The clothes he wore were a little worse for wear, some tattered, and ripped fabric with a dash of dried blood on his flaying garments that flacked with his movement. I could sense the hunger. Now it made some sense. Sebastián wanted me; so, he befriended me and tried to ease his way into my social circle.
The new blood arrived on the block; he peed on me, and Sebastián didn't like that very much. Therefore, they fought over me. In a weird twisted way, I felt flattered, but not to the point that it was cute as both of them intended to eat me.
The boys wouldn't get the door open in time. Plus, it would also put them in danger. I believe they could see I no longer posed a threat, and Jimmy was the first one starting to move stuff from the door, and this time around, Elliot was the one stopping him. I jerked backward, keeping my eyes on Bao for any sly movement.
The moment I dreaded came. Bao started to violently convulse and growl; his skin grew darker, some hair even surfaced that wasn't as thick in the first place, and it was now abundantly clear that he was transforming.
I would not get another chance to put some distance between him and me, so I high-tailed it.
Jimmy and Elliot clobbered the windows with their bare hands, each one making loud plops that made the glass reverberate. They were supporting me in the decision to run.
Not that I needed to be encouraged.
I didn't know where I was going. Sure, I had come upstairs to use the toilet, but other than that, I never hung around up there. I knew the indoor running track, and basketball theatre was down the long corridor opposite the gym.
Therefore, I ran for the indoor gymnasium. I felt like I wanted to get sick; my throat was now dry again. Not that the drink at the fountain had helped in the slightest. My knees ached from all the running I had done. I don't think I had ever done so much running all in one day. When you swim a lot and are in the pool, it doesn't seem like such a big deal on the joints.
Bypassing the restroom that I frequented, I pivoted over my shoulder, catching sight of Bao walking around the corner, seeming to enjoy every minute of terrifying me.
The absence of human light was wholly felt, and with the lights off down that hallway, I found it difficult to make out the door in the distance. Arms extended, I ran arm-first into the door. There was no time for pain. Rhythmically I forced down the lever four, five, and six times for good measure, yet the door didn't open. Here I had been thinking that my bad luck with doors being locked had ended, but there is always that one bloody door. I was going to die, alone and afraid in the dark.
Then a picture in my mind flashed forward of a fire extinguisher to the left of the door. I knew it was there because when construction work wasn't going on, and the light happened to be working, that's where it was permanently stationed.
Stumbling in the dark, my fingers straining in the deep blackness, I found it. The only light came from the small glass panels in the wooden door that led out on the running track on the second floor. Some sense of relief came when I came across the steel contraption. I set about prying it off the wall and taking it to the glass panel at the bottom of the gymnasium door. The glass broke without much fuss. I edged the loose shards away so I wouldn't cut myself when I crawled through, and then I launched the fire extinguisher through the small opening.
Taking one last short glance back at Bao, he started to break into a run, and his transformation was complete. My terror guided my decision; I thought I would have gotten through the gap in the door by crawling, but my brain didn't know about being calm and collected. Alternatively, my mind told my body to fire itself into the other room, and I did. What followed was a loud, but incredible bang as the door was rammed hard. The lock held together, but I heard the wood splitting away from the hinges, and I smelt the dust from the concrete mortar in the walls.
Placing my hand down firmly on the ground, I pushed myself up, but cut myself on the palm with some of the glass on the floor.
I let out a yelp, and my god, did it hurt.
It felt like a fire had burned and raged under my skin the moment it happened.
Bao gave the door another bang, thinking he'd be able to force his way inside, but when that didn't work, he started to crawl through the opening I made.
Bao's head appeared in the small gap, his hairy arms reached out through the hole, all tangled and determined.
Frenzied, my eyes scoured the floor for the extinguisher in the dark, and with the hue of red, it rested against the railing that overlooked the basketball court. It was just us two now, evident by Bao's roars filling the empty auditorium.
