Friday, 4 November 2016

"Now..." an excerpt

It was over in... minutes. The only reason I know was I looked at the clock at the back of the hall at the beginning and at the end. It's stuck in my mind: 10.33 at the start.

The lecture was started, under way. I was awake, but I could see a few were dropping off. It had been a large one the night before. Other people I know, friends skipped class. They were lucky.

The door at the back clacked shut, closed, a few of us turned to look; that's when I got that glimpse of the clock, at the back of the room. It was Jimmy who was late. The lecturer, Mr Hendrick stopped, he stopped speaking, I think. We all knew Jimmy. He was top of the group. It was a bit of a surprise to see him late, but still. He said something like:

Don't mind me.”

And Mr Hendrick got back on with the class. It was all fine. Thinking about it now I can remember hearing this clicking and clacking behind my head, which was Jimmy... setting up. I, uh... I, like, didn't give it a thought though, why would you? Like, seconds later I saw Mr Hendrick stop. He looked up and said:


And then there was these two zaps, real quick. First his chest, then his head blew open. It seemed to be happening in slow motion. It wasn't real, it was... astonishing. I'll never forget it.

I turned in this slow arc. I could see Jimmy with this gun, this huge gun in his hands and an incredible, inflamed look on his face. Then he just started letting off rounds, everywhere. I crouched down as low as I could. I don't know how any of it missed me. There were bits of wood and metal and glass flying everywhere.

After a few seconds there was a pause. I could see Jimmy through a gap in one of the seats. There was a few dozen people in the room, across different rows. Jimmy started looking along the rows, methodically, for survivors. He found one woman, zap, dead, he finished her off. There was not much screaming or crying, I remember, I don't know why. It was very strange.

This happened a few times. It was so quiet and methodical and slow. A couple of people bolted. They must have been trying to get to the front door. Jimmy cut them down. Calm. They didn't stand a chance. One guy used the distraction. He leapt up and tried to wrest Jimmy's gun away, grab it, take it away. He almost managed it too. Guthrie, yes, that was his name. I knew him a bit, see. They sort of wrestled. Then Guthrie got shot in the chest. He fell like a doll.

I figured we were all dead. I sort of thought it without thinking, if you know what I mean…? Unless... I saw... I was down the front of the room. There was a fire exit not far from the lecturn. I tried creeping toward it, the exit, while this all was going on. I got to the point where I had to make a run for it because there was a gap, the last five or so metres and I almost got to the door when I felt this pop, this bursting sensation in my right knee and just collapsed. It was like my legs had disappeared.

I was on my front. I couldn't get up but I could see Jimmy approaching out the corner of my eye. I don't know how I felt. It was all so strange, so slow. My heart was going, blood pounding. My head, I couldn't think. I had no thoughts anymore. Then there was this click. I closed my eyes... But then I heard this voice. It was a man's voice, coming from the back of the room. He said:

That'll do Jimmy.”

I couldn't see. I felt like I was going to black out. Then Jimmy said, “I understand.”

Then there was another zap. I was still alive, but when I turned round Johnny was dead: 10.36 at the end. Then the pain hit and I blacked out.

[note: the picture is from here.]

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