Ronnie cocked his head slightly as he crouched down beneath his desk. He was listening for boot heels clicking on the floor. He wasn't sure, exactly, what had compelled him to stay after class was dismissed. He was curious, he guessed, but the first announcement over the PA, designed clearly to help him, had scared him instead.
"This is the first warning. Any student found on the premises after the third warning is subject to arrest. We will not hesitate to use force. This is the first warning."
He had heard stories, of course, about students who had stayed in the school building after hours. Mark Y whose spine had been broken by a hall monitor's tackle. Linda K who had been ripped apart by guard dogs. Bobby R who had just...disappeared. But those were rumors, urban legends the kids told each other at sleep overs. Ronnie was 8, and he didn't believe in those stories now, any more than in Santa Claus or Jesus.
The second warning had been the same as the first. It should have shooed him out of the building, but he just froze, crawled under the desk.
At the third warning, the metal window shutters had gone down and the studded iron classroom door had swung shut and locked into place, just like when class started, but this time a small green light, rather than the usual small blue light, appeared at the handle and started blinking. Ronnie didn't know what was going to happen, but as the vault-handle started to spin, slowly, he lay on his side, curled up, and began to cry.
It's not dystopia, it's Texas!