Another hologram came to life, showing Mr. E once again sitting on air. “You all look well and rested,” he stated coolly, “Time to continue our game! Now, for the rest of the game, you will be doing one of my favorite things to watch, people facing their fears. I know the two young ladies have somewhat done so with the spider-filled corridor, but it was just the beginning of the fears you’ll have to endure. There are so many phobias to exploit, and yet so little time. Why, there’s Gelotophobia, Glossophobia, Dystychiphobia, Acrophobia, Claustrophobia, Potophobia, the possibilities are endless! But of course, I do my research on my ‘guests’ to know what fears to play with”
Wait, what?!? He’s been stalking us?!? Of course, that makes sense! That’s how he knew our favorite colors, why he made the antidote for the poison taken by needle, and why the corridor before was filled to the brim with spiders! It made perfect sense now!
What I’m still curious about is why? Why did he stalk us and then invite us to a party? And why did Mr. E specifically stalk the eight of us out of all people?
“Well, let’s start with a fun one, Hemaphobia, the fear of blood,” Mr. E stated excitedly, “which our friend Mr. Salvic has”
All of our eyes turned to Darien, his forehead gleaming with sweat. Without any warning he fainted. Disregarding any kind of care, Black threw Darien over his shoulder.
“Have fun, the next room awaits” Mr. E finishes, his hologram disappearing. A part of the wall sunk into the floor, revealing a pathway deeper into this hell. With Darien in tow, Black continued on. An annoyed sigh escaped my lips as Alicia and I followed him. It’s sad to think I got use to Black being such douche.
Luckily, Mr. E decided to focus on one fear and didn’t fill the current corridor with spiders again. Being able to see the wall was a good thing. I was finally able to see the faded blue walls that curved into a tunnel. Lining the walls were periodic torches that lit the corridor.
We finally made it to the room Mr. E Vaguely pointed us too. The door wasn’t painted, but it was a dark brown wood that looked somewhat elegant, considering the surroundings. Images of what might be on the other side of that door began to flood my mind as Black, the assumed temporary leader, opened to door.
To be honest, I might have slightly over imagined a little bit. Instead of blood oozing from the walls or walking/swimming in pools of blood, it was a normal room, at least for the dungeon look the rest of this place had. In the center of the room was a switchblade knife and some kind of flask. Curiosity getting the best of me, I took a closer look at the flask.
Anger boiled in the pit of my stomach as I saw a strip of masking tape with Darien’s name on it. Wait, why am I getting angry? Shouldn’t Darien be the one that’s upset?
Speaking of which, is he awake yet?
I looked over my right shoulder, watching Black set Darien down on the floor. I felt somewhat sorry for Darien, having to do this because of that masked bastard. Alicia walked next to me, studying the flask. She picked up a note that was stuck underneath it, reading it out loud.
Mr. Salvic must give five ounces of blood, otherwise there’s no escape
Just as I suspected; Mr. E wants Darien to give up his blood in order for us to pass. A small sound came out of Darien, signaling that he’s awake. Oh, he’s not going to like this.
Alicia and I walked back over to the now awoken ravenette, dreadfully going to tell him of what he has to do. Oh god, why did we accept those damned invites in the first place? I wanted to just out right say it, but the words stuck in my throat, trapping them. Thankfully, Alicia had more guts than I did.
“Sorry chap, but it looks like you’re going to have to give up a bit of blood” She sympathetically stated. Fear sparked into his eyes again.
“Dudes, please, don’t make me do this! Please!!” He begged. Damn, he’s really scared of this.
Black grabbed Darien out of nowhere and walked him closer to the flask. With his free hand he switches open the knife and prepared Darien’s wrist. The frightened boy gave out a squeak before fading out again.
“Oh, bloody hell!” Alicia exclaimed, slapping the knife out of Black’s hand, “What do you think you’re doing, you insane git?!”
