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“AAAAHHH!” screamed Cory as he woke up 6:30 AM. He was sweating profusely, his heart racing, his breathing heavy, and his arms and legs trembling.
“What happened?” said Cory’s parents as they rushed into his room still in their pajamas.
“Are you ok? Did you have another nightmare?”
Out of breath Cory responded “Yeah, I’m ok. It was just another nightmare.”
“Do you want anything to drink?”
“Sure, I’ll have a glass of water.” Cory’s mom walked out of the room and got him some water. Cory gulped it down when his mom returned with the water.
“You got lucky today,” said Cory’s dad. “It is about time for you to get ready for school. Take a shower, get dressed and come down for breakfast. What do you want to eat?”
“I’ll just have some pop tarts.”
“Ok,” Cory’s dad went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for everyone. Before Cory took a shower he looked at himself in the mirror. His dark brown hair was everywhere. It looked as if he had just rubbed a balloon on his head with his hair sticking straight up. His blue eyes were bloodshot from lack of sleep. He felt more relaxed after taking the nice warm shower. He even forgot the horrible nightmare he dreamt for a little bit. After the shower he got dressed and went downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast. The pop tarts he asked for were waiting for him on the kitchen table with a cold glass of milk. His parents had already finished their breakfast and were putting their dishes away. He sat there at the table alone. While sitting there he tried to keep his mind off the nightmare. He started to think about some TV shows and what was happening in school today. He remembered that there was a quiz today that he forgot to study for. After he finished breakfast he put his dishes away and got all his books in his backpack. While he was waiting for the school bus he started skimming his notes for the quiz in history.
After about five minutes he heard the school bus come to a screeching halt. He picked up his heavy back pack and boarded the bus. He walked down an isle until he found an open spot next to his friend Jordan. Jordan was about the same height as Cory. He had blond hair and brown eyes. He was good at just about everything he did. He was good at basketball, school, pranks, and especially chemistry, and Cory looked up to him for all of that.
“You ready for the test in history today, Cory?”
“What?” said Cory astonished “I thought that it was a quiz? I’d better start studying again.”
“At least you can study for that test during lunch”
“Yeah, hey what are we having for lunch anyway?”
“Green bean casserole”
“Jeez, that lunch is horrible. And I didn’t pack myself anything either. Today is going to be terrible.”
“At least you didn’t eat the meatloaf we had yesterday for lunch. I bet Richard is regretting it,” said Jordan as he pointed to a kid hunched over his seat holding his stomach.
The school day was actually unusually good. Cory found $10 laying on the ground, the history test he forgot to study for was postponed for two days because the teacher forgot to review a lesson, at lunch they ran out of casserole as he was coming through the line and started serving his favorite lunch, chicken patties with mashed potatoes and gravy, he didn’t get any homework that night, and he even made the varsity team in basketball as a sophomore. “This day is almost too good to be true,” thought Cory as he was getting home after basketball, but the next day would be one which Cory would never forget.
The next started like any other day. Cory had a nightmare, took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast, and waited for the school bus to arrive. When the bus arrived he sat next to Jordan again. “It looks like Richard ate the green bean casserole yesterday” said Cory
“Yeah, he looks even worse today,” said Jordan. Richard was hunched over his seat again but his face was a sickly yellow, and he looked as if he would throw up at any moment. When they got to school they both tried to help Richard by saying, “Richard you should see the school nurse, you look really sick.” The only reply they got was a low groan. “You might get out of school,” they both suggested.
They still got a groan but Richard seemed to cooperate and saw the nurse. Before Cory and Jordan reached the hallway they heard a loud scream. It sent chills through their spines like someone screeching their nails against a chalkboard. The scream sounded like it came from the nurse’s office. They rushed back to see what was wrong. Richard was gnawing at the throat of the nurse. She lay limp across the table dead. There was blood gushing out of her throat as Richard ate away. Jordan and Cory were both frozen with terror. Neither of them knew what to do. Just then Richard noticed them. He turned around. His face was covered in the nurse’s blood. He was chewing on a chunk of her neck, and his eyes looked cold and lifeless. Richard charged at Cory and Jordan, his bloody teeth glaring, ready to rip them apart. They quickly slammed the door shut and ran to get help. When they reached the hallway to get help they saw more people being eaten. “I can’t believe this is happening. This is usually something that happens in a movie or bad dream, not real life,” said Cory in a worried and scared voice.
