Prose Challenge – In less than 175 words, write a story that uses the sound of a beating heart for dramatic effect.
The alarm went off, and we all thought: “Oh not again.”
There were procedures, so it was a matter of following the evacuation plan.
This alarm was different, what started as an evacuation drill soon turned to lockdown.
I locked the doors and told the kids to sit until we received the all clear.
Then the pops started. From the end of the outside corridor, the pops were mixed with the screams of terrified students.
I told my charges to get on the floor, pull their desks over and hide behind them.
The door-handle to the classroom turned but it didn’t move and outside the pops continued as the screaming became more frantic. The rapid-fire increased, bullets punctured the classroom windows, around me students screamed. They huddled together, some clung to a companion, I found myself behind a desk where a girl was weeping.
Then there was silence. We held our breaths. There was a thumping; I thought the girl was hitting something. But it was her heartbeat.
The collective beating of hearts was all anyone could hear.