They reached the classroom door when he remembered something very important. He stopped, turned around and looked across the room, past the faces of twenty-five laughing kids.

Morgan sat at her desk, hands folded on her desk top. She wasn't laughing. In fact, she looked close to tears.

"Come on, Morgan," Collin cried out.

"Mrs. Lee said we have to stay here," Morgan said, her voice little more than a whisper. "Please, don't leave."

"We have to," Collin yelled.

"Please, Morgan," Courtney called to her friend. "Go with us."

"I can't."

Collin looked at Courtney, at Morgan, then back again at Courtney. "Don't move."

Collin dropped his sister's hand and ran across the room, winding in and out of desks and tables and chairs. He stopped next to Morgan and held out his hand. "Please, Morgan. Come with us."

She reached out slowly. She looked frightened. But Collin had a horrible feeling there wasn't time to be scared -- or slow. He grasped Morgan's fingers and pulled her away from her desk.

The classroom window groaned loud and long just as he and Morgan reached Courtney's side. The glass shimmied and shook as the inky black force reached the outside wall. Collin looked back at friends, still sitting at their desks, fear just now touching their faces. He looked once more at the moaning window and watched the glass waver like asphalt pavement on a hot summer day. Slowly the darkness oozed through the windowpane, through the wall, and like a quick and powerful lava flow devoured a bookcase and sped toward the desks.

 
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