“I think we should run out of here before we get eaten too.”
“Yeah that sounds like a good idea.” They both tried to quietly and calmly tip-toe to the front door. They successfully walked past many of the cannibal teachers and students. The teachers and students seemed preoccupied with their meals. As they were nearing the front door they both noticed a large number of cannibals in front of the door.
“We won’t be able to get past all of them without them noticing” said the very worried Cory.
“Then we will have to try a different door,” said Jordan. But every door they checked was the same. There were huge crowds of cannibals at every exit.
“You know what’s weird about all of this?”
“You mean other than the teachers and students eating each other?”
“We aren’t eating each other?”
“Yeah, but I was thinking that everyone who is eating people ate lunch the past few days.”
“But we both had lunch too and we aren’t eating people.”
“We had chicken patties, but everyone who ate the meatloaf and green bean casserole are eating people. This might be crazy but I think that the bad lunches turned them into cannibals. We should check the cafeteria for some clues.”
“Let’s hurry. It looks like the cannibals are almost finished eating their victim.” They both quickly and quietly rushed downstairs to the cafeteria. They encountered many cannibals on the way, just a few bites away from finishing off their victim. The cannibals who were eating the small freshmen finished before everyone else. They saw Cory and Jordan as they ran by. They gave a loud groan and chased after Cory and Jordan. Having heard the groan Cory and Jordan turned around to see what the cannibals were doing, only to see a small group of them charging at them. They quickly ran down the steps to the cafeteria, hoping that there were no cannibals in there. They ran past other cannibals on their way to the cafeteria, without bothering to avoid all the cannibals with some already chasing after them. As they were reaching the doors to the cafeteria Jordan slipped in a puddle of blood from one of their classmates. He tried to catch himself but couldn’t. He landed on the side of his foot, badly spraining his ankle. Jordan let out a terrible scream of pain and quickly grasped his ankle.
“Come on, Jordan. You have to stand up, we’re almost there” said Cory as he was helping Jordan. To their relief there were no cannibals in the cafeteria. They went in and got everything they could find to barricade the doors. They used tables, chairs, and even the salad bar to keep the cannibals from getting in. Both of them were gasping for air. They heard banging and scratching at the doors but the cannibals couldn’t get in.
“It looks like we have a moment to rest,” said Cory.
“As long as those tables and chairs hold up. Hey Cory, help me into the kitchen. I have an idea on how to kill all of the cannibals.”
“How could the two of us possibly kill all of them?”
“I learned in chemistry how to make a really strong poison out of things you would normally find in a kitchen, but it only works for a few minutes before it becomes harmless.”
“Then how do you suppose we use that to kill all of them?”
“Do you remember when I got suspended for a week after someone pulled to fire alarm, the sprinklers went off, and everyone evacuated the school?”
“Yeah, But both of us were in class when that happened. You didn’t do it so why were you suspended?”
“I found the pipes that connect to the fire sprinkler near the freezer in the cafeteria, connected a few two liters of Coke to it, and then convinced some freshman to pull the fire alarm. He pulled the fire alarm and Coke came out of the sprinklers. It was well worth it to see all the students with their mouths open to get some Coke and the faces of the teachers trying to figure out why everyone was drinking the water out of the fire sprinklers and trying to get everyone out. I was caught because the principal caught the freshman who pulled the alarm and he told on me.”
“Dang, I was sick that day.”
“I was planning on hooking up the poison and turning on the fire sprinklers.” They both tried to keep each other’s minds off of the possible failure of their plan. The Coke could have clogged up the pipes and the poison wouldn’t get to the sprinklers in time. After breaking off two big pot handles and using them as splints for Jordan’s ankle, he went to work on the poison.
“Cory, we need to find a big container to hold the poison, an oven to heat it up, bleach, baking soda, clog removal, cleaning stuff, and a place to hide when you pull the fire alarm. I can’t because my ankle is sprained.”
