“I’m HUNGRY!” Ainslie complained as she wiggled and jiggled her body in frustration.
“BOARDING HOUSE FOOD!” I yelled.
We ran across Hethersett Lawns, hoping to blend in with some of the boarders making their way into the boarding house. Jess Wu, always trying to act out scenes from Mission Impossible, darted aimlessly around the open corridor, hoping to hide behind poles a quarter of her size. Ainslie, Grace, Yoong and I on the other hand, graced the floors of the corridor (in a formation of course), grabbed the food that lay on the benches and raced out of the boarding house, leaving behind a trail of crumbs and saliva.
Laughter and screams of delight echoed down the boarding house corridor…and soon faded into the distance…until all that remained was a voiceless whisper.
“Megan…Megan…” My conscious shifted from dreams to wake as I felt the gentle nudges of small grubby hands.
“Wei yan…she’s disappeared…she told me she was only going to the toilet, but she hasn’t come back for awhile.” I surprised myself as my body sat up with utmost alertness.
“How long has she been gone for?!”
“A few minutes…two to be precise.”
“TWO minutes?!…Get some sleep Katrina…she’ll be back.”
“No she won’t Megan!” she hissed. “We’re the missing hostages of some lunatics wanting to take over the whole world. Whether they think we’re dead or not is anybody’s game. We’re in a gym, but guess what? It’s in the middle of a damn terrorist camp. Our chances of survival are next to nothing…How can you expect me to sleep?! To not worry?! To not be paranoid?”
She then took five huge gulps of her asthma puffer.
“Katrina! Shut your big fat mouth. Some of us are trying to get some sleep, a place where we can actually rid ourselves of this hell.” Suz grumbled.
“Okay okay. We’ll go look for Wei yan.” I quickly mumbled as I heard loud shifting symbolizing the annoyance of people. “You check the last two change rooms, I’ll look at the front change room and even the P.E office…just for you.”
Katrina soon disappeared into the toilets, using a serenading voice to call for Wei yan. I pushed open the door to the front change room, but ducked behind some huge crates as the door from the front slammed open.
“Grab these. And more of these. There’s 400 girls on the loose…so these will definitely come in handy.” A husky voice demanded as two obedient bodies collected crate after crate.
“Wei yannnnn…Weiii Yannnn…”
CRAP. Katrina’s serenading voice seemed to get closer and closer, similar to the pounding of my heart becoming quicker and quicker.
“Oh! There you are. I’ve been worried SICK.”
“Katrina! I told you I was having stomach problems from eating the food we found in the boarding house.”
My heart regained its normal pace as Katrina’s serenading calls stopped and at the realization that she had now found Wei yan. And adding more to our luck, the three men noisily packed the crates, barring all noises from outside, and soon left the room.
I stood up and to my amazement, realized that the front change room had been transformed into the terrorist’s artillery room. The crates they had been taking out were in fact filled with grenades, rifles, machetes, snipers etc. and there were at least 200 crates stored in the change rooms.
“OH MY GOSH, KATRINA WEI YAN! Look what I found…”
“Whoa… These will definitely come in handy!” Katrina exclaimed.
“Yes…better than those swimming caps and goggles you took from the swimming center…”
“Hmm…If these are here…that means, they’ll definitely be back for more later. Meaning, THE GYM ISN’T SAFE” Wei yan said while using Katrina as a support from her anxieties.
“Yea, but look on the bright side, they’ll never bomb the gym! All they could manage is a careful attack; otherwise all their weapons will be gone. And plus, these belong to us now!” I said, brazing the slim line of the snipers. The three of us then stood there motionless, admiring the luck that had just come our way.
“Guys…I think we’d better go back to the gym, the others would probably be panicking senseless by now.” Katrina suggested.
We made our way back to the gym, but to Katrina’s dismay, no one was worrying about us… let alone her. CRACKKK ! Simultaneously, our heads turned toward the area to where the sound had just come from and there, sprawled between splintered pieces of wood were Itchy and Manfred.
“THEY’RE GETTING AWAY!!!!” Katrina screamed. Itchy and Manfred scrambled unto their feet and tried desperately to make a break through out the side Gym door.
“No you DON’T” Wei yan suddenly charged toward them, but without noticing, trotted on many sleeping bodies, waking them up in the process. However, in no time at all, everyone was up and joining in the chase to stop the two terrorists from escaping.
