Scooby-Doo was right to be terrified during those wacky chases. (But, wrong about there being surf rock music.)
“NOT THIS WAY!” Wren doubles back into me and I almost fall over. Mayday screams and I have to grip her arm tight to yank her back so we’re running ahead and we’re in the lead. Wren is screaming from right behind us. “GO GO GO GO GO.”
Mayday trips and Wren pushes Doc out of the way and ahead. I scramble to help her up, I hold her up and I pull her down the hallway. She’s sobbing. She’s crying, I can’t breathe. I feel it coming up behind us, I feel the pull back and the pull forward. Wren is slamming on the elevator button and Doc limps, arms outstretched to somehow catch Mayday and I. I push Mayday towards Wren and struggle to help Doc remain upright as we move back down the hall. I hear voices from one way and I know from the other the monster is coming for us.
“GET OVER HERE!” Wren silently screams, holding the elevator door open. Doc and I fall into it and then he slams hard on the door close button, so hard I’m sure he’s jammed his fingers. Doc holds it there, staring at the door, leaning on the railing behind him, his knuckles white. Mayday sinks down to the floor and covers her face with her hands. I stand there, numb, my stomach a twisted, knotted mess. My knees buckle and I fall to the ground, gasping in breath.
Wren is pacing in the small amount of space we have, stepping over Mayday and I.
“Ooooh my god. Oh my fucking god.” He keeps repeating over and over.
“Shut up, please just shut up.” Mayday lashes out at his leg as he steps over her again.
“That fucking monster is right out there and you’re telling me to shut up?!”
“Guys, stop.” Doc’s voice is lifeless, monotone, a drone. His eyes remain trained on the closed door as we sit in limbo in this unmoving elevator. I watch Wren look at his brother with pain and horror, can he feel his twin’s pain? His face says so.
Another wrack of pain in my body, and I groan out loud.
“And what the fuck is this did it curse you?!”
“This bullshit was a curse from the start.” I mutter, thinking about the monster, how it ordered those kids to hold onto that young man. To take prisoners. To come after us. “This is…is…”
“It’s gone past cult following and is now more like a DEMON SACRIFICE!” Wren screams out. “How could they have made it real?! It didn’t exist, it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for us!”
Mayday stares at me. “It wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Dru.”
Three pairs, six eyes in total, all on me. I gulp in another breath, staring back at them, and then at the floor.
I look at Doc, the way I looked at his brother, what feels like an eternity ago, willing him not to say what he saw, what he witnessed of me. He slightly shakes his head, his lip twitches with apology.
“Dru was able to control the monster.” Doc pushes the truth into the air.
Wren lets out a high-pitched laugh and goes over to his brother, and looks at him. “Doc, I…I don’t…no.” He shakes his head. “We just need to get out of here, get you to a hospital, get the fuck out of here and get you to a hospital and then find a therapist for all of us.”
Wren looks at me, and I look at him, and then I lock eyes with Mayday. “That monster definitely didn’t listen to Dru.”
“I watched her, it turned and attacked the girl from earlier.” Doc’s face contorts in pain as he shifts his body weight on his feet. His hand never leaves the button. “It listened to her, she ordered it.”
“Did you, Dru?”
I cave at her and sigh, “It was, it was for like a second. I was just so angry it hurt you Doc and it was like I snapped.”
They’re silent, they’re staring at me. I look at my hands, stained with some of Doc’s blood. I clench and unclench my fists.
“And, it listened?” Wren is all jittery energy. He crosses his arms over his chest but his eyes don’t remain on one part of the elevator for that long. “So, we can just send out Dru, since she’s got this mind meld thing going on as a distraction-“
“Shut the fuck up.” Mayday spats out at him. “Do not put this on Dru-“
The pain rattles me to my core as another wave crashes into me.
“No.” I gasp out. “Wren is right, Mayday. I…I feel the hunger. I felt the pull, it heard my thoughts, it was…it didn’t want me to do it, but it listened.” I pause, letting that sink in, while remembering exactly how it looked, all the details, down to the nitty gritty, and I look at each of them, a breath escaping my nose.
“Guys, it is our monster, it’s TRIGGER, it looks like it, it feels like we’ve created…but-“
“But HOW DID THEY DO THIS!?”
“…The video,” Mayday ignores the demand of both Doc and I. “The one with the summoning circle.”
I sit there and struggle to maintain focus. With each passing second, the hunger gets worse and worse. I feel the strain of muscles, and a grumble of a laugh happens in between my ears. I lean my head up to stare at the mirrored ceiling, staring down at my friends and I. Trapped in an elevator, by our own creation, and it’s followers.
“TRIGGER is a monster of chaos and corruption and anxiety, it’s sharp and angular and jittery and makes you dizzy looking directly at it, uncomfortable. But, we never had complete control so instantly, it feeds, it drains, it takes away every bit of you, and you know it. We never gave TRIGGER that kind of power.” I croak, bringing my head back down to look at all of them. Both arms crossed over my chest. “It can only bring out the worst in you, manipulate that way, it doesn’t have proxies. We never wrote it having proxies.”
` “You’re right.” Mayday sniffles and nods. “But what does that have to do with this?”
“…This monster is more than TRIGGER.”
I grimace and tighten my grip on my stomach. I dry heave and shake. It’s getting worse, it’s getting stronger. My eyes flick to the door. It’s awfully quiet. Painfully quiet.
“The fuck is it then, Santa Claus?!”
“No, you were right before, Wren.” Doc responds. “It’s something more sinister than what we ever could have imagined for this character.”
“Well, whoop di fucking do. Now we’re gonna die.”