1 Prologue

They were all trapped in a nightmare. One moment, it was an ordinary rainy day. The next, a burst of red and black splattered against the building walls and wet pavement.

Total silence reigned.

On the pavement was a single shoe drenched in tar and clumps of red tissues scattered all over the place. Some students looked as if someone pranked them with red paint.

A girl slowly reached out to her face, there was some liquid dripping from her cheeks.

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A whimper started it all.

And then, everyone was screaming. Pure terror was heard one after the other. Screams after screams reverberated in the whole campus as continuous loud popping sounds were heard.

It was chaos.

It wasn't just one body. There were like a morbid chain of fireworks. People exploded one after the other, their bodies puffed exponentially until the burst in just moments.

She did not wait for any second longer. She ran for the stairs and raced towards safety. It must have been the blood. At the back of mind, she thought that a chain reaction would never happen without a trigger. She had to avoid the blood. Was it skin contact? Or anywhere?

She was about to reach the third floor when a burst of blood sprayed on top. In a panic, she threw herself back down. Her eyes frantically traced for any sign of blood on her. There wasn't any time left to spare, the students were starting to rush up the stairs. She crawled backward until her foot kicked a door open.

Idiot!

The Research faculty room. With haste for survival, she hurtled herself towards safety. The door burst open with a bang. She grabbed at the handle, almost missing it as it bounced off from the doorstop, slammed the door shut and locked it before anyone else had the same idea as her. As soon as she locked the door, another bang was heard.

"Open the goddamned-!!" a muffled grunt suffocated the scream. It was followed by three more loud pops. She scrambled away from the door, whimpering in guilt-ridden relief, "I'm sorry. Sorrysorrysorrysorry. I didn't mean to. I'm sorry."

Barricade!

She had to reinforce the door. With her eyes blurred with tears, she dragged several study tables and stacked them against the door. As soon as she stacked the last desk, her knees buckled and she crumpled down in a heap of choked whimpers and endless tears.

A puddle of glistening red slowly leaked below the door

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