Chapter 3: Sleepless Nights
When you don’t have memories, you
don’t dream. It’s just black, perhaps it’s because I have nothing to think
about or that it’s just part of the game? I honestly don’t know. A slight
ticking noise is the only sound I hear within the junk room, along with
whatever moved below me when I adjusted my body weight.
I sighed moving from my side to my back staring up again at the white ceiling.
Those three seem off but, they’re not too bad, I guess. That pink haired girl is creepy though. She reminds me of one of those crazy ex-girlfriends from horror games, which are just waiting to strike. Alice just seems to hate me. I don’t know what I did to her but, whatever it was it really pissed her off. Or, she’s crazy and just hates everything. How? That was his name right? He just seems, what’s the word for it? Bored. As if everything just annoys and bored him. That this is a game he has beaten before and life is a replay through.
All in all, they just seem mad.
A swooshing noise caught my attention as my door opened wide. Alice stood with purple circling her eyes and black spread across her face. She chewed gum loudly with her mouth open for the world to see. I noticed she wore the same black tank but instead of pants she wore tight black spandex.
“Can I help you?” I called shielding my eyes from the light.
She moaned as her hands began digging through the piles of garbage. She was searching for something, as to what I haven’t the slightest idea.
“What are you doing?” I asked tiredly.
“Who are you again?” Alice replied sourly.
“John,” I answered with hesitation.
“Yeah I really didn’t care. Ahh, there you are.” Alice pulled out a plastic clear cup and a bent pipe from the trash.
“What is that for?” I questioned with some concern.
She walked out of the door mainly ignoring me, “fire.”
The door to my room shut leaving me in the dark, literally. I have no idea what just happened.
I looked to the faint outline of light coming from my door which I can only assume is coming from the hallway. I sat up slightly wondering whether or not I should ask Alice what she was just doing. She said something about fire, should I help? I’m pretty scared of her though. I’m sure she’s fine.
A loud crash echoed through the house shaking the junk in my room. I held onto the rubble as the house rattled. The lights in the hallway flickered on and off with the unsettling movement of my world. Earthquake?
The shaking stopped before the sound of Eve’s voice shouted for all to hear, “I’m ok!”
“Stop trying to get past that firewall, it’s not going to happen,” Alice barked.
“I’ve only been electrocuted like four times, I’ll get it,” Eve pleaded.
“Will either of you give it a break? You made me draw my line crooked, now I have to start all over,” How growled.
“Just cover it with some white paint perfectionist,” Alice sighed.
“You don’t understand it, unless I paint over everything I can see the uneven levels,” he argued.
The house rattled again in the same manner it had before. “Five,” Eve moaned.
“Cool it,” Alice commanded.
“Alice can I have my fan back? I think I’m going to need it,” Eve groaned obviously in pain.
“I need it, you can just suffer.”
“What could you possibly be doing with it that would be more important than clearing out the smell of her burning flesh from my house?” How questioned.
“Right now? Well, it’s powering the water filter, I think,” Alice replied hesitantly.
“She’s right Eve, suffer,” he almost laughed.
“It’s fine, I’m sure the smoke will fade-“
The lights shook again as a surge of power passed through the home. All four rooms were quiet only waiting for those two simple words.
“I’m ok,” Eve moaned.
A crash of fallen glass, metal, and junk in general sounded before, once again quieting the home again.
Eve coughed several times before a long groan escaped her lips, “no I’m not.”
“Um,” I spoke up, “should we help her?”
“Nah this happens every night,” Alice laughed.
“You three are actually insane aren’t you?” I snickered falling into their madness. Then again, no sane person would survive here. They seem to have this world figured out, I’d guess I should be happy they found me. After all, only one team can win and I don’t think I can be a team of one.
