Logan and Thomas are brothers.
|"Are you sure about that?" Thomas challenged.|
"Not really, but it's kinda late for me to back out now." Logan responded.
"Yeah, you're right about that," Thomas said as he ducked his head and ran forward, arms stretched out in front of him. Logan, being smaller and more agile than his older brother, simply stepped to the side. Thomas knew that was going to happen and corrected himself accordingly. Logan saw the small change and waited, just standing there. Just before Thomas hit him he jumped, clearing the massive human that had been charging at him. He turned around as Thomas himself was turning.
"Nice escape," Thomas complimented. "However, I still could have grabbed you. The tips of your toes hit my head. Just and FYI for you."
Logan nodded, taking that information in. He glanced down at his watch. It read 7:42 am. Thomas did the same thing.
"We'd better go," Logan said.
"Really? I would never have guessed." Thomas said sarcastically as he headed back inside. Logan headed toward the truck. Thomas appeared back on the porch as Logan was shutting the passenger door. A minute later, they were backing out of their driveway. Three minutes later, they were parking at the school. Thomas put the truck in park and shut it off. Both boys went to opened the doors to the backseat and grabbed their belongings. Logan with his cross-country stuff; Thomas with his football gear. Both went into the locker room and dropped their stuff off, then they parted ways. Logan headed off to find his group of cross-country friends; Thomas the same with his football friends. Logan glanced at his watch again.
He thought nothing of it and went to find his group.
* * *
Logan was wandering around the halls, searching for his friends. He heard some girls whispering about him as he walked past. Yet, he didn't worry about it. But that wasn't surprising considering his past.
He'd played football from third grade until last year when a knee injury prevented him from playing the sport again in his high school career. He'd since taken up cross-country and he loved it.
Ignoring the whispering, Logan continued on. Finally, he found the team seated at a table in the cafeteria. He went and joined them.
Carson, the fastest runner on the team, was telling a story that he'd heard from the previous night from a football player.
"...and then he was ejected from practice." Logan remembered hearing the same story from Thomas the previous night as well. Everyone laughed at the story. He then spoke up.
"Hi everyone." Everyone at the table said hi back. Besides Logan and Carson, there were five others at the table. Wesley, the oldest boy on the team as a junior. Tanner, the youngest as a freshman. Faith, a freshman girl that Logan had been eyeing for a while. Braxton, another freshman boy and the one who always got teased. Finally, there was Norman, a sophomore boy that had a bad habit of interrupting people in the middle do their statement. He wasn't mental challenged or anything like that; he just sometimes forgot that others were talking. So he would just suddenly say something. It was sometimes really intrusive but most of the time, it wasn't a big deal.
Wesley was the one to speak up first.
"So what are we running for practice today?"
"I heard hills." Faith said.
"Are you sure?" Tanner questioned. "I heard distance."
Faith shrugged. "I guess we'll find out."
Logan heard a slight movement to his right where Wesley was sitting. He must have heard it too because he perked up. Out of his peripheral vision, Logan saw two football players. He could tell because they were wearing their jerseys. With his fight-or-flight engaged, he kept watching them. Wesley acted like he didn't notice them. Everyone has been through this enough to know to that you ignore the others until they make the first move.
One of the players reached his arms out to try and grab the back of Wesley's neck. But they were too slow. Wesley' s arms reached up and seized their arms. Logan and the rest sitting at the table was ready to help if necessary at this point. Wesley spun himself around, yanking the football player into the side of the table, slamming his nose into the side. There was a sickening crunch as his nose broke. He crumpled down to the floor, grabbing his nose. The other tried to get revenge by swinging a punch. Wesley easily dodged it and dove into his legs, tackling him to the ground. The other guys head hit the floor, knocking him unconscious.
Wesley picked himself back up and brushed himself off. He looked to the other side of the commons area where the rest of the team was. Most of the them didn't care about what just happened. Logan suddenly saw four people running toward them. Upon closer inspection, he figured that they were friends of the ones they had just beaten up and they were out for revenge.
Logan casually stood up and made a motion with his hand, three fingers pointed forward. It was a signal that everyone needed to run away from danger. Carson, Tanner, Braxton, Norman, Faith, Wesley, and himself began sprinting down the halls to their hiding area where everyone hid until the football players cooled down. Their hiding place a small room hidden above a janitorial closet they used as a way to get into the room. There were other ways but this way was the quickest. The others were to be used in emergencies only.
Once everyone was there, they began to converse.
"Okay, what the hell was that, Wesley?" Tanner asked.
Wesley shrugged. "I'm not sure. I guess my years of karate practice finally payed off."
"That wasn't karate!" Carson interjected. "I don't know what that was but it wasn't karate. Maybe martial arts."
"I don't think so." Logan countered. "I'm practicing martial arts and I've seen nothing like that."
"Are you sure?" Faith questioned. "I know I've seen that somewhere else but I can't remember where."
"Well, it doesn't matter now." Braxton said. "You've just broken a kids nose and knocked another unconscious!"
"But in his own defense." Norman backed. "After all, that guy looked like he was going to try and choke you."
Wesley shrugged again. "But he didn't, did he? Look, it doesn't matter where those skills came from. All that matters is that we taught some people a lesson: don't mess with the cross-country team."
"That's true," Logan said. "But do you realize what's going to happen if they recognize you? You could possibly die! Not to mention that they'd be more than happy to break your legs so you couldn't run anymore! What the hell's the matter with you?" He completed the statement by smacking Wesley on the side of the head.
The bell for first hour rang. Everyone went to check their watches.
No one had the intention to go to first hour. It would not be a pretty sight if they did. Instead, they just sat up there until first hour was over.
It wasn't the bell that sounded first.
* * *
The intercom sounded. Silence. Then the voice of the principal.
"All personnel. Initiate level 3 lockdown. Initiate level 3 lockdown. This is not a drill." A click sounded and that was it. Silence throughout the entire school. All power was cut, plunging the school into darkness.
"Well that happened." Wesley said. They sat in silence after that. After a while. Logan checked his watch.
After not finding any other reason to stay awake, he turned over on his side and fell asleep.
* * *
Thomas was in the locker room when it happened.
"All personnel. Initiate level 3 lockdown. Initiate level 3 lockdown. This is not a drill." Thomas sighed. It wasn't anything was going to happen to him here. The locker room was the last place anyone would look. He knew because of the research he was doing, under the guise that it was for a research paper. He wanted to be on the frontlines in the Marines so he had been doing extensive research on what people did in a warlike situation. That was also what his paper was about.
Having done these lockdowns twice a week for the past five months, Thomas knew the procedure by heart. He went over and locked all the bathroom stalls except one, which he left open. He then went over and flipped off the lights. With the lights off, it was pitch black in there and Thomas had to use his phone as a flashlight. As quickly and quietly as he could, Thomas ran over to the open stall, locked himself inside and shut off his phone.
And there he waited.