The Dead Side | Teen Ink

The Dead Side

October 21, 2012
By LiederMadchen ELITE, Aurora, Oregon
LiederMadchen ELITE, Aurora, Oregon
132 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
For, I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
Loved I not honour more.
-- Richard Lovelace, quoted often by Baroness Emmuska Orczy in The Scarlet Pimpernel

It is so cold. The heater broke down hours ago, and the temperature has steadily dropped. I hug my knees to my chest and tried to squeeze further back into the corner as if the icy white walls can keep me warm.

On the right side of the room students are huddled together, trying to conserve warmth by holding onto their friends in bundled clumps of grotesquely cheerful Christmas sweaters. Even now, I am the odd one out. The one with no friends to keep me warm.

On the left side are the dead and dying. Mrs. Bowler succombed early on; her corpse lies splayed out next to her beloved oak desk. The only color her skin has left is in the deep red blisters spotting her neck and face Dried blood covers her chin and stains the otherwise pristine white of her blouse. I can see bits of vomit on her woollen green vest.

Amber is still moaning a little; her seizures ended a while ago, but even as I watch she gives a short gasp and goes still. Nobody even notices; the most popular girl in school is just another body now, lying amidst the seven other students who already passed and another two who are rapidly running out of breath.

It’s been twenty-two hours since Michael collapsed, vomiting up his lungs all over Carly’s pride and joy; her perfect golden curls. The room erupted into screams, cells were whipped out to both film the spectacle and call 911. The paramedics arrived just moments later, but too late to save Michael. Looking at the blisters marring his face, they turned whiter than him. Before we knew what was happening, we were locked in with only a brief explanation that the CDC was on its way.

There was shouting, screaming and fighting but as the hours slowly passed and one by one my classmates dropped like flies and the rest just sort of went quiet. Me, I’ve been here in the corner since it all began. Watching. I was the first one to notice when the CDC pulled up, though I didn’t say anything. They blocked off the area and put warning tape and police guards all around the school.

Over the loudspeaker, a doctor announced that we were under quarantine due to an outbreak of a rare and deadly disease. We were not told what disease, only that help would be there shortly. That was yesterday, and nobody has come.

I hear a whimper, followed by a sob. A girl I don’t know gets up and stumbles over to sit on the left side. The dead side. There is a blister on her cheek. I look away from her and out the window where police lights paint the snow red and blue. I can see cars just outside the cordon. A man and woman are locked in an embrace next to an ambulance, and I recognize them as Mr. and Mrs. Harley, Carly’s parents. They probably don’t know it yet, but their daughter died just after midnight.

My parents aren’t out there, because they died long ago. Not that they would have cared even if they were still alive. They never paid much attention to me anyway. I wonder as I sit there, when we are all dead and the doctors come in to examine our bodies, will anyone even recognize me? I don’t think so. If I could, I would take all of the disease within myself so I was the only one to die. Nobody would miss me. There would be no one to mourn, no hearts to break. It would be better that way.

I feel a sting on the back of my hand, and I look down. An angry red welt has risen just where hand meets wrist. I don’t cry like the others, there would be no point in it. I just stand up and walk to the left side. The dead side.

The author's comments:
I wrote this with a prompt of a quarantined high school class.

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This article has 1 comment.

Kirika GOLD said...
on Oct. 23 2012 at 5:31 pm
Kirika GOLD, Worcester, Massachusetts
14 articles 8 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

(;_;) THATS SO SAD!!! =(