Chapter Eight – Amanda


Past Midnight. It was pitch dark, and we were all huddled together on the oval, in the little hole we had made. Yaya gave a little snore. She’s cute even when she’s sleeping! We all looked like soldiers now, thanks to Mel’s clever disguising skills.

Everyone was asleep but I just couldn’t close my eyes and drift off. I tried counting sheep, but after 200 or so, I would forget the number, and start again. Counting sheep does not work! It was cold and the air had a eerie, spooky atmosphere to it. It was quiet, almost too quiet. Looking around (not that I could see much), I wondered what I could do.

Another little snore came from Yaya, and this time, I felt her give a small little kick with it as well. Hmm, she must be dreaming about something pretty interesting…maybe she’s dreaming about fighting in lord of the rings, but failing miserably because she’s too short…

Anyway, back to looking around at the pitch black oval…what to do?… I turned to where I thought, would be where the hostages might be kept. Mel said that the majority of the hostages would be kept in the ‘hot spots’… maybe we could find them now! I mean, why not? It’s not like I have anything better to do right now.

At first I thought of going by myself, but one person wouldn’t be able to save nearly 400 others. I decided to wake the person next to me: Mel. At least I think it was. I gave her a kick, hoping I hadn’t wrecked her spine or anything.

“I’m being attacked! Help!” screamed Kris.

“Uh…Kris? Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you up.”

“Help, help! I have to fight, fight! I will fight, like my anime characters. Kick!” again Kristina shouted, and this time, her hands began punching into the air, and her legs kicked wildly.

What the hell is she doing?

I bent down, and whacked her face a few times. “Kris, snap out of it. You’re not being attacked!”

Suddenly, Kris sat up straight, and her head knocked me away. “Hey, what’s with you!” I figured she was awake now, “You just had a weird nightmare, sorry to wake you though. I was wondering if you would come with me to find the hostages.”

“Huh? Where am i?”

This was hopeless.

“KRIS, SNAP OUT OF IT!” I shouted into her ear.

“What’d you do that for? I’m not deaf.”

That’s better.

“What’s happening?” Another voice came floating through the air. Mel?

“Yeah, I was sleeping so well!”

Haha Yaya, “Yeah sleeping so well that you were snoring like a mouse, going ‘eee, eee’ at a very high pitch. It was so cute!”

Rather indignantly, Yaya replied, “I am NOT cute. I am grown up!”

Uh huh…

“So what are you guys awake for? Don’t tell me you just decided to make all this noise for nothing!” Mel sounded rather fierce, so I quickly explained to her my idea of finding the hostages.

“NOW? You want to go find them NOW?”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Oh sure, it’s just pitch dark, and past midnight, and freezing cold. No, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“Exactly!” I replied, glad to see that Mel agreed with me!

“So…I guess we’d better get going, cause I want to make this quick. I need my beauty sleep,” demanded Kris.

“Should we wake the others?”

“Nah, look at them,” Shirlz, Tina and Steph, cuddled so closely together, “There’s really no point in disturbing them. “Let’s just go.”

So Yaya, Mel, Kris and I started the long trudge through the oval, and over to the hall (which is really now just a big hole, because it had been blown up) where the 396 hostages were supposedly kept.

It was a quiet walk. I think all of us were thinking about our friends and family, what they would be thinking right now. Then I thought of Jess, Moni and Janine. I imagined them safe, and healthy, waiting for us to come out of this nightmare. I didn’t want to think of them being caught, or of Moni and Janine not surviving.

As we neared the hall, we began to slow our pace. We didn’t know what to do. The hall still had some of its walls up, so at least we could hide behind them.

“So did any of you guys actually have a plan thought of, before coming? Or is this just one of those spontaneous things…?”

“Spontaneous, definitely.”

“That’s not the answer that I was waiting for.”

“Well, what DO we do?”

“Do you see any soldiers?”

“Nope. They’re probably all asleep.”

“Yeah right, like they would sleep while they have hostages there, who could just escape.”

“Well, maybe they tied up the hostages!, or caged them up. I really don’t see any soldiers.”

“I say we go in, and find all the hostages.”

“But there must be a soldier somewhere!” protested Kris.

“Yeah, yeah,” agreed Yaya.

“Well, Mel does have a gun. And if we could get some too…or some weapons of some kind at least.”

“How on earth can we find weapons? Serioiusly!” Kris really is too smart for her own good. The truth should be good, but it doesn’t make people feel better!

“Well I think we should try and make or find weapons before we go in,” I decided, “ie. Now.”

“How?”

“What if we could get the guns off the soldiers who are sleeping!” I suggested, hoping it didn’t sound too impossible.

“Yeah! Seriously, that’s a good idea!” Man I love Yaya, she nearly always agrees with me! (except about Jesse Mccartney. I mean, he is SO COOL! How can she not think that?) Anyway, back to the situation at hand…

“Where do you think the soldiers would be stationed?”

“I’m guessing that there would be at least one round here somewhere, guarding the hostages. I’m hoping that he’s asleep.”

