lockdown

the loudspeaker dings
"everybody clear the halls, we are going into lockdown"
we shoot up from our seats and race towards the counters on either side of the door, crouching or curled in a ball so no one looking in will see us.
the teacher closes the blinds, locks the door, flicks the lights. 
we have been told to stay completely silent, and for the most part, everybody complies. of course, there is an occasional whisper, but that is to be expected.
it is hard to remain silent, when the stillness is just begging to be disturbed. I know, I've talked before. everybody has.
somebody inevitably *ahem* passes gas, every time, and every time a soft chorus of giggles is silenced.
we remain still, crammed next to our classmates, for what could feel like hours or like seconds.
a teacher comes through the hallways, banging and rattling the doors.
we have been told not to respond.
sometimes somebody will call the class phone.
nobody is to answer, they say.
we have not had a drill since january.
but I imagine the next drill will be taken much more seriously.
nobody says it. but we all know.