By Courtney Bottrill
The world that I used to know, used to belong to, isn’t the same for me anymore.
All of us have changed so much from what we used to be like; I can hardly recognise my own reflection anymore. I never thought that going to university would change my life irrevocably, and who would? I just thought that maybe I’d make a few friends and learn things that I didn’t know, and I guess that’s true now, but not in the way that I thought it would. Not at all.
The door slammed open, causing every person who filled the lecture hall to turn around in fright. The person in the doorway looked like someone from the drama department who had been playing with too much stage makeup, but the crazed look in his eyes made me think he wasn’t acting. Blood ran down his face in a continuous stream from a wound somewhere above his eyebrows. His shirt was ripped and torn in so many places there really wasn’t much of it left.
‘What are you doing here?’ the lecturer called out, clearly not amused at having their lecture interrupted. The man in the door didn’t answer, and just seemed to continually survey the room, looking for something.
All of a sudden he lurched forward, rushing towards the last row of students sitting closest to the door that he came through. Screams erupted through the hall as he latched onto the neck of a young girl that had the unfortunate luck of being the closest human to him. Blood spurted from the wound in her neck, covering the shocked and terrified faces of the students in front of the scene. It was like time was moving in slow motion—for a few seconds no one seemed to move or even breathe. We all just sat in shock at what was happening right in front of us.
My day had started out like any other. After waking up I went through the motions of getting ready for my first day of uni. My usually light handbag now weighed heavily on my shoulder—much like my expecta- tions of what university was going to be like—as it now carried a textbook and a notebook that I had thought would be necessary on my first day. Parking had been a nightmare, and I cursed every name under the sun to the people who had not told me about this dilemma when I’d attended O-Week. I’d gotten lost three times trying to find the lecture hall and only ended up finding my way when I overheard other girls talking about the same class I was trying to find.
Screaming from the girl currently being mauled pulled me back to the present where I now realised that people had started to flood their way to the doors, pushing against each other like cattle being lead to the slaughter. The movement clearly startled the man from the doorway and he turned around and latched himself onto the neck of another girl within his reach. It was like a really bad version of Twilight, except biting people is inappropriate and this guy was definitely not an attractive sparkly vampire who was covered in blood. The neck of his first victim looked like he had tried to tear her apart, piece by piece, her muscles and veins visible amongst the blood flowing from her neck.
Girls and even a few guys around me were screaming at people to hurry and get through the door, and some were even smart enough to rush to the front of the room where the emergency exits were; I knew that they were there for a reason. I turned and located the wannabe vampire and saw a litany of bodies surrounding the floor around him. At least ten of my classmates had been mauled, and not all of them on their necks. He was now sucking down his eleventh victim when I finally pushed my way out the door, not wanting to look back at the horror that was still going on inside.
But I didn’t have to look back, for across the quad there were bodies everywhere, many with neck wounds, the smell of blood permeating the air. It was like I had stepped onto the set of a horror movie. It just didn’t feel real. There was smoke billowing from the windows in some of the buildings, and I felt a pang as I watched parts of the library engulf in flames. Hundreds of people around me, running in all directions, were screaming loudly, as if that would help their situation. I jogged as fast as I could to my car, having to stop several times and inhale from my asthma puffer. Eventually reaching my car, I thanked anyone who would listen that I had the sense to bring my handbag with me, even though I’d left my notebooks behind.
I started my car and drove away from the campus as fast as legally possible. It was then that I realised that no one could ever have had a worse first day of university than we had that day and that there are some things that are much harder than finding your way to your first class.