Author Notes are below the text. The song 'Youth of the Nation' belongs to P.O.D and I am just using their lines. The rest of the story and the characters belong to me, so don't steal.
She walked into the courtyard of her school, bag strung over her shoulder. Loud noises filled the air, the chatting of the students, banging of doors and the obligatory groaning as students walked into the building – not too quick, for every second counted.
Ramona searched trough the crowd, trying to discover a few of her friends, but at the moment she could see none. The auburn haired girl waved to a few guys from her class, smiled at another girl and pulled a face as one of her hated teachers walked past.
"You don't look like you're very awake this morning!" a voice suddenly shouted into her ear, and she jumped in surprise.
"Sarah!" Her voice was filled with both amusement and annoyance. The Asian girl beside her simply grinned and twirled a long strain of her black hair around her finger.
"What?" She asked innocently, and Ramona decided that it was better not to answer. Her friend seemed to be in a mischievous mood, noticeable by the sparkle in her eyes, and she was way too tired to deal with that.
"What did you do yesterday evening?" Sarah wanted to know, falling easily into step beside Ramona. They both walked through the corridor towards the science labs. First lesson: chemistry. The best way to fall asleep in the morning.
"We went out." was the curt reply.
"You…as in you and David?" Sarah's grin broadened.
"Of course, who else? It's not as if I have two boyfriends, ya know."
The Asian girl shrugged innocently. "One never knows. Maybe you have a spare one for the weekend."
Ramona glared at her and smiled against her will. "You're impossible!"
"Me knows!" Sarah flashed her a beaming grin. "So, tell me, what exactly did you do?"
"We went to a LAN party and played there until two o'clock in the morning."
Sarah's grin slipped of her face and she looked at her strangely. "Honestly…why are you on a LAN party with your boyfriend? Don't you have anything better to do?"
Ramona simply shrugged. "Hey, we both enjoyed it. I mean, we can do what we want, can't we? And since we are both game freaks, it seemed fitting. It's not as if that is all we do. We're going on dates as well. You know, dates, with eating and all that."
"Yeah." Sarah chuckled and clapped her on the shoulder. "So the reason you are tired is because you sat in front of your PC until the wee hours of the morning…and here I was, thinking that I would probably hear a nice, dirty story about your latest sexual adventure!"
"Sarah, don't be gross!" Ramona shook her head as the reached they door to their lab. She opened it without looking inside the room and glared at her so-called best friend who was still smiling rather innocently.
/Last day of the rest of my life
I wish I would've known
Cause I didn't kiss my mama goodbye/
Their teacher was already there and glared at them for coming in late, but both girls simply shrugged it off and found their seats.
Ramona plopped down on her chair and took out her book. She stared at the blackboard, her eyelids already dropping as the teacher started to explain the difference between acid and base. Yesterday evening had been great, although Sarah didn't seem to understand it. Ah well, Sarah didn't understand why she liked PC games that much either, so that was okay. Sometimes she really wondered why they were friends, they seemed to be totally different. Ramona was more of a geek, interested in computers and stuff. Her grades in school were above average, and she liked science.
Sarah didn't like computers at all, instead she preferred to go to out with a bunch of her friends. Nonetheless her grades were above average as well, especially in her languages classes.
She laid her chin on the table and wondered if she should simply fall asleep. It wasn't as if she needed to stay awake, chemistry was easy for her and she could copy the text later from some other guys in the class.
Maybe she had stayed up too late yesterday, but it had been so much fun and they hadn't noticed how the time had passed…
Her mother had been pissed! She had thrown a fit when Ramona returned home, telling her that she wasn't allowed to stay up that late when there was school the next day. And her father, who was usually on Ramona's side, had agreed and decided that she was grounded for the weekend.
It was not that she really cared, it was only a weekend after all, and the night had been so wonderful that she easily could live with that. She would do it a second time if she could do it over again.
Of course the mood in the house had been quite frosty this morning, but that would pass as well. Nobody in her family held grudges for long, and she was relatively sure that everything would be okay as soon as her detention was over.
Ramona smiled dreamily and closed her eyes. Ahh, getting up had been a torture this morning. When the alarm clock had gone off at six o'clock, she had wanted to throw the stupid thing against the next wall.
Unfortunately the clock was out of reach, and then her mother had come in, shooing her out of her warm, comfortable bed.
'I wish I could stay at home,' she grumbled inwardly as gravity pulled her tired head towards the table. With a soft bang her forehead hit the wood, and before she knew it, she was fast asleep.
/ I didn't tell her that I loved her and how much I care
Or thank my pops for all the talks
All the wisdom he shared/
Ramona wasn't really asleep, just dozing off. She could still hear the soft mumbling of the class in the background, and the screeching of the chalk on the blackboard. Then a door banged and someone entered the room, obviously another late student.
