The Gunman

A bang. A pop. A explosion. Whatever you choose to call it, made its way through a school, changing lives in an instant. A gunman had made his way to the shool, done with the years of torture and bullying. It was his time to make a statement. This story follows many different perspectives of the shooting going from parents, to victims, to survivors, and even to the shooter himself. Read the feelings of people trying to escape.

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5. Austin

The dark, cramped space smelled of sweat and urine. Some kids were crying, others were just silent, staring, and empty. I didn’t know which one would be worse, crying, letting people know you’re scared. Or just sitting there, lost too much in the fear that you couldn’t even blink. I wasn’t really doing either one. All I could think to do was sit there, curled in a ball, and tell myself I was going to get through it. I wasn’t empty, I was totally aware. But there were no tears that fell out of my eyes; I was too busy talking to myself, letting myself know all was going to be fine. The teacher wasn’t helping at all. He sat in the corner, and I was pretty sure he was the one that the urine smell was coming from.

            We had been sitting here like this for an hour. There were cops outside, someone must have called them. But the cops wouldn’t enter the building they kept their distance. The only think that kept us sane was the sirens that let us know they hadn’t left us. The bad thing was, it distracted us all from the quiet of the school so we couldn't hear the footsteps of a madman clacking towards the room we huddled in. Until it was too late.

            The lock on the door only momentarily held the boy at bay, but all it took was a few shots and the door flew open. A few kids screamed, I think I was one of them. I wasn’t too sure though.

            The boy stomped through the class and lifted his gun, he was starting to get anxious of something. Maybe it was the cops, he knew he was going to get caught. Didn’t he? His gun was shaking in his hands, but when his voice escaped his mouth, it was angry, and clear. “Where’s Mr. Arnold?!” All the kids turned around to face the teacher in the very back corner, and he shook as he stood on his thin legs. “Here I am.” I voice was thin and shaky, much like his whole body.

            The gunman looked at the teacher, brown wire glasses, bald head, thin arms, legs, waist, and brown shoes. The teacher looked back, but with a more fearful expression that made everyone in the room fill with angst.

            “Do you see this gun?” The boy lifted his gun high above his head, and waved it around as if the teacher hadn’t noticed it. “Yeah.” The teacher nodded, “It’s a nice gun.” Mr. Arnold said, fast.

            “Do you know what guns can to do a person, Mr. Arnold? That the bullets that fly out of this gun right here goes faster than you can ever imagine? I could shoot you, in the head, or the heart, right now, and you’d die instantly. You’d never know what happened, wouldn’t feel any pain? You would just be… Gone.” The boy’s eyes flashed like he saw this as a magical thing, a beautiful escape. Who knows, maybe he did. Nobody knew what he was thinking or why he thought it. Nobody even knew who he was at the time.

            “Yes, I did know that you could kill me. Isn’t that the point of all of this?” The teacher’s eyes widened as if he couldn’t believe he had answered the question like that. He thought he was going to die.

            “Oh, no!” The boy shook his head wildly, “Not at all Mr. Arnold, not at all. You see, I was going to kill myself, but I wasn’t the one that did anything wrong. No, all of you did something wrong. Nobody helped, nobody said one word. Not a single, freaking word!” The boy twitched, then calmed down, “All of this, Mr. Arnold, is about closure. About making the world a better place. All of these people here have done something in the past. They’ve treated someone badly, or just didn’t help when someone needed the help. Well now, I’m helping. I’m helping the world.” He looked at all of u kids, huddled in a huge clump, “How old are you guys?” He asked flatly. Nobody dared say a word, “Oh sorry, was I not clear? HOW FREAKING OLD ARE ALL OF YOU WORTHLESS BEINGS?!”

            There was a chorus of “Thirteen” and “Fourteen” Going around the room and when it all stopped the boy said, “Thank you.” Nobody knew what was happening, we were all scared. Nothing made sense. Who was this guy?

            “Are you going to kill me?” The teacher asked quietly, his bottom lip stuck out like a little kid pouting to his mom when he couldn’t get something he wanted at the store. The boy cocked his head to the side, deep in thought. Then, he finally said, “No, not you. I have something much worse for you. Something you have to live with for the rest of your miserable existence. And just so you don’t intervene, not that you would anyways. You never do, you always watch, but never help. Just to make sure however, here’s what I’m gonna do.” The masked boy leaned in to the teacher’s ear like he was going to tell him a secret, but instead pulled the gun out and shot Mr. Arnold’s leg.

            Mr. Arnold’s scream made me feel the same agony he was feeling. He collapsed to the floor, his blood pooling around his body. It was then, that gun shots filled my ears, but this was no echo down the hall or over the loud speaker. This was right in front of me. I felt a tug, straight through my naval, and I fell to the cold floor. I tried to move, but couldn’t.

            As the light started to turn dull around my eyes, I realized that, I was finally crying. I guess it was always better to cry than fade away. Then, everything went dark and the last thing I heard, was a single, last gun shot, hitting another student.

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