Epilogue

Radio Guy 1: Boxford’s Graduation was cancelled due to lack of attendance. The handful of students who signed up to walk have been contacted and they’ll have their diploma mailed to them.

Radio Guy 2: That is a crazy story you have going there.

Radio Guy 1: I know right!

Radio Guy 2: Parents come home from their conveniently scheduled vacations to find their children have all gone missing, sounds like those moms will need some extra time at the day spa.

Radio Guy 1: And then the whole school burns down!

Radio Guy 2: I guess that’s a terrific way to celebrate graduation. But, I’m curious, what happened to the teachers?

Radio Guy 1: Nobody ever asks about the teachers.

 

“The tabloids started coming out later that week,” she said. “They were all over the place. One said we killed everybody,” she paused for a moment. “Technically we didn’t, they were already dead. The next tabloid said alien abduction. The parents believe a cult came and recruited them. They’re all a little bit crazy.”

“And what do you believe happened Olivia?”

“I don’t believe anything,” she replied sharply. “I was there, I saw what happened.”

“Are you sure?”

Olivia sat up from the couch and leaned in to stare at the person sitting across from her in an oversized chair. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

His white eyebrow raised. “What?”

“What do I ‘believe’ happened? You’re trying to make it out like I’m crazy. Is this some sort of cover up? Cadence said they might try that, do you work for the government?”

The man set his pad of paper down and adjusted his glasses. “Olivia, you need to calm down, I’m only here to try and help.”

“That’s all fine and dandy.” She stood up and straightened out her blouse. “But I’m only here for the happy drugs.”

She stormed to the large door on the far side of the office and then stopped short. She quickly hustled back to the couch and grabbed her purse. “Can’t forget the purse. Might need the gun.”

Without another pause, she walked back to the door and flung it open. Dione sitting in a plush leather couch waiting. Dione stood up and gave her a puzzled look. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah, he’s obviously part of the cover-up conspiracy.”

“So Cadi was right.” Dione shrugged and grabbed her jacket and they continued out the door.

“Are you sure this is the right place? I mean, how can you tell? It’s not like there’s a sign or anything.”

Cadence smiled at Xander. “Xander has a friend who knows somebody that once had a roommate that worked here.”

Victor stopped Cadence. “Are you serious?”

“No you moron,” she rolled her eyes. “I looked it up online.”

Victor looked at Xander who held up his hands in a defeated manner. “Don’t look at me man, this is her idea. I wanted to go watch zombie movies.”

“You’re a sick man, you do realize that right?”

Xander kissed Cadence’s forehead. “You know you love me for it.”

“Guys, I don’t think I can do this.”

Xander punched Victor in the arm. “You? What about me?”

Cadence grabbed Victor’s hand and started walking forward.

The parking lot was dimly lit. The only real light was coming from the door and the rose tinted windows too high to see into. The sound of loud music came bursting through the doors. Cadence pulled Victor along and Xander brought up the rear, his eyes looking to every shadow and occasionally he would turn around to make sure they weren’t being followed.

They reached the door and Victor’s face was flush white.

Cadence pointed at Xander with a stern face. “Stop thinking that every shadow is going to kill us.” She turned to Victor, “Stop being a pansy or I’ll kick your ass.”

Victor’s back straightened and the threat. The barking voice brought back fond memories of his deceased drill Sergeant. “Fine, let’s go.”

Cadence swung the door open and Victor walked in, his puffed up chest leading the way. Xander walked in after them, his eyes lowered, staring happily at the floorboards.

Victor knew what he was getting himself into, but he hadn’t been ready for this. The sight nearly threw him to the ground. There were dozens, no maybe a hundred men, dressed in military fatigues. Some of them wore desert camo and some in arctic. Some of the men only wore pants, exposing their chests. Victor fought hard not to stare at the bare-chested men.

Cadence smiled as she saw the stage with two men wearing forest colored thongs and military issue boots. “Isn’t this great! Let’s get to the bar.”

Victor looked at Xander. “Why did you let this happen?”

Xander raised an eyebrow at the man. “I’m at military night at a gay bar with my girlfriend and my gay best friend, you think I was given an option?”

They reached the bar after pushing through the masses and Cadence had already ordered beer. Victor turned around, and as quickly as he brought the bottle down from his lips a man was standing in front of him. “You the real thing huh?”

Victor looked to Cadence to see she was already off dancing with two near naked men. “Uh, how do you mean?”

“You walk like military, you’re the real deal.”

Victor played clueless. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

The guy punched Victor in the arm hard enough to leave a bruise. “Don’t play with me. I just got back from overseas, been stationed here for a couple of weeks.”

