Finally, doctors have found a cure for the common cold. Parents all around the United States take their children to get this life-changing vaccine. You don't have children and have always had a strong immune system, so you decide you don't need this new vaccine, but you can't help but pay attention to the commercials.
"Don't you hate that sick feeling you get from the cold? You could believe a simple shot could make you forget about this forever? This vaccine has been tested again and again to ensure your safety and wellness. Side-effects may include extreme drowsiness, mood swings, and swelling of the lower eyelids. Temporary side-effects are nausea, dizziness, and loss of coordination. After receiving the vaccine, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least three days."
Typical, but nothing extraordinary. You glance at the clock near the television. 7:34. You're going to be late for work as a janitor at the local public elementary school. You slip on your Crocs, grab your backpack off of the couch, and make your way to the garage. On your way you see the mailman at the mailbox. You always BS with him. He has been your mailman for over twelve years. He tells you that he was thinking about getting his son vaccinated. It's not shocking; it seems to be all over the news and the topic of choice for mothers and other adults.
You politely tell him that you will talk with him tomorrow. You arrive at the school, slipping on your headphones, and focus on sweeping the floors. You do not look up at any students. Why would you? Why would you care?
Some time passes and you leave the building after disinfecting every desk and scrubbing every sink in every bathroom. You open the back door and walk to your car. Rage pours through your veins as you see the windshield of your car is smashed. You look and see a boy. He may have been in fourth or fifth grade. He tilts his head forward and raises his eyebrows. You wonder why he makes this face, and then it hits you. His lower eyelids are extremely swollen.
You want to confront him, but decide to let him go. There's nothing he can do for you. Tomorrow, you'll park in the hospital parking lot on the other side of the street. You see the boy slowly, tiredly, walking away. After about seven steps, he leans up against the brick wall he's walking next to. You open your driver's side door, sweep some broken glass from the seat, drive home, and go to sleep.
Your alarm clock's battery died. You walk into the living room and squint at the clock near your television. It's 8:04. Great, you're already late and you haven't even brushed your teeth. You get ready and arrive at work. Your boss, a fifth grade English teacher, wants to speak with you. You walk into his classroom and notice all of the children either slouching in their seats or sleeping with their heads on the desks. He tells you how unacceptable it is for you to be coming in late so often and made you promise that it will never happen again, then excuses you. You walk towards the door, but have your eyes glued to the puffy eyelids of the children.
A boy in the front row began snoring on his desk, clutching a sharpened pencil, a pen, and an eraser. You see the teacher nudge the boy and ask him to stay awake, but then the boy's face twists as he stabs the teacher in the heart with the pencil. You try to scream but you're frozen in shock and only two words flash in your mind: mood swings.
None of the students seem to have noticed what just happened before their eyes. You suddenly gain control of your body and scream for help. This angers the children, whose faces now portray extreme hatred. Some of them charge you with energy you would expect from fifth graders, and others just limp towards you like zombies from the video games you play until morning. Their eyes were glued shut with pus, but somehow they knew just where you were. You run down the hallways, screaming uncontrollably.
As you look to your left and right, into other classrooms, you see blood. Everywhere. You don't know what happened, but you continue to scream. The children from other rooms begin to chase you in a similar fashion as those behind you. Some of them cover their ears and you realize that your screaming is angering them. You decide to stop, but you can't.
Children are coming from everywhere. There is nowhere left to run. There are no adults around other than you. You try to decide what to do, but then you notice blood streaming down your arm. A child has bitten your shoulder and is still holding on. The others see this and begin biting you, too. You are panicking, but the sea of children has surrounded you.
You notice that the students begin lifting and carrying desks, similarly to how a rock star would surf a crowd. A girl near you smashes it against your head. You should have seen that coming, you think as you fall to the ground. The children begin to slowly tear the skin off of your face and body with their teeth and nails. After a few hours, the pain kicks in as you slowly die of blood loss.
...if only you could get to the building on the other side of the street...