January 18, 2019



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”Guys, this is a terrible idea,” I protested as my friend, Alex, approached the steel cage blocking off the staircase to the roof. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop him, but I had to at least try. “You do realize you could get into huge trouble, right?”    

“Not if I don’t get caught,” Alex smirked.  

It was a dreary, overcast Friday morning, around eight o’clock. My friends Alex, Sean, Jake and I had come to school extra early that day. We were on a mission to debunk a rumor that had been floating around our school for some time now. The story was that a tenth grader died on the fifth floor a while back, about eight or nine years ago. Ever since then, the school blocked off the fifth floor with steel cages and said that the stairs simply led to the roof. The story went that if you went up to the fifth floor, you would disturb the dead student’s ‘resting place’ and he would come after you and kill you.  

It was laughable how hard some students tried to scare others. And to debunk the rumor, Alex thought it would be a great idea to climb past the steel cages and prove there was nothing up there. And so, there he stood at the cage door, fumbling with the lock.  

“Alex,” said Sean, “there’s no way you’ll be able to–”  Clink.

“Told you I was good at picking locks,” Alex smirked. He started up the stairs, then turned and beckoned for us to follow. Jake and Sean went right up, but I shook my head, sighing.

“See you in detention,” I called up the staircase, then turned and headed down the hall. I stepped into the classroom and headed for my seat. Minutes ticked by as I waited for the others to return. Class finally started, and as Mrs. Pellicane was taking attendance, I realized that they still hadn’t returned. Mrs. Pellicane, looking confused, asked if anybody knew where Alex was.    

Abruptly, the intercom speakers crackled and our principal’s voice came through.“Teachers, please excuse the interruption. Please evacuate your classrooms. Head outside to the football field. More information will be given later.”  

Confused, we all lined up and headed out of the class. Lined up outside the door, some students murmured to each other in confusion. Others stood there, staring off into space.    

“Look!” someone said, pointing to the open cage door in the stairwell.   

Mrs. Pellicane turned to us, an odd expression on her face. “The cage door is open. How strange.”

“Mrs. Pellicane?” a student asked. “What’s wrong?”

Our teacher glared at us. “You kids have seen too much.” Suddenly, the lights overhead exploded, showering us with jagged shards of glass. Students screamed.  

When I looked back up, lacerations covered my arms, shoulders and face. Mrs. Pellicane wasn’t standing there anymore. Instead, before us loomed a massive reptile-like creature. Its scales were a bright fiery red, like they were stained with blood. The creature’s eyes glowed yellow, and its pupils were slits. There was more screaming from my classmates.  

“What are you?” I cried.  

“That is of no matter to you,” the thing said in a deep, demonic growl. Its forked tongue darted in and out from between two pointed fangs. “However, you should know I’m not Mrs. Pellicane. The real Mrs. Pellicane left this school years ago, when a student was killed up there. She knew something was up with this school, so she followed her intuition and left. She left before I could do away with her, like I did with the others who found out what really goes on behind the school. Now, I’m going to do away with all of you.”  

Everything turned to chaos. Students scrambled to get away, and thus were stumbling over each other. I was knocked to the ground in the midst of the stampede. I was being trampled. In a flash, the hallway was empty and deserted. Then, a voice crackled over the speaker above. I expected to hear our principle, but it was someone — something — else.  

“Dear students and teachers of FCHS,” the demon-like voice growled, “you might as well give up. We’ve been in this school ever since it was built, so we know all its ins and outs. You’re outnumbered. All exits are blocked off. There’s no escape. All of you are now our sacrificial lambs, ready to be slaughtered. Now, let the bloodbath begin.”  

Gut-wrenching screams tore through the air, coming from the floors below me. People were being slaughtered right beneath my feet. That was when a dry, raspy laugh echoed throughout the hall. It came from the stairwell. I turned and ran, diving behind a row of lockers, keeping quiet as possible. Then I heard it.

“I believe the sacrifice is complete,” a voice rasped from the hallway.  

“Indeed,” said a second one. “I can’t wait to watch the police clean up the mess in the cafeteria. That was fun.”  

I don’t know what made me do it, but I crawled from behind the row of lockers and climbed to my feet. Now I was screwed. The two reptilians stared at me in surprise, pupils widening. Then one of them grinned, an ugly, menacing sneer, and took a step toward me.  

“What are you doing here?” it asked, its tongue flickering like a snake’s.  

“Stay away,” I said, voice shaking. Suddenly, gunshots rang out. Blood sprayed the walls as the dead reptilians went down, one landing on top of the other.  

I whirled around to find an officer approaching me. “You’re safe,” he said, still aiming at the creatures just in case. After a minute passed and still no movement from the reptilians, the officer said, “Follow me.”  

He led me down the stairwell to the basement. I was sickened at the sight of hundreds of bodies sprawled across the ground. Some of the ones I recognized as I stepped over them. I felt deep sorrow like I’ve never felt before. Those were my friends, and I’d never see them again.  

“Did anyone else survive?” I asked.  

“A couple of teachers and four students,” the officer replied. “You’re safe now.”  

Outside, dozens of police cars and news vans clogged the street. We had come out the back of the school. “Nobody can know this happened,” the officer told me seriously. He put a hand on my shoulder. “We’re fighting a losing battle with these Reptilians. They’ve infiltrated the US government, and now they’ve turned to our schools.”  

I shook my head. “This is crazy. I always thought the whole Reptilian thing was just a conspiracy.”  The offer grinned. Before I could react, his skin morphed into a series of fiery red scales, and his green eyes turned bright yellow. The pupils narrowed to slits, while his hands grew into bear-like claws that could rip a deer in half.  

The creature glared down at me, a lizard from hell. As its snake-like tongue darted out from between a pair of fangs, it beckoned to one of the police cars.  

“Get in,” it snarled. “You’re coming with us.”  

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