“In order to progress we need to give up Salvic’s blood” Black shot back coolly, “I’m just speeding things up”
“The poor boy just fainted!” she angrily replied, “Why don’t you leave him alone and let the child face his fears in his own way?”
“Because he won’t, obviously”
Alicia and I froze. We hadn’t thought about that possibility. Black, scuffing us off, picked up the knife and prepared to cut Darien again.
Before I knew it the knife clinked to the floor and both Alicia and Black stared at me, awe-struck. I…I actually knocked the knife out his hand. But… what reason did I have to be angry? Is it because Darien is involved?
No, that can’t be it. It has to be because of Black reckless approach to this.
“You fool!” I yelled, anger building up in the back of my throat, “Have you thought about if Darien were to lose too much blood?! If he died from blood lose?! What then, you pampas bastard?!”
Again, Alicia and Black looked at me in awe.
My eyes felt a blaze from pure rage. If it weren’t for Darien being trapped by Black, I would have easily murdered that bastard of a business tycoon. Wait… I need to calm down. I’m letting my anger and rage take over. Taking a deep breath, I focused my energy to my center, trapping my anger. When I was done, I no longer felt as violent.
“Parker,” Black said in a weary voice, “How the hell did you become that calm so fast?”
“Easy,” I replied nonchalantly, “I channeled my energy to my center and made sure my rage was kept at bay”
Black scuffed in disbelief. Of course, in his eyes only fools believe in such things. Either way, it distracted Black and gave Darien time to wake up again. Somehow, I push Black aside and focused on holding Darien myself.
“Darien, are you ok?” I asked softly, gingerly keeping a hold on him.
“I’ll be ok, dude,” Darien stated in reply, “Though, I’ve made a decision”
Darien took the blade from Black and readied his own wrist. With one swift move, he cut himself and allowed the blood to flow into the flask. It was my turn to be awe-struck. Darien just freaking braved his fear!
Once the flask was filled a doorway was opened to the left. Another Mr. E hologram appeared before us, him laughing like the madman he is.
“Marvelous, simply marvelous!” He exclaimed in excitement, “You fighting over Mr. Salvic’s safety was such a show! Oh, what fun!”
Everyone gave him a cold glare.
“Alright alright, no need to be so dramatic” Mr. E said, “The next fear we get to play with is pediophobia, or the fear of dolls, which is harbored in our friend Mr. Black”
Much to Black’s dismay, we laughed. Darien and I were rolling on the ground laughing, while Alicia tried her hardest to not do more than a chuckle. Who would have thought that such a business man would have such an odd fear? Black looked like he was ready to murder.
“Yes yes, an entertaining concept indeed” Mr. E continued, “The next room should be just up head. Good luck, guests”
Yet again, Mr. E’s hologram disappeared and we continued on. There are things Mr. E still hasn’t explained yet; like why the four of us and the four who died? Or what this sociopath wants to do to us if we ever finish this sadistic “Game”?
Whatever the answers may be, they can’t lead to anything good.
We made to the next door, a honey colored door with a carving of a child’s face. It was cute, too cute for a place like this. Alicia, scuffing off the carving, opened the door. What we found was creepier then any of us originally intended. Lining the walls were rows and rows and rows of creepy, smiling dolls. Some blonde, some red-headed, some with blue eyes, some with green eyes, etc. It felt like the meeting of all of Chucky’s creepy cousins.
One of the dolls was sitting in the center of the room, an envelope resting in its lap. I walked over to it with caution. If any of these things are like Chucky, I don’t want to be the one possessed and/or killed. I quickly snatched the envelope away from the doll before it could do anything and backed away. Carefully, I opened the envelope and read what was inside.
As you can see, this room is full of dolls of varying looks. Fun as it may seem, one of these dolls holds your ticket out. A key is hidden in the belly of one these childish toys; you’re only key to get out. Be practical of the time, for if you don’t get out before midnight, something very horrendous may happen to the four of you.
