“Hey, Ms. Ye I’m done for the evening.” The young Asian woman nods “Thank you, Mr. Smith ….” The black man’s bald head seems to hang in the space between the classroom’s partially open door. “No problem I’ll be waiting by the door down in the east hallway to walk you to your car?” She reaches for the silver forearm crutches propped against her desk. The crutches were as much a part of her glasses were. She had used them since she was a child thanks to a genetic birth defect “I would appreciate that very much” She responds. With that, the man disappears from the door. The sound of his massive engineer’s key ring echoes down the deserted hallway. The sound of his keys reminded her of sleigh bells at Christmas. She is vaguely aware of the noise bouncing off the shatterproof opaque windows of the school building. “There are sure a lot of sirens tonight.” She thinks to herself that it is not out of the ordinary for this part of town. Fawn was miffed at herself for staying at work so late again. She slides her forearms into the cuffs with ease. As her hands grasp the black handles, she hears a scream carry down the hall to her ears. A horrible and hollow sound. The echo cascading down the hallway towards her. “Mr. Smith” She calls out struggling to her feet. Fawn wrestles the door to her classroom open. Down at the end of the hall in a cone of light, she can see the engineer laying on the white tiled floor. A figure kneels over him their face down near him. She assumes giving first aid to the engineer.
She hobbles towards figures on her feeble legs the crutches supporting most of her weight. A rhythmic clapping of the crutches on the weathered tile floor. Signals her approach. “Mr. Smith” She fumbles breathlessly nearing the scene. Blood pools underneath the figure hunched above the big black man in the grimy engineer’s uniform. The young male leaning over Mr. Smith whirls about. Blood covers his face from the chin down. Huge goblets drop off, his chin. They land in the widening crimson puddle at his feet. “Oh God” She cries staggering backwards until she hits a wall sliding down. Fawn Ye vaguely recognizes the boy from around the school. He climbs awkwardly to his feet. With sickly spoiled milk colored locking on to her. Drunkenly he sways in place. With a deep moan, he starts making his way towards her. Arms outstretched blood caked fingers working like arthritic spiders. Fawn raises up a crutch defensively as the boy falls forward mouth open. His clumsy momentum carries him downward. He hits the apparatus face first. His full weight drives the aluminum crutch through his eye socket. Fawn screams out as the boy goes limp. She dumps him to the side yanking her crutch free. Fawn fights to her feet steadying herself. From behind her, comes a deep powerful moan. Fawn turns on her crutches to see Mr. Smith his neck torn open the wound rimmed with sticky congealing blood. “Mister ….” She says hopefully but to no avail. The large man lurches for her his eyes now white and dead. Fawn can see the metal windowless exit doors just behind him. Cursing her lame legs Fawn acts out of instinct. She plants her crutches bracing herself. Fawn Ye kicks out with all the strength both her crippled legs can muster. Her legs have just enough force to drive the heavy man backwards. She tumbles to the floor watching Mr. Smith fall backwards. Just as he hits the door, his key ring clatters to the floor and then he is gone. Fawn begins to commando crawl for the open door. She moves through the warm gummy blood on the floor. Reaching up for the door, her hands trembling uncontrollably. She takes a brief look outside. Stumbling dark shapes swarm the parking lot. Fawn yanks the door closed as Mr. Smith sits up. She feels the door shake in her hands. Thunderous pounding from the other side rattles the door in its frame. Without thinking, Fawn flips a crutch around jamming it through the handles of the door as a brace. The assault from the outside continues. After several breathless minutes, Fawn finds one of the keys that locks the door. As pounding coming from the other side grows louder. Fawn limps backwards turning around holding onto the wall for support. On palsied legs, she stands staring into the empty darkness alone.