Mr. Baker, the chemistry teacher, scolded the newly arrived student and Ramona opened one eye to see who the unlucky person was. In the door stood Timothy, a rather silent kid who never said much in class. He was pale and clutched his rucksack tightly in front of his body. Curiously, she opened her other eye as well and stared at him.
To Ramona, Timothy looked rather sick, and she wondered why he didn't give an excuse for being late. He simply stayed still while Baker lectured, staring at the ground in front of him.
The rest of the class didn't seem to pay him much attention, and she turned around to see what they were doing. Some of the girls in the back row were listening to music coming out of their walkman, Jonathan was reading a book under his table, and Sarah beside her seemed to have taken a great interest in doodling little pictures on the table. Some were trying to sleep like her, some were doing homework for other subjects, and some seats were empty, indicating that a few were in the place where Ramona would have liked to be as well – at home in bed.
All in all, it was a normal day in chemistry. The teacher had stopped his lecture and scowled at the rest of the class.
"You may return to your seat now, Timothy."
/ Unaware, I just did what I always do
Everyday, the same routine
Before I skate off to school/
"No." was the quiet reply. Ramona groaned and buried her head in her arms once again. If Timothy wanted to quarrel, it was his problem – she simply wanted to sleep.
Mr. Baker seemed to be taken aback by this statement. "Would you care to tell me why not, young man?"
"Maybe." The two syllables were spoken in a low, emotionless tone. Suddenly, someone screamed, and yells filled the room. Ramona could feel Sarah jump up beside her, shouting "What the he…"
Ramona raised her head, confused, her eyes still filled with sleep. She felt slightly disgruntled at the sudden noise – could she *never* sleep peacefully?
/But who knew that this day wasn't like the rest
instead of taking a test
I took two in the chest/
The noise became even louder, high shrieks of girls mingled with the panicked shouts of the guys, and above all, a loud bang that echoed through the room.
Ramona ripped her eyes open, suddenly feeling numb, for she knew this sound far too well. It was sound she had heard hundreds of times yesterday evening, as she had played all those games with David and the rest of the guys.
But it was much, much louder than she was used to, and it didn't sound quite right. Her ears rung, and like in a daze she realised that the others were trying to get out of the room as fast as possible. Her brain seemed to have stopped working, for she didn't understand what was going on at first.
Then her gaze wandered to Timothy, who was still standing in the same spot in front of the door. His rucksack had fallen to the floor, and Ramona could see that it was empty.
He was standing there, legs spread far apart, the gun clutched in his outstretched hand. His fingers were trembling, and his eyes flickered like crazy, a lost expression on his face.
Ramona froze. A gunshot. A *real* gunshot. Not like the fake ones in all the games she played. Those games where she was the one clutching the weapon in her hands. Where she pulled the trigger and shot the bad guys.
And there was Mr. Baker, laying on the floor – why was he laying there? Shouldn't he do something? He was surrounded by some strange, red liquid. It was blood, she realised, oddly detached. Her teacher was laying in a pool of his own blood, and that meant that the gunshot…
With wide, horrified eyes she stared at Timothy, suddenly understanding why the others were all panicking.
/Call me blind, but I didn't see it coming
Everybody was running
But I couldn't hear nothing/
She couldn't tear her gaze away from the crimson substance on the floor, as she slowly etched backwards. What should she do? Was there anything she could do? What if he decided to shoot her as well?
Why did he shoot? Ramona couldn't understand. Mr. Baker wasn't that a bad teacher, was he? Okay, maybe a bit boring, but that was nearly obligatory in a subject like chemistry.
She panicked and tried to scramble to the door, as Timothy looked at her. His eyes were hollow, devoid of all emotion, only a flicker of helplessness deep in them, and anger…such a furious anger Ramona had never seen before.
The classroom was silent as they all stared at the horrible scene in front of them. Timothy was standing in front of their only means of escape, the door, and he didn't look as if he would let them pass through easily.
Ramona glanced at Sarah and saw that the Asian girl was sweating profusely. Some of the other girls were crying silently, and nearly everyone had an expression of fear on their face.
One again, panic overcame her and she had to fight down the urgent feeling to run until she fell down to the ground, exhausted.
Ramona didn't want to die, she just…she had just wanted to go to school and sit in class. Nobody expected something like this in school! It happened in computer games, not in real life…
But maybe this all was just a computer game? Maybe this wasn't real?
Her eyes trailed to the still figure of her teacher, and her heart stopped beating for a second. There was so much blood…no, it couldn't be a game, people in games didn't look like Mr. Baker. Was he dead? Was her teacher dead?
It was something she couldn't even begin to imagine. He couldn't just die, could he? He was their teacher, after all…and yet he lay there, unmoving, a still body, covered in blood…Why was no one helping them? Hadn't they heard the shot?
She looked at Timothy again and could see his hand trembling. The silence in the room was tangible.
"Will you let us go?" a soft, trembling voice spoke. It was one of the girls in the back row.
"Can we please go?" Her voice trailed off in a whisper, but everyone in the class understood it nonetheless.
Something flickered in Timothy's eyes and he licked his lips. The hand which was holding the gun shook immensely.
"Go." he whispered hoarsely, but they didn't need anymore encouragement. Quickly, they all hurried to the door, pressing through it, eyes widened in fear. Some were glancing back at the still form of their teacher, some simply stared ahead, desperately wanting to get away from this mess.
Ramona was one of the last, since she had been standing the farthest away from the door. Everything appeared like a dream, and she couldn't help but stare at Timothy. One question hammered in her mind, a question she couldn't find an answer for. Why? Why did he do it? Why was he so desperate?
Day after day, she had sat in the same class with this guy, had occasionally heard what he had said when the teachers had called on him. He was a shy guy, and he didn't seem to have many friends, but none of them had really cared. He had been kind of nice when you talked to him, but also boring.
And now, he had killed their teacher, just like that. Had taken a gun and shot Mr. Baker, in front of the whole class, as if he didn't care at all.
/Except the gun blasts, it happened so fast
I don't really know this kid
Even though I sit by him in class/
Then she reached the door and jumped through it. She stood in the corridor, feeling disorientated for a few moments. There were a lot of people about twenty meters away, and she recognised some of them. They were teachers, and their principal was there as well.
They all wore similar looks of horror on their faces as they beckoned the students to come closer, and leave the building.
Ramona moved towards them, unable to walk faster than she was. It was like she was in a trance, and in front of her eyes she could still see all that blood, on the floor and on the lifeless body…
Bright sunlight was shining through the windows, making the whole scene somewhat surreal. It was such a beautiful day. Why could something like this happen on such a nice day? Shouldn't it be raining? Shouldn't there be a thunderstorm happening right now?
Why were the birds singing outside? How could they sing on a day like this?
"Go away!" the shout echoed through the hallway, and Ramona froze. She didn't need to turn around to know that Timothy had left the lab.
"Timothy…just drop the weapon, please, we can talk about everything." One of the teachers shouted, his face a mask of pure fear. Another teacher motioned to her to run away, to disappear, but she couldn't. She was too afraid, and slightly surprised to discover tears running down her cheeks.
"LEAVE ME ALONE!" his voice overturned, and out of the corner of her eyes she could see that he was waving the gun around.
A few of her classmates were standing not too far away, frozen in fear like Ramona. They were pressed against the wall, the yellow sunlight bringing out their pale complexions.
/Maybe this kid was reaching out for love
Or maybe for moment
He forgot who he was
Or maybe this kid just wanted to be hugged/
"Stay calm, Timothy, please stay calm!" One of the teachers shouted, wringing his hands.
"JUST GO TO HELL!" Two bangs filled the hallway, and something hard hit her in the back. Ramona gasped as she fell forward, sudden pain rushing through her body. While she was falling, she could hear the screams, and more gunshots. Screams of pain mixed with screams of fear, and above all Timothy was shouting incoherently, his words underlined with such a burning anger that it hurt.
A soft gasp escaped her lips, as she landed hard on the ground. For a moment, Ramona just blinked, confused by what had happened. The noises had reached a deafening level now, as if everyone was shouting and running.
Then the pain came, a burning sensation in her back, worse than anything she had ever experienced before. She gasped for air, as tears trailed down her face, but it brought no relief. It was horrible, it hurt like nothing else, and she suddenly realised that she had been shot, that those two bangs had been gunshots. Timothy had aimed at her back and she was now sprawled out on the floor, bleeding.
Just like Mr. Baker, she lay on the floor and like her teacher she lay in a pool of her own blood. And as she cracked one eye open, she could see it spread around her, a crimson substance, glittering in the bright sunlight. The golden sunrays changed their colour as they met Ramona's blood, changed from yellow to red.
'Red Sunrays…Crimson sunlight…such a thing doesn't exist.' she though strangely detached.
Around her the screaming kept going on, but she didn't care. Even the pain subsided somewhat, as the pool of blood became bigger and bigger.
'I didn't clean my room like Mom asked me to,' was the first thing that came to her mind, and then: 'I'm dying. I'm in school and I'm dying.'
Tears streamed down her face. She didn't want to die! Why did she have to die?
Her hand smeared the blood around, as someone ran past her, shouting words she couldn't understand anymore. Her vision was blurring and everything shifted out of focus.
'How can someone die in school? Nobody dies in school! You learn, sleep and talk there, but you don't die…this doesn't happen, this can't happen, maybe it's just a game…'
But deep inside she knew, felt, that it couldn't be a game. The pain was far too real for a computer game. And with a strange feeling of detachment, she realised that today really was the last day of her short life, that it would come to an end in the corridor of her own, stinking school. She hadn't even graduated. Oh hell, there had been so many things she hadn't done.
She had never gone to see the new movie.
She hadn't told her mother goodbye this morning.
She hadn't kissed her boyfriend one more time.
She hadn't even started to play her latest RPG yet – it still lay beside her computer screen, waiting to be unwrapped.
Outside, the birds were singing, as the sun shone on the pool of blood. The crimson stain on the floor was the only colourful spot compared to all the grey ground and the white walls.
Slowly, Ramona's eyes closed. She was so tired…maybe she should have gone to bed earlier. Maybe she shouldn't have quarrelled with her parents…
and she definitely should have stayed home this morning.
/Who's to blame for the lives tragedies claim
No matter what you say
It don't take away the pain/
With this last thought in mind, she finally drifted off to the welcoming embrace of darkness which promised to take away the pain.
Someone sobbed loudly, and another person screamed, but the sun continued to shine and the blood was still a bright red.
'Strange…in games the gunshots sound somehow…more real.' That was Ramona's last thought, as slowly, every spark of life left her body.
'I just went to school…I just went to school like everybody else…why does it hurt so much? I don't want it to hurt…mom? Mom, where are you? I want you to hug me, mom…mom, I am afraid…dad, why am I so cold? Is anybody there? Mom…make it stop, it hurts…I don't wanna…' '…someone help me….'
'…someone help me….'
/There's got to be more to life than this
There's got to be more to everything
I thought exists/
TERRIBLE MASSACRE AT ANNE-FRANK-HIGH
What's happening to our youth?
One day ago, on Tuesday the 7th of May, Timothy W. killed three teachers and two students at our local Anne-Frank-High-School and injured numerous others.
It was a seemingly normal school day for the students of Anne-Frank-High south of town. But the day ended in disaster.
Timothy W., a usually shy student, one who was not noticed much by his teachers, took a gun to school with him. It is yet unknown from where he got the gun or why he felt the need to take the lives of his fellow classmates.
But, that is exactly what he did. The young student went into the chemistry lab where his first period class was and shot his teacher. The 47-year-old man died instantly as the bullet pierced his heart.
The panicked students tried to escape from the room, while other teachers attempted to persuade Timothy to throw his gun away.
They failed, and Timothy – obviously panicked himself – aimed his gun at the back of a fellow student and shot the 16-year-old girl. She had been in the same class as him.
Before the police arrived, two more teachers were killed and several students critically wounded.
After the building was evacuated, the police tried to talk some sense into the young man, but Timothy W. didn't listen – instead he committed suicide by holding the gun against his own head and pulling the trigger.
The whole school was shocked and has been hard hit by the loss of their teachers and fellow classmates.
Nobody knows a reason why the 17-year-old felt the urge to kill his teachers. He was a shy kid, never one for violence, and he wasn't bullied by his classmates. His parents, Martha and Frank W. can't explain it, either.
'He always was a good boy,' exclaims Martha W. (44) sobbing. 'Always kind and helped me around the house. He was rather shy when it came to meeting new people, but I never thought that he would do something like this…'
Psychologists are now trying to analyze the source of Timothy's problem, they are also trying to find a reason as to why the youth of our country are becoming more and more violent.
Our newspaper wants to express it's deepest sorrow over the loss of those six lives. May they rest in peace.
/Who's to blame for the lives tragedies claim
No matter what you say
It don't take away the pain…/
Author's Notes: I'm aware of the fact that some of you might feel offended because I wrote such a story. However, I have my reasons for it. I'm German, and for us in Germany, the massacres in the USA always seemed very far away. The kind of thing you say 'Oh, how terrible', but you forget about it immediately. Until it happened here in Germany, in a city not that far away from my home. It didn't happen recently, but back then it really shocked me. So when I listened to the songtext of P.O.D.'s 'Youth of the Nation', it all came back to me and I wondered: how cruel is it that people just go to school and have to die for that? It wouldn't go in my head that they were students like you and me, and that they only went to school to suffer through endless boring lessons and to talk with friends, like myself...
And before I knew it, I was furiously typing this story. Maybe it's my way to deal with those things, I don't know. If I have offended anyone who was - or knows - a victimof such a massacre, I am deeply sorry. Believe me, it never was my intention - it's just my way to deal with things.
This was also the first original story I ever wrote in English, so there might be a few language mistakes.
In the newspaper article, I used the sentence: "It is yet unknown from where he got the gun". Just for explantion: In Germany, it is very difficult to achieve a weapon, be it gun or those special kinds of knives. For a gun, you need a special license and it's very, very difficult to get one of them. So when the massacre happened in Germany, everybody wondered where the boy had purchased the gun, and there was a huge discussion about it. Just to clarify it for American readers. I still can't believe that something like this could happen at my school as well. It's just...scary.