Ringtones rang through my ears. I stood in the rubble opening my door as the three tones reached me. All of them seem to do the same, with each clenching their cells for dear life. Alice was the first to move from the doorway. She seemed frightened but, as well, she knew or look like she did, of what was to come. Her tan legs moved calmly with a tenseness down the stairs. Eve soon followed with a fear in her eyes. How sighed as he too made his way to the staircase. He turned to me with a tired motion. I noticed he was no longer wearing a shirt but still wore his jeans, stained with white paint.
“You’re going to want to see this blank,” he groaned following the girls down the stairs, cellphone clenched tight.
I gulped following the three out to the front yard of the home. All three waited staring into the pitch night sky. All three cellphones still ringing.
Suddenly, they stopped and silence once again fell across the world. We all stood with an uneasiness. What is going on? They’re just standing there.
“What-,” I was cut off.
“Shhh, the message board is starting,” Eve shushed.
I stared up into the black just as the three did. Navy tile soon turned neon and white, letters formed in red in the sky as if by projection against the night.
The letters were bold, a font from a computer print. It was clear that the message was indeed digital. I guess we really are in a game.
The previous letters disappeared making way for the new.
The rules of The Game are simple, Survival.
“Easy for you to say,” Alice growled into the night sky.
1. The Brain
2. The Killer
3. The Bandit (logged out)
4. The Hunter
5. The Spy
6. The Hacker
7. The Bomber
8. The Engineer
9. The Fighter
10. The Gymnast
11. The Memory
12. The Princess
13. The Medic
14. The Map
15. The Photographer
16. The Blank
I read the names just as the others did. I don’t understand. Who are these people? I noticed Eve flinch as she read but, soon after a since of relief fell upon her face. Alice smirked crossing her arms. She placed a hand on How’s shoulder rubbing it softly in a comforting manner.
The bandit? Logged out? Does that mean he died? Does that mean there are fifteen kids still trapped? I don’t understand this game at all.
“Six,” Eve sighed with relief.
“Eight,” Alice barked with spite.
All eyes locked on How. “One,” he growled walking back into the house.
Alice soon followed with concern for her friend. I didn’t think Alice could be sweet. Eve noticed me still staring into the night sky. The rankings soon disappeared for the next message.
Top three bounties:
1: 2,000 credits and one clue as to who I am.
2: 1,500 credits and two weeks food.
3: 1,000 credits
There are rewards for the top three? But, doesn’t that mean How-
“Don’t even think about it,” Eve smiled cutely.
“If you betray any of us, I will personally delete you. Do you understand?” Eve’s tone turned deadly.
“I wouldn’t,” I raised my hands showing that I meant no harm.
“Look John, I don’t mean to scare you are anything but, we are family. Our time together are the only memories we have. It’s the only thing we dream about. Please don’t take that away,” Eve pleaded.
“To be honest, I don’t have the slightest idea of what is going on. I think you are all crazy and I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into but, I have nothing else. I don’t know who I am or where I came from. I don’t know where I’m at or why I’m here. All I know is that I don’t want to die,” I replied to her plead staring up at the total darkness of the world.
“Welcome to The Game, are you going to play or just die?” Eve asked sternly.
“I want to win,” I smirked.
A wicked grin formed across her lips, “then let’s win.”
Eve turned to me quickly with large eyes, “do you want to have some fun?”
“What kind of fun?”
“If you ask then you shouldn’t bother.”
“Then I won’t ask,” I replied.
The pink haired girl motioned for me to stay put as she ran into the home. Within a matter of seconds the blue light from the gate faded and Eve rushed out the door with a black backpack with several key chains gathered within the zipper. She rushed the fence quickly scaling it with no issue.
“Come on, keep up,” she smiled running off.
Concern fell across my face as I followed her through the fence. I can’t just let her go off by herself, can I?
“Where are you going?” I shouted as the blue light reentered the fence.
“Where are we going,” she corrected.
“Where are we going?” I re-spoke.
“I thought you weren’t going to ask?” Eve laughed as the house began to shrink in the distance.
“Wait up,” I called into the night.