World of Radiation

Fatal Noise

Continued from ‘Misdirection

My lungs burn from not breathing, but I dare not inhale nor exhale. I dare not make a sound as I hold the door with a white-fingered grip, inching it just enough to squeeze myself out from behind it. All the while, my eyes lock on his back.

He stands before the window. His head tips down, glancing about the smattering of glass, no doubt seeing my blood amongst it.

I slide one foot forward through the air, settling it on the ground without a sound. My hand still squeezes the door. My lungs scream for me to breathe, clenching in my chest.

Already he loses interest. His head snaps up. The light spilling from the window makes him nothing more than a shadow on the other side of the room and fear creeps in again as I remember him looming over me only moments ago.

Around the door I creep. I ease my body one step at a time, shifting my weight so as not to make a sound lest one of the floor tiles be loose and creak, giving me away.

He shifts towards the window. His foot lazily kicks the metal desk out of his way, sending it quite a few feet down the side of the room. The noise echoes off the walls. It takes all I have not to gasp, freezing in my spot.

Why did I freeze? Why am I taking so long!? I need to go!

I urge myself to move faster, slipping towards the doorway that stands no more than a few inches away, but in order to do so, I must let go of the door. The release of my fingers sends it away from me. Quietly, it clanks into the wall.

My eyes snap to it in horror, my heart pounding in my chest. It wasn’t loud, but it was enough. I glance to the predator standing by the window just in time for him to swivel around, no doubt alerted by the noise. His eyes lock with mine. Any sneer, any smirk, any taunt, he might’ve held earlier is gone. Only cold anger and vengeance remain.

My blood runs cold. Inhaling deeply I spin on my heel, losing my balance in the process. My hands scramble in front of me. They slip across the metal door frame, finding nothing to catch on. I tumble to the ground.

His heavy footsteps fill the silence. They beat as fast as my heart as it threatens to explode from my chest.

My feet scrabble against the slick tile, making it difficult to find purchase, but my hands, sprawled in front of me, do. They plant themselves, sweaty as they are. I use them to hoist myself up, pull my feet under me and haul my ass through the doorway.

Just as I make it into the hall, a sound of collision echoes behind me. Through the doorway, he leans against the door like he’s run into it. A wild look fills his eyes. They watch me as his mouth gapes hungrily.

Panic shoots me down the hall towards the campus store, towards the front door, towards open air. Free to breathe once more, my lungs heave. My blood pulses maniacally through my veins, pushing more and more blood from the slices across my arms. It drips to the floor. Freaking crumbs…

My legs yell at me, protesting so much running, so much adrenaline. They don’t know how to handle it. I don’t know how to handle it either, but I push myself forwards anyway, ignoring the ache.

Lunging forwards, I slam my weight into the front door. It swings open, bashing against its hinges with a rattle and a clang. My fingers release it. They grasp for the next door, extending to push it open, to free myself of my pursuer, but it’s my pursuer that knocks me into the door with more force than I intended.

His weight pummels me to the ground. My hands stretch forwards, scraping along the concrete with a burn like no other. My head cracks against the pavement. Blackness creeps at the edges of my vision as his body crushes me, knocking the wind from me.

“Who would’ve thought you’d be so much trouble,” he growls. His hands press into my shoulders, squeezing my face against the rough surface. Some of his weight lifts from the rest of my body.

Pain streaks through my arms, my legs, my head, everything. Part of me screams to keep fighting. The other part says I’ve already lost, but the former wins out when he vanishes. A groan accompanies the sudden lack of pressure, but not from me.

Rolling onto my back, black spots still dancing about my vision, my attacker’s gone. He lies on the pavement next to me. His eyes hang closed, his mouth gapes, and he doesn’t move.

Wha-? What happ-

“Are you okay?”

Next Installment: Trust No One

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