Misdirection

Continued from ‘Brains vs Brawn

Bursting through the doorway, I slam the door closed behind me. My thumb presses the lock. A feeble, pathetic excuse for a lock really. Why couldn’t it be a deadbolt? At least that’d be a little easier for him to breakthrough, but I don’t have time to worry about the door. I have to come up with a plan. I have to save myself.

I whip around. A plain classroom greets me. Nothing but chairs, desks, and a chalkboard. Lot o’ good that’s gonna do me. Even so, I glance about. There has to be something that I can use to defend myself, something I can do to outwit him.

His footsteps pummel the floor as he grows nearer. My heart beats in a flurry. My hands quiver at my sides whether from fear or adrenaline, I can’t say. Not that it matters. Neither do me much good at the moment. I was never good at handling stress. I always took ten times as long to answer a question as everyone else did, and it was days like that when I wanted to just climb out the window and escape the humiliation.

The window!

Racing across the room, I knock a desk over on my way. It clatters to the ground. The resounding ting of metal echoes in the tiny classroom, giving away my exact location to anyone within a mile radius. Damn it!

My head snaps over my shoulder to glance at the door. The handle jiggles.

I slam into the wall before I realize I’ve reached the windows. My hand screams in pain from the impact. I bite my lip to keep from screaming, but my foot stomps as if it can let out my frustration.

“I know you’re in there, you bitch!” He shouts through the doorway, heightening my panic. Even so, part of me wants to call back ‘no, I’m not!‘ like this were a bad horror movie or something. It’s not. It’s reality. I came to terms with that days ago, not that it’s done me any good.

Shaking the pain from my hand I shift my attention to the window. There’s no crank. There’s no lever. How the Hell do these windows open? My fingers slide along the frame, looking for something, anything to signal an opening. This has to be a safety hazard! What idiots would design this, this way?

Bang! The sound explodes from the door. My body jumps. I gasp. My head swivels around to the door, which remains firmly in place.

In full-on panic mode now I drop the idea of opening the window by mechanical means. Instead, I snag one of the uncomfortable, metal chairs and swing it at the window as hard as I can, which isn’t very hard at all.

The chair smacks into the metal frame of the window. Noise, louder than the tipped chair, reverberates in the room, crashing against my ears. I drop the chair and cover my ears. Only when the sound lessens do I remember my escape plan, but the window isn’t broken. It’s barely cracked. What’s this thing made out of?!

Another attack on the door joins the cacophony. Another sound accompanies it, something like cracking, or breaking, or something, but whatever it is. It’s signaling my time running out.

With one more attempt, I hurdle the chair at the window again. The glass shatters. Pieces fly everywhere, raining down on the classroom, the outside, and me. My hands fly up to protect my face. The shards scrape over the thin flesh of my hands and arms, opening my veins to the air.

I inhale sharply at the onslaught of glass. Yet, it does nothing to freeze me. I don’t have time to worry about blood. If I don’t get out of this room, blood will be the least of my worries, and with that thought I move towards the window.

Still in place are tiny shards of glass. They stick out of the window frame, giving no place for handholds and ensuring large, gaping holes, should I try to climb out. A little blood is fine. A lot of blood isn’t going to do me any favors, what with being likely to leave a trail like freakin’ Hansel and Gretel. It’d be all too easy for him to follow, too. Outside the window is nothing but open ground. He’d catch me in an instant.

“You know,” he calls out. “I like our little game of cat and mouse, but-“

Realizing I have only one other option, I race back towards the door, crouching behind where it’ll swing open to.

“The jig is up!”

The door flies open in my direction. I throw my arms up in front of me, my forearms taking the brunt of the impact as the heavy, metal door collides with my body. Pain reverberates through my arms and legs. I bite my tongue hard enough for a metallic taste to mingle with my saliva. It keeps me silent as he wanders into the room.

He takes no care to silence his footsteps or be predatory in any way. Idiot, I muse, remaining motionless and silent behind the door until his footsteps pick up speed, dashing towards the broken window.

In his state of fixation, I creep out from behind the door. It moves slowly. I pray for it not to creak, the possibility pooling sweat on my brow and seizing my lungs in my chest as I stop breathing.

Next Installment: Fatal Noise

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