I’d been wondering what my mom meant when she said she’d seen things. I’ve never heard her so worked up.
Steph got home shortly after myself. It was then that she clarified the static-filled conversation we had as she was driving through the mountain pass toward home.
She told me what had happened before leaving early for the day; how she began to question everything she’s ever believed in, and come full circle.
A child by the name of Robert was feeling ill. From what I’ve heard in the past, this wasn’t unusual. Robert was gone 3 days a week with claims of illness. Those magical days he did show were filled with onslaughts of complaints; I have a headache, my stomach hurts, I can’t stop coughing (he would say with exaggerated loss of speech).
Steph never expected that the boy who cried wolf would be, well…the boy who cried wolf.
Once again, Robert was granted pardon. He knew the path to the nurse’s office well, which came in handy. Steph said that he looked like he was having real difficulty – like he was losing mobility and couldn’t see straight. He bumped into two students on the way to the door. Steph was thinking that if this was the fever, it was working quickly. It was only after everything happened, that she heard the details of the tragic event that took place at Emerald Elementary.
After a brief examination, Nurse Monica knew he should be at home or hospital. She instructed the boy to lie down on the cot as she made the call to his mother, who sounded like she was coming down with the same thing. She then called Stephanie to have a student bring Robert’s backpack to her office.
Given the symptoms, the nurse thought it best to contain what she had diagnosed as MAD flu.
Robert must’ve looked like he had fallen asleep. Worried, she went to check his forehead and was shocked to find a dramatic decrease in temperature. The fever had gone down, that much was certain. The strange thing was that it reduced in a matter of minutes.
Jacob, who was delivering the backpack, approached the glass wall to the nurse’s office. From there, he could see Robert pushing Nurse Monica against the east wall.
Blood sprayed against the glass. As the nurse forced the child away in shock, Jacob realized that she has been bitten. Horrified, he dropped the backpack and ran back to class.
All but one of the secretaries sprinted towards the principal’s office. The attendance secretary, Rose, remained. As she had the only seat not overlooking the nurse’s office window, she went to check on Robert and Monica. Rose gasped as Monica’s cries for help were silenced with a vicious bite to the throat.
Through the principal’s office window, they could see the blood making its way out of the nurse’s office. There was so much blood…pooling under the door and spreading across the floor. Eustace, the principal, dialed the police…and called for a Code Red Lockdown over the intercom.
In her class, Stephanie did her best to keep the kids calm and quiet. Lights were off, doors were locked, and the children crouched under their desks; standard protocol, only this wasn’t a drill.
After the police arrived, Eustace ordered an emergency evacuation until further notice. Stephanie, Jacob, and the office staff gave their statements to the police, who answered with disbelief.
Most of the staff, including Stephanie, left immediately after.