Morgan Brown Mrs. Williams Creative Writing 17 October 2013 Word Count: 1,865
All of us are led into a small circular room with lots of buttons and switches and a vast glass window overlooking a pitch black view. “Once inside the chamber there is no coming back out until someone finds the orb. Whoever does will win the prize and stop the simulation.” The professor reminds us. He opens the door beside a desk of controls and we each enter the chamber one by one. “Remember, the simulation is fake, but the effects are very real.” Those are the last words I hear before I’m pushed through the door into the chamber.
It isnâ€™t much. It looks like a giant empty warehouse. Four massive dark walls barricade us inside while dull black tiles cover the floor beneath our feet. Immediately after all ten of us are in, the door slams shut and the ground begins to shift. The floor is no longer flat; it raises and lowers creating a jagged surface. The ceiling changes to a light gray sky covered by low hanging clouds. Trees ascend from the once tile floor. In an instant everything stops morphing. A whistle sounds.
The game has begun.
We all run in separate directions. I dash into the trees, past overgrown shrubs and broken branches. The forest has an eerie feeling. I recall what the professor told us earlier. â€œThe world is filled with untold dangers,â€? and all we have to defend ourselves is a weapon of our choice. Some chose bows and arrows, a few picked spears, while another boy and I selected daggers. I slow down to a quick walk. I hear a rustling in the bushes to my right. I pull out my dagger, ready to fight, just in time to be tackled to the ground.
A slender boy with pale blonde hair stands up and helps me to my feet. “Sorry bout that didn’t mean to knock you over,” he says with a smile. “What were you running from?” I ask. “I’m not exactly sure, some sort of wolf-like beast,” he replies. My mind drifts away, what have I gotten myself into? “Where is it now?” “Not sure, I wounded it with my spear, but I think I only made it angry,” he says. I glance around seeking the beast’s location, but my hunt is less than successful.
“I’m Zeem by the way.” He says with an outstretched arm. “Kama,” I respond shaking his hand. “Which way are you headed?” he asks. “I was thinking this way,” I answer, pointing to a narrow path between two trees. “Oh really? Me too! Mind if I join you?” Gazing into his gray eyes, I reply cautiously, “sure.” I know only one of us can win, but company along the way might not be so bad, especially if there’s wild beasts that run wild. “Lead the way,” he says motioning me toward the trees.
After walking for what feels like hours we’re still walking through the overrun foliage. “So why are you here?” He asks courteously. “The prize, I kinda need the money.” I reply. “What about your family?” I’ve never told anyone why I live alone, but I feel strangely comfortable around Zeem. “My mom died when I was little, along with my two sisters, and my dad’s…in prison.” I say. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he says as he places a hand on my shoulder. “It’s ok. I’m used to it now. What about you?” I ask happily, trying to shift the subject away from me. “I liv-“that was all he got to say before he drops to the ground.
Zeem kneels down on the grass clutching his head in his arms. “Zeem! What’s wrong?” I plead. His only answer is a scream of agony. “Ahhhggg!” I lean down to help, but my head erupts in pain. My head ignites. It feels as if it’s caught on fire and is getting shot with a bullet. I fall to the floor holding my head in my hands. Someone please kill me now! I get the strength to look up at Zeem who is now rolling on the ground in distress. “Aaahhhggg!” I cry. The next second the pain stops in an instant.
I lie down on my back to catch my breath and glance at Zeem to make sure he’s alright. He’s sitting up against the trunk of a tree. “What was that? I ask. After minutes of silence, he finally speaks up. “The professor told us that there were untold dangers inside the chamber, so I assume the professor triggered some sort of device to make us feel an awful pain.” “But why would he want to hurt us?” I question. “He wants it to be harder to win the game?” Zeem speculates. “Or he’s controlling who wins the game,” I answer.
A few minutes later we head off again. We hear two boys talking in the distance. “What’s taking her so long?” one asks. “If she’s not back in two minutes I’m leaving!” the other responds. “I knew we shouldn’t have trusted her!” the first accuses. “We’ll have to get rid of her sooner or later.” Zeem and I try to ignore their conversation and continue on. Before I know it we’ve reached a lake. I’ve never been so excited to see water in my life, ‘m so parched. I crouch down to take a sip, but I don’t get the chance.
Iâ€™m dragged into the crystal blue water. Something grips my arm so hard I can no longer feel it. I attempt to swim up to the surface but my captor is too strong. My lungs are quickly loosing oxygen. I have only seconds before I suffocate and drown. Ten seconds: my vision goes blurry. Eight seconds: I spot Zeem desperately searching for me. Five seconds: he grabs the knife from my backpack and repeatedly stabs my captor. Three seconds: red water surrounds me, I am free. One secâ€”Zero. Everything goes black and my body goes limp in the arms of Zeem.
Splash! We reach the surface. Air, precious air, fills my lungs. I’m alive! Zeem guides me back to the rocky shore. After I’ve finished choking, I gain enough strength to speak. “Thanks,” I wheeze with caught linking each syllable. Zeem pants heavily on his hands and knees. “No problem,” he puffs as he smiles faintly then continues to catch his breath. I feel ashamed, now very glad that I accepted Zeem’s company. I should have been able to save myself. I try to ignore the fact but I know I am forever in Zeem’s debt.
“No! Please don’t!” shrieks a girl from within the forest. My mind instantly alert, searching for the owner of the scream. Zeem points to a large shrub big enough for both of us to hide behind. We silently crawl over to the bush just in time for a girl with long brown hair tied back in a braid to come darting out toward the water. The two boys we heard earlier emerge, closely pursuing her. “No! Stop!” she cries with huge brown eyes. She turns to face them once she reaches the water’s edge.
