Express To Neverland
''Did you enjoy yourself, Mr Williams?'' Dimple Pradesh asks me as soon as I leave the house. She catches me off guard, but then again I should expect the unexpected in this game.
''Uh, sort of, but you know she's a cheat, right?'' I say to Dimple, pointing behind me to show I was talking about Mathilde. Dimple giggles to herself.
''If you want to call her that. She's pretty wild for the first level keeper. She usually takes no prisoners,'' Dimple explains. You can say that again. Dimple and I begin walking away from the house to...God knows where.
''So how do I get to the next level? I don't exactly see an exit,'' I say to Dimple as I look around the virtual Windows-like screen saver landscape.
''As Mathilde told you, it is totally up to you, but there is a time limit,'' Dimple tells me.
''A time limit? Who sets the time?'' I ask, even though I have an idea of who.
''You know who,'' Dimple says. Yeah, she didn't need to read my mind there, I do know. Mathilde Montague.
''When does it start?'' I ask Dimple. Dimple stops walking and stares past my left shoulder. What is she looking at? I slowly turn around and behold the same thing she's looking at.
''Great, I have 1 minute to get out of here. What happens if I don't leave?'' I ask Dimple, curious to know.
''As inquisitive as ever, Mr Williams. That's up to Mathilde, but the game's rules apply. You are ejected from the game if that happens,'' Dimple explains. So apart from getting kicked out, I also may suffer the wrath of a deranged 10 year old girl. As if that hasn't happened already. I look back over my shoulder to see it has already reached 44 seconds.
''So I can get to the next level any way I can right?'' I ask aloud.
''Yes; it is all in your hands. Or your head, technically,'' Dimple quips. I smile briefly when she says this, which is spurring me to use my imagination more than I was before. I briefly glance over to the countdown again and see it's hit the 36 second mark.
''OK, Nash, whatever you're going to do, do it now please,'' I say to myself as I wonder what I should do. I look around to see if I can get inspiration. I see...green grass and a blue sky. OK, looking at the scenery isn't helping. Hmmmm. What to use, what to use...
I travel to work using this means of transport, so maybe I should conjure up a...
''Wow! What a big train!'' I hear Dimple exclaim as a train charges out of the sky like a raging bull behind us and lands a few metres to the left of us, slowing to a halt. Yeah, it is a big train. I've created an extremely large steam and electric hybrid train.
Using my imagination, see?
I walk up to it and press a button on the side so that I can enter it. As I get up onto it, I remember something that I need to ask Dimple.
''Which way am I supposed to be going?'' I inquire of her. Please don't give me an obscure answer.
''Just keep going forward, the train will take you straight there,'' Dimple responds. Alright, forward it is. I go further in, when I remember another thing to ask her. It's a silly question, but I'll ask her again any way.
''I know what you're going to say, but, are you coming along?'' I ask stupidly. I know, I know, she's gonna say-
''Yes, of course I'm coming,'' Dimple responds.
''You're...coming? Really?'' I continue questioning her, slightly bemused.
''Well, my job is to make sure you get to each level safely, so I can choose whether to come or not. And this time, I have decided to come. It's going to be fun, Mr Williams,'' Dimple says as she comes up behind me to enter the train.
''Let's hurry, we have 20 seconds left,'' she tells me as she takes a seat in the carriage we entered.
''Alright, let's go,'' I say as I press a button to close the door. I turn on the engine of the train, and it begins to move. I go to take a seat across of Dimple, and as soon as I'm settled, I'm startled by a seat belt that suddenly comes over my chest and around my waist, locking me in my seat.
''What the...,'' I say to myself.
Why on earth am I strapped in? I didn't think this up. Was it Dimple? I look across to see she also has similar straps.
Yep. It's definitely her. She has a massive grin plastered across her face.
''Ready to experience the express to Neverland?'' Dimple asks me in a weird tone. She looks extremely excited. I'm not. What does the 'express experience' involve?
''I don't think I want to experience it,'' I reply to her. Dimple responds by laughing maniacally. Are all the girls in this game this nuts?
''Whoa,'' I say as I feel the train shudder and start to rise off the ground.
''Warp speed, Captain,'' Dimple says to me when she turns to look at me. I think she's more insane than Mathilde. I look outside the window beside me and see we are elevated at least 50 feet above the ground. I look across to see the remaining few seconds flash up on the blue sky.
The train shoots off at lightning speed (well that's what it feels like to me) as I see the Windows-like screen saver turn into a green and blue blur. I try and focus on making it through to the next level, but I can hear Dimple laughing and shrieking madly.
''This is fun!'' she screams as she begins to disengage her chair from the bottom of the train carriage and float around, flailing her legs around in excitement.
What is she doing? As I watch her move around as if she is in space, I feel my chair also come off from the floor of the train and float around.
''I...I don't think this is fun. Not at all,'' I say to Dimple, but she doesn't seem to be listening to me, or seeming to care.
''Let's make it more fun then, Mr Williams!'' she suddenly says as she comes up right behind me.
When did she get there?
And what does she mean by more f-
''Oh, you have got to be kidding me!'' I say as I look forward and see one by one each carriage begin to revolve around in circles.
''You spin me round, round baby,'' Dimple begins singing as she rotates with the train.
''How do I know when we will arrive?'' I scream over to Dimple, trying to make her come out of her imaginative stupor.
''When the train crashes!'' Dimple sings more than tells me. When we crash? Crash into what? It feels like we're going around in circles forever.
Whoa. The train is beginning to shake violently. I can feel it going down. Down towards the ground.
It's going to crash!
''Houston, we have a problem!'' Dimple shouts as she too realises that we have begun to arrive at the next level. The shaking makes us float around faster, so that we are becoming dangerously close to hitting each other. All of a sudden, though, our seats go back to their original places and we brace ourselves for the impact of the crash. I look out of the window to see the scenery has completely changed, but I still can't make it out because we are going too fast.
''When is it going to stop?'' I yell to Dimple.
''When they say so!'' she yells back before I see her suddenly disappear. Oh yeah, she was only supposed to make sure I got here. Safely.
''Hey, this isn't what I call a safe trip!'' I shout aloud, intending for her to hear it. I close my eyes to make the train stop, and, thankfully enough, it does. I open them slowly and look out of the window. I see I'm at an angle, hovering over an amusement park of some sort.
''I thought she said I was gonna crAAAAAAAASSSSSHHH!!!!'' I begin to say before the train disappears around me and I free fall down towards the earth.
Why is it that I'm always falling?
I hit the ground with a thud, shattering my seat to pieces.
I say that, but I'm imagining myself not feeling pain. But I believe the level keepers can do the opposite. I get up slowly from the ground and dust myself off.
''She wasn't kidding when she said I was going to crash. But I wonder who 'they' are?'' I say to myself. I look around my surroundings, and all I can see wherever I look are rides and...more rides. So I deduce I'm in an amusement park.
''Looks like you had more fun than we did,'' I hear an English girl's voice say. I turn to my left to look at where the source of the voice is, and I am slightly taken aback to see a girl hovering over me on what looks like a hover board. She's wearing a checked yellow dress that also looks like a school uniform, with white socks and white shoes. Her hair is blonde, almost gold, and there is a part of it on the side that had a red ribbon tied in a bow, like Mathilde's was.
''I wish,'' I reply to the girl. ''So this is Neverland, huh?''
''You bet,'' another girl says. I turn to see an identical girl wearing the same clothes and with the same hair colour and hair style except with a blue ribbon approach me from the right, also on a hover board.
I have to face twins.
Someone kill me now.