OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL,
SURROUNDED BY CROWD OF KIDS
Now that the alarm is off, kids are starting to calm down a bit, but they are once again drilling me with questions.
Genesis and her friend Sabrina aren’t beside me for backup, but I guess I dont really need it. I just wanted Genesis to stick around. Who can blame her though, after my impromptu crossing-of-the-line.
I climb up onto the rim of a concrete planter box that’s near at hand, and signal the kids to quiet down, raising my hands open palmed above my head. As I lower them, the crowd grows quiet…
I feel like a conductor in an orchestra.
I run my fingers through my hair, before saying
“Ok everybody, it seems like there’s no immediate danger, but people could have heard that for miles around…so we should remain in groups, and stay alert. I would even say post watch tonight, and sleep close together. There is safety in numbers. Lock your doors.”
I look around at the now quiet but very nervous bunch of towns kids and think
…how in the Hell did I end up calling-the-shots for this bunch of scared orphans?
I breath in and look at the school in time to see Wendy opening one of the school doors and holding it ajar… apparently she isn’t alone, but at least she seems safe.
I release the breath I didn’t realize I had been holding in, and plunge ahead with what I was saying.
“Since we’re all here, why dont we take a few minutes and then meet inside the gym to have this meeting.
And dont panic, I know that not everyone will have a solid plan yet in such short notice…but we need to keep working to figure this out.”
I turn my smile on each of them, recognizing many of the kids from school.
“We can do it together, I know we can.”
As I say this, I meet eyes with Genesis across the Crowd…
I try to hold her gaze, but my attention is abruptly diverted by my school-pal Daniel, who has jumped up beside me and begun happily thumping me on my back with his palm and saying “yeah, right on, man! We can do this!”
I laugh, catching my balance as I say to everyone gathered, "Ok everyone, see you inside in 10 minutes. "
I jump down off the planter box and Daniel follows me. My group of friends is already closing in…well at least I can put their appearance to good use.
I direct my 4 pals to the side and tell them that we need to make a sweep of the school to make sure that nobody is still inside. While the others mill around talking in small groups for the next ten minutes, the 5 of us are going to make certain there really is no immediate threat…
We head towards the school…