Latching onto the bottle, I unfastened the pipe, pulled the pin, and pressed down on the release handle until a cloud of white mist exploded from the black funnel. Bao disappeared among the cloud, and I subconsciously backed up just in case he managed to get through the door. His disgruntled groans and irritation projected outward in the form of grumbles. From the sudden discharge of the powder, my hands were numbed to the sub-par temperature. Though the fire extinguishers' use seemed like a good idea, it spluttered when it ran on empty, just to mock me.
The cylinder wasn't massive, so it was evident it would run out before I even got started. It did feel like, for a moment, I could defend myself. Instead, when the thick layer of frigid air dissipated, Bao was still lying in the bottom of the door, licking himself and frantically sneezing. It seemed that Bao was confused about what had happened, but he was unburdened by the rapid release of frost. When Bao realized what had happened, he got back to his old tricks and began to climb out through the small gap. This was it, I thought. It's my last stand. Panicking, I swung forward and plunged the flask into his face, and he let out an angered growl.
Seeing as I enticed him even further to kill me, I took off running down the track, naturally staggering back and forth among the lanes as I looked for my sign of escape. It appeared that there was no other exit point other than the door I came in, and that meant he had cut me off from running anywhere else. The only place I could go was over the balcony and to the basketball court below.
The elevated platform was banked to the right at the end of the room. I could make out the steel structure of the pitched hoop. Running parallel to the railing, I scoured for any indication of a structure that I could use to climb down to the ground level.
Back at the door, I heard the remainder of Bao's big muscular body squeeze through the narrow slit, and it was shortly followed by galloping. It seemed like he was cantering. If that was even possible for a human to do.
On my right, the metal joists from one of the basketball hoops appeared. So, I slowed, mounted the fence, and dropped onto the thin brace that held it to the wall. The metal frame creaked and clicked as I shifted my body weight across the median—interlocking my fingers with the struts on the spine of the backboard.
I now realized I had nowhere to go, and the only progression was to traverse the backboard around to the net. Pegging my leg against the side of the frame, I attempted to cast it around the side, but the wolf caught up and stretched out over the banister. I veered into the side of the backboard and lost my footing in an attempt to get away from Bao, yet I didn't fall; I somehow unsteadily clasped onto the side.
All the while, Bao effortlessly clambered the railing and perched on it, and his reach was just a fraction away from grabbing hold of me.
Dismayed, I jolted out of the way of his hand, the claws razor-sharp, already stained with a dark crimson color. The sudden motion of the action made me lose the last piece of stable gripping I held onto, and I slipped. The floor underneath fell faster than I was anticipating, and my face walloped the side of the hardboard.
My yelp filled the quiet room, and without realizing it, I managed to grab hold of a frail piece of the bar underneath the mainframe. There I was, dangling, just waiting for the big beast to come down and pick me up with one hand and take me away. Even as much as I was afraid of falling, something wouldn't let me hold on. When I saw Bao's hand extend out to grab hold of me, my grip slackened, and I fell. The initial fall seemed slower than I imagined, but it felt like nothing at all when I hit the ground. The loud thump of my body hitting the wooden gymnasium floor bounced off the empty bleachers; the rafters cooed with the faint wind outside, and the growling of the werewolf subsided as I hit the ground.
My pain wasn't vocal. It was not so much of a cry, but rather a faint gurgle at the back of my throat. The only thing my body managed to do was leak tears, and the pain that was delayed eventually came like a bullet train. It washed over me; the agony burned up my spine and down my legs. The back of my skull began this drubbing; my head hurt. All I could do was look up at the ceiling, watching him look down at me, and in return, I watched him. There was a moment of stillness; the two of us just stared at each other, but I couldn't force myself to get up. Everything stung too bad that all I could focus on was the suffering.
Though somewhere out there in the darkness, abrupt screaming, and jeering started. It had to be Elliot; I knew that voice anywhere, and considering he decided to leave the safety of his fort behind all of that gym equipment, it made me feel valued enough to warrant being rescued.
Yet, what startled me was not Elliot calling out above, who was, in turn, taking the werewolf's attention away from me. Bao was now climbing back over the fence and making his way back to the door we crawled out of upstairs. Instead, I jumped and began scrambling sideward when an unexpected boy tapped on my shoulder.