Luc Ganga was in the boy’s bathroom when the announcements blared their warning: “Students and teachers, we are now in lockdown. This is not a drill. We are in lockdown.”
He sat there on the toilet for a minute, staring at the stall door. Then he realized he was sweating, zipped up his jeans, and flushed the toilet. Luc immediately regretted that decision and froze- if anyone heard the toilet flush, they would know someone was in the bathroom. He resumed staring at the stall door. According to the drills, he was to find a safe place and hide if he was ever stuck outside the classroom during a lockdown. The intruder, stranger, whoever had caused the announcements could be anywhere, possibly armed.
So Luc stood stranded in the bathroom stall- with a toilet for company.
The minutes ticked by. He wished he had a watch to keep track of how much time had passed in lockdown. At least now he could miss school.
Luc’s knees began to grow numb and he lowered the lid of the toilet seat to sit on it. Tapping a finger on one thigh, he counted the number of seconds that had passed. He gave up at a thousand.
What was taking so long? Luc wondered if the teachers had called the police yet. He’d be able to hear the sirens from the bathroom. He strained his ears.
Maybe the lockdown was over and they contacted all the teachers by phone? It was highly unlikely, but the lockdown was beginning to get too long and boring for him to bear. Luc stared at the stall door for a few seconds, got off the toilet seat, and gently unlocked the door.
He peered outside. The boy’s bathroom was quiet, empty of life except for him. He pulled open the stall door and glanced outside of the bathroom. No one. A dangling tree branch waved at him, tickled by a small breeze.
Luc’s heart beat faster as he tiptoed to the doorway. All the doors he could see were closed and uninviting and the only noise was the distant screech of seagulls. Not a soul in sight. He took a deep breath and stepped out of the bathroom.
Luc tried to pretend that he was running an errand for the office- office assistants often walked around campus during periods to deliver and collect papers from the teachers. But even OAs ran into a couple of students on their way to and from the bathroom or some staff members doing what they liked to call “official business”. This time, it was eerily silent and the entire school seemed to loom over Luc as he made his way to his English class.
Then he heard something that almost made him jump- voices, two of them, talking to each other. His heart stopped beating like a drum and he relaxed. Someone was running an errand after all. The lockdown was over. Luc followed his ears to the source of the voices, trying to guess who it was (he was pretty popular at school and knew most of the people). He rounded the corner and froze.
Two tall boys dressed in black stood with their backs to him. It was then that Luc realized there was something very odd about them- leathery, black wings sprouted from between their shoulder blades, folded and towering a foot above their heads. Definitely not middle school students. He backed away, unable to believe what he was seeing, and promptly tripped on an untied shoelace- a very, very bad habit, he now knew.
The two boys- no, Luc doubted they were even human- turned. His heart began to beat rapidly again when he realized he had been correct- one had eyes the color of fire and the other a glowing bright blue. The taller boy with the red eyes had shaggy black hair with two curled black horns camouflaging in their midst. The other boy housed long hair bleached blonde with smooth matching gold horns and asian features. His blue eyes bore into Luc’s, who sat rooted to the ground.
Yep. Not a soul in sight. But demons didn’t have souls, did they?