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Shadows in a White Night/Chapter 2

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Helen Peters cracked her dry eyes open. To her, only a handful of minutes had passed since.... since what? She remembered sitting in class. The teacher, Mr. Rodney, had called upon her sister to answer the science question jotted down on the chalkboard. Helen remembered watching her sister stand up, hands clenching a pencil so hard she was sure it would snap. She remembered looking at the board, and figuring out the answer on her own. But she didn't remember her sister answering.

Her sister? Glancing around her, she knew something bad had happened. The classroom she had been in many many times before has now in shambles. The chalkboard had cracks running like spiderwebs through it's black pane; most of the lights had been shattered, and those that hadn't been now flicker dimly as if on their last breaths.

There was very little light in the room, so she couldn't make out the details of everything. But Helen knew deep down that she didn't want to. Despite her intuition, curiosity got the better of her. "Hello?" she cried. As the sound leaked from her lips, she felt as if her throat had been scratched by both sandpaper and the claws of a cat, and she could taste blood.

"Ah, you're awake."

Helen spun towards the voice. Jackson Jones stood before her. The two had never spoken, let alone even looked at each other. Helen was shy and a bookworm, usually cowering behind a book while her extrovert sister made friends. Jackson had the best grades in the school, and was quite athletic. While he didn't have the best looks - most notably his somewhat-symmetrical face being ruined by a scar that ran down the side of his head - he was still very popular. Just seeing Jackson made Helen blush. "Y-yeah."

"You took a nasty tumble." Helen remembered now. She and Jackson had only ever shared one class in their seven years of being in the same school: Science. Of course. "You've been out for quite a while. The others are worried about you."

"Is my sister okay?" Helen registered "others", but instead of being curious about that, she wanted to know about her sister. She loved her sister more than anything, since she was the only person there for her after being shunned by their parents. Jackson scratched as his chin, where the short shavings of a beard were. After thinking for a moment, he noted something about her. "You're the first person not to ask 'what others?'." Jackson smiled. "Yes, your sister's fine. Come on, let's go see her." Jackson smiled again, this time flashing his pearl white teeth. As he exited the room, Helen took a final look around before scurrying after him.

The hallway was more or less the same story as the classroom. Everything was in shambled, holes through the walls. Something that shook Helen the wrong way were the amount of halls blocked by debris. As the two students walked past each one, a single thought echoed through her mind, and she finally mustered up the courage to ask her guide after passing the fifth blocked hallway. "What happened?"

Jackson stopped and Helen, only a few feet behind him, skidded to a stop as well. "We have no idea. We think it was a terrorist attack. All we know is that we're trapped in the school for now."

Helen gasped.


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