Z – Teens Chapter 2


Eyes widened, students and teachers froze in place. The screams seemed to echo all around them, surrounding them completely and closing in on them at the same time. But the most blood-chilling one came over the loudspeakers, its volume maximized to the fullest. It was the announcer, screaming and crying out for help. There were no other words to describe what they all heard over the speakers.

It sounded as if he was being torn apart, a wet and then cracking sound emanating from all the speakers. He also howled with pain, his voice hoarse and suffering. But his struggle wasn’t the only horrifying thing heard.

They could hear his attacker, or rather attackers by the sound of it. Feet shuffling and moaning was heard. Teeth gnawing, eating into something, similar to that at a Thanksgiving feast, but violent.

Students and teachers still stood frozen as the attack continued. It was only until the announcer’s screams finally stopped that they moved. Like a stampede of gazelle racing rampantly from a predator, but without the grace, they clumsily ran through the halls, knocking fellow students out of the way. Some, by the look of it, being trampled to death as they fell ground or to the bottom of the stairs. Kenzie was given no chance to react or help in any way, rapidly being shoved into the crowd.

She watched in shock as students and staff collapse down the stairs and listened to the screams resume. It wasn’t until she felt another, much harder, shove that she came back to her senses. Perhaps a second too late. Because she was falling, toward the same stairs she saw students she knew fall to their deaths.

She closed her eyes and tried to reach for the side bars, with no avail. It was at that moment she knew she had no desire to die, not like this.


She felt someone grab her by the collar of her shirt and pull her back to her feet. She recognized the voice as Tom’s, who had somehow found his way back to her through the crowd. She couldn’t believe he had saved her in such a situation.

Before she could thank him or say anything of the matter, he pulled her by the hand and took her away from the crowd as best he could. Most of the students and staff had already made their way down the stairs and allowed an easier passage back into the hallway.

One of her first thoughts was to follow him, but another came to mind. She looked for that familiar patch of green amongst the crowd. Somehow, Lulu was very close. Seemed she was lucky to have been in the back, because it left her farthest from the stairs and closer to where they ran. Her eyes were searching the crowds, scared, most likely for her.

“Lulu!” she called, reaching for her with her free hand. Her friend reacted instantly and held tight in return.

She followed closely behind and the three raced against the crowd, most of the traffic already down the stairs, dead or alive.

They reached an empty hallway in a matter of seconds. Although the screams could still be heard, they were suddenly less to the point that the silence became terrifying and nearly unbearable. However, Lulu’s voice suddenly broke the silence.

“What the hell just happened?! They’re dead! They’re all dead!”

She was clearly referring to the students that died at the accidental hands of their stampeding classmates.

“Lu, calm down. We’ll figure this out, but you’ve gotta calm d-”

“We’re all gonna die!” Lulu screamed over her attempts to calm her, panic emanating in her eyes. It was clear she was having a mental meltdown. “We’ve gotta get the heck outta here!”

“Lulu, we will, but we’ve gotta know what’s going on. Plus, I’ve got to find Mark. I can’t leave him here,” Kenzie said firmly, especially as Lulu shook her head in response. “I won’t leave him.”

“Can’t we just leave? You’re always saying what a nerd he is, so he’s either dead or already outta here,” she said, grasping her arm as if she could change her mind or drag her away by force. As if she’d let that happen.

Kenzie couldn’t help glaring at her, and held back the strong desire to slap her across the face. She grabbed Lulu by the forearms and stared into her eyes, still terrified and uneasy.

“Mark’s not dead. He’s fine and so will we. We’ve just gotta stay close, find Mark and then we can focus on getting out of here. Okay?”

Lulu had the same look as a deer in headlights, but gradually came back to herself. Kenzie let go of her when she gave the slightest nod of compliance. She quickly wrapped her arms around herself and once again resembled a little kid.

Kenzie wanted to hug her now, tell it was really going to be alright, but couldn’t. Now wasn’t the time for sentimentals or comfort. It was time for action, meaning finding her brother, anyone else who needs help and getting the hell out of this school.

Tom stood beside her and watched them in silence. Poor boy didn’t look like he knew what to do. She would’ve felt bad for him if she didn’t have a mission on her hands.

She clamped her hands together and stood tall. “First things first, we need weapons. We still don’t know what’s out there or what’s going on so we’ve gotta be ready for anything.”


Tom nodded his head as Lulu remained silent. “And I know just where to get some. I know where our coach keeps the keys to the team’s equipment. There should still be a couple bats left from our last game.”

“Sounds good. Let’s go.” She walked down the hall and stopped at Lulu, still clinging to herself. When she reached for her, Lulu backed away. She sighed sadly at the refusal. “We’ll get out of this, Lu. Just stay close.”

Lulu hardly responded to her words, but followed her and Tom anyway, silent.

As they descended further down the hallway, they could hear the shuffling of feet and strange groans. They stopped dead in their tracks.

Kenzie slowly looked around the corner leading to the next hallway to see a few lone students, swaying side to side, as if they were about to collapse. Their arms hung limp by their shoulders and they all looked awfully pale, like they were sick. Their clothes looked torn and stained as well. None of them had noticed her yet, still wandering the hall and unaware of her presence.

Part of Kenzie wanted to keep it that way. Something wasn’t right.

First the announcement. Then the screams. Now these students.

No way this was all a coincidence. It all had to be related somehow.

She came to her resolution and whispered over her shoulder, her voice low enough so that the ill students ahead couldn’t hear her. “We should turn back. This way’s blocked.”

She clarified her decision to answer Tom’s sudden confusion. He didn’t question her, simply nodding his head. Lulu said nothing at all, quiet as a mouse.

“Got that, Lu?” she asked directly, wanting some kind of vocal response from her.


“Lu?” she asked again, nervous now.

Still nothing.

Kenzie and Tom looked to each other then to the side, where Lulu should’ve been. Together, their sudden fears were confirmed. Kenzie saw no sign of that familiar patch of green.

The remaining hallway was completely empty, and their friend was nowhere to be seen.