In reaction to all the shootings, if not just the recent ones then, well, all of them, this latest blogfest is a challenge to compose a 500 word story reaction. The host is none other than Pat Dilloway. Here's my contribution:
Jack was running through the halls. He was already in the halls when the announcement was broadcast for everyone to remain calm and inside their classrooms. He'd been alone then and was alone now, and he had no idea what to do, maybe duck into a bathroom.
He was running before he realized what he was doing. He was running toward the sound of the shooting. The shots were coming in rhythmic waves through the high school, steady as Jack's heartbeat, just a step or two behind. Whoever was doing it had planned to go all out.
The closer he got the more Jack had to keep reminding himself that at some point it had become a conscious decision. The gunshots were becoming mingled with loud wailing, so there were at least a few of them still alive. It was the art room. Jack was a lousy artist. For some reason, that's exactly what he began to think.
The door, of course, was wide open, but there was someone standing directly in the frame, Willow Bilson he realized. He had a crush on Willow. He tapped her shoulder, hoping that she wouldn't overreact. She didn't, and stepped aside just as he hoped she would. He was already looking inside the room when he realized what he was doing.
The shooting had stopped. When had that happened? He looked around. There were bodies all over the floor, but thankfully most of them were cowering under the long tables that still had sheets of paper strewn about them. He saw the body right away, the shooter, still clutching two semiautomatics. It was Simon Cave. Jack saw his whole experience with Simon flash before his eyes, and the hindsight explained everything. It only made sense.
"So, the coward shot himself," he said to no one in particular.
"No," a voice said behind him. It was Willow. Jack looked around. He saw the gun in her hand for the first time, and the pink handbag in the other. "It wasn't going to stop. He wouldn't stop, Jack."
She was trembling. The gun fell from her hand. Jack threw his arms around her, but struggled to find something to say. For the first time in his life, he saw her for something other than her beauty, and he wondered if he would ever see that again...