The next morning started with Mr. Wolf lightly shaking me awake. My eyes groggily opened, making me look angry. “Good to see you awake, Ms. Parker” He stated, opening the curtains to let in sunlight. I pulled the blanket over my head, demanding more sleep. Sadly, Mr. Wolf just wouldn’t have it. He pulled the blanket completely off the bed, cutting that option away.
“Ok, ok, I’m up” I mumbled sleepily and angrily. Who knew Mr. Wolf could be so demanding. I stumbled out of bed, glancing at the clock. Holy crap, its 9:27! I can’t believe I slept in for so long!
“The others are awake and awaiting you in the dining hall” Mr. Wolf explained, leaving the room so I could get dressed. I dragged my feet across the floor to look at the mirror. Same darkish blue eyes, same dark brown shoulder length hair, same Casper colored skin, and the same overwhelming freckles. Yup, still the same ol’ me.
Sleepily, I put on a simple dark purple t-shirt, jeans with maroon sash, and black sweatshirt. After transferring everything from yesterday’s jeans to todays, I slumped out the room and down the stairs. Of course, with my luck, I tripped on the tenth to last step. I put my arms in front of my face to protect it from damage.
Someone must have caught me, because I didn’t land on hard wood flooring. Moving my arms, I saw my face was merely 5 inches away from the ground. Senses coming back into focus, I noticed someone’s arms around my stomach. “You alright, dude?” A male voice asked. My face flushed slightly as I realized that Darien was the one who caught me.
“I’m f-fine, th-thank you” I stuttered out. As Darien set me straight, my face only grew hotter. He was still wearing that black sweatshirt still, unzipped showing off a dark red T-shirt accompanied by a pair of dark blue jeans. I’ll admit, he is kind of cute, but I don’t have a chance with him. He’s confident and social, while I’m shy and reserved. He’s a leader and I just a fade in the background.
After the awkward moment, Darien led me back to the dining hall with the others. Everyone decided to sit in the same spots as before, as well as wear clothes similar to what they wore yesterday. This, sadly, means I have to sit next to Black again. Sighing, I took my seat as Mr. Wolf set up some odd looking device in the center of the stretched out table. To be honest, it kind of looked like the core for Iron Man.
Mr. Wolf finished setting up the device and stood back. “Everyone, please pay attention to the center of the table” Mr. Wolf formally requested. Any side conversation that was going on had ceased, leaving a somewhat eerie silence in the room. The device started to whiz to life, making everyone gasp in surprise. The device was actually a 3D hologram projector, showing us all one creepy man.
The man in the hologram wore entirely blue attire. His top hat, his suit, hell even his shoes was a dark shade of blue. None of his hair stuck out, and on his face. Oh man, it was the creepiest yet prettiest mask ever. It was lavender with a big, sharp, toothy black and white smile. The mask also sported dark purple stripes that when from the corners of the mouth and eyes to the outside. To be honest, he looked kind of like Kaito Kid in blue, but that’s my geeky opinion.
“Good Morning, Honored Guests” The Hologram greeted, “I am the mysterious Mr. E that has eluded sight until now. It brings me great pleasure that all of you decided to come to this exclusive little get together. I sincerely hope that everyone enjoyed last night’s meal, for it is part the first challenge of the game”
Hushed questions started to arise, while I asked them mentally. This is Mr. E? Why did he wait until now to show himself? What did he mean by ‘First challenge of the game’?
“Before we can officially begin our game, I must explain what game we’re going to play” Mr. E explained, “For you see, this is no ordinary game. This is going to be a game of life or death!” Everyone gave a frightened gasp. Well, everyone but Alicia and Black. It was almost as if they expected it.
“I can see you’re all excited to play” Mr. E exclaimed somewhat sarcastically “Now we can start. The first of many challenges is a bit of a fun one. The food you ate last night was laced with a very slow acting poison, bound to kill you before the end of the day. The effects should be kicking in any moment now.”
As soon as Mr. E said that, 4 people dropped to the floor in pain. I rushed to the one that was sitting next to Black, holding the female gingerly. Before long my own stomach started to ache, making me dry-heave. I felt like I was going to throw-up!
“Now, now, no need to panic” Mr. E feignedly soothed, “The Antidote is in fact in the room, but my memory is a bit scattered, so I can’t remember where it is. Can you, my dear guests, find it?”
