“I’m never going to get to kiss Patrick Walters . . .”
That was the only thought that ran through her head as the
She couldn’t help it though; her mind had disconnected from her reality even as her body did all that it could to help her stay alive. Her arms were tightly clenched around her stomach, trying to stem the flow of the crimson liquid that seemed so eager to stain the school hallway. She was staggering towards an empty classroom, hoping to find some sanctuary, praying that the killer wouldn’t head in her direction. There was a whole school full of kids; surely, he could find other prey.
And he would have, had he been just another depressed, deranged high school shooter finding a vent for his inadequacies through the barrel of an all-too-easily-available semi-automatic rifle. But he wasn’t. This wasn’t another Parkland/Columbine/Stoneman Douglas. And she wasn’t just an Asian casualty in an American cliché.
She was the target!
The twelve other students and the two teachers who had bitten the bullet so far were collateral damage, slaughtered only to make the whole thing look like every other high school shooting. As opposed to it being part of a global conspiracy.
But the fourteen-year-old had no idea about this as she painfully endeavoured to yank her wounded body as far away from the door as possible. Every step seemed so hard. It would be so easy to just crumple down, to let sleep take over. But no, she couldn’t give up. She had never given up in her life.
But for all her force of will, she just didn’t have the strength to get that far. She made it till the third row, then crashed to the ground, propelling her body underneath a desk with the last of her strength. Her breath came in painful rasps. She hoped he wouldn’t come to this door, wouldn’t see her even if he did.
The sound of the door opening dashed her first hope. She held her breath, stilled her body into silence in a last futile attempt at stopping him from finding her.
The clickety-clack of his footsteps coming closer told her it hadn’t worked. In the meagre seconds before he walked to her hiding place, her final thoughts were that since she was never going to make it to the prom, she could have had that second helping of jalebis at breakfast.
The second bullet shattered her spine, the third exploded in her left auricle and was the one that ended her short, uneventful life.
She would never know that she was the last victim in the international leg of this pogrom. One that would now move to its final destination.
The birthplace of this entire plot.
This is an excerpt from the book Natasha Mehra Must Die by Anand Sivakumaran.
You can pre-order the book on Amazon here.