Chapter Two – Katrina


“Get out!” Wei Yan screamed at me.

“I cant. I’m scared of heights!” I wailed breathlessly.

“Go!”

“Fine! Okay, okay. I’m going.” I climbed slowly down the rope of wires. Don’t look down, I kept thinking.

“Kat! Hurry up!” Amanda yelled as she started to climb down.

I wasn’t even half way down yet. I stared up at Amanda and saw her feet about to hit my face. Suddenly she started climbing up again and I progressed slowly down the rope. I heard Amanda say something to the others left behind but all I could hear were my friends below calling out, “C’mon Kat! You can do it! You’re nearly there!”

Unfortunately I was a bit too slow because I soon felt Amanda’s feet hit my head. I still had five metres to go when Megan yelled out, “Kat! Just drop! I’ll catch you!”

“What? Err…ok…” I yelled back uncertainly. Oh well, here goes nothing, I thought.

“Wait!” Megan yelled, “I’m not ready yet…ok, now I’m ready. Drop!”

I dropped and landed on Megan, Jess Yoong and Jess Wu. We all fell into the concrete. I landed on them so hard that Jess Wu was momentarily stuck in the sewage drain. She started screaming like a vulture.

I got up hastily to help Megan rescue Jess Wu from the drain as Amanda dropped down and screamed, “Everyone! Run!”

“But what about the others?” Yaya demanded in her cute voice.

Without warning we heard Susanne’s voice coming from the open window. “What do you want here? This is a school.”

Then we heard a man’s voice, or a women’s voice that was unusually low say, “I’m not stupid.”

We all ran. Except for me. I was slowly dying without my asthma puffer. I just stood in the midst of the mini forest near the ceramics room. Luckily Megan saw me slowly sit down on the ground and ran back to me. Her fans followed her.

“Kat! Are you ok? What’s wrong?” they all started asking when they reached me.

“I need my asthma puff. I left mine in…my blazer. I need… to go to Sister to get one… or the PE centre,” I said struggling to breathe.

“Okay! Let’s go!” someone shouted.

Everyone ran towards Sister and opened the door without ringing the bell or waiting patiently for Sister to answer the door.

When I got there, everyone was rummaging around for anything. I opened all the cupboard doors that I could reach and finally found some asthma puffers. I grabbed all the ones that I saw.

All of a sudden Jess Wu walked out of a room with a blanket over herself. She kneeled down and covered her head with it. “Look! I’m a rock!”

“Err…” everyone said, except for Jeena who started laughing.

I took two puffs and started to think. We had to save the others. I was also certain that some psycho killer maniacs attacked us. It reminded me about the book I had read last year called ‘Tomorrow When the War Began’.

“Hey everyone! Let’s take these drugs!” Yasmin said, interrupting our silent search.

“Er…do you mean like, eat them? Won’t we OD?” Vanessa asked.

“No. I mean it might be useful if any of us get sick.”

At that, everyone stared grabbing all the medication they could find.

“We can use some of this stuff as weapons,” I said when I found some antiseptic spray in the cupboard that I was clearing out.

“Hey look! There’s a phone!” Sarah Jane yelled and pointed at the phone on the table. She picked it up. “There’s no signal.”

I remembered that I had my mobile in my pocket. I wondered who I should call. Unfortunately, most of my friends were from school and my parents turned off their phones when they worked. I ended up calling one of my guy friends because I knew that they wouldn’t be captured in my school.

“Hello?” he said as he picked up the phone.

“My school has been taken over by psychotic people. Help!”

“Um…who is this?”

“It’s Kat. Katrina…”

“Are you on drugs?”

“No! Okay, only my asthma ones, but other than that…no!”

“Oh well. Suck. I have to go now.”

“What? No! Wait! I know I sound crazy but I’m –”

He had hung up.

Megan came over to me and asked, “Who’d you call?”

“Don’t worry. Just someone who thinks I’m on drugs.”

“Um…guys…there are people in black coming towards us. Run!” Jeena cried.

We all ran down the corridor as fast as we could. Jess accidentally ran into the wall, but she quickly picked herself up and followed us. Luckily we were all good runners and we managed to get out of the area and into the boarder’s dining room hall.

Out of the blue a loud noise blasted our ears. It was an explosion. A bomb. Jess started screaming her vulture scream until we all started yelling at her to shut up.

We all stood there, not knowing what to do. We were able to hear the men or women talking.

“…hostages on the balcony…”

“…no one can get to this medicine now…”

“…signs of rummaging…”

The seven of us (Megan, Ness, Jess Wu, Yasmin, SJ , Jeena and I) stared at each other. “Err…what do we do now?” Ness asked.

“Hide?” Jeena answered uncertainly.

“Kill them!” Jess screamed.

“We have to find the others. Ew. I need deodorant,” Megan said as she started to smell herself.

“Yeah we gotta find the others and try not to get killed. Let’s find a hiding spot somewhere, but we have to get outta here before the psycho maniacs catch us. Let’s go to the men’s change room in the Aquatic centre,” I suggested.