“Ok, why don’t we stay close to this wall, and slide round to the corner, to see if we can see anyone.”

“Yeah. Just try and camouflage yourself as much as possible.”

“Yep.”

Our whispers died down, and we were silent again, except for the shuffling of our feet, as we moved over to the corner of the wall. I gave a quick peek around the corner, and tried to distinguish a figure anywhere. At first there was nothing. But after awhile, as my eyes became more used to the dark, I could just faintly discern a body lying against the wall, with a gun in his hand. His body language told me he was asleep.

“Hey, you guys, there’s one guy down here. He looks to be asleep.”

“You sure? You have four eyes, I doubt your vision is clear. Let me have a look!”

So Kris stuck her head round the corner, and when she turned back to look at me, she looked as if she was about to scold me. “Geez, blind girl. There are 3 men out there! All sitting up against the wall.”

“So what do you guys say? I propose we slip down there quietly, grab there guns before they know what’s happened, then knock them out with a good kick in their jewels or something.”

All three of them nodded. It seemed they actually liked my idea. Wow. None of them protested, now that’s definitely a first!

Quietly, on our tiptoes, (if that’s possible) we ran over to the three men.

I grabbed a gun from one of the guys, and just as I took it out of his hands, he woke up and made a snatch for it, trying to keep a tenacious hold on it, but I quickly gave him a whack with the gun, and knocked him unconscious. I felt a little bad, but tried to get over it.

I looked over to the other three, who seemed to be on top of their situation. And I mean that literally too. Yaya was sitting on top of a guy, trying to knock him out, but her weight was too light. So Mel went over and gave him three kicks to the head. I hope she didn’t actually kill him, I mean, as much as I hate the soldiers, I wouldn’t really want to kill them, not unless I had to. I think I’m becoming as soft as Zoe Nagara, so soft that I can’t even hurt anyone…

Yaya suddenly came running up to me, with a big smile on her face, and a gun (which was nearly bigger than her) held in her small hands. She seemed very proud of herself, “Look, I knocked him out! Look! See! I did that!”

“Yes Yaya, I’m very proud of you.” I pat her head, and laughed. No wonder Nita wants to eat her, she’s so cute!

So what do we do now?

“Hey look, the door there, they’re probably in there! Come on!” Kris went up to the door, and tried to open it. It wouldn’t budge. “Locked,” she sighed, exasperatedly. Then, smoothly and efficiently, Kris kicked open the doors, and walked inside, with us following. Even though the three men looked completely knocked out, I still walked with my eyes on them. I tried to keep them in my vision for as long as possible. I kept on getting the feeling that they would just pop up and come barging in on us, or maybe lock us in! To make sure that wouldn’t happen, I used stoppers to keep the doors wide open, so that we would hear when someone tried to close the doors. While I was doing this, I heard excited screams and joyous shouts coming from inside.

I quickly ran in to see Mel, Kris and Yaya untying all the hostages! Yaya had tears in her eyes as she hugged Jing Jing and Alice D. Kris and Mel also had little tears falling down their cheeks. It was such an emotional sight, seeing all these PLC students there, even though I didn’t even know half of them!

I just stood there, and looked at the scene. Just watching it, made me feel really happy. Happy, was probably the best way to describe it. I mean, I could use all those complicated words, but none really fitted in. None but ‘happy.’ Everyone had happy faces, and though some people were hurt and bruised, they still got up and hugged Mel, Kris and Yaya. It was like one big family gathering. It was like a beautiful painting, that didn’t need any words.

For awhile, I didn’t move, just stared. But then I heard a familiar voice. The familiar bimbo voice, “MANDA!” I looked around and saw Mary. She was dirty, and a little bruised, but her ditzy voice was the same. I gave her a big hug, and I felt back at home. “Mary, are you guys all ok? Where’s Yan? Steph? Mel? Z? Hannah?”

“They’re all gone! Gone! I don’t know what happened to Yan, Steph, Mel and Z, but Hannah’s here somewhere. She’s broken her leg! It’s so horrible! I can’t believe you’re really here! I thought everyone else had died. I thought, I thought, I thought that we were all going to die. I think, …I think Yan and them are dead. They’re no way that they can be alright! I’ve been dreaming about seeing everyone together, every night, but as soon as I get close to anyone in my dreams, I would wake up. It’s like my dreams are telling me that I’ll never see them again!”

I was so surprised. I had never seen Mary so upset, not even when she had boy problems. I looked for Hannah, and saw her sitting on the ground, with her leg out in front of her. It was in a distorted position, and it was obvious that it wasn’t just a small fracture.

“Hannah, what happened?”

“I don’t know, I tripped, and I must have fallen on top of my leg. I don’t know, but I can’t do anything about it. I don’t have anything to use as a bandage.”

It was freezing cold, but I knew I had to do the good thing. I took off my jacket and put it under Han’s leg.

“It’s ok, you’ll get cold without the jacket!” “Well you guys aren’t wearing jackets, so I don’t think I’m in a desperate need of one either. It’s ok. You need it.”

