The day began just like any other day at my former school: enter the building and immediately head to the bottom floor for classes. Except today was different. Today, the lights seemed sharper, the colors duller, and when I reached the actual entrance to the school, two armed guards stood outside the doorway.
I met both their gazes and walked into the long main hallway, which was changed. It was now made entirely out of white tile that gleamed with an antiseptic sheen but reeked of concealed grime. I began to feel uneasy...no-one was in the hall and the place was unnaturally quiet. A pair of teachers were huddled and whispering in a doorway, but when they saw me approaching, they slunk back into the shadows of a darkened classroom.
I was the only student to appear in my first-hour classroom, but others slowly trickled in through the doorway - about five in all. The teacher never appeared, though another adult did walk in, requesting that we follow him to a different classroom on a lower level. He said the class had been moved and our other classmates were waiting for us there. Uneasily, we agreed to come with him.
He led us down dusty flights of stairs, past locked doors, through graveyards of forgotten clutter, deeper and deeper and finally into more of the white-tiled hallways. He stopped and opened a door to our left, beckoning for us to come inside. Instead of immediately filing through the door, we peered through, which was fortunate because otherwise we wouldn't have seen the sleeping bodies of our classmates hanging in hammocks from the ceiling.
Naturally, we turned and fled back the way we had come. The doctors, for that's what they were, yelled after us, but we didn't look back, as caught up in our flight of fear that we were.
Things became confused and we got separated. I ended up with one other boy, the smart-ass of the class. We didn't know if the others were going to make it, so we decided to forge on ahead, to keep going up. We didn't follow the exact same route to the surface, as we emerged from one of the locked doors on the main stairwell, above the guards and only one floor from the exit.
We tip-toed up the stairs, on the watch for any officials, careful for our shadows not to be seen. When we reached the exit, however, we found that it was guarded as well, and the principal, dressed in a white doctor's suit, was present. "There they are!" she said, and ordered the guards to carry us back into the school.
I kicked and struggled in a vain attempt to escape, but as my hope of that faded, so did the dream.