Volume 1 – The Phantom School
I could do nothing but stare at the door for a moment. I didn’t know if Onur was unable to answer, or worse… ‘unwilling’ to answer our calls.
Protecting him was the only reason we were left behind here near the cafeteria, but as soon as the other group was gone, we had lost him. Perhaps our presence wasn’t good enough against the power of ‘the community’. Mr. Kenan was right after all… Although we wouldn’t accomplish anything by standing there together, we should’ve never been separated.
Having lost one of us meant that we were much less powerful than we were before, and we now had a potential threat behind the door, right in front of us.
As our next move, we could run away and try to find Mr. Kenan’s group; or we could yell to lure them back here. Both options had advantages and disadvantages; we didn’t know where Mr. Kenan’s group was, so if we left our spot, we could lose each other in the large building. On the other hand, if we lured them back to where they left us, we would be bringing them closer to the potential danger.
After a hard desicion, I decided to go along with what Mr. Kenan told us to do. I shouted into the empty hallway, hoping someone would hear me. I looked into the long hallway as I waited for a reply, but no one shouted back. We could no longer hear anything from the other group, so I had no way to know if someone was coming for us, either with good or bad intentions.
In a feeling of hopelessness, I had the courage to close up to the cafeteria’s door. I kicked the door and shouted.
At the moment, we had nothing to do but wait and hope for the best.
“I can go and have a look at the lower floor, I will tell you if the other group is there.” said Melis.
“No!” Idil and I shouted at the same time. Idil continued:
“We are in this situation right now because we were separated. We have to stay together. If we need to find the other group, we have to do it together.” she said.
Suddenly, we heard a click somewhere close.
The cafeteria’s door was unlocked.
Normally, I would hurry to open the door to reach Onur and explore the cafeteria, bu we had no idea what happened inside. It wouldn’t be a brave move to kick the door open, it would be a stupid one.
We watched the door from the distance. I occassionally looked behind into the hallway; because Idil and Melis were too focused on the door to check if there was something behind them. Being a bit too paranoid wasn’t bad for our survival.
For a couple of minutes, we just stood there without moving even a little bit, like a wild animal watching it’s prey to hunt it down. Except, in our case, we were the prey.
Yet, the door didn’t move, and Mr. Kenan’s group wasn’t coming back.
I slowly started to approach the door, afraid of making any noise.
“Wait, what are you doing?” asked Idil, whispering.
“Nothing is happening around here.” I told her.
I kept walking slowly until I could reach the door. I leaned forward, and a small push was good enough to open the cafeteria’s door. I stepped back as the door slowly and silently swung open.
The cafeteria was empty. There was no sign of Onur ever being in there. Watching my surroundings carefully, I was about to enter the cafeteria. Just as I stepped in, I was pulled back.
I panicked and quickly turned around to escape.
To my relief, it was Idil. She was pulling me back by my uniform, softly. I sighed.
“No, we are not going in there.” she told me.
“He is not there.” I said.
“Maybe he is just very good at hiding. I’m not taking any risks.” Idil said.
“But we have to know.” I said. “We have to know his condition, so we can decide what to do next. If he has been turned against us, and we don’t act on it… who knows what could happen?”
“It is not something we should act on alone.” she said. “We should wait for Mr. Kenan to come back. He was right about everything all this time; so let’s try listening to him, for once!”
Although Mr. Kenan wasn’t wrong, we didn’t have a plan for every situation we could come across. Talking about this would mean starting a long argument, so I didn’t reply to Idil and just stepped into the cafeteria.
“We are going to regret this.” said Idil and followed me in. Melis hesitantly walked inside afterwards.
I looked around the cafeteria. It didn’t look like how I expected it to be. The place was tidy and organised, there was no sign of people having left the place in a rush. We were hungry and we had to eat something, so I started looking for food. Surprisingly, there was nothing.
“In the end, this was all for nothing.” I said in disappointment. “We had lost a friend in the process, and people will still be starving until morning.”
“How could we know?” said Melis.
“Everyone will just have to stand the hunger and pain until morning.” Idil said. It sounded simple enough, but it wasn’t that easy.
“So… don’t think about the hunger?” I said.
“If that works… yes.” replied Idil.
“It doesn’t.” said Melis.
Just then, a single drop of water dripped from the ceiling. And after that, a drop of blood.
I looked up.
Onur’s body was impaled on an iron beam on the ceiling, from his stomach. His head, arms and legs tended to hang down, but the tension of his muscles were keeping them straight. He was ocassionally having short spasms, throwing out blood and shaking violently. A small part of his spine, broken by the iron beam, was sticking out of his back.
The muscles on his neck relaxed, and his head hung down. There was no telling if he was still alive or dead, but I could clearly see the fear and pain in his face. He started throwing out lots of blood from his mouth. All of his muscles contracted. I backed away from the spot, staring at the body. I was about to vomit, but I could keep it in.