Concrete scraped at my knees, the graze drawing blood, I bit my lip to prevent sound escaping from my lips; that was the first rule to surviving its game.
Don’t make any noise.
That’s how the first one died; I remember us footsteps pounding against the ground, too loud, her foot caught on a stray root, gnarled fingers grabbing at her ankle, a scream left her throat. I don’t remember her name. I only know that she died, and I didn’t.
I wish it could have been me.
I lay on the floor, damp soaking into my clothing, warmth leaking out onto my face in the form of tears, it began to rain. I picked myself up. He hadn’t heard me yet. I’m not sure how. I kept my footsteps light and I continued to run. I wanted this to all be over. I’m not sure what kept me from giving up.
After she died, I can’t recall much. I didn’t hear her fall. My heartbeat was in my ears. I heard her scream though. I heard the thud as she twisted and hit the ground. And I heard the scream that came after that. It told me to run. So I did, and I have barely stopped only now did I fall due to exhaustion or maybe the clumsiness that haunted me in a past life.
I can vividly recall the last few days before I came to be here, wherever here is. The screaming of my sister from her crib rousing the house into a new day. I was supposed to be attending a sporting event later that day, I was a reserve in the athletics competition, I was good, or that was what they told me; but I didn’t like the other girls so I barely attended preferring the safety of more favorable company. It wasn’t that they were particularly horrible to me, but they were cold surrounded by the force of untouchable popularity, if I had gone down a different route I could have been there. But I hadn’t so there I was dreading the day.
The seats of the minibus were worn and the laughter from the other girls reached only ears, It had been a dull day so far and I wasn’t looking forward to sitting out whilst the other girls ran. cheering from the outside half-heartedly, maybe I should make more of an effort. There were 11 of us in total, only 8 were needed to run, then there was me, then the coach then our driver. He turned the radio on, it came out as static.
That as the first signal that something was wrong. A few lyrics made it through the static before the radio completely turned off and the lights began to flicker. It was not dark outside so there was no reason to worry, I don’t think anyone else noticed to be honest. I began to get a funny feeling in my stomach. That’s when the world went black. and everything turned on its head.