The three of them stumbled into the hall, which was now full of kids. A sixth grader named Becka was the one screaming. She was holding her cell phone. “There’s no answer. There’s no answer,” she cried. “There’s nothing.”
For two seconds everyone froze. Then a rustle and a clatter, followed by the sound of dozens of fingers punching dozens of keypads.
“It’s not doing anything.”
“My mom would be home, she would answer. It’s not even ringing.”
“Oh, my God: there’s no internet, either. I have a signal, but there’s nothing.”
“I have three bars.”
“Me too, but it’s not there.”
Someone started wailing, a creepy, flesh-crawly sound. Everybody talked at once, the chatter escalating to yelling.
“Try 911,” a scared voice demanded.
“Who do you think I called, numbnuts?”
“There’s no 911?”
“There’s nothing. I’ve gone through half my speed dials, and there’s not anything.”
The hall was as full of kids as it would have been during a class change. But people weren’t rushing to their next class, or playing around, or spinning the locks on their lockers. There was no direction. People just stood there, like a herd of cattle waiting to stampede.