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Adventure Fantasy Thriller

“So… who are they?”

Zelda holds up her phone excitedly, showing me a picture of five girls sitting in a circle.

“They’re called Nightmare, my favorite artists these days. Their music is so awesome! You should listen to them, Kilian. I think you would like them, they’re really spooky.”

She takes away the picture and opens another app instead, searching for a song to play for me. I told her that I’d let her introduce me to some new music groups… although her fangirling is kind of annoying sometimes, I need new music. 

“Ooh, this one is perfect! It’s called Insomnia.”

She pulls up the music video; I can already tell that this group has a creepy concept. Within the first five seconds, I’ve already fallen into the insane background track that matches the spooky setting of the video.

“Wow. They do rock?”

“Oh yeah! They’ve done basically all music genres, but rock is what they’re most known for. I kinda like their jazzy songs too, though, I’ll play one later.”

One of the girls in the music video is trapped in a dark maze, holding a hand over her mouth and nose as an unknown presence searches for her.

“Man, I’d hate to be them. That looks terrifying.”

Zelda shrugs.

“It’s still awesome, though. I think I reduced myself to only having two brain cells while trying to come up with their storyline.”

“…you do theories?”

“Oh yes. I’ve tried to map out their story but I always seem to be missing something. If only I could get a closer look into the setting…”

Another girl in the video screams, but her voice isn’t heard due to the music playing. I didn’t have time to catch what happened to her; another girl has taken over the screen.

“Don’t say things like that… remember what happened last time?!”

She scoffs, eyes still fixed on the screen.

“Kilian, that wasn’t even that bad.”

“You got us trapped in a video game. I’d rather not be stuck in dark mazes, abandoned facilities, or spooky mansions trying to escape whatever is chasing them. No thanks.”

Zelda doesn’t respond. She isn’t even here anymore. The room grows darker and darker, until the familiar setting of her bedroom is gone. It’s replaced with a creepy room filled with old antiques and a giant grandfather clock. The room is dim enough, but to make it worse the light flickers dark every few seconds. I don’t remember this scene from the video… I must not have been paying attention.

I have to remind myself to take deep breaths as I scan the room. Nothing has popped out at me yet; it’s surprisingly calm. That’s what makes it even creepier. I take advantage of the extra time and scan the room again, now noticing some more of the spooky old furniture. A dusty, reddish wardrobe sits in the back of the room; it looks like something out of an old, cliche horror movie. I’ve watched enough of those, both well-produced and terribly made, to know I shouldn’t go near it. Especially since a few porcelain dolls have been seated on top of it. They look fragile enough to break at a single touch, yet they’ve clearly been tampered with. A few of them have had strange red markings drawn on their skin(most likely using blood) and others have matte red eyes which were also painted over. Their heads are all turned towards the door, as if to protect the room from trespassers. Like me…

“Zelda. I need to find Zelda,”

I say to myself. Even though, knowing her, she’s probably enjoying herself, I need her to get out of here. She gets us into these messes, but she also gets us out. 

I step over to the door, but as my hand hovers over the handle I hear an earsplitting scream from the other side along with heavy footsteps sprinting past. I don’t even get the chance to open the door, as the footsteps come by again and stop near the door. I swear, if whatever it is sensed me here… I have to hide. My breathing becomes heavy again as I lock the door and desperately scan the dark room, searching for a place to conceal myself. Dread rises in my stomach as my eyes fall on the wardrobe.

The owner of the footsteps bangs on the door, which prompts me to dash for the wardrobe and swing it open. I hop into it, finally letting go of my breath. I should be somewhat safe in here. 

Ding. My phone goes off. I completely forgot I had it in my jacket pocket. I fumble with it for a second, turning it on and putting it on silent. I don’t seem to be connected to WiFi here(obviously), but I got a text anyways.

“Kilian. Help me. It’s got me.”

Replying will take too long. I FaceTime call her instead, desperately hoping for a response. To my relief, she picks up. Her heavy breathing is almost louder than her voice, and her face reads fear.

“Kilian, thank goodness… help me. Please.”

“I- I will. Just wait. Where are you? I’ll find you. I promise…”

Her scared expression quickly turns into a smirk. She turns the camera, showing another face. 

“Only hanging out with my favorite member of Nightmare herself!”

I frown as Zelda giggles, giving a high-five to the girl she was with. 

“Darn you and your theatrical skills. You scared the heck out of me. I’m hiding in an old creepy wardrobe, I was prepared to leave and face whatever almost caught me to save you!”

“Haha, I’m fine. I’m with Nora.”

“Nora?”

That wasn’t my voice. I jump, rapidly trying to escape the wardrobe before something pulls me deeper into it. My voice is too hoarse to scream as a hand covers my mouth, catching my hot breath and bringing me in close.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. Don’t give us away.”

