- Books, Literature, and Writing
The creative, dark fiction of Courtney Roeback
I can hear the screams of fear and gunshots coming from every direction. I can hear the sounds crawl their way up each floor, taking over and creating tension thick enough to slice. I was in the elevator when it began, and it isnt going nearly fast enough.Each floor I pass brings another prayer that a floor light will not illuminate and allow the doors to open. Maybe I am the only smart person from the hospital that proceded to the Student Learning Section to escape the chaos. This section of the building is usually only occupied by students and teachers.
Creeping up the building slowly, i am barely outrunning the screams and loud sounds similar to that of a backfire from a car, only rapid and like a clean line. I finally see the 15 light up above the door and hear only silence. Hoping no one beat me here, i cringe as the dooor opens slowly. I peel my eyes open and see nothing but an empty hallway and every classroom door shut. I run to the only door that I know isn't connected to any other room besides the room I intend to enter and pray for my life. Running full speed down the hallway, I finally reach Room 1510.
Not even thinking, I open the door quickly and rush in without looking to see if anyone was here to kill me. There are three gasps that make me turn towards the right. The line of blood from the door towards those three young gasps reveal not three people, but three young girls and one very injured male doctor still in his lab jacket soaked red with his own blood. The girls are all dress in pale green scrubs and covered in blood. Their hair pulled back into a slick ponytail on the backof their heads. There are two brunettes and a blonde. One brunette is short and stalky. She is average, and looks like a young mother with dark circles under her eyes and the overall look of exhaustion. On her scrubs is the name Amanda embroidered on ther right side of her chest. The other brunette is a tiny person. I would be surprised if she were taller than 4'10'' and weigh maybe 90 pounds. On her chest was the name Kelsey. The blonde's name was Nikki and looked like she should belong in LA or Vegas. However, the only thing that screamed at me from them was the look of sheer fear on their faces.They didn't need to say a word; their faces spoke morethan any words they could ever mutter.
I give myself maybe three seconds to compose myself before I start barking out orders. Quickly the girls follow anything i say without even a sound from them. We all rush to close the blinds and blockade the door with the few desks in the room. We were sure to make the room look as untouched as possible. The desk are not visible from the outside through the tiny window on the door. The blinds on the windows are angled down so we can see out from the floor but the room is completely concealed. All the while the gunshots are getting louder and more abundent.
We hide on the same wall as the door hoping someone just peaks in the window and spares our lives. Dragging the doctor to the wall he begins to tell us how to help him. These girls have only been in nursing school for maybe two months. Between the new nurses and my only psychological training, we are barely able to bandage Dr. Dade before we here the staircase door to our floor slam open. The floor was nearly silent a moment before, but now the only sound was industrial boots hitting floor as they crept closer slowly.
The footsteps stomp to the first room, Room 1501, and stop in front of the door. Suddenly a huge bang that could only be a door being kicked open and slamming against the wall precedes screams. All of the screams sounded completely terified and begging not to kill them. The screams grow louder once the fire of an assualt rifle begins and quickly silences those voices.
I jump and quiver with each passing second and room getting blasted with the deadly bullets. Sweat is collecting on my forehead, and each time those boots take a single step my heart pounds faster and faster.
The footsteps are getting louder and faster. That person is getting closer and closer to the room. The closer he gets, the more my body screams at me to run. Blood pumping through my veins faster and faster with each footstep.
The hospital students and faculty yelling and begging for their lives and dropping like flies. Each room results in same exact way. Slam, "PLEASE NO!!!", shots fired, and finally more footsteps.
Those terrifying boots stop at the room next to ours, Room 1508. All I can hear is my own heartbeat blasting my eardrums with each pump through my veins. We are in here just waiting for the same destiny as those other victims in the previous eight rooms. Kelsey is praying to God, Dr. Dade is slipping into his own slumber, Amanda and Nikki are crying quietly to themselves, and I am sinking further to the floor waiting for my death.
All of a sudden something catches my eye towards the window. Nikki gasps and whispers, "Oh my God! There's more of them on the roof! They're coming from everywhere..." trailing off with a whimper to begin crying. There are at least ten or fifteen more geared up terrorists on the roof and all breaking windows to get into the hospital. The grim reapers are equipped with more guns than an American Soldier on Middle-Eastern soil. The building shudders with each death bringer busting in on their awaiting victims.
We lay and wait for reapers to break our window and the footsteps to stop at our door. We all huddle together in a last attempt to feel the warmth of another human being. All of us shaking more than a Chihuahua in the middle of January. Fear, terror, and death on both sides of the room waiting to reach us and feed on our fear. We were prey and waiting for what was inevitably going to happen to us.
Bam, bam, bam. Slow quieter shots fired and quickly followed by a quick rip of the powerful assualt rifle.Both guns followed by two thuds. I composed myself and realized those slow shots could only be a handgun. Handguns are carried by the security guards for the hospital. Maybe one came to help us out, but surely he was dead like so many others. I only wait a second and crawl to the door, making sure to not bring any attention to our room so we remain invisible to those on the roof.
I make my way and look out the tiny rectangular window on the door. Looking out into the hallway, I see blood splattered on the gray walls and an identical dooracross the walkway. I reach for the handle and one of those young voices says, "What are you doing? There still might be more out there!" I quickly reply, "Only cops and security guards carry handguns. Our friends came with much larger arsenal. I'm going to raid those bodies of anything I can grab. I refuse to sit in this room, waiting for some person to fill my body full of metal. If I die, I am killing at least one of these bastards!"
