What The Thunder Said


He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience

T. S. Eliot


I was running. Well, more accurately, I was being chased.

I mean honestly, of all times, it had to happen right after I'd chowed down on a Big Mac meal. Large Big Mac Meal. Basically, I wasn't wearing the right footwear for a zombie apocalypse. Flip flops, when running for your life? Nope it just doesn't work. I guess that's why my left thong flew out from underneath my foot in midair, causing me to face plant on a freaken rose bush. Again, really? I just had to concoct a get away plan that involved running through the botanical gardens. And yes, the rose gardens were lovely. Particularly lovely in November last year when I had my graduation photos snapped here. But, I was getting side tracked.

Face - in rose bush.

Zombies - running after me.

Right, focus. Although, I really did feel that Big Mac trying to make its way back up my oesophagus. I should have just stayed in the damn classroom.

:::

"Fiddlesticks", I muttered under my breath, turning around and walking back down an opposing hallway for the third time.

Room 2130.

Honestly, it was like searching for platform nine and three quarters. I scanned the number on the door next to me. Room 2560. Just about four hundred rooms off. I felt like 'duh' slapping my forehead. But really I've only been at university for a semester now. Don't pressure me!

"Dee?"

I turned around.

"Hi, Lucy."

"Hey," The blonde girl called form down the hallway, "What'd you have now?"

"Australian studies." insert groan.

"Is that 102?" She came to a stop in front of me and smiled. I went to high school with Lucy and we were pretty close friends. Personality wise she was pretty shy, although she was incredibly funny when you got to know her. It's not like I'm 'miss social' or something. I really didn't have trouble talking to people – okay, well maybe I was a little awkward sometimes. I was just the dork who could never properly fit into a stereotype. I guess that, and the fact I didn't have any defining qualities. Brown hair, brown eyes and brown skin. Lucy stood over me waiting for a response. She was at least a head taller than me. Damn my shortness.

"Yeop that's the one. Do you-"

"-Yeah! I've got my tutorial now. Man, I'm so glad you're in my class! Although, you do realise room 2130 is on the other side of the building."

Well, I guess that explains why I haven't found it yet…

At least I had Lucy to help me discover the stupid room. Honestly, they needed more damn signs around. I mean, my university wasn't really that huge – compared to our state university or something. But over 60 massive buildings does get pretty confusing. Especially when you're from a country town. I swear my whole high school could fit in this one building. No wonder I could never find a parking spot at this place.

"There it is!" I gasped, pointing to a single door a few feet from us. I couldn't help but slap her shoulder in appreciation as I pulled the door open.

This was always a stressful act.

Not physically opening the door. But having to walk into a room full of students I didn't know. It sucked really. After every semester we had our schedules changed. Meaning, I had to go to the damn effort of making friends all over again. It's not like I'm antisocial or anything. But really, having to go through that whole, "Oh, so where are you from?" conversation makes me want to jam my ballpoint pen through my ear. At least I've learnt not to try and break the ice with Pokemon facts. Or pick up lines. Which yes, I did actually try. But I mean as if, 'Are you a Hitmonlee? Because your body's kicken' isn't better than something lame like, 'Oh hey, is there a mirror in your pants? Because I can totally see myself inside them.'

But, back in the present, I was scanning the room for two free seats. Lucy seemed to have spotted the two empty chairs in the back row before me and started moving off. I really thought it must be my lucky day or something, as I walked past the awkward conversations between various strangers sitting beside each other.

I sat down next to Lucy and started pulling out my books as the teacher entered the room. "So how was your session break?" Lucy asked from my left. I couldn't help but shrug, "Not long enough." She rolled her brown eyes at me.

Our teacher then sat down on top of half his desk, extending his legs. He positioned one on the floor and another on a neighbouring chair, which apparently was some sort of 'I'm down with it' gesture. Man, I hated teachers who tried to act cool. Like the time my Ancient History teacher tried to make a joke about the frozen chick 'Ice Maiden', exclaiming, "Oh hey, like the band!" Which then forced the class to stare at her in confusion asking, "Uh, miss, do you mean 'Iron Maiden?'"

"Good morning guys, welcome to Australian Studies 102." I really, really don't know why I'm enrolled in this. "To get everyone talking why don't we go around the room-" I groaned, "-and say your name, where you're from, and what connects you to Australia." Damn. Thinking this early really wasn't good for a person.

We started going around the room, introducing ourselves. This time I groaned inwardly.

"Hi, I'm Sarah. I'm from Sydney, which is kinda annoying, since it takes about two hours on the train to get here each day. Anyway, I suppose I'm really connected to… Uh, the beaches. Yeah, they're really nice."

I could hardly keep my eyes open. It's not like I hadn't expected introduction time. Obviously I'd gone through it before in my other classes. But that didn't stop it from being incredibly boring.

"Hey guys, I'm Walt and I'm from right here," The next guy smiled briefly. "I really love the Australian landscape. Yep, that's about it." He awkwardly shifted in his chair.

And so it continued, with mostly votes for our beaches, landscape and weather.

"I'm Lucy," She timidly waved from the seat next to me, "Yeah, I live locally and I would probably go for our beaches most."

I think beaches were winning now. But it's not like I was bored enough to be keeping a tally or anything...

"Um," I repressed a yawn, "I'm Deon. Also a local. And I think we have a pretty good national Rugby team." And of course, there was that awkward moment when the teacher sort of stares at you to keep going but you have nothing else to say. Peachy.

The guy next to me cleared his throat and suddenly I was off the hook. Thank God. "I'm Dan. I moved to Australia when I was about five and I've lived in Sydney ever since-"

"-Where did you live before that?" Our teacher asked with general curiosity, considering the guy didn't have much of an accent.

"Pretoria, South Africa."

"Interesting. Please continue." The man nodded.

"Well, I don't know. But I'd like to think the Springboks are a fair bit better than the Wallabies."

"Bullshit!" I snapped my head to the right. 'Dan' seemed to just raise his brows innocently. "The Boks are zero from three so far in the Tri Nations. And we kicked your butt two weeks ago!" Ahh rugby. Okay wait, let me explain.

Deon's Dictionary:

Tri Nations: An annual series of games played between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The team that wins the most games, wins the series. South Africa won the title last year.

Wallabies: Australian national Rugby team. They've been in a slump for last few years, but so far are second on the Tri Nation table (After New Zealand's 'All Blacks').

Springboks: South African national Rugby team. Currently in last spot on the table, having lost two matches to the All Blacks and once to the Wallabies.

Sidetracked again, "Yeah, but who won last year?" He mock squinted his eyes in an effort to answer his own question.

"Well, who's most likely to come last this year?"

"Australia, as usual."

But the next student was already introducing themselves and everyone ignored the comment, including myself.

"Hi, I'm so-and-so, blah blah, another vote for beaches."

Really, it was starting to get boring. And glaring at the side of Dan's head wasn't very entertaining. It was Like one of those 'Oh boy, wouldn't a zombie epidemic really liven the mood?' moments. Not that I actually wished for one. I just, maybe, hoped for something exciting to happen. Something like the horrified scream from outside our second story window that stopped everyone dead in their tracks.

I really don't know why my first instinct was to secure the door. I mean, everyone went rushing to the window and there I was, shoving a chair under the damn handle. "What is it?" I called, honestly very clam. Because really, as if 'Holy cow it's a zombie apocalypse' is the first thing that pops in your head when someone screams. More than likely, she just fell over. Because it was a girl that screamed, it had to be.

But no one replied to my question, forcing me to go over to the window myself and look down.

And honestly, she didn't look like a girl anymore. She didn't look like anything. Just food for whatever was eating her.