The Gap

The room is eerily silent after all the screaming. My brain finally breaks out of its stupor and registers the sound of short, panting breaths behind me, breaking the silence. My own breathing echoes in my head like thunder. Rows of tables and chairs sit empty in front of me, their clean surfaces a mockery of the devastation that has occurred here. This cafeteria is old, the walls yellowing, scuffed tile floors, what a horrible place to die. And then there is the gap.

Such a small thing the gap. Where did it come from? why is it here? Doesn’t really matter now. All that matters is that he is behind it and he has shown no mercy. Everyone is gone now except for myself and John. It was chaos at first but a few managed to hide. Then the solution seemed so simple, just move along the edges of the room farthest away from the gap, there was no way he could reach us. We were wrong. That arm with its fur and its clawed hand reached out and stretched so far it defied the laws of physics. I don’t know why they kept trying. It was like their minds couldn’t believe what was happening. So many died that way.

Now we were the only one’s left, in our little hiding spot. He couldn’t see us but once we moved we knew we were goners. We would only have one shot and it had better be a good one. Too bad I was out of ideas.

I looked behind me to John. He had a strange look in his eyes.

“What is it? Do you have an idea?” I whispered.

“I have one idea,” he said slowly. His short brown hair was soaked with sweat, his eyes haunted, flicking back and forth, and he kept licking his lips. He looked a little crazy. I doubted I looked much better.

“Well? Spit it out, will you?” I said, anxious to try something, anything to end this waiting.

John’s eyes settled on me and a strange calm came over him. He’d made up his mind and was ready to act.

“If we distract him, we might have a shot. Once he’s occupied just run as fast as possible to the door.”

I turned to look toward the door, then to the gap.

“Distract him with what, exactly?” I muttered.

That’s when I felt John’s hands on my back. Before I realized what was happening he had shoved me hard, right towards the gap. As I fell, I caught a glimpse of John running full tilt towards the door and safety. As my brain finally registered this betrayal I cursed him with everything left in me.

I felt the claw grip my leg and start to pull me in to the gap. I’d promised myself that if it took me I wouldn’t give it the satisfaction of screaming. One last act of defiance, like it would somehow mean something. But that was one promise I couldn’t keep.


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