This is Issue 62 of Hope On The Rocks, entitled "Room 23".
This issue is Kevin-centric.
514, Room 23
“I need three copies of this.” I say, as I hand a piece of paper to Mr. Massfield.
“Three? For what?” Massfield asks, wondering.
I sigh, leaving the room. “Just do it.”
I walk towards my locker. I’m nervous. It has been a while since I’ve been working. That snake bite I got last year in the zoo had me laying sick for months. I’m glad to be back.
“Good morning, Mr. Gardner.” The strict, Mrs. Franklinson says. She is strict, yes, but she is nice.
“Morning, Lisa.” I say, making a weak bow. She smiles flattered and continues to walk down the hallway.
I open the locker, grabs my briefcase and closes it again. I then feel someone poking me on the shoulder.
Turning around, I see Massfield standing with three copies of the paper I asked him to copy. He hands it to me without any words. I grab the copies and leaves.
I go into room 23, heads to my table, sits down, opens the briefcase, takes a bunch of papers out. I then look up.
“Good morning.” I say.
“Good morning, Mr. Gardner.” All the high school students in my class say.
We are hiding in a ditch, weapons loaded. We are ready to fight.
I am wondering why I am doing this. I could just ignore it all and return to Scranton. Good old Scranton. That’s where I’ve lived all my life.
I had a wife before the outbreak. Ida, was her name. We wanted a kid for so long, though Ida was told that she couldn’t get pregnant. It was sad, of course. Five years without condoms led to a miracle; Ida got pregnant. We found out two months before the outbreak.
She died, Ida. It was a raider. He knocked me down, killed and raped Ida and stole all of our things. After I burried Ida, I found my friends and we began to work on a safe zone in Scranton. They are over two hundred survivors there now.
I might be doing this because I want action. I’ve been a high school teacher for over ten years. Though, with my experience in warfare from video games, I found I could lead these people into a war. I know what I am doing. I’ve read tons of books, played tons of video games. I know what I am doing. I really do.
I hope I do.
“Kevin.” I hear Chad whisper. “We’re ready.”
I look at Chad. He is sweating, looking just as nervous as me. I nod with a smile.
I had to lie to these people. Otherwise they wouldn’t have followed me, and they wouldn’t be about to get their friends back.
“Allright.” I whisper. I take a peak up from the ditch. Two men standing by the gate. Both heavy armed.
I get back down.
“Listen up.” I whisper. “I will shoot the fat guard there. Once I have done that, I want you and Texas to follow me.” I say refering to Chad, who nods.
“And us?” Doug asks.
“Wait ten seconds. Then follow.” I say.
My adrenaline is pumping. I have never felt like this when playing a video game. Usually it’s pretty relaxing. If you die, you respawn. It’s not like that here. This is reality.
“Take care.” I whisper, and takes a simple .22 Anshütz sports rifle, that I lay on the floor. It’s easy to shoot with, and if you hit right, it’s lethal.
The rifle only holds one bullet at the time, though. It’s manageable.
I ensert a bullet into the rifle, and take a deep breath. I then stand up, and aim the rifle at the fat guard.
“Here we go.” I say, and fires the rifle. “The war has begun.”
- Unnamed guard
- Chad Bottom
- Kevin Gardner
- Douglas Tallie
- Unnamed guards
- Daniel Massfield (flashback)
- Lisa Franklinson (flashback)
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