We all ran to the Aquatic centre as fast as we could. Everyone sprinted through the door and we were greeted with the hot air and my glasses started fogging up. We ran as fast as we could without slipping on any water to our destination.

“Now what do we do?” SJ asked.

“Maybe Jess can use her sexual appeal to seduce the men to follow what she says,” Megan laughed.

“HEY!” Jess protested and started running around trying to hit Megan.

“Yeah, and Megan can seduce the women ’cause she’s such a man,” I said, joining in the fun.

“HEY!” Megan cried out and started to hit me, whilst at the same time trying to flee from Jess’ flailing arms.

“Guys. Stop mucking about. We have to figure out what to do,” Ness said looking at us in an irritated manner.

We stopped bantering and waited for someone to speak.

“We have to help the others,” Jeena uttered quietly.

“Maybe we should write our ideas down. I can go over to Ted and Kylie’s desk and steal a pen,” I suggested.

Without waiting for an answer, I went outside the change room. I quickly crawled over to their desks and rifled through them. I found extra swimming training timetables and competition permission slips. I grabbed all of them and I took a few pens as well. I also went a bit crazy and took the basket with the swimming caps in them and dumped the lost goggles in the basket too. They could come in handy one day.

I walked out of the office area and noticed tiny black things walking around the vicinity of PLC. I quickly sprinted back to the change rooms, ignoring all rules to do with running in the swimming area. I hoped that if anyone saw me, they would think that they were hallucinating.

“I got the paper and pens!” I cried as I barged into the empty room. I started to panic. If anyone had been there, they would’ve thought that I was a very phlegmatic person. However, I can hide my panicky emotions very well. Many thoughts ran through my mind as I stood there alone in the chlorine smelling room. They’ve been captured. They’ve been killed. They’ve been made as food. I’m alone. I’m alone…what did they do to them? Crap! The psychos have been here. Where’s my asthma puff? They have my 5 asthma puffers.

I knew I had to get out of there because the psycho people could come back any minute. I took the closest door to me which would lead me to a tiny space that had another door that led to the outside. I also happened to know that you could only go outside and not into the change rooms.

I pushed through the door and screamed. I had hit something. Well, that something was a someone and that someone had a certain distinct scream. A scream that sounded like a vulture.

My friends had decided to go into that tiny space without telling me. They were all sitting squished up together in the mobile phone illuminated area. I was beside myself in relief that I nearly burst into tears. So much for looking and acting phlegmatic.

“Oh my gosh! I thought you guys were dead! Why didn’t anyone tell me you were here?” I shouted hitting all of them for making me panic and have high blood pressure.

“Oh my gosh! Ahhh!” Megan shrieked.

“We got in and we couldn’t get back out,” Jeena said apologetically.

“We better lock the door in the change room that leads into here incase the people want to come in here,” Yasmin said staring at the door.

“Okay. How do we lock it? Kat you were in 10P smart class. How do we do it?” Ness asked. Everyone looked at me waiting for an intelligent solution to our problem to come out of my mouth.

I had locked locks before using a paper clip. I had the massive pile of paper with me and they did include some paperclips. Unfortunately it usually took me a long time and the only practice I had ever had was on a desk drawer at home. However, this was an emergency. If it didn’t work, I could use Jess’ fingernail. I told the others my plan.

They agreed except for Jess who refused to ruin her beautiful elegant fingers. Too bad for her because if the paperclips didn’t work, everyone had accepted her fingernails as the back-up option.

Before I left, I said to the others, “Open the door when we come back okay?”

Jess and I ran as fast as we could to the door. I could see tiny men or women in black surrounding the gates. I realised that we would have to crawl so we wouldn’t be seen. The condensation on the windows of the Aquatic Centre helped shield us slightly from the outside world, but anyone outside could still see us move slightly if we ran.

I informed Jess on my thoughts and we opened the door slightly and went on the ground. We both tried to avoid the tiny puddles, but it was difficult to. Our little trip of twenty-five metres took a minute or so, but it felt like one day lying in the rain because our uniforms were wet from dragging ourselves in puddles. The sweat from all the dread of being caught didn’t help either.

Once Jess and I were inside I took the paperclip and worked away at the lock. Jess stood near the door to listening to see if anyone was coming. Half an hour had gone past when I had finally locked the door successfully. I was sweating like a…well…a lot. Jess and I ran to the door and ran back outside where we went back to our superb commando crawling.

We reached the door to the space and Jess started banging on it screaming hysterically, “Let us in! Let us in!”

Megan opened the door and we ran inside. Then the questions started rolling in.

“Kat, why do we have swimming caps and goggles?”

“Jess, did you have to use your nails?”

“Why are you two wet? Were you guys molesting each other in the pool?”

“Ew…No!” Jess and I said loudly. I explained to the others that the caps and goggles could come in handy some time in the future.

“Okay we have paper and pens now. Let’s make a list of things that we have to do,” Yasmin said sensibly.

Everyone agreed. We spent a long time talking about what we had to do. This is what the list looked like:

Things to Do:
Find the others.
Find food.
Kill or attack the people who’ve taken over the school.
Tell our parents that we are okay.
Rescue the others
Bargain with the bad people. Pretend it’s like Malaysia and the stuff is really expensive.
Hide from the bad people.
Get out of the school.

