Silence engulfs them across the room. The tension is palpable, as four stony faces all stare at each other suspiciously. It suffocates them, an invisible glove around all of their necks. They await further instructions, whilst they sit at an empty table.
“The feast will begin in a few minutes.” A monotonous voice calls out from a speaker attached to the wall. “Be there, or don’t.” The threat hangs in the air, and slices through them like a knife. They all shift uncomfortably in their seat.
Theresa Scott sits there anxiously, chewing at her fingernails. Her hair is scraped back into a ponytail, pulling on her face. Her eyes dart around the room, hoping to spot something that might be an escape route. Sam Probe sits to her right, a confident, almost arrogant aura seeping out of him. To Theresa’s left, a boy called Daniel Blossom sits, also showing no emotion at all - only numbness lives inside of him. And opposite Theresa is Emily Passermore. Completely the opposite of Theresa, she has her blonde hair styled immaculately; not a single strand of it is out of place. As if plucked straight out of a magazine, she sticks out like a sore thumb. They now all stare at the floor, refusing to make eye contact with each other. The next few minutes of quiet drag on agonising slowly, until finally, the voice returns.
“The feast is ready. To receive it, you must all introduce yourself. Take as long as you need.” The silence ensues. No one speaks for a few minutes, until the boy called Sam speaks for them.
“My name is Sam,” he says simply. “And, I don’t know why I’m here.”
“I’m Daniel. Dan for short.”
“Gosh, this is stupid.” Emily mutters. She plasters a false smile onto her face, and then continues. “I’m Emily Passermore, nice to meet you all.”
No one says anything to her, so Theresa does. “Likewise. Does anyone know why we are here?”
Several shaken heads prove that they are all as perplexed as the other as to why they are all there. And how did they get there? As the quiet creeps up on them again, the voice starts to blare out.
“Tell each other about your powers.”
That simple sentence is enough to change the mood immediately. A harsh frost travels throughout the room, as they all stare at each other warily. Did it say… powers?
“Well, I don’t know what they’re talking about.” Emily folds her arms across her chest. “We’ve been kidnapped, and now they are messing with us.”
Theresa eyes the boy sitting on her left, Dan. He stares back at her, and a thousand words are spoken through their gazes. He nods at her, and then addresses everyone else.
“I have powers.” He admits to them, almost ashamedly. “I can speak to animals. Nothing cool, I understand, but I guess it’s sometimes a blessing.”
“When would that be a blessing?” Emily asks, with a vicious undertone to it. Theresa throws her a scathing look, and ignores the jibe.
“Well, I too, have powers. I control fire.” Theresa’s cheeks burn bright. She starts fiddling with a bit of loose thread on her jeans, whilst Dan gives her a small clap.
“Well snap! I can control water!” Sam says, and punches Theresa playfully on the arm. “Let’s hope we don’t ever have to fight each other, because I’ll win!”
Theresa scoffs inwardly, despising the boy sitting next to her. And the girl sitting opposite her, for that matter. “Emily? You must have powers, no point denying it. We’ve all admitted ours, so tell us yours.”
“It’s nothing special.” For once, she’s at a loss for words. “I can control electricity.”
“Wow.” Dan replies to her, as the rest of us are rendered silent. “That’s a lot of responsibility, for someone who doesn’t want to admit she has powers.”
“Get a grip, Dan.” In a split-second, Emily’s persona has changed. “You can’t trust anyone. You guys could have been spies, trying to get information out of me. Can never be too careful.” We all exchange surprised glances, as Emily’s eyebrows furrow. “Well, we’ve done all you’ve asked, so give us the same food.”
A click from the ceiling indicates that they’ve heard and understand her demands. A few minutes later, the food drops from the ceiling, and lands neatly in their plates. After a few minutes of inspecting the food, they dig in, suddenly ravenous from their experience.
Over the course of the meal, they exchange various small talk with each other. Emily, shockingly, talks the least, and they discuss everything to their birthdays to what they study. As they are nearing the end of their feast, they hold their stomachs, full of delicious food.
“Well, I’ll be the first to say it;” Sam begins, “that meal is the best meal I’ve had in ages. Even though I don’t know where I am, or who took us, I’ll give it to them that they can cook.”
“Yes, why are we here?” Theresa drops her cutlery, and it clatters noisily onto her plate. “Surely there is a reason all of us are here, as all of us have powers?”
A static crackle omits from the speakers. “Well done on finishing your first task. You’ve impressed us all - you should be very proud. But now, we move onto the second task.”
“Second task?” Emily asks, her voice not letting on any hint of fear. “I didn’t realise there was a first task? Was our first task just eating?”
“Your second task will begin in a few seconds.” The voice ignores her questions, and suddenly the lights cut out, plunging them into darkness.
“Is everyone okay?” Theresa’s voice cuts through the room, and there are a few scuffles from chairs as everyone stands up, alarmed.
“I’m fine.” Emily answers her. “Dan? Sam?”
“We’re all good. Can someone find a light switch?”
They spend the next few minutes scrambling across the wall, desperately searching for a light switch. All they can hear are the occasional grunts from themselves, and their hearts beating outside of their chests.
“Oof, sorry,” Theresa mumbles, as she walks into someone.
“Don’t worry about it,” Dan comments, and he manages to slide around her, continuing his search. Finally, the light returns on, and as their eyes adjust to the harsh light, they see Emily has found the switch.
“Nice one, Em.” Theresa breathes. “Can I call you Em?”
“Might as well,” she tells her, “we’re in this together; might as well be on nickname basis.” The sound of a crunching behind her makes them leap out of their skin, and she slowly turns around.
A door they hadn’t ever noticed before is now opening before them. As the group move closer to the entrance of the door, they peer down it. The door had been concealing a dark tunnel that appears to go on for miles. There is a slim strip of light down the sides of the tunnel, but other than that, there is nothing in the tunnel that can help them. Emily, now the leader of the group, advances forward into the tunnel.
“We have to go through it,” she says finally, and turns around to beckon her group in. “Come on!”
Reluctantly, they all squish into the tunnel, refusing to go any further than a couple of steps. As soon as they are all cramped together, the door slams shut behind them. Theresa’s gasp echoes, bouncing off of the walls and all around them. The darkness makes something visible to them, something that wasn’t visible before…
Illuminous letters are cast upon the wall, written in a very bright green. Upon reading the letters, all of the group receive shivers down their spines.
“The Danger Zone?” Sam squeaks, and turns his back on them, facing the door. “I didn’t sign up for this.” He begins to pull on the door handle, but it won’t budge. He grunts and groans for a few minutes, as they wait patiently for him to tire out. And once he eventually stops, they start to move forward again, quivering behind Emily. They move further down, until the lights flicker off. The static can be heard again, although where it’s coming from, no one knows.
“They’re coming. Be ready.” The voice calls out. They grab onto each other’s arm for support, and brace themselves for The Danger Zone.