Robed Man #2

Purple smog?

This city doesn’t surprise me much, but the students running from it seem a little…dangerous. I dropped my Pre-Calc book and stare out the window. It travels high, but tracing it down from the source it seems to be coming from…the science building? Strange.

It could be a weird RUSH event- it’s about that time, but that doesn’t explain the running. Maybe like a flash mob- there’s a lot of things going on the campus at a given time… The news will probably be here soon enough, vans rushing through the only entrance to the campus, blocking everybody trying to get out of the school campus.

Like Eva’s trying to do. This is when I heard the screaming.

I rush out my room, down the hall, sprinting towards to the door that leads outside, the one I was at just moments before. The Residence Assistant screams something, making this the second conversation we’ve had. The voice fades as my foot falls pound on the cement. It adds to the running of every other student fleeing.

The smog is worse, hanging low, causing the fleeing students to reappear when they leave it.  Sounds of sirens join it, screeching from deep within the buildings of Newark, slowly getting closer, louder. The parking lot clears out, but the line leading away from the campus is rigid, congested as cars near the end collide, blocking all traffic from leaving. The scattering on the grass knoll has gotten bigger, making everything real. The students on the grass, the ones who didn’t get to run, aren’t moving at all.

The focus on the blue Mazda sharpens, becoming the only thing the matters. Seeing the end of the blockage signals that the Mazda isn’t in the line. I search the parking lot, the line, the traffic outside the campus, the knoll, and all don’t have what I’m looking for. She’s gone? She made it out? I guess there’s nothing to worry about. All there’s left to wonder if what’s going on in the science building.

And why there’s a Blue Mazda sitting near the entrance of it?

The entrance doors are open wide, still spewing thick, purple clouds that obscure any vision from what’s inside. This is when the courage I always assumed was there, deep inside me would jump out, pulling me inside, prepared to handle whatever, looking to pull her out. I learn it pulls me away, yet my feet anchor into the ground. My shoes glued to the floor. I pull and pull, and when I finally bring up my knee, someone comes out.

 The figure stumbles forward, a red drool leaks from the figure’s mouth. He staggers, and looks at ahead, looking through me, and steps closer. I step back, itching away. The moan is low, guttural, and he recognizes that there’s a person in front of him. His last step stops him in his track, and falls, shaken when he lands. I look over to the knoll and see that it’s full. Most of the students- adults, lie there motionless, with red mixing in with the green and brown.

Coughing brings me back to the door, and two shadows move to the light. One person carries the other, straggling in a cradle of an arm wrapped above the neck. A streak of hair flap on one side of a woman’s head. The student falls, taking Eva with him, and she lands on top of him. She pushes herself up, looking at the boy she just saved. She presses her head on his chest, and immediately starts giving compressions.

She looks up at me. Her determination breaks as her mouth contorts, and she looks down, refocusing on the weight of her pressing in to the student’s chest.

I run to her. She’s 50 yards away, something I can close in no time, but legs are weak. My anointed frailty left me weak, but the remaining strength brings me close enough to see her shaking her head.

Don’t.

The message comes clear though I don’t understand it.

“Eva, what-“

Blood shoots from her cough, her chest heaving has she covers her mouth to prevent more from spreading in front of her. She wipes her mouth, then continues to pound on the student’s chest.

He breathes. He rolls to left. Eva rocks back undo her feet, sitting on them for balance, until she falls backwards.

“Eva!”

I’m jerked backwards, something pulling on my arm.

“Eva!”

I yank to get my arm free, but the grip on is too strong. I wriggle, screaming her name as an arm grabs me around my torso, and yanks me away from the scene.

“You gotta get back, or you’re going to end up everybody on that damn lawn.”

The hold vices around me, preventing me from swinging anything that could win me free. Her name is the only thing I hear. Her cold body is the only thing I see.