We couldn’t think of anything else to do. We each wrote it out and stuck it in our pockets so that we would remember what we had to do.

“Let’s write down ways to attack the people,” Sarah Jane said when we couldn’t think of anything else to do.

However I interrupted them when my phone started to vibrate in my pocket. It said “Mum” on the phone so I picked it up hastily.

“Hello? Mum?” I said into the phone glad that I would finally hear my Mum’s voice.

“Katrina. Where are you? There are cars lined up and I can’t get any closer. You have to come outside.”

“Mum, I’m in the school. I can’t get out.”

“What do you mean you cant get out. Come out now!”

“But Mum…I’m stuck in the school! I can’t get out.”

“Get out now or I’m leaving you here and you can stay in the school for the night!”

“Mum! People have taken over the school and no one can get out!”

“What are you talking about? What people?”

“Mum, I don’t know who they are, but we cant get out. Didn’t you see the people surrounding the school?”

“No. I saw no one.”

“Mum, get out of there and go past Burwood Highway. They are surrounding our school. Call the police!”

“Fine. I’ll see if you are right. If you are, I’ll call the police. Bye.”

“Bye Mum.”

I hung up. Everyone was staring at me waiting for me to tell them what had my Mum was telling me. I sighed. “My mum just called and told me to get out of the school. She didn’t see the black people surrounding our school. Let’s keep going with out list.”

The seven of us spent even more time on the list because Jess Wu kept saying “Kill them! I’ll kill them with my elegant but deadly fingers!”

Here is how our other list went:
Ways to Attack the Bad People [a.k.a. Psycho Killer Maniacs] <- Kat wrote that
Kill them with Jess’ deadly but elegant fingers
Drown them in the pool
Bash them up with our manly arms.
Use the goggles as slingshots
Poison their food with the medication.
Make them OD
Get the pesticide and poison them
Get bats and rackets from the PE centre and bash them up with them
Make our own bombs.
Burn down part of the school.
Find sprays and spray in their eyes

After writing our lists, a few of us fell asleep. I was one of them. The last snippet of conversation I remembered before I napped was about how Ness liked Oliver James. I cannot recall ever having any dreams and I did not end up drooling over myself like I occasionally do when I sleep. However, after my beauty nap of two hours, Yasmin elbowed me in the face. That was when I heard the voices.

I could detect many voices coming from the change room. I stayed silent hoping that no one would suddenly burst out snoring or talking in their sleep. I knew from experience that Ness snored so I woke her up and told her to stay quiet so the men (we were in the men’s change rooms so I naturally assumed that the voices were from the male species) wouldn’t hear us and blow us up too. I tried to write down everything I could hear, but the room was quite dark. I turned on the torch that was included in my mobile phone and grabbed a pen and a sheet of paper. I listened as best as I could, which is pretty good after all the practice I had of listening to my tone and quality of every note I played on the piano.

“Which group are you from mate?” a deep husky voice asked casually.

“Shadowblade. And you?” a higher pitched voice answered.

“I see. I am from Swiftwind. However, I just recently joined and I am currently not up to date on what we are doing in this place,” Husky Voice said.

“Ah. Well, being from Steeal, I know everything. We are here to take over this country. We are taking over all main private schools,” a distinct accented voice joined in.

“But why the private schools?” Husky Voice asked.

He must be really out of the loop or perhaps his gang isn’t as significant as the others, I thought.

“They have money. The children’s parents have money. We need money to help take over this place,” Accent man explained.

“Aren’t we also putting opium in their food and water supply. They will soon be so dependent on it, they will do whatever we ask to just get hold of the drug. Very similar to the Opium War in China lar. My gang’s idea wan. My gang is called Boxerfist. Very big gang in China wan,” a man with a Chinese accent piped up.

“Very good idea. Helps us take over this place, but I have one slight complaint. It would’ve been better to be situated in a private boy’s school. Then we have more showers to go round eh?” Accent man joked.

All the men laughed loudly. Unfortunately, their laughter woke up everyone else that was sleeping, but luckily they were laughing so loud they didn’t hear Ness and I silencing everyone.

We stayed in the tiny room for three hours waiting for all the men to leave. It was time for dinner and we were all starving. We were able to communicate to each other by writing things on a piece of paper. All of us SMSed our parents to tell them that we were okay. Jeena decided to try and message Grace because they were on Virgin and it was around 5 cents to SMS someone else on Virgin. However after a few seconds Jeena started to look worried. She quickly wrote down what was troubling her. It said, “There is no more mobile reception. I cant SMS her.”

Everyone started to panic and we all quickly tried our mobiles to see if it was only Jeena’s that didn’t work. After a short while, we all came to the conclusion that something was wrong. We could use our moments only a short while ago, but then all of a sudden we couldn’t. How were we supposed to tell our parents we were ok? How were we supposed to find out where everyone else was? How could we have been so dumb to not try messaging our friends before? What were we going to do?

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