"Run!" Collin screamed.
He held Morgan's hand tightly, Morgan grabbed Courtney's wrist, and the three charged down the hallway toward the bright light beaming through the windows of the double doors at the far end of the school.
Collin heard screaming behind him. He wanted to look back to see if his other friends had gotten out of the classroom safely, but he couldn't worry about them now. He had to worry about Courtney and Morgan -- and himself.
The exit loomed up ahead, but behind him he heard a thundering noise like stampeding horses. He twisted around quickly to look over his shoulder before elbowing through the door -- and he didn't like what he saw.
A dense black cloud rolled down the hallway, inching closer -- closer. The walls were disappearing. The ceilings. The light fixtures. Almost the only thing remaining was the door in front of him -- and the light on the other side.
He slammed a shoulder into one of the doors, holding it open for Courtney and Morgan to run through. When they were safe outside, he shut it quickly. He wanted to catch his breath. He wanted to quit running. But he was scared, really scared, and this wasn't the time to whimp out. He had to protect Morgan and Courtney.
He spun around, ready to run again.
He saw Courtney.
He saw Morgan.
He saw blinding white light surrounding them.
And nothing else.