They quickly went to work to find everything. It wasn’t long before they found everything they needed. Jordan went to make the poison as Cory went around the cafeteria, looking for a good spot to hide. Cory found a place in the freezer to hide just as Jordan finished making the poison. Cory didn’t understand Jordan’s explanation when he asked how the poison is made and didn’t care as long as it worked. Jordan prepared to heat the mixture, causing it to become extremely poisonous for a few minutes when Cory said “I haven’t heard them banging or scratching on the door in a while. Maybe they all ate each other.”
“Go check before we possibly kill ourselves with the poison.” Cory went to the barricaded door and tried to look through the nearly completely covered window.
“I can’t see any cannibals. Maybe they all ate each other.”
“Let’s move some stuff to get a better view.”
They worked together to move some tables and chairs, just enough to see out of the window. They both looked out of the window.
“I don’t see any cannibals,” said Cory.
“Let’s go out and check.”
They went out of the cafeteria cautiously, half expecting to find all the cannibals dead and half expecting to be ambushed by them. As they were walking through the halls Cory heard something rush past them from behind. “Did you hear that?” said Cory, quickly turning around to see what it was. Jordan turned around to see what Cory was talking about.
“I didn’t hear anything.” Swoosh went something behind them.
“There it is again.”
“Ok, I heard it that time.” They stood back to back, hoping to see what was running past them.
“We should go back to the cafeteria,” said Cory.
They hurried back to the cafeteria. Cory was helping Jordan as he limped to the cafeteria. Before they reached the cafeteria they both heard a quiet growl. They turned around to see if it was a cannibal. As soon as they saw what was behind them, they both let out a loud scream and ran into the cafeteria for safety, but they weren’t fast enough. The creature went after the injured one of the two. It went after Jordan. The creature wasn’t a cannibal. It looked like a tiger with long claws. It grabbed Jordan by the leg with its teeth and effortlessly pulled him back. Cory tried as hard as he could to pull Jordan away from the creature but couldn’t.
“Help me,” screamed Jordan, but it was too late to do anything else. The creature sank its monstrous teeth into Jordan’s head, instantly killing him. Cory quickly went into the cafeteria, still looking back because he couldn’t believe that his best friend was killed. As he was running into the cafeteria he ran into one of the tables that were still blocking the other doors, causing all of them to fall on him. As he was about to push the tables off of him he saw many of the creatures searching the cafeteria for live food.
“What are these things? Whatever they are they must have come in when Jordan and I went out,” thought Cory as he was lying on the ground. He stayed on the ground motionless, as not to be seen by the creatures. “Where did they come from?” thought Cory. “I didn’t see anything like them before.” Just then he noticed some torn clothes on the creatures, very similar to the clothes the cannibals were wearing. “Did the cannibals mutate into these creatures?” thought Cory. Just then he saw the creature that ate Jordan walk by. Cory stayed as low to the ground as he could so the creature wouldn’t se him. As the creature walked by he noticed that this one was walking on two legs, and its paws became feet and hands, like those of a dinosaur. Cory poked his head out from under the table just enough to see the entire creature and then quickly pulled it back in. It looked exactly like a dinosaur and its large teeth were dripping with Jordan’s blood.
