Atomic Midnight

They assemble in the lunch cafeteria with whatever weapons they can muster along the way. In the time it takes for them to move from the auditorium to the cafeteria, the outside has turned from day into night. There isn’t much time, so this means all they can grab is a fire axe, a length of bicycle chain, and the broken leg off a student’s desk.

Someone, one of the boys, points out that the vampires can’t come inside because nobody has invited them. Rio, who is the smartest of the three girls, counters his stupidity by noting that Mr. Anders, the headmaster, is one of them now. He can invite all of them in if he wants it that way. Needless to say, each of the girls one of the weapons—they’ve decided that the other children are too scared, or dumb, to need one. The axe goes to Rio, the chain goes to Yuri, and Miyuki gets the desk leg.

Somebody has a transistor radio and they try to get information on the vampire attack. It’s important to determine the scale of such things early, and whether they are attacking just the school, the city block, or the entire city. It’s important because they could then decide what to do next—fight or flight.

But the radio proves useless. All they can hear is white noise across its dials. The wall of fallout from the bomb has shrouded the area in static silence as well as darkness.

“What do we do?” One of the boys asks. There’s a moment of turbulent confusion as everybody chimes in with their own plans and ideas of what they should do next. The majority just wants to stay put, of course. They want to wait for the army to come and rescue them. The three girls consult briefly and decide it’s a dumb idea. After all, they didn’t even know if the army was coming, or the scope of the vampire attack, and old Black Anders was loose in the building and looking for snacks. They wouldn’t be hard to find in the cafeteria. No, they decided that it was best to put distance between the school and themselves. It would be better to try and reach the safety beyond the fallout zone. Day would still be happening there, and the vampires would be unable to chase them into the sunshine.

Some of the slower children didn’t think it was a very good plan. They felt safe crowded among their peers and the doors were barred to keep Anders out. But if there was one thing that the girls knew, it was the futility of trying to keep hungry vampires away from tender children. Just like drug addicts looking for a fix, they would find a way to get at them, eventually. And being of such single-minded determination, they were very, very good at it too.

So the three left the others to fend and huddle with one another inside the cafeteria. It wasn’t hard to leave either. Not when they had all the weapons on hand.

Outside the safety of the cafeteria, they got as far as the T-intersection where the case of trophies stood that showed off all the school sports team events the school had won in the past.

Somewhere just beyond that, Black Anders was standing nearby... waiting for their approach in the dark.


Editor’s Corner

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