“Attie, you failed us!” a tall boy with thick dark hair howls. “I’m sorry! I won’t do it again, I promise!” Attie whimpers as she bursts into tears. The two boys look at each other with eager grins. “We didn’t want to have to do this, but you left us no choice.” The other boy says serenely. Attie is in terrified panic now, bawling her eyes out. “It was nice to know you, Attie.” The tall boy calls as he raises his bow and releases an arrow straight into Attie’s Heart.
“Nice shot Brid!” the shorter one shouts as he gives him a high five. They stroll back into the forest, playfully reenacting the appalling scene we’ve just witnessed. Attie lies on the ground profusely bleeding out of her chest. I turn away trying to erase her from my memory. Zeem smiles slightly as he stands up to face the forest. “We have to find the orb before they do.” I say. “Yeah,” he replies slowly. “Let’s head left, maybe we’ll find it there.” He continues and we depart in the direction clear of Brid and his comrade.
We stumble upon a clearing roughly two miles from the lake. Itâ€™s wide open and filled with lush grass. On the other side lies a tall, thin rock structure. At the summit I can faintly see something glowing blue. Itâ€™s the orb, and my ticket to freedom. The only thing that stands between me and victory is a couple hundred yards of level ground. Shadows stir to the left of us; Brid and his accomplice. They stand at the edge, prepared to fight. The game is now a race to the finish.
I sprint as fast as I can to the rock. Brid advances from his side. Zeem quickly catches up and passes me. I’m already out of energy halfway through the clearing, but I force myself to continue. “Faster, Raff!” Brid calls to his friend. Zeem is now nine feet in front of me and probably just a couple in front of Raff. An arrow flashes two inches in front of my face. Zeem is no more than a few feet from the rocks, barely ahead of Raff. Quickly he scales the ten foot rock and snatches the orb.
Zeem has won! He is victorious—until an arrow makes its way into his body. “Noooo!” I scream. His eyes roll into the back of his head and he plummets to the ground with a thud; but not before he can toss the orb through the air into my hands. Tears pour down the side of my face and I collapse to my knees clutching the orb to my chest with all my strength. My heart crumbles into minuscule pieces. I’ve never been so close to anyone before, the only person I truly care about lies lifeless on the cold earth.
The next second everything transforms. The ground flattens and the rock disappears. The trees are gone and the grass is now replaced with black tiles. I’m back in the empty warehouse room. Brid and Raff stand in front of me, furious and fuming. I slowly rise to my feet, searching for Zeem, but he’s nowhere to be found. It was just a simulation right? He can’t actually be dead, can he? I spot three of the girls and two other boys who I never saw during the game. Where are Zeem and Attie?
The door to the control room opens. Inside the professor greets us and congratulates me on my empty victory. I nearly jump on top of him the second I enter the room, demanding he shows me where Zeem is. “Like I said before, the effects are very real,” he replies bitterly. I glance at my arm where my underwater captor grabbed me; it’s still bright red and bruised. I realize that Attie and Zeem aren’t coming back. They have not only left the simulation but reality as well. I might have won the game, but I just lost the most important person to me.
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Microsoft clip art Microsoft clip art Microsoft clip art Shuff, Amanda. Station Control Room. Digital image. Amandashuff.wordpress.com.N.p.,13 May 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. http://amandashuff.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/station_control_room.jpeg. Dark empty warehouse. Digital image. Www.bleachanime.org. N.p., 14 Aug. 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. <http://www.mikesblender.com/port%20and%20cosplay%20haikyo%20warehouse.jpg> . Dark blue forest. Digital image. Http://epicrapbattesofhistory.wikia.com.CC-BY-SA, 30 Mar. 201. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. http://epicrapbattlesofhistory/images/f/f0Forest_Location.jpeg.. The middle of the forest. Digital image. Annjoiner.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. http://www.annjoiner.com/rose/fog-forest-wallpaper.jpg. Microsoft clip art Microsoft clip art Microsoft clip art Photo by Morgan Brown Hands coming out of the water. Digital image. Newsfirst.lk. N.p., 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. http://www.newsfirst.lk/english/sites/default/files/drowning_1_0.jpg. Water bubbles with arms. Digital image. Http://holahuracan.com/ . N.p., 19 May 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. http://holahuracan.com/wpcontent/uploads/2013/05/bubbles-drown-drowning-girl-ocean-underwaterfavim.com-93111.jpg. Battaglia, Jill. Waves along the Rocky Coast of Lake Michigan. Digital image. 123rf.com. 123rf Limited, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. <http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/jillbattaglia/jillbattaglia0810/jillbattaglia08 1000125/3788748-waves-along-the-rocky-coast-of-lake-michigan-door-county-inthe-autumn.jpg>. Photo by Morgan Brown Microsoft clip art Untouched Forest Woods Clearing Sunshine. Digital image. Http://hdwallpapers.lt/. N.P., Apr.-May 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. http://hdwallpapers.lt/wallpaper/untouched-forest-woods-clearing-sunshine-ofhdwallpaper-351748.jpg. Photo by Morgan Brown Photo by Morgan Brown Dark empty warehouse. Digital image. Www.bleachanime.org. N.p., 14 Aug. 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. <http://www.mikesblender.com/port%20and%20cosplay%20haikyo%20warehouse.jpg> Shuff, Amanda. Station Control Room. Digital image. Amandashuff.wordpress.com.N.p.,13 May 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. http://amandashuff.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/station_control_room.jpeg. Microsoft clip art Microsoft clip art
A short story