“I have to think of a plan if I am to survive. I know I’ll pull the fire alarm so the poison will kill them. Now I have to figure out a way to get to the fire alarm without being attacked by these creatures.” Cory looked around for the nearest fire alarm. Luckily, there was one right above him, but it was too high for to reach while lying down. He would have to get out from under the tables to pull it. Cory waited until all the creatures weren’t looking. The moment they were looking away he sprang out from under the tables and pulled the alarm. The alarm went off, blaring through the whole school. The noise was too much for the creatures. They immediately fell on the ground covering their ears. Soon after the alarm sounded the sprinklers went off. “Oh no,” said Cory with great fright. “I’m going to be killed by the poison too.” The sprinklers sprayed all over Cory and the creatures. “Oh well,” thought Cory “at least I killed all the creatures.” After a few seconds Cory said “Shouldn’t everything be dead?” As the creatures were on the ground in pain from the noise Cory went in the kitchen to check on the poison. It was still on the kitchen counter. Cory immediately put the poison on the stove and turned it on as high as it would go. He wasn’t sure how long the sprinklers would continue before they ran out of water. After a few minutes the alarm began to die down and the creatures stood back up. As soon as Cory saw this he immediately took the poison and rushed to connect it to the pipes. The creatures saw him running and went after him, hoping to make him their next meal. Cory connected the poison to the pipes as fast as he could and ran into the freezer. He tried to close the door but a few of the creatures got their heads in the door and wildly snapped at him. Cory quickly looked around the freezer to find anything he could use to fend off the creatures. With one hand he tried to close the door. With the other hand he reached for the lunch that was going to be served that day, Teriyaki Chicken with a side of brussel sprouts. He threw the disgusting meal in the creatures’ faces. Once the creatures tasted the food they fell on the floor. The horrible food quickly killed the creatures. Cory pushed their heads out of the door and shut it just in time. The poison reached the sprinklers and killed everything it touched. With a sigh of relief Cory said, “it’s finally over. Then suddenly there was a blinding flash of light in front of him. It then began to pull him in. Cory resisted as much as he could, but it was in vain. The light pulled him in. Moments later Cory found himself lying down on a hospital bed with his parents beside him.
“What’s going on? Where am I?” said Cory.
“You’re at the hospital” said Cory’s mom happily “You’ve been hypnotized for two days now. Oh I’m so glad that you are finally awake.”
“What? Hypnotized? What are you talking about?” asked Cory.
“You agreed to be hypnotized to try to get rid of your nightmares,” said some stranger in the corner of the room.
“Who are you?” asked Cory curiously.
“I am the psychiatrist who hypnotized you,” he said “My name is Dr. Steffens. You don’t remember me or that you were hypnotized because I temporarily erased your short term memory. This way you would think that what happened while you were hypnotized was real, and you would do what you would normally do in the situations you faced. So tell me, what happened while you were hypnotized.”
“Well, I’m not sure what really happened and what didn’t.” said Cory.
“Then would you please tell us what you remember, starting with the first unusual thing you think happened,” asked Dr. Steffens
“OK. Well, I went to school, a test that I forgot about was postponed.”
“Actually that didn’t happen entirely. You did take a test and you got a 73,” said Cory’s dad. “We’ll have a talk about that when you get home.”
“I got chicken patties for lunch instead of green bean casserole.”
“That also didn’t happen. You came home sick from eating the casserole,” said Cory’s mom.
“Let’s let Cory tell the whole story and then you two can tell him if it happened or not.” suggested Dr. Steffens. Cory’s parents agreed.
“I found $10 on the ground, I made the varsity basketball team, and the next day everyone at school except me and Jordan were eaten by students who were mutated by eating the bad cafeteria food for lunch. They then mutated into weird creatures when they ate something. Jordan made this poison to kill them but he was eaten, and I had to finish the poison, connect it to the fire sprinkler pipe, pull the fire alarm, and take cover. After all that I found myself here.”
“As far as we know you didn’t find $10 and you were almost cut from the basketball team because you were always tired and obviously the monsters weren’t real,” said Cory’s parents.
“By what you told us you shouldn’t have anymore nightmares,” said Dr. Steffens.
“Why’s that?” said Cory.
“Because you conquered your nightmare, you confronted your fears and you beat them. Despite your terror of the monsters you stood up to them and won.”
“So then why am I at the hospital?” asked Cory.
“After the first 5 hours we decided to take you here so the doctors could get food into your stomach and we didn’t know what else would happen. You had to be given a sedative because your heart rate skyrocketed. We were both worried that we were going to lose you,” said Cory’s parents. After their long talk Cory was taken home. He didn’t have nearly as many nightmares as he used to but he occasionally did have one. In two weeks of good sleep Cory’s grades improved and he became a starter for the JV basketball team. He later won a writing contest when he wrote what happened in his dream for creativity.
This will certify that the above work is completely original. Zachary Tewes
Cave Creek, Arizona
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