A sigh escaped my lips as I handed the paper to Alicia. This sociopath is just asking for an ass kicking when we get out of here. And it’s not only going to be by me; everyone will want to murder him.
Black checked his obsidian watch for the time. “11:23,” He stated with a hint of fear, “That means only a half hour to find the right one”
“B-But dude, there are, like, hundreds of them!” Darien exclaimed, “It would take us the rest of the night to cut up and search every doll in here, and we don’t have that much time”
I stood to the side to think about everything. Mr. E wants to test our limits to some extent, so he wouldn’t make something like this one hundred percent straight forward. There has to be some kind of hidden secret or something that we didn’t see straight away, but what could it be?
Looking over the dolls again, I noticed that no immediate doll has red hair. They all had blond, brown, or black hair. Plus there were scarce male dolls. Most of them were females in bright, frilly dresses. There has to be a pattern there, but what is it?
“Ms. Parker, do you have any thoughts on what to do?” Alicia asked.
“The only clear thing I’ve got is that Mr. E wouldn’t make this straight forward” I replied, “There has to be some kind of secret method to solving this before midnight, I just don’t know what it is”
Blacks breath hitched, his body trembling slightly. He started to give out incoherent mumbles that were difficult to make out. What I did hear was “They’re all plotting… they’re all going to kill me… they’re stares are going to drive me insane…” Tears started to slip out of his eyes, slowly starting to slide down his face.
He really was afraid of these things.
I held his shoulders, squeezing them as I looked into his eyes. “Black, we need to know if any of these dolls look familiar to you” I pleaded, “It may be the only way to get out of here”
Black, a slight whimper coming out of him, hugged me tightly. “Mama, please don’t make me stay with these things. They’re scary!”
We were all slightly taken aback. He was acting like a little kid! Hesitantly, I hugged him back. I rubbed his back and whispered comforting words like “It’s ok” and “I won’t let them hurt you”
Darien and Alicia were shocked. I, Melony Shay Parker, was comforting the man I, not hours earlier, kicked in the shins. Black’s tears seeped into the fabric of my shirt as he cried on my shoulder. He was scared. Black, the cold hearted CEO and resident prick, was scared.
That’s when I saw it. Behind where Black was standing was a male doll that had forest green eyes, red, messy hair, a superman T-shirt, and little jean shorts. It was like a younger version of Black.
Hold on…. That’s it!
“Alicia, take the doll that’s a male, has green eyes and copper hair!” I commanded, not thinking. Alicia did as I asked, taking the doll version of Black out from where it was.
“One of you, rip that sucker open, quick!” another command running from my mouth. Darien took out the switchblade that I suppose he saved and cut open the doll. Just as I thought, inside the Black doll was the key we needed.
Before we could celebrate, a loud clock chime rang out.
It was signaling Midnight.
“Oh shit” was all that came out of my mouth as I took the key from Darien and rushed over to the door. Suddenly, all of the dolls came to life like clockwork toys. Their eyes beamed to light as they sat up and started walking towards us.
Adrenaline coursing through my body, I jammed the key into the keyhole of the next door. I fiddled with the door for sometime before I realized that it wouldn’t unlock.
“Damn it!” I exclaimed in a fit of anger. One of the clockwork dolls grabbed my ankle and tried to pull me to the floor. I gave it a swift kick and watched it fly to the other side of the room, breaking on impact. Black started screaming as the dolls grabbed at his pants, starting to climb up his leg.
I took the switchblade Darien had, slicing at the toys. If they want us, they better be ready for one hell of a fight. With all our slicing, kicking, and other methods of struggle, the dolls started to dwindle, but even I know all our adrenaline will wear off soon. Giving one last punt, I started to slam my body against the door. Maybe my body weight will break down the door.
Sadly, I wasn’t heavy enough. The dolls started to gain the upper hand as they climbed our bodies. Those suckers were heavier than I thought. Wait, I’ve got it!
