Third Shooter

Third Shooter

I hear the panic echoing through
These constricting walls.
Popping of gunfire and
Two men shouting.

They bring panic to this place.
They have brought murder
Most foul, with a motive to commit
Most cowardly.

No, no, I will not
Find myself bleeding by their hand.
I will not be a victim of
The cowardly ones with guns.

I hear the panic spreading around
Me. Classrooms ripple with terror
And hushed tones of innocence
Trying to stifle its own screams.

Not me. I will not stay silent.
Students hide under their desks
As I lock the door and block
The window with black paper.

Out the rear window, police
Have lined up behind their cars.
How safe they must feel
Out there,

The cowards. In the name of
Collateral damage, perhaps
They wait to storm the place
And instill order by force.

Out there, all is calm.
Little evidence exists
Of what is happening
In here.

Yet here quiet panic spreads.
More gunfire down the hall.
More taunting by the two men
As footsteps by boots grow louder.

As I push a filing cabinet
Against the door to brace it,
I feel a hot pain cascade through
My shoulder. Lead shot.

My nerves seize and waves of
Hysteria rush through the room.
No.
No. I will not be a victim.

I cannot be a victim.
Behind another lock under my
Front desk
Is a fire that fights this fire.

One working shoulder is all I need.
So as I hear their jeers
And attempts to move the door
I am gritting through my teeth.

Yet it is here.
I wipe blood from my key ring
And insert one into the lock
To turn tumblers of a dusty case.

I will not be a victim,
I think as I reach into the case
And withdraw from it the means
To save my students and me.

I will not be a victim
As I load five shells.

I will not be a victim
As two men storm my school.

No, I say, as I stand as others hide.
No! I scream as I reach
To my side.

No,
I will not be your victim.
The safety turns off
And my vision tunnels.

You will not be allowed
To kill and take and maim.
You will not have the luxury
To end yourselves for fame.

No. No, no.
I will not be your victim.
I will protect these people
And bring the end to you.

I stand behind the door with
The barrel trained on you.
Above my students,
I stand and aim at you.

No. I will not be a victim.
I will pull the trigger tight.
I will lose my hearing for
Four days, and I will be fine.

No, as I fire through the door,
With my shoulder in immense pain.
I will not be your victim.
Not on this dreadful day.

You there,
Yelling outside my door,

I will not be your victim.

You will submit as mine.

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