“Good bye… I’ll see you after I get back,” I smile weakly. I hug Noah one last time.
“Please, don’t stay too long. I know you have to go but-” I turn away from him as tears seep from beneath his eyes.
“I’m sorry… I’m so, so, sorry,” I whisper into his ear. A gruff voice yells to me from the black limousine.
“Let’s go! We’re on a time limit here!” Noah and I roll our eyes and pull apart. He gently brushes the tears from my eyes.
“I love you. Don’t forget, okay?” Noah says. I nod slowly.
“I love you too…” I pick up my small duffel bag and walk over to the limousine. Nine people wait in the car, and a security guard drives. I toss my bag in the back and sit beside a girl who looks to be my age. Her hair is dyed blue and red, half of her head shaved. My own blonde hair is the complete opposite. I stuff my beanie underneath my leg. Awkward silence fills the small limo, and we all jump a bit when the limousine starts to move. Trying to break the silence, I talk to the girl beside me.
“So… uh-,” She raises her eyebrows and stares at me. A piercing on her nose glints.
“What’s your name?” I ask her, a bit quietly.
“Lucy. What’s yours?” Lucy sounds bored and annoyed, glaring at me while she chews her gum.
“My name’s Tricky. Nice to meet you Lucy,” she stares at me. I look away from her, and steal a look at the rest of our companions. They all look starkly different. A boy sits across from me. “What’s your name?” He looks at me and points at himself. “Yes, you.” I say. The boy beside him, wearing a bright green tank top and red shorts, speaks.
“His name is Jake. He doesn’t talk very much,” the other boy speaks with a finality I can’t compete with, and I stare out the window once more.
The girl who asked for my name looks out of the tinted windows, glancing at Fresh and me every few minutes. I'm surprised she hasn't commented on his outfit, a florescent green shirt and red shorts. I followed her gaze and looked out the window. The rolling farmlands gave way to buildings, and we rolled into a city.
I look around and notice that all of us seem to be athletic, and especially good at running. The muscles in our legs are noticeable, the ones in our arms a bit smaller. I smooth my suit pants and adjust my rabbit mask. Lucy wears a dress, and Jake wears a hoodie and skinny jeans. We all sit silently. The limousine squeaks, and we halt. I hear a door slam, and we all walk out of the automatically opened doors. I scream, and sprint away. I hit a wall, unable to see it because it’s invisible.
“Why are we here? What are you doing to us?” They can’t… There’s no way it’s legal to… The security guard speaks once more.
“A few of you may