“Jin? Is that you?”

Nora asks. The figure holding onto me takes my phone, looking at her friend through the screen.

“Yes! This is so crazy, what even is this thing? I can see your face through it.”

“Cool! I can see you too! Where are you?”

Before Jin can respond, I snatch back my phone and look at Zelda. She looks ready to burst, being able to communicate with her favorite artists.

“We’re in a wardrobe hiding from something,” I hiss. “It could be in the room with us right now, so keep quiet!”

Jin scoffs as I end the FaceTime call, cutting my contact with Zelda.

“It won’t find us. It hates the spelled dolls.”

“…spelled?”

“Yes, spelled. I talked to them, and drew spells on the ones who would cooperate. Some of them didn’t, so I covered their eyes.”

She grins creepily at me. Sheesh, and I thought these girls were the protagonists.

“Didn’t cooperate…? Wait, did you really use blood to draw on them? Where’d you get it from?!”

Stupid question. The maniacal smile never leaves her face as she shows me the palm of her hand, which has a long wound stretching across it. Apparently the fact that I flinched back is funny to her.

“We need to find Zelda. And Nora, I suppose.”

“I haven’t seen Nora in awhile. I might have passed Mikyong earlier, but it could have been a duplicate of myself. We have the same hair color.”

She gestures to her cherry-colored hair. Come to think of it, I saw her in the music video, staring at a clone of herself. Maybe it was another member, though. Only Zelda could tell me.

“Maybe we need to find all your other group members. Maybe then I’ll be able to go home.”

“Leaving so soon? Sad. We’ve been running in here, trying to keep ourselves safe for as long as we can remember. No visitors. No seeing much of each other, either.”

I take a moment to listen for the footsteps, and push open one of the wardrobe’s doors when I decide the coast is clear.

“Well, that’s going to change today. We’re going to find Zelda and the rest of your group so that we can leave.”

I climb out of the big wardrobe, Jin following behind me. Now that the lighting is somewhat better I can see her pretty red hair.

“Okay. Give me all of your members’ names, and what they look like. I need something to work with.”

“Hm. Well, there’s me, Nora, Mikyong, Luna, and Hani. Mikyong has the same hair color as me, Luna has blonde hair and two different colored eyes, Hani has short black hair, and Nora has brown hair. We all are wearing black clothes, and our duplicates don’t speak so if we think we’ve found a member we’re gonna have to ask them questions.”

“Jeez, do you all have clones?”

Jin shrugs.

“I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I hope it’s just me.”

So do I. The idea of leaving the safety of the room makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, but I have to in order to find Zelda. The hallway outside is just as creepy as the room; the lights aren’t flickering by they are very dim. It almost looks like a hotel hallway when I look one way, but when I look the other way it looks like a castle corridor. What even is this universe?

“It won’t find us if we move fast. It senses when we linger somewhere.”

Just as Jin finished speaking, a scream echoed through the hall. I don’t know whose it was, but I start to walk in the direction of it in hopes of finding someone. The scream leads us down the hotel hallway; for a second I stare blankly at the many doors, but then I see a door with blood smeared on the outside in swirly patterns. Room 808. That has to be the one. Jin doesn’t argue as I grab onto the door handle and pull it open. Sure enough, a girl with long blonde hair is sitting in the corner. I notice a cut on her arm, probably the source of the blood on the door. Thankfully she’s the only living creature in the room. The rest of the room, instead of being a hotel room like I imagined, is filled with sewing machines and loose thread. Looking closer at the girl’s arm, I see the cut is loosely stitched together with bright red thread.

“Luna!”

“Jin?!”

Jin grabs Luna’s hand and pulls her up, ignoring the cut on her arm. Maybe wounds are normal for these girls.

“We heard you scream. Did it find you?”

“Oh, of course it did. I swear I always get lost in these hallways, I couldn’t find my saferoom so I made a new one.”

Luna glances towards her arm. I’ve never gotten nauseous at the sight of blood, but the fact that these girls are so casual about it makes me uneasy.

“Get ready to go. We’re trying to regroup! This boy needs to find everyone.”

Jin gestures to me, and I nod my head awkwardly. Luna cocks her head, staring at me; the angle makes it easier to see her creepy eyes. One is brown, one is red.

“Is he real?”

Jin scoffs.

“I don’t know, but might as well listen to him. There’s another one with Nora. That’s who he’s trying to find. He called her on this weird little… demon square thing, and I could see Nora’s face through it! I could hear her too, and-“

“It’s called a phone. I’ll call Zelda again to see where she is.”

I want to speed things up and get out of here. Loud footsteps can be heard from outside the room, but they don’t come in. I open my phone, calling Zelda, but she quickly declines the call.