I let the dolls climb on me, giving me more weight. With the extra weight, I threw myself at the door one more time. With me and all the dolls, we were heavy enough to break down the door, leading to our escape.
“Quick, this way!” I yelled out, drop-kicking the dolls that were still stuck on me. Alicia and Darien ran out, but Black was panicking, hyperventilating where he stood. With the last of my adrenaline, I grabbed Black and pulled him out the room, closing the door on those psycho toys.
Pants came out of everyone as we finally had time to calm down. That was… tense.
Another Hologram whizzed to life as Mr. E laughed with pure ecstasy. “What a show, what a show!” He exclaimed “Who would have expected such a reaction from Mr. Black? I did, of course, but the reaction from the rest of you, oh what a show! And what a show it was to see Ms. Parker comfort Mr. Black. I thought I was going to cry. If only I had tears to shed
“Though, you must be tried from a long day of fun, so the next room is a bedroom to rest for tonight. Tomorrow, you will be awoken at about 10 AM in order to continue. Good night, dear guests”
With that, he once again disappeared and left us to our own devices. Black was holding himself, still quaking in fear. That last room really took its toll on him. Alicia took a hold of him and guided him down the hall.
After a bit of walking we got to the room Mr. E talked about. It was only a small room that had to be about forty-five by thirty-five feet in size and had two queen size beds. The walls were actually walls painted a steel color of grey.
Alicia sat Black down on the left bed; the poor man still trapped in a daze. He must feel traumatized after everything that’s happened. I kneeled in front of him, reaching his eye level.
“Everything’s ok, Black” I comforted, “The dolls are gone. You’re in a safe place. There’s nothing to fear”
The fear in Blacks eyes vanished and before I knew it he had pushed me away.
“How humiliating,” He stated with distain, “For me to lose my composure like that…”
Trust me when I say that it took all of my will power to not hit Black as hard as I could. But I suppose it was a little creepy seeing Black act so out of character. At least him being a jerk is a sign that he’s back to normal. Though, you have to wonder…
“What happened that made you so afraid of dolls?” I blurted out. Fear sparked back into Black’s eyes briefly before he gave a small grunt.
“Curious, are you?” He sneered.
“A little bit, yeah,” I confessed, “I think I remember seeing somewhere that some sort of traumatic experience makes people afraid of dolls. I’m just curious as to what made such a big CEO afraid of dolls”
“I’m curious as well,” Alicia interjected, “What with the kind of front you keep, I was just wondering what could have possibly made you so afraid that you had a break-down”
Black sighed at us. “It was a long time ago,” he started, “My mother always wanted to go to some odd and obscure location when vacation time came around. I was only six years of age when I went there. A little island in the canals of Xochimico near Mexico City is known as a popular tourist attraction. It was said to be creepy and odd, so my mother took me with her to see it.
“What I saw there scared me for life. Several dolls littered that little island, withered and tattered by the weather. Each one was uniquely broken or damaged in some way, shape or form. Eventually I saw it. Among the masses of dolls stood one that was in my likeness. Copper hair, green eyes, even down to the superman T-shirt I was wearing that day! But it was also withered, the skin white as a sheet, hair tattered; making the toy look ill, and one of its arms were gone. I was horrified; I ran to my mother crying, asking to go home.
“To this day I’m still haunted by the images engraved in my mind about that retched place!”
That’s just… holy crap!
Black glared at us, the fear in his eyes covered by a mist of rage. “I don’t need you’re sympathy,” He claimed, “I’ve done perfectly fine until that masked bastard decided to fuck with my mind. Rest assured he’ll get proper punishment”
Alicia and I rolled our eyes. Even with a sad story behind his fear, he’s still a prick. He’s also pretty self-confident. How does he know Mr. E will be catchable? Sociopaths like him aren’t easy to capture.
After snacking on cakes and water for dinner, we all settled into our beds, boys on the left bed and girls on the right one. A quick good night by everyone, even Black, and we all started to drift off into sleep.It was the night I had that dream.