The scene became one taken out from the jungle book. Jess Wu, Suz and Melanie were swinging on the ropes in the corner of the gym, hoping to jump off and land on the terrorists. Wei minn, Katrina and Sze were helping each other- Wei minn passing out gym mats while Katrina and Sze would throw them like a Frisbee, hoping to knock the terrorists off their feet. Steph, SJ and I were taking down the big momma gym mats and rolling them out, hoping to bowl the terrorists over, whilst Yan, Grace, Wei yan and SJ chased after them from all directions. However, heroes of the day went to the dashing ex UC couple, Jeena and Ainslie, along with their sidekick Yasmin, as they ran around holding the badminton nets to eventually catch the terrorists within their traps.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE TRYING TO DO HUH??” Ainslie shouted angrily.
“You deserve this!” Sze yelled as she crazily kicked the two terrorists.
“WHOAH! Guys guys…leave them alone.” Yan said while she parted the angry bulls from the terrorists.
“She’s right…how can we treat them badly…when we’re against them because they treated us badly in the first place…” the words of wisdom coming from Grace.
“Easy…it’s eye for eye…fish for fish…” POW POW At once blood splattered in the air, to drop down on us like rain.
The two terrorists had been shot. Shot dead. And the air became sick with silence.
“Vanessa…what was that for?” I voiced out in disbelief. I stared down in her hand, and realized that she too had come across the terrorist’s artillery room.
“It was for everyone…everyone who had been shot, killed, tortured…because of these dickheads. We can’t keep fooling ourselves. The only way to get out of this alive is to kill. They’re against us…and if we’re nice to them, the only reward we’re gonna get is a bullet through our head. This isn’t cops and robbers anymore guys…it’s war…”
The terrorist’s bodies were rolled to a corner of the gym. No one had an idea to what should be done with them, but either way they had to go soon, otherwise hellooooo maggots…
“Crap! We only have one loaf of bread left…and why are there only four pieces of fruit left?! Didn’t you guys get any when you raided the boarding house?!” Wei minn growled.
“Oh no…we didn’t think of that…” Katrina guiltily mumbled
“It’s freeeeeezing. We’re in the middle of July BloodyBIPPP…we need more clothes!” Suz complained
“More toilet paper!”
“MORE EVERYTHING!!!” Melanie screamed in her high-pitched angry voice.
“Guys! Chill!! What is with everyone today…” Steph yelled. “We need to sort this out SENSIBLY. Yes, we are running out of essentials, but guys, cut the complaining…we’re all suffering the same okay?!”
“Steph’s right. We need to sort this out. And when I mean ‘sort’, I mean find out how we are going to achieve what we want without acting like sick pigs.” Jeena added in.
“Why not form groups?” Grace asked. “Groups assigned to do certain jobs. So for example, we definitely need a ‘necessities group’ for food and stuff…and what else…definitely a group to guard our base…”
“We need a hostage group! As in a group to find the hostages on the loose…this morning whilst we were searching for Wei yan, terrorists came in. But they were there to get weapons…their weaponry being kept in the change rooms! They had everything you could imagine…grenades, guns of all kinds, snare traps. EVERYTHING.” I exclaimed.
“LET ME AT ‘EM” Sze yelled, with most anticipation.
“Wait! Wait!…the hostages! The men had mentioned something about hostages being on the loose…do you think the 400 hostages could have escaped?! But even if they had, they’re all going to be killed…we need to save them!”
“I’ll go with you!” Yasmin said without hesitating. At once the room went quiet…birds chirped and ladybirds could be heard mating in the background.
“…Are you sure?” SJ asked…almost as if she was about to laugh.
“…It’s dangerous.” Ainslie said cautiously.
“Guys! Leave her alone…if she wants to be in the hostage group, let her. But right now we need to organize this properly.” Momma Jeena firmly said.
“What about you Ness…you’ve already had some experience with killing. Join us.” I beckoned her with my seductive arms.
“Yea…okay…” she said, while taking two steps toward the opposite side.
“Triplets never part!!!” Jess wu exclaimed, as she again snuggled in between Ness and I.
“WHAT ABOUT ME!! I gotta get a piece of the action.” Sze demanded.