“She isn’t letting me call her… hold on.”

Before I can try again, my own phone starts ringing. When I pick up, Zelda hangs up the call. I get a text from her saying, “Don’t answer the call. I can hear your ringtone.”

Now I understand. She calls me again, and this time I let it ring. Soon enough the doorknob turns, Zelda and Nora entering the room. Luna goes to hug Nora, while Zelda smiles brightly at me.

“So, how ya been? This place is epic.”

I frown.

“This place is not epic. Either of us could have been killed by now, and we don’t even know what’s after us in the first place! We need to get out of here. Thank goodness we only need to find two more members. Do you know where the other two might be?”

Zelda sighs, looking behind at the three creepy girls playing cat’s cradle with red string and giggling to themselves.

“Do we have to leave now? This is awesome. How many times do you get to meet your favorite group?!”

“A lot of times, when it has to do with us. I swear, you need to get this getting-transported-into-fantasy-worlds thing fixed.”

She frowns.

“Whatever. I might be able to figure out where they are based on where each member has been in the music video.”

“What’s a music video?”

Jin asks. Luna and Nora shrug, continuing the game as if they’ve spent their entire lives playing it already.

“Is it like, a fancy music box? Can I have it?”

Luna keeps getting creepier to me by the second. She transfers the string to Jin’s hands and pulls a small music box out from her pocket, smiling as she turns the handle. The melody it plays sounds exactly like Insomnia.

“No, it’s not a music box. It’s… never mind what it is, let’s just go. Zelda, where do you think they are?”

Zelda thinks for a moment.

“Well, Mikyong is definitely in the castle part of this place, in a room that looks like an abandoned classroom. Hani will be harder to find, since she can teleport herself anywhere if she’s being chased. I saw it in one of the other videos, she was in trouble so she just-“

“Great. Let’s find Mikyong first.

I listen for footsteps again, and lead all five of us out of the room. Sprinting through the hotel hallway and into the castle corridor, Zelda soon spots another door marked with a bloody spell. The inside looks like a classroom, with a spooky red-haired girl as the teacher. Mikyong sits at the front desk, a blackened apple in her hand. A wooden tool used to point at the blackboard has been sharpened to a menacing point, which she holds in her other hand. However, it falls to the floor when she sees her fellow group members.

“You’re all late to class,”

She says with a giggle. When she spots Zelda and I, her smile turns into a frown. Jin senses her confusion, and quickly explains.

“They’re just visiting. They want to find Hani.”

“Oh, Hani? She might be in here. I haven’t checked the closets for her yet. Knowing her she’s probably inside of one.”

Mikyong walks over to the classroom’s small storage closet, and opens the door. No one’s inside; the only thing in it besides a multitude of lamps is a blood mark on the floor. However, Mikyong smiles when she sees it.

“Come on out, Hani. You’re safe in here.”

Some of the lamps flicker on and off, and a female figure appears on top of the mark. She has short black hair, just like Jin said.

“Welcome, Hani.”

Hani steps out of the closet, smiling as she sees the other four standing in front of her.

“Nice to see you all. Been awhile, hasn’t it?”

Zelda steps forward, looking around at the newly reunited Nightmare.

“Now that you’re all together, we need your help. Hani, can you take us to the big white room? I think that’s where we all need to go so Kilian and I can get back. Oh, I’m Zelda, by the way.”

“You mean the center room? Sure. Follow me.”

With the group finally together again, I can’t help but sigh in relief. I’ll be out of here soon. As much as I like horror movies, this place creeps me out. Hani leads us out of the classroom, running down the corridor and back to the split between hallways. A third hall has appeared, an open path into a huge white room. The walls and windows are white, same with the long white table in the center of the space. Hani and the other five girls line up in front of the table, grasping each other’s hands. The room is completely silent until Hani whispers a few words in a language unknown to me. From somewhere far away, I can hear a pained screeching sound. Maybe it’s what was chasing us this whole time. A huge smile comes to Jin’s face as she breaks their chain and comes over to me.

“Thank you. We’re safe for now.”

“Of course.”

Zelda waves goodbye, and the room starts to slowly melt away. The last thing I see is all five girls holding hands before I’m back in Zelda’s room.

“Wow. Out of all the places you’ve sent us, that one was definitely the weirdest. Seriously, you should get this magic stuff checked out. “

She scoffs, looking at her phone.

“It’s not magic. Can’t be. I don’t know why it happens. I kinda like it, though… ready for the next video? It’s even more awesome than Insomnia.”

Zelda starts the video, grinning when the sees the familiar members pop up on the screen. I smile as I watch, and soon her bedroom disappears around me once again as we prepare for the next adventure.

May 08, 2020 00:52

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