I was sitting in German class when the siren started ringing. It was a familiar sound since the riots began a few weeks ago. Ten years ago it would’ve been used to signal a tornado touchdown in the area, but now it meant a riot. There was no way of knowing exactly where it was happening. It might be in a lecture hall or the University Commons building. It could be all the way across campus a half-mile away or right next door.
“You know the drill class,” Professor Kurz instructed. He moved to lock the door and stuffed a chair under the handle as an added protection. HIs hands shook as he tried to unlock the filing cabinet and dropped the keys to the floor instead. He retrieved the gun but the way he held did not inspire confidence.
All the professors had recently undergone gun safety training and been issued a standard handgun for emergency situations like this. I hoped the professor had paid attention during the instruction.
There were only two girls taking Intermediate German II, myself and Leann. I suppose German language wasn’t as popular as Spanish or French. We took our places in the back of the room and the boys in the class formed a protective circle around us with their bodies.
“It should never have gotten this bad,” he said. The tremor in his voice made my anxiety level rise. He looked at us undisguised fear. At that moment I thought the chance that he ran for it instead of staying to protect us was 50/50. “They should have closed the school until all this was sorted out.”
My parents agreed with Professor Kurz but I’d been stubborn.”I live on campus, Mom, and my classes are right next door to the dorms. I’m not sick and neither is my roommate. All those riots are taking place in downtown Savannah, no one cares about Georgia Southern University.”
At the time it seemed logical. I knew that there were cases of LVN1 in other parts of the country and that people were angry about the loss of loved ones. Rioting and looting had started once the death toll got to a certain point but that was in places like New York, California or Chicago. Georgia as a whole hadn’t experienced much of the sickness so far and no one was causing trouble in Statesboro.
Except now they were.
Professor Kurz dialed a number on his cell phone and the operator answered just as shouting and doors slamming interrupted his response.
“Scheisse!” he swore
“911 What’s your emergency.” The woman on the other end of the phone asked.
Gunshots answered her and we all screamed in alarm. Leann reached out for my hand and we clutched each other. I tried to put on a brave face for her.
A cute curly-haired boy who normally sat near me in class turned around to reassure us. “Don’t worry Selena, I won’t let anyone take you.” He pulled something metallic out of his backpack and clicked off the safety. He seemed strangely more confident with the firearm than her professor. Junior ROTC maybe?
Broken glass, more shouting, and a solid thud as someone violently kicked the door to our classroom.
Professor Kurz fired through the doorway.