After finishing, Mr. E disappeared, leaving us to panic. I swallowed some saliva. Somehow a pleasant little paradise turned into a nightmare! My breath began to hitch, making it evident that I was frightened. We’re… We’re going to die! We’re all going to die!
Alicia came over and slapped me. “Pull yourself together, Melony!” She exclaimed, “This is not the time to panic!” I held my cheek and looked up at her, a determined look in her eyes. She’s right, I need to calm down. Controlling my breath, I eased myself and tried to think clearly. We need to find the antidote, fast.
“Yo, dudes!” Darien exclaimed, “I think I’ve found it!” Sure enough, there was a syringe filled with some suspicious clear liquid behind a painting of a red car. We might have found it, but there was one problem. Since there was only one, we’d all have to share a needle. My breath started to hitch again. Needles were always one of my greater fears, it was only enhanced by the fact a random STD could be shared by anyone of them.
“Well, this is going to happen” Black said solemnly. He picked up the syringe and readied it for his arm. Before he plunged it into said arm, Alicia stopped him.
“Hold on, you twit!” She demanded, “We need to give this to the people who can’t stand first!” She had a point. There are the four people who dropped to the ground who need it. Black gave a cold glare back at her.
“I own a company” He spat venomously, “I take priority over all you simpletons”
“Owning a company has absolutely nothing to do with the current situation!” Alicia exclaimed angrily back.
As the two argued, the syringe in Blacks hand was forgotten. Utilizing the distraction, I swiped the needle out of his hand. Before he could yell at me, I gave the four people their fair share of the antidote. Before each one, I attempted to clean the needle with my shirt as best I could.
It was a while before Alicia and Black realized what I did. While Alicia was proud of me, Black gave me a disapproving stare that could make the meanest of old ladies cry. I gulped as I handed the needle over to Darien.
One by one, everyone was given a fair share of the antidote. It then became my turn to for the injection. I held my arm, backing away slowly. Somehow, Alicia and Black came to a sort of truce to force me to take the shot. Black was holding me down while Alicia was holding the needle. I kicked, squirmed, and screamed as I saw the syringe coming closer. Before I knew what happened, the needle was in my arm.
“Thank you for holding her, Black” Alicia said, “I had a feeling that she was frightened by needles”
“I only did it so we could move on with this ‘game’” Black stated coldly. Man, can this guy be any more of a prick?!
The hologram projector whizzed to life again. Mr. E appeared to be sitting in air, somewhat bored. “My my, that challenge wasn’t quite as fun as I’d hoped” Mr. E stated glumly, “The only fun thing that happened was when Mr. Black and Ms. Bain were arguing. Good thing that was only the first of many challenges”
“This whole ‘game’ is bloody ridiculous!” Alicia shouted, “Why are you even doing this, you bloody psychopath!?”
I don’t know how, but I could feel that, somehow, Mr. E gave a small smile. “I do this because you’re struggle amuses me,” He sadistically stated, “Watching your minds wither away, slowing becoming insane. It’s much more fun than anything television could produce
“But it’s time now for the next challenge. While it’s fun to see a large group suffer, you’re going to have to split into two four-person teams. Who you get into a group with is up to you, but I advise you to broaden your horizons. The two groups are going to go into the basement through a door Mr. Wolf takes you to. From there, there will be two doors, each of which only one group must go down. Depending on which door you take, you’ll get a bit of a ‘surprise’. The first group to make to the end of their corridor shall live. Happy traveling”
With that, Mr. E disappeared again. In a panic, everyone tried to group up as fast as they could. I stayed back and let everyone choose the people they like. Not like I’ll be of any help, not with the thing with the needle.
“Dude, you want to be in our group?” Darien asked behind me. Turning around, I saw that Alicia, Darien and Black all made a group already.
“Yes, thank you” I responded, standing next to Darien.
“Well, aren’t we an odd group?” Black stated sarcastically. The other four people didn’t have much of a choice but the group up. Mr. Wolf came back, eight backpacks in tow.
“You’re going to need these” He simply stated, handing one to each of us. Each backpack held supplies such as water bottles, snack cakes for food, sleeping bags, etc. It looks like this “game” is going take awhile.