I stood up, and looked around. I saw Rach Lim and Sindy with Amy! I ran over to them, “Omg you guys! I can’t believe you’re still here! There are so many people here!” This was really one of the happiest moments of my life. Seeing so many people alive and well. The room wasn’t just filled with Year 11’s. There were many Year 12’s, Tiff, Zoe, Denise, Rach H., Joi, but no Leanne Ng. I don’t know what Steph Ng will say, she’ll be devastated. As much joy as I was feeling at seeing all these people, it did give me little hope for the other people who weren’t here.

I sat down on the floor next to Hannah and Mary, and began telling them what had happened to me and the others. I told them about the compost bin, the canteen, and just as I was about to tell them about the car, there was a gun shot fired at us. In horror, I saw the bullet fly into the wall near Hannah’s head. Slowly, I turned to where the entrance door was. There were 5 men there, not just the three that we had knocked out. They must have had extra guns with them, because they were all holding guns, as big as ours. This time, I didn’t hesitate to hurt them. I aimed my gun, and fired at the guy who had shot near Hannah.

“Everyone, duck!”

With everyone else on the ground, I realized that Mel, Kris, Yaya and I would be the easier targets. Holding the gun, as if it were my life shield, I shot bullet after bullet.

“I shot one down!” cried Yaya, excitedly.

“The loser kills the least!”

“Alright, you’re on!”

I shot the last soldier standing, and I pumped my fists into the air. “Woohoo, I win, 2 dead!”

I turned around, and helped Hannah up.

“We have to get out of here, before more soldiers come, I’m sure they must have heard all the commotion.”

I was just about to exit through the doors, when my eyes were met by those of ten others. Oh no, no, no, they couldn’t have been this quick. I was beginning to panic. I only had a few bullets left. I glanced at the other three, and they gave me looks of panic and desperation. The realization that we were running out of ammunition was beginning to really sink in. We were doomed.

“Just go for it you guys!”

I shot the little bullets that I had left, and ran to the back of the hall, where the music stands used to be kept. As I ran, I tried to dodge all the bullets coming my way. The soldiers were merciless. I saw one little girl drop dead, and that made me run even faster. Amazingly, I saw three music stands, and I grabbed them all. For once, I was glad to have learnt the skill of holding three at once, from helping Mr Ross out at school. The Music stands were a good shield against the bullets.

Mary came up to me, and grabbed one of the stands off me. I threw the other one over to Kris. Mel seemed to be the only one who still had ammunition. She was still firing with all her might. I couldn’t believe the bravery in my friends, the courage and honour they held. They were amazing people, and it was only now, that I realized how important they really were to me.

Everyone was fighting, grabbing guns, and kicking the guys. Every time a soldier fell, I felt proud, and amazed at the same time. I couldn’t believe we were actually doing this.

Mary, with the music stand, began hitting one of the smaller soldiers. He had dropped his gun, and I grabbed it, giving it to Hannah. “Just shoot whenever you need to!”

I heard Mary shouting at the guy. “You broke my nail with that gun! I took ages growing that and keeping it perfectly manicured! And look what you did to my hair! What if I meet my boyfriend after I get out of this! I’ll look ugly! How could you do that to me?” Mary pulled at the guys hair, and I saw her take a big chunk of it in her fist! My gosh, talk about a bitch fight. Then she tried to use the Music stand to hit his stomach, but it backfired, and hit her instead, but luckily for her, the music stand hit her with one end and hit the guy’s head with the other. All in all, Mary was very successful. Amazing really.

I looked over at the soldiers at the door, they were backing away. They were backing out of the hall. Why? What were they doing? As I saw one of them bend down to take out the door stopper, I screamed at Hannah, “Shoot that one! Shoot the one in the red pants, with the big butt! The one bending down! Shoot now! He’s trying to close the door on us!”

I ran over the other guy who was trying to do the same for the other door. I ran as fast as I could, with the music stand as my defensive weapon, and tried to knock the guy over. In my mind, I knew he had a gun, but I didn’t think about it. I just charged at the guy. This is for all my friends, and not just my friends. It’s for all the ones that you killed! I smashed the music stand over the guy’s head, and kicked his legs, his stomach and pushed him down. “Just looking at you, makes me want to puke.” Just as I gave him one last stamp on his head, I felt a sharp pain sear through my left shoulder. I turned around, and saw a guy at the very back of the hall with his gun pointed right at me. He was the last soldier left, and he seemed determined to kill someone.

“Mel, Kris, Yaya, get out of here! Now! He’s going to kill you if you don’t! GET OUT NOW while the door’s open.” I ran as fast as I could away from the door, with the guy following me with his eyes. Another shot rang out, and I felt another throbbing pain in my left leg, but I kept on moving towards everyone else, who were heading out the door. You can’t make it, you’ve got two bullets in you, just let everyone else out. The pain was really aching, and I fell down in pain. “Mel, help,” I croaked.

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