Oh my Goodness! I feel like and action movie character. I can hear the badass tune in my ear as I push the desk aside and open the door. I am no longer the girl paid two hundred bucks to play the character, "Scared psychiatrist who gets killed before even muttering a word or line on camera". I am now Angelina Jolie playing "Gun toting, karma bringing main character", secretly hoping that title would not become "Dumb bitch who got balls and then received a chestful of assault rife rounds". I can't think like that! I have to be strong and become the hero because no one else is doing it, well, besides the dead security guard.
Creeping my head out the door, I can see one of the Grim Reapers laying lifeless on the floor in a puddle of his own neck blood. His neck is the only part of his body no covered in Kevlar, even his helmet is bulletproof. I struggle to remove and wear his vest and grab any ammo and weapons I can hold.
Then I come across two large guns. A sawed-off shotgun, I can be just like Punisher and bring revenge to any who have wronged me. An AK-47, I can be an escaped POW and bring suffering to any who get in my way. They are both fitting so I grab both guns and ready the AK for battle. I leave the mask behind so I am easily recognized as the savior I am.
I am wearing my blood soaked work clothes which are quite unpractical for this. Mypencil skirt is restricting, so I roll it halfway up my thighs to give me room to move. And thank God I chose flats for today instead of heels! My flats are virtually silent on the ground, so I speak up before entering the room across the hallway saying, "It's ok, He's dead. You can come out now." The door opens and four people come out hunched over, hoping I am not setting them up for their surprise death. We all flinch at more guns going off, not stopping the entire time.
"If you go and take the security guard's gun and find a better hiding spot. Take the people from Room 1510 with you," I yell over the chaos.
Then another nursing student maybe eighteen or nineteen replies, "What is your idea of a better hiding place? There are more men outside the windows and I can't stand playing this game of chance! I just want to be safe."
"Just go find a room with only one door and with no windows. That way you can shoot anyone who tries to enter that room. If you have to use that gun you will be able to get a higher powered gun," I say to her trying to calm her sligtly while keeping the intensity in my voice and message.
The young nurse immediately runs toward safety as I finish my sentence. Smart girl, I can only imagine her inner monologue, "Screw these people! I am getting the hell out of here!"
Suddenly the windows are broken in Room 1510. Those girls scream for their life and cry loudly and are hit with a stream of bullets. I run as fast as possible towards the elevator, figuring it would work in my favor again. Each floor I go down the gun shots and shrieks become more abundant and more back tingling. I reach the seventh floor and the background soundtrack now is louder than ever. I begin to ready myself mentally by telling myself to be strong and brave, make a difference! All of a sudden I hear, bunh. Bunh, bunh, bunh. Bunh, bunh, buuuunh. It is "Eye of the Tiger"! Am I about to have my veryown montage? I am stoked and humming when the doors open.
The first thing I see is a tale figure draped in black from head to toe carrying a gun, so I open fire. Whoa! That was great! I have never felt so powerful in my life. Still jamming to internal "Eye of the Tiger", I begin to run down the halls and slamming anything black full of bullets. My montage is going as fast as possible and every passing second seems more and more like an action scene. I feel invincible and powerful.
All of a sudden I am at the end of the last hallway. What can I do now? If I stop my out of body experience will end. To my right is the door to the staircase and ahead of me is a tiny room perfect for hiding. Slamming through the door I start down towards floor six.
I continue treating each floor like the one before, and by the third floor my lungs burn from running. I never work out, let alone run. My chest is sore from receiving shots to the chest. Wearing the vest saves your life, but doesn't help the pain from being shot. I refuse to quit! I need to keep going and saving people. Blood spattered walls surround me, and rooms are flying past me. Time is still just flying by and never slowing. Before I know it I'm halfway done with the third floor.
BAM! I am shot in the leg. I have never felt anything like this before. The pain is overwhelming and quickly crawling up my body. With each thud of my heart the puddle of my own blood grows darker and larger. My leg is throbbing, but I do not care, I try my hardest to take a step. If I can take this step, then I can keep going. Using all of my strength, I push my right leg forwards and collapse to the ground with a sharp throbbing pain. There is no continuing on, there is no more strength left in me.
I have to see the person who is going to kill me. I will not let this go, I have to look behind me. Looking back at me in an intense attack pose is a SWAT officer. His eyes are fixed on me through his helmet. Those deep blue eyes staring into my soul, he yells, "Stay on the floor! Don't even think about moving a muscle!" What is going on! I am the hero. I am the good guy. He needs to know the truth. The officer is speaking into a walkie-talkie on his left arm, "Suspect is down and injured on the third floor. We are located in the hallway in front of Room 321. Send backup immediately. I repeat, suspect is down and injured on the third floor. We are located in the hallway in front of Room 321. Send backup immediately. Begin to send in paramedics." I have to tell him the real story, his must have gotten mixed up. I begin to say, "I am the hero, no-" before he quickly cuts me off by angrily yelling, "Say another word and I taze you!" I give it another try, "I am g-" The only thing audible is a ticking quickly followed by a sharp pain in my leg when my body goes tense and then everything goes black.