“Ok class, who can tell me what 9 plus 7 is?”
Hands shot in the air, fingers dancing enthusiastically. Twenty-three eyes stared anxiously waiting none too patiently to be called on. I smiled at their antics, watching some tick numbers off their hands, while others bounced in seats thrusting scrawny arms up again and again.
An ear-piercing sound rent the atmosphere, doubling me over to grasp my head in agony. Panicked, I jammed fingers in my ears, pulling up my head seeing how the children were fairing. Worry slithered down my spine snaking around my stomach as horror dawned on me. Every child had fallen from their seats, unconscious with narrow streams of blood dripping from their ears. I rushed to the closest, a brunette wearing a butterfly dress with sparkly shoes, putting two fingers to her jugular checking her pulse. Other than a slight elevation, her heart was beating a healthy rhythm.
The sound came to an abrupt halt, the eerie silence sending goosebumps down my arms. The kids’ eyes popped open; each one stood robotically grabbing the nearest writing utensil. Starring forward with sightless eyes, they began to draw on any surface available. If I wasn’t freaked out enough, the synchronicity of their movements along with the lack of facial expressions pushed me to my breaking point. I’d cracked. This couldn’t be real. I reached over to pinch my arm. Youch! Ok, real. This is real. Terror slapped me in the face. What to do, what am I supposed to do? All the years of schooling never prepared me for this.
Looking around, I noticed that every picture drawn was the exact same. They were drawing a blackened sky, with every star plummeting to earth. What the hell? I walked up to one little boy, Charlie, an eight year old who was my favorite teacher’s pet, and stood in front of him. He acted as if he couldn’t even see me, sending my fear to defcon level 5. I wrapped my hands around his toothpick arms gently shaking him, all to no avail. He had a black ink pen gripped tightly in his fist, and reached forward drawing on my shirt.
I misjudged the strength of his tiny body when the tip of the pen pierced my skin. I shrieked in pain immediately jumping back. He turned, resuming drawing on the desk next to him. I had no other choice but to wait while they finished their artwork, which looked suspiciously like the end of the world. I didn’t know if this was some kind of prophecy or if I’d lost touch with reality, but I was seriously not coping with the situation around me.
As one, each kid dropped their pens and pencils, faced forward starring at nothing, and spoke in unison, “They are coming, they are coming, they are coming.” They kept repeating it. I tilted to the side, my eyes clouding over. The last thing I remembered was the creepy look on all their faces.