“No sze…we need our strongest ‘men’ to guard the gym. Suz, Wei minn and Ainslie will be joining you…Mel, you’ll be joining the hostage group.”
“Jeena…SJ and Yan, we’ll form the necessities group.” Grace said as she gathered them.
“What about us?” Katrina asked as she walked in between two other mega brains, Steph and Wei yan.
“The brain group! We need a stable group that knows where everyone is at any one time. All other groups report to you on what they plan to do, and give you an update on everything…and from the information we give to you, you somehow draw up the map of the school, with the booby traps, stationed men, bombers etc that have already been set up by the terrorists…Your job is to pretty much help us find a way out.” Jeena rambled on.
“Alritey…our groups have been formed. Sooo, let’s get it started!”
We each took at least two weapons of any kind. The guarding group only took snipers and silencers, while the necessities and hostage groups stockpiled themselves with grenades and guns.
“Ainslie and Suz, you guys are gonna be roaming about at every entry point of the P.E center. So if terrorists come by…you know what to do. But! No terrorists should set foot in the P.E center, because Wei minn and Sze, you guys are gonna be manning the entire P.E center perimeter by being stationed on the roof.” Wei yan commanded.
“Hostage group…your mission is to save and bring back as many hostages as you can. Meet us back at midnight…if not, we’ll send out some of us to find you guys.”
“And necessities group…do what you have to do to get the stuff. Make sure you check the boarding house for blankets, food, water, the canteen, the staff room and even when you go down the corridors, check inside the lockers to see if there’s any left over foodstuff…and for you guys, your curfew is at 10pm.”
As we armed ourselves with our weapons, Katrina gave each of us a strip of ripped cloth from what looked like the winter shirt.
“Wear these around your head, arm, body…somewhere visible so that we’re able to differentiate you guys from the terrorists.”
“Good luck…” Mel whispered as she hugged Yan tightly.
“Keep safe” SJ cried to Yasmin. Hugs and tears were thrown around for the next few minutes, as the realization hit that we may never see each other again.
“Guys! Control yourselves…remember…PLC is ours…our life is ours. Don’t let them take it away from us…but most of all, don’t let them scare you. They’re the bitches that killed our friends; they deserve no other reward but a bullet through their heart. I have unbelievable faith in each one of you guys…I know we’re gonna win…its just a matter of giving it our all and never looking back. Ness is right…this is war…stand firm, hit back and murder evil.”
Steph then looked at each one of us, and with an assuring nod, we all knew that it was time to begin.
Mel, Jess, Ness, Yasmin and I were to make our way towards Wyseleskie Hall. We raced past Hethersett Lawns, to arrive at the yr 11 corridor staircase. Ever so softly, Ness then opened the door. Echoes of gunfire and screams could be heard.
“Seems like the fight has already begun. Let’s go!” Jess said as she skipped through the door.
“Hold up dumhead! We can easily get killed. We check Wyseleskie hall first, then search around the campus.” I said as I yanked Jess back. We filed into the building very carefully, and very agilely, walked down the yr 11 corridors.
As I looked around, memories vigorously flooded my mind. The key chains that Tina and Steph had proudly presented to some of us hung meaninglessly from lockers. New schoolbooks, pencils and pens now burnt and frayed littered the floor. Dead bodies, most I could sadly recognize, accumulated at the sides of the corridor. The stench was disgusting, but the sight was painful.
We walked past the cushioned chairs, and found the staff corridor eerily still. Clenching our guns even tighter, we hurried passed the staff rooms to arrive at the leather chairs.
“Something’s not right. Its quiet…too quiet.” Yasmin mumbled.
A scream suddenly pierced through the air.
“O-KAY…not quiet anymore.” Mel said with a startle.
“Wyseleskie hall! It came from inside.” Ness anxiously whispered.
“This way!” I tilted my head toward the female toilets, and one by one, we entered through.
“You and jess stay on the stage. Mel and Yasmin, will follow me onto the floor” I said to Ness, leaving with her four grenades. “Use these if anyone’s in trouble. You should be able to see us from the sides.”
We loaded our guns, and made sure every piece of item was secure on our bodies.
“Fight fight fight fight!” Jess chanted as we walked toward the stage door.
“Yes! Now we join the fight.” I said as I smiled toward Jess. Even in times like these, she still manages to keep up her humour.