After getting the backpack, we followed Mr. Wolf to a door none of us knew about. It was a wooden door that looked like a dungeon door. When Mr. Wolf opened it, a rush of evil aura spewed out of it. I was surprised that no one else felt this strong evil presence.
“This is as far as I go” Mr. Wolf said, “Good luck, dear guests”
We all walked down the stairs to the even creepier basement. It should be called the dungeon, what with the stone walls and floors. Frightened, I grabbed the closest hand I could get. This, for some god damn reason, was Darien’s. Darien, to make things more complex, gave a soft reassuring squeeze. My face must have hotter than a sauna that was on fire.
We finally reach our described destination, the door on the left painted red, the one on the right blue.
“So dude,” Darien asked, “Which way do you suggest we go?”
“Oh please,” Black sneered, “Letting a child choose which way we go is preposterous”
“Stop complaining, you git,” Alicia sourly said, “We’ll at least be getting closer to the goal”
A sigh escaped my lips as I walked to the blue door. What? Blue is my favorite color, as stated previously. I opened it, taking a step back at the sight. In the corridor ahead, the walls, floors, and freaking ceilings were covered in eight-legged, hairy, gross spiders. A small frightened squeak escaped my throat as I recoiled in horror.
Alicia took notice of my evident fear. Putting a reassuring hand on my shoulder, she asked worryingly “What’s wrong, chap? Is everything alright?”
She glanced down the corridor, observing the motion the spiders made. “Oh, now I see…” Alicia stated frighten. Was she afraid of spiders too? Black rolled his eyes as he walk toward to door, not giving two craps about the arachnids ahead.
“You two are such women” Black stated stupidly. Needless to say, we were pissed. Alicia punched him in his arm while I kicked him in the shin. I could hear Darien laughing like a madman at our angered action.‘Hope you’ve learned your lesson, prick.’ I thought vengefully. With Black mumbling curses under his breath, we proceeded on.
With each Crunch of a bug’s body, Alicia and I winced. This has to be the most disgusting challenge yet! About half way through the corridor, one of those eight-legged bastards fell on Alicia’s head. Saying she freaked out would be an understatement. The cool, calm demeanor she had suddenly crumbled as she became hysterical, screaming “Get this little git off of me!”
Black angrily smacked the spider off, a bit of a splat echoing from impact. He gripped Alicia’s upper arms, steadying her stance. Darien stood behind her, making sure he’ll catch her if she faints.
“Ms. Bain, get a hold of yourself!” Black said, looking her dead in the eye. The fear seemed to have dulled in her eyes as Black gently let her go.
“Thank you for that, Black” Alicia said, “I needed that”. Black just continued forward without another word. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Can this guy be any more of a prick?!
We finally made it to the end of the corridor, still slightly shaken by the challenge. The room we ended up in was round, stones lining the wall, making it look like we were trapped in a well. A whizzing sounded as another hologram of Mr. E came to light. The sadist chuckled lightly while clapping slowly.
“Remarkable, simply remarkable” He chuckled, “I don’t think anyone expected Ms. Bain to break down like that! It was quite a riot, madam, quite the riot…”
Alicia gave a small growl-like sound, obviously furious at the masked man.
“Thought, congratulations on being the first team to get through your corridor” He praised, “Sadly, the other team is… eliminated”
As soon as he finished, loud screams echoed out the other corridor only to be cut off for reasons I don’t want to know. My mouth went agape at the sound, guilt settling in the pit of my stomach. We… we indirectly caused that. We caused those deaths just by winning.
“This is sick, dude!” Darien suddenly exploded, “How much longer do we have to do this?!?”
Again, I could just feel the sadistic smile that Mr. E gave. “Until one of you walks away with only your body intact. I can see it now, your precious minds ever so slowly slipping into madness. It is quiet the show. Though, even I know that toys need rest. You are allowed a small half hour break until you have to continue on”
With that, the hologram disappeared from sight. Alicia punched a nearby wall in anger. “I’ll get him for this, I swear it” she mumbled angrily. Black put a hand on her shoulder, perhaps hoping to calm her with someone’s touch. Luckily, it worked.
After the anger subsided, we all settled down for the break Mr. E so graciously allowed us. Note the sarcasm. Anyways, we all sat in a circle and ate the snack cakes, rationing as much as we could. Slowly we all looked at each other, the same thought floating through our minds.
This is only the tip of the iceberg.