in a situation less outnumbered, Tyler would have stayed to fight; however, in this circumstance he much preferred flight. He burst into the courtyard outside and was surprised to see so many kids cutting class. Had he stopped running to study them, he would have noticed that they too were staring directly at him, unblinking.


He navigated his way through the spacious hallways and made for his home just across the usually busy road. As he crossed the street, mobs of people swarmed him on all sides but one and forced his retreat. He ran into the nearest class and summoned all his might to block the door with a large bookshelf. With haste, he backed into the farthest corner of the room and hunched over, catching his breath. Tyler didn’t know what he was going to do next, but at least he was safe.


However, in this short pause of celebration, a man dropped from the ceiling above. It wasn’t some ordinary man; it was Tyler’s history teacher! Tyler backed away in fright and begged him not to attack. It seemed, for a moment at least, as though the teacher had heard his plea as he turned around and started away. A sigh of relief escaped Tyler’s lungs, though it was taken in vain. With inhuman exuberance, the teacher lifted the bookshelf and allowed his rotting companions entry. Tyler thought rather quickly and grabbed the engraved baseball bat from the nearby wall. This time, he had no choice; it was time to fight.


The undead closed in all around him and he clutched even harder to his weapon of desperation, when… the bell sounded again. He rose his head slowly, and found himself at his lab station, surrounded by a load of random chemicals. Quickly, he pushed the chemicals away from himself, gladly took a zero on the assignment, and sprinted for his house across the street. For the next eight hours, he decided, he needed to rest in peace.


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