And Then There Were Two …

Chapter Two, that is.

Below is another quick look at my WIP, After They Kill You (read more on Wattpad)


MR. GRAYSON

The fire alarms were blaring so loud it felt like his ears were bleeding. Water poured from the sprinklers in the ceiling, though there was no fire that he could see.
Jacob Grayson was in his office by the gymnasium when it all started. For a fraction of a second, he was glad that he’d taken the time yesterday to clean off his desk. None of his teams order sheets were getting wet. It’d taken weeks to get everyone’s sizes just right for the new slings they were getting for the JV wrestling team and he really didn’t want to go through that mess again.
In retrospect, it was a stupid thing to think about, but he didn’t know what was happening. Didn’t understand the scale.
Then, he saw something from the corner of his eye. Outside in the teacher’s parking lot, not far from the window of his office. There was the white Subaru he drove to work everyday, and just beside it … Someone was standing near his car.
Mr. Grayson couldn’t tell if the person was a man or woman. Though they were tall enough to be an adult, they weren’t dressed like a staff member. Dark, bulky coat, black hat turned backwards and a bag hanging from one shoulder.
The raining sprinklers in his office suddenly stopped, but the alarms were still going and he couldn’t hear the blasts. But he watched the person beside his compact car start to lean against it, like they couldn’t help it. Mr. Grayson wondered if one of the staff was coming down with the flu.
Another stupid thing to be doing; standing and staring out the window when the fire alarm was sounding; letting the sprinklers drench him and not giving a thought to protocol.
Protocol.
Mr. Grayson picked up the phone on his desk and turned the volume all the way up. The main line in the front office was busy. He tried a second extension, and then a third, but they all gave the same irritating beep. The Vice Principals line rang, but only because he dialed Tilson’s cell.
With the alarms sounding, Police and Fire would respond automatically.
Grayson thought he heard a voice and started yelling into the receiver about the fire alarm and sprinklers. He relayed the oddity of the sprinklers pouring because that was not supposed to happen with a scheduled drill. It only happened when the sensors picked up heat.
He hoped Tilson could hear him over the piercing ring as he told how the office lines weren’t working.
When he was done, Grayson hung up and turned to face his office window. That guy was still on the hood of his car.
He was about to bang on the glass when, the regular campus security, Terry—he was a nice guy. Kind of heavy set, balding, with a permanent scowl, but a good guy—he was stalking towards the figure leaning on the car.
And then Mr. Grayson knew something was seriously wrong and it had nothing to do with a potential fire. He had no idea how bad it really was, but standing there was no longer an option.
The gym was practically dead in first hour. Only a small group of JV gymnasts working the parallel bars. Mrs. Saddler would have them out on the green already.
As a staff member, a leader and coach, Grayson felt the weight of responsibility all the time. He had to respond to what was going down outside. He’d search for stray kids on the way out.
Jacob Grayson worked at William Grover High School in Lincoln, Arizona. He’d been there for ten years. Grover High was his first job out of college. He was tenured there.
In that time, he’d seen some shit go down; mostly menial stuff like chewing gum shoved under desks or markers on lockers. Then there were the occasional fist fights and joint smoking, bullying incidents that were never as simple as they seemed, and twice he’d caught kids screwing in the locker rooms. The obligatory cherry bombs in toilets; kids were always surprised when the fuses died under water.
But that day, that figure in the parking lot … turned out it was one of his students. His name was Matthew Finial, and he was dying.
Two gun shots had ripped his chest wide open, but Grayson didn’t see it from where he was positioned at the window. Two loud pops he didn’t hear because of the damned fire alarms.
Matthew Finial died on the hood of his Subaru. He and Terry saw the whole thing and neither had any idea that it was just beginning.


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