Victor couldn’t help but smile realizing this was a fellow Marine. “Semper Fi.”

The man clinked his bottle with Victor’s. “Semper Fi,” he took a swig, “My name’s Rick.”

Min took a deep breath and exhaled and opened her eyes slowly. Before her stood several small children wearing matching gis. They each repeated her movements except for one little girl.

Min kneeled down in front of the short red head. “Why aren’t you following through?”

“I don’t know how.”

Min wanted to roll her eyes and yell at the small child. She found a warm happy place in her head. “Let’s try it one more time.”

She stood next to the girl and nodded at her as they started. The girl’s movements, while a bit sloppy, were fairly accurate. Min smiled at her. “You can do anything you put your mind to.”

She stood in front of each of them and took another bow and they followed suit. “Your parents are waiting for you,” she stated, “and remember to practice before next week!”

Each of the little kids ran from the mats to the lobby where happy mothers picked them up and smiled. She waved to the rug rats and worked her way to the back of the dojo. She saw her father sitting at the computer. “I told you, I would help you teach until your foot got better, not do it for you.”

“You do it so well!”

“What have you been doing in here father? What would other dad say?”

She walked around the desk and saw the all too familiar Youtube screen. “I cannot believe you’re watching this drivel.”

“Daytime soaps are good,” he looked at the screen and cooed. “So many gorgeous men.”

Min rolled her eyes and unsnapped the clasp on her collar when she heard a familiar voice in the room. “Nurse Harts?”

She checked the front of the dojo but didn’t see anybody. “Father did you hear that woman’s voice?”

“You’re acting crazy Min. It’s just the computer TV.”

Min leaned over his shoulder and looked at the small box. In the middle of the screen, on her father’s favorite daytime soap was a woman that looked far too familiar.

“You’re going to put me in a coma?”

“Is there anything wrong with that?”

Nurse Harts flung her arms around. “Generally, when a person goes into a coma, you throw a blanket over their head and fire the actress.”

The studio executive tried to appear stunned. “We would never do that.”

“Then what’s my next plot line?”

The man sat back in his executive office chair and stared at the beautiful woman standing at the front of his desk. “The truth is Mrs. Harts, some of the other actors are a bit scared of you. Ever since we did the zombie plot, you’ve been a bit odd.”

She scoffed at him. “That’s because you know nothing about zombies.”

“And you do?”

“Did you read my resume? There’s an entire section about being a professional nurse and freelance zombie slayer. God, you’re all morons.”

“Mrs. Harts,” the executive stood up. “I think you need to reexamine why you joined this profession in the first place.”

Before her mind even began to venture down memory lane she put a stop to it. She slammed her hand down on the desk. Leaning into the man she reached out and grabbed the front of his shirt. “Either you hire a new writer or I will come find you,” she waited for the fear to set in his eyes. “You have pissed off the wrong soap star.”

She patted the front of his shirt back down and stood up, straightening her blouse. She gave her hair a quick fluff and headed out the door back to her dressing room. The executive tried to inhale, tried to stop his racing pulse, but the terror he just witnessed wouldn’t go away.

Mrs. V quietly flipped through her database. She sneared at the numerous missing books. “I will hunt you down if those don’t make it back,” she hissed at the screen.

From across the room she heard a loud sigh and the sound of a student sipping their Grande Ice Latte through a straw. With a deadly precision she hissed, “Shhh,” and every person in the library froze. The volume dropped to a distant whisper. She felt the rush of power flow through her veins. She loved that an effortless sound did more than the loaded Beretta mounted underneath the desk.

Looking back down to the computer screen she heard the familiar ding of an open front door. Without raising her eyes she knew something was off in the universe. The hair on the back of her neck started to rise. She instinctively reached for her loaded companion.

“Mrs. V,” said a gruff voice. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

A red dot hovered over her heart. “Who are you?”

She pulled her hand away and looked up to the man wearing a custom suit and his female associate. His handlebar moustache showed his years. “Mrs. V,” he said quietly. “we’re here to take care of you.”

Her hand slid away from the desk up her leg to the revolver she kept on her inner leg holster. “I could drop you both before we had time to blink.”

“I know you could,” he put his hands on the desk and leaned in. “After all, you are a librarian.”

Her eyebrow rose. She was intrigued by the handsome man in front of her. “Then we’re at a draw sir.”

He reached into his jacket slowly, and tossed a small square onto the desk. “I’ve heard you’ve had certain experiences in your life,” she waited to hear the gunfire. “I want to recruit you.”

She looked up from the photograph of her former high school and gave him a confused look. “For what?”

“We need your help,” his lip curled into a smile. “Don’t you know, there is always a sequel.”