We moved swiftly unto the stage. Ness and Mel crawled quickly to the other side, preparing for attack. Jess intertwined herself in the curtains while Yasmin and I crept toward the front of the stage.
As I peered behind the sidewall, I saw masses of blood spilled among the chairs. Some uniformed bodies hung lifelessly across chairs while I could see some crouched with their knees to their bodies, obviously distraught and fearful. There were huddles on the floor, but no one was talking, their faces screaming with misery.
“A gunfire must have broken out…there’s only 100 or so people in here.” Yasmin said.
“Look for terrorists.” I murmured. “There’s three at each door…five on the balcony…and two at the foot of the stage.” I signalled to Ness, telling her to use the grenades at the four doors. Mel signalled back, saying she would take care of the two at the stage.
“Jess, get out of the curtains. Your job is to look after Ness… shoot the men after her. As soon as Ness opens those doors, I’m going to the floors to get a better overview of things. So Yasmin…I’m counting on you to take care of the five on the balcony.”
“Gulp…I’ll do my best…”
I signalled to Ness and Mel to get ready, behind me I could hear the nervous breaths of Yasmin and the nose spit of Jess. I raised one finger. My hands felt numb as I clenched my gun even tighter than tightest. I raised another finger. I could feel the tension building up and even from across the stage, I could see the breathing pace of Ness and Mel quicken. I raised my final finger, and spurred on by an adrenalin rush, I jumped off the stage and screamed at the hostages to get up.
My vision blurred, as it seemed all too unrealistic. Bullets whirled from the stage and unprepared terrorists fell. Grenades flew from Ness’s hand at the doors, and pieces of debris were thrown into the air as a result of the explosions. Hostages screamed and ran, while the remaining terrorists from the balcony decorated the floors with heavy firing.
“MEL, GUIDE THE HOSTAGES.” I screamed from the floor. The hostages were out of control as they were filled with outrageous panic and stress. Mel yelled at the hostages to follow her, but no one was listening. My heart sank as I realized what was happening. No one bothered to listen to Mel, most of them just scrambled out of the doors.
“YASMINNNN” I jerked to see Ness screaming out in anger, only to see Yasmin running onto the floor toward a body lying on the ground.
“THE BALCONY JESS, KILL THEM.” I screamed again. Full of rage, I ran towards Yasmin.
“What are you doing?! You haven’t even taken care of the Balcony terrorists.” I spat out in disbelief. But she wasn’t listening to me, her focus was on the body lying on the ground.
“Yasmin! I said…” But before I could grab her to yell at her, my voice box froze as I recognized the body on the ground.
One wound. One gunshot in her body.
“Amanda…wake up Amanda.” Yasmin said in vain as she futilely shook her.
“Yasmin…she’s gone.” I heard myself say solemnly.
“She’s not…her heart is still beating!”
I felt a sudden surge of relief fill my body. She was still alive after all these days!
“Is that my bimbo…?” Amanda unexpectedly whispered.
“Oh!” Immediately Yasmin gave her a full-of-love hug.
“Here…grab my hand.”
“Moley??” Amanda again whispered.
“Yep…its your moley…” I said with pride. “Come on…its time to reunite with everyone!”
Suddenly the shrill scream of a vulture echoed throughout the hall.
“JESS!!!” Mel cried. She sprung unto the stage and wrapped a bandage around Jess’s leg. Blood immediately soaked through the bandage and dripped unto the stage.
Realising the hostages on the balcony were still alive, I grabbed the last grenade from my pocket and threw it Mr Ross’s beloved organ. Out of tune keys were heard, while the terrorists flew through the air, to land VERY uncomfortably amongst the chairs.
“I’m okay…I’m okay…” Jess repeatedly said. But every time she spoke again, her voice became weaker and weaker.
Shaking my head in disbelief, I realized the seriousness of our situation.
“BACK…BACK…we have to go back.”
I grabbed ammunition from the dead bodies of the terrorists, and having fully loaded our guns, started our journey back to the gym.
Jess snuggled in between Mel and Ness, but this time the glint of happiness in her eyes were gone. Mel carried both Jess’s legs as well as her body, while Ness stood around hoping to look like she was doing something. Yasmin took good care of Amanda, making sure she was very comfortable amongst her body.
“Be careful guys…it’s just as dangerous going back, as it was arriving here.”
As we exited through the backstage doors, we knew this time we had to race back. Jess was losing blood like sand through the hourglass, and there was sure to be more terrorists roaming the corridors in search of escapees.
We were covering heaps of ground in no time flat, when four accented voices could be heard from near Lab3.
“No lah, the second floor is too dangerous. We just came from Wyseleskie Hall; you think it would be safe meh? My gosh, use your brain Mun Yee, we are in the middle of a gunfire!”
“Guys!!! Chill! If we wanna get out of this alive, we need to work together.”
“Mandy is right. We need to co-operate with each other.”
“ELISA… MUN YEE… MANDY…LEEANNE!!” my heart skipped four beats as I recognized the three Malaysian and one American quadruplet voices.
The glint in Jess’s face appeared again as she too saw the boarders. However, there was no time for a happy reunion yet as gunfire broke out from the stairs.
“AW MUMMII” Elisa screamed as she spotted five terrorists coming down the stairs.
“RUNN” Mel yelled. I shoved some guns at the boarders, and without hesitation, Mandy took one in each hand.
“I don’t know how to use one…do I hold it like this?” Mun yee asked holding the barrel opening of the gun toward her face.
“ER…give it to Leeanne.” But Leeanne had already ran off with the rest.
“Gosh, give it to me!” Elisa said anxiously. We ran down the corridors, erratically shooting at all directions toward the terrorists.
The door burst open as everyone hurriedly scrambled out. Amanda too was starting to run, and even with a bullet in her shoulder, she managed to outrun Yasmin. As I looked back, I realized three terrorists had fallen.
“We’re not going to make it!” Mun yee screamed as even heavier gunfire rained down on us.
“We are!” I screamed in reply.
“I’m out of ammo!” Mandy yelled.
“Just keep running!” Elisa smartly exclaimed. As soon as everyone had headed out the door, I crouched behind the staircase and vigorously fired at the remaining terrorists chasing us. One fell, but the other was advancing towards me at a disturbing pace.
“Crap! Out of bullets.” I chucked my gun toward the terrorist and feeding off my will to survive, sprinted out the door.
Gunfire shot at all directions past me, some too close for comfort. With every pounding heartbeat, a bullet seemed to simultaneously be shot.
My spirits raised as the P.E Center came into view. And on top of the roof, a gorilla-like silhouette walked around.
“WEI MINNNNNNNNNNN!!!!” I yelled out in most desperation. The silhouette spun around and upon seeing what was going on, fired two bullets. A thud and the drop of a gun rang like music to my ears, as I knew the terrorist had finally been done.
I pushed open the entrance doors and slammed it shut. Feeling weak and out of breath, I dropped to my knees. My body heaved crazily as I fought to keep up with my breath, and my heart and head pounded furiously due to the overload of carbon dioxide.
I sat in the growing darkness and as my heavy breathing subsided, I could hear the tales of our adventures being boasted about and the shocked voices at the wounds of Jess and Amanda. Suz and Ainslie came from up the stairs, and as they helped me up, rejoiced excitedly at the triumph of our first attack.
I staggered toward a free corner and placed my heated face atop the cool wooden floors of the gym. Staring at each one of my fellow comrades, I could see their strength shine beyond the sweat, blood and boogies that now soaked their clothes. Jess tried to assure people she was fine, telling them at least the bullet didn’t pierce her elegant lady-like fingers. Amanda, being the gentleman she is, continued to woo Yasmin and other fellow Amanda fans with her bullet-ridden arm. Ness, having experienced the horrors of war, made sure it didn’t get the better of her, and continued to spice up her conversation with Mel with tales of hot guys and girls. Katrina, Steph and Wei Yan, despite seeing the consequences of an attack, continued to plan and plot the master attack. And Wei minn, the new saviour of my life, was not present with us as she continued to roam the roofs with Sze, knowing our lives were at stake if they were to fail.
The food group was still to arrive. But knowing who was in it, I had no doubt that together they would ensure each one of them stayed alive.
The long hand of the clock just hit twenty past nine, and as the room grew darker and before sleep won over my eyes, I could have sworn the ripped pieces of cloth wrapped around everyone’s head resembled halos.