Millie was almost ready for the dance when suddenly her phone started to ring. It was almost time for Kevin to pick her up. She took a peek on the cell screen while finishing her makeup. But it was not Kevin’s name flashing on the screen rather it was an unknown contact. After hesitating for a moment she finally ceased dabbing the blender on her cheek and received the call. “Hello”-Millie answered it with a deep voice.
The other side didn’t reply anything at first. All she could hear was some loud panting, like someone was running desperately while calling at the same time. “Hello?! “-Millie asked again. This time a familiar female voice replied with utter distress -” Don’t go to the dance Millie. The Hall is under attack!! “
This time Millie somehow managed to recognize the voice. She replied with a bit surprise -” Martha?? Is that you? What’s going on? Are you okay? “
The voice from the other side faded a bit and again it sounded clearly
– ” I’m coming over to your house Mile.. Please don’t go out. I’ll explain everything to you once I’m there. Before that just stay inside. Shut the doors properly. Don’t open it unless you hear my voice.” The call was hung up.
Millie couldn’t understand what was exactly going on. This was their first high school dance. Kevin was supposed to pick Millie and meet Martha and Lucas at the venue. Millie was still trying to make some sense whatever that call said to her. She surely knew that was Martha. She checked her phone to see if anyone knew anything about it. Where were Kevin and Lucas? She tried to reach everyone of them but the whole cell network had somehow collapsed. There was no cell signal. Millie got confused. She turned on the TV to get some sense about it but there was no signal either. Now she got really frightened. Millie’s parents were supposed to be at work right now. “If what Martha said is true then where is Mom and Dad? How are they?” She closed her eyes in fear. Her head was filled with so many queries and worries it seemed impossible to calm down. She looked at the cell phone clock. It had been 15 minutes since the call. She opened her bedroom window to see if anyone could show her some light in this unknown chaos. To her surprise every single house of the neighborhood somehow sank into the dark, like everybody was trying to hide from something. It was only 6:15 in the evening but there wasn’t a single soul outside. Millie was almost going to call out to Mrs. Peter, her neighbor next door when she heard someone was calling her name. She peeked from her drawing room window. It was Martha. She rushed down the stairs to get the door. Martha looked devastated. Her whole face was reflecting some gruesome situation she unfortunately witnessed. She almost collapsed into Millie’s arms.
– “What is going on Martha!! Tell me..Tell me now. I don’t have a cell phone network. The TV’s not working. Where is everyone?” Millie babbled everything on one breathe.
– “Slow down Millie. Let’s go to your room before I say anything.” Martha was practically whispering at this point.
Millie nodded. She felt an awful silence in her. Martha looked like an old crumpled paper someone found 50 feet under the ground saving itself for a new age of discovery. Millie got some water for her and then two of them rushed up to the stairs to Millie’s room.
Martha finally started to talk.
– “I was getting ready for the dance when Lucas called me asking if I can get ready half an hour ago before we head to the dance. He wanted to take me to the new refreshment station Shake it and I happily agreed. He picked me up at 5:30 from my house and everything was going okay by then. “
Martha took a break for a few seconds. It looked like she was preparing herself to get some words out of her.
– “We were near the R. Bowery hall and there were bunch of high schoolers heading to the dance. Suddenly all I could hear was loud thud of gunfire and screams. Lucas and I tried to take cover inside the car. But we knew we have to get out of there as soon as possible. “
Martha took a pause again. She chugged some water and then in a frantic voice she said -” It was a massacre Millie. All I can see there were two black vans and more than 10 armed people firing into the hall mercilessly. “
Martha hugged her tightly to comfort her.
– “Where’s Lucas now? You guys were together right!? “Millie asked her gently.
Martha broke into tears. All this time she looked like she was collecting every piece of strength to tell the story but the sky has gotten heavy. She continued with sobbing
-“Millie.. I couldn’t clearly remember what happened after that. We were trying to get out of the car and then I heard something so loud, I blacked out. When I came back to consciousness Lucas wasn’t there. The only thing I could see was scattered lifeless high school students everywhere. At that moment I only thought of calling you to stop you from coming here. I couldn’t find my cell. So I went to the payphone and dialed your number. I didn’t memorize Kevin’s. So I called you. I felt this urge to come over to your house to make sure you don’t go out. Those people are dangerous Mile.” Martha sighed -” I am trying so hard to remember what happened before my black out but I can’t. After I got back my consciousness, everything around me seemed so different, so gloomy and it was awfully silent. It felt like a huge storm is going to hit me hard soon enough. “Martha’s eyes were reflecting nothing but fear.
Millie looked her in the eyes -” You don’t have to remember anything Martha. You probably have amnesia out of that shock. You are safe now. Let me see if this crappy cell phone network has come alive so I can contact someone else. But for now just try to calm down. I’ll get you a juice box. Stay calm.”
She went down the stairs to get some refreshment for Martha. The girl had just witnessed a horrible nightmare only it was real. She shuddered to think of it. She couldn’t imagine how it felt for her to be there.
Suddenly the wall phone in the drawing room started to ring. Millie totally forgot about the wall phone this whole time. So she was startled a little at first but then she picked up the receiver to take the call. She answered again with a deep voice – “Hello?”
– “Millie!!” – a frantic male voice screaming on the other side..
– “Lucas!!! Where are you? Where’s Kevin? My cell network has somehow collapsed. I couldn’t reach you guys..
-” Millie listen to me..” She could hear his voice was breaking. “Something terrible happened here. ” Millie couldn’t listen to Lucas properly. There were some network disturbances again.
– “I know about the terrorist attack Lucas. Martha came over to my house, She told me everything” – She tried to tell Lucas hoping he could listen to her.
– “What!! But how.. Martha’s..” It was again disturbed by some network issues.
– “Martha’s with me Lucas. Don’t worry about her.” Millie was practically screaming in the phone this time. And the network was gone again. The call was hung up in the middle.
She again checked her cell phone to see if the network had somehow restored. Hopefully it was not a zero. She crossed her fingers, maybe this time she could contact Lucas with a less disturbing network.
She went upstairs to give the juice box to Martha and make a call to Lucas so he could talk to her. Entering the room Millie started to tell Martha about the phone call downstairs..
“Martha.. Listen..Lucas just called me and I guess he’s okay. I got my cell connection back so let’s check on him while you sip this…. “
Millie couldn’t finish her sentence. She left the juice box on the bed and couldn’t believe her eyes. She tried to look away from the mirror. But she couldn’t. She could feel the darkness spreading in front of her eyes and she finally passed out on the floor.
Martha was shocked too. She rushed to her to see what happened. Millie’s cell phone flickered twice as Lucas texted her. It said -” I don’t know who you are calling Martha but she’s here in the critical unit in the state hospital. She got shot by those terrorists Millie. If you are getting this come to the hospital as soon as possible.”
Martha read the text. Her hand was shaking. She turned to the mirror to find out why Millie fainted. And she saw it finally. The mirror was reflecting Millie’s bed, pillows, her purse and even the juice box.
Only Martha lost her reflection.