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       Zombie High, p.4

           Roger Laird
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  Ending the Ordeal

  Breanne’s eyes widened with excitement as she listened to Miranda’s idea of administering the antidote. Breanne knew it would take some work. She also knew that Miranda’s solution was the only way for them to make sure no one else got infected again after they were cured like Miranda had been. Miranda continued explaining to Breanne.

  Miranda had remembered something she had seen while she was crawling after Breanne in the basement. Against the wall was a large tank that was labeled FIRE SPRINKLER RESERVE. This tank was meant to provide enough water to run all the fire sprinklers in the building for an hour if the water main had been shut off for some reason. If Breanne could find the main water supply to the school and shut it down, she would force the reserve to be used. If she mixed the antidote into the fire sprinkler tank and set off the sprinklers, everyone would receive the antidote at once.

  Breanne was certain that the only effect that diluting the antidote in water might have, would be a delayed recovery time. Breanne went down to the basement by herself because Miranda was unable to get out of her chair. She located the water tank and poured the antidote into the tank, stirring it in with a broom handle. Then she began looking for the water main shut-off.

  It was not hard to identify once she found it in an obscure room of the basement. It was labeled with a large sign that said MAIN WATER SHUT-OFF. The valve was stiff. Breanne pried on it with all her strength for about ten seconds before freeing it. Once it broke free, it moved with ease into the closed position.

  Breanne arrived back in the laboratory gasping from running the entire way. She explained to Miranda that she had been successful. Miranda indicated a Bunsen burner on the side counter and asked Breanne, “Would you like to do the honors?”

  Breanne connected the burner and took a striker from a drawer. She lit the burner and held her notepad over the flame. When it ignited, she stood on her stool and held the flame directly below the sprinkler. Soon there was water pouring down on them. It was cold, wet, and uncomfortable, but they didn’t really mind. After an hour, the water ceased and Breanne and Miranda cheered out loud in their relief.

  “Now we need to get into the panic room in the basement to see if it worked. Then we can override the lockdown system,” Breanne said as she pushed Miranda through the hall on her chair. When they reached the stairs to the basement, Breanne carried Miranda downstairs and over to the door of the panic room. She was so certain in her success, that the burden of carrying set Miranda hadn’t bothered her. She set Miranda down and entered the code to the door. She pulled it open and Mrs. Canterbury gasped as Breanne came in carrying a cured Miranda.

  The students on the monitors were all sitting down in the hallways. They were all soaking wet and crying or had their faces buried in their hands. They had all been cured, but Mrs. Canterbury still refused to override the lockdown system for another two hours just to be safe. Mr. Stewart was sleeping when Breanne had returned and Mr. Jenkins showed no signs of waking up.

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