Alec grimaced as he ran down the steps of the school campus, splashing water up his legs, soaking through his thin black pants. He stifled a shiver as he made a left into the school building, Kia and Emma on his heels. The building was eerily quiet, which was quite unsettling, and a cold, black fear began to blossom in his lungs, making his breathing quick and sharp.
"Alec?" Emma asked, noticing Alec's hesitation as they walked slowly down the corridor. "Are you okay?"
"Fine," Alec said confidently, turning to the two girls. "What's the plan? We haven't got any weapons..."
Emma sighed, and rummaged around in her school bag urgently. Finally, her hand protruded, holding a long, silver, wand-like instrument.
"What the hell is that? Some kind of pen?" Kia said incredulously.
"It's a stele," Alec stated, and began tracing it over his skin, creating odd markings that Kia didn't recognise.
"A what? Look Alec, I don't think that this is the time to be tattooing yourself-"
"He isn't," Emma interrupted, as she continued rummaging around in her bag. "They're called runes. They'll help him in battle."
"Battle-?" Kia said, her eyebrows shooting up her forehead. "Will he be tattooing - I mean, drawing runes - on all of us then?"
"Of course not," Alec snapped, "You're a mundane. You wouldn't be able to survive the runes unless you were a Nephilim."
Kia decided that she had already asked too many questions, although she was quite curious as to know what a Nephilim actually was. She had known Emma, Alec and Alec's twin sister Isabelle almost her whole life due to her close friendship with Emma, and they'd never seemed any different from normal children - besides from the fact that each of them excelled in PE, or anything physical.
"Ah," Emma said finally, pulling two ruby encrusted daggers out of her school bag. They glinted in the pale light that radiated from a nearby window, and Kia's mouth widened in horror. Why was Emma bringing knives into school? Did she not realise that it was illegal?
"Wait, do you guys actually know what these things are?" Kia said, as her, Alec and Emma made their way toward the large, wooden panelled doors that lead into the school's main hall. Usually, two old, limestone gargoyles sat either side of the door frame, but Kia noticed that one of them had been knocked over, resulting in its head falling off.
"Well, yeah," Emma said, raising her dagger as Alec walked slowly towards the door. "They're zombies. Well, rogue zombies. No sane Downworlder would ever plan a stunt as stupid as this, what with the Accords-"
"Ready?" Alec, interrupted, touching Emma's stele to the door lock. Kia took a deep breath as the door swung open with a heavy sounding click, and the decaying smell of rotting bodies once again filled her nostrils. She wrinkled her nose in disgust, and followed the pair of cousins as they stepped into the room.
The first thing Kia noticed was Isabelle Lightwood. She stood in the far corner, her dark hair cascading down her back in loose waves, brandishing what appeared to be a golden whip. Behind her, she saw one of her best friends Simon, who happened to also be Izzy's boyfriend, attempting to guide a crying 8th grader to safety.
"Izzy! Simon!" Kia yelled, but they appeared not to hear her.
"Look! There's Hannah, Tara, Jodie and Felix!" Emma said, "Kia and I will go help them. You go to Izzy."
Just hearing Felix and Jodie's names spoken together out loud made Kia wince, but she subsided, as Jodie was Emma's younger sister after all.
"Kia!" Felix shouted as they got closer. Kia felt as though she might be sick. "I'm so glad you're safe."
Felix pulled Kia against his chest, resting his chin on the top of her head. For a moment she was stiff, but then finally, she wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her face in his shoulder. He smelt good, a mixture of pine and aftershave and, she realised with disgust, blood.
When he eventually let go, Kia felt a blush rise to her cheeks, but she told herself not to think about that now, not when there were other, more important tasks at hand.
"Right, so obviously we're dealing with Zombies," Emma said, resulting in nods from Jodie, Tara and Hannah. What sounded like a snarl escaped from Hannah's mouth, but Kia was certain she had just imagined it.
"I don't hate many things, but god, I hate Zombies." Hannah said, bitterly. Her light, almost white blonde hair was twisted into a knot at the back of her head, and her pale skin looked almost iridescent in the dim light.
"Yes, well, you and Felix would, of all people, wouldn't you," Jodie chimed in, her voice so sweet that it was almost melodic. Hannah's usually cool oceanic blue eyes blazed like blue flames set into her face.
"Well maybe if they hadn't sided with The Moon's Children-"
"That's enough!" Emma yelled, as a nearby Zombie began to stagger over to them. Fast as lightning, Emma launched the dagger she had been holding at the Zombie's head, and it embedded itself there with a satisfying crunch. "We need to get out of here. Kia's house is the closest."
"Where does Kia live?" Tara said, cooly. Her usually brown eyes appeared to gleam a peculiar shade of purple, and her midnight blue, almost black hair hung lose, covering a quarter of the Autobot symbol on her white cotton t-shirt.
"Just across the road," Kia said, bashfully. The only person who had ever been round her house was Emma, and on the odd occasion, Isabelle.
"Right. Tara, is there any spell you could cast that would absolutely guarantee us getting out of-"
Emma was interrupted by a loud rumble of thunder echoing through the Hall, and she blinked her long eyelashes dim wittedly. Glancing around her, she noticed that the floor was almost entirely red with thick, fresh blood, and most of the Zombies appeared to be feasting on forty per cent of the student population.
"Shit," she said.
Suddenly, Alec, Izzy and Simon arrived, all covered in blood and dripping with sweat, but seemingly uninjured. "Did anyone get bit?" Izzy said, as she coiled her whip around her wrist. It resembled a serpentine bracelet.
"No," Jodie responded, and Kia noticed another stele sticking out of her back pocket. "But we better get moving now, though, or one of us will be."
"But what about the others?" Alec, said, as they walked as silently as they could to the Hall doors. "I promised them that I would go back for them."
A pained expression clouded Izzy's face. "Okay," she said finally, "You and I will go back and try to save them. Everyone else, go to Kia's. We'll meet you there shortly."
Kia watched as Simon leaned forward and kissed Izzy's forehead, wrapping her in a tight embrace, before she and Alec took off back in the direction in which they had came. A feeling of discomfort bubbled in her chest, but she chose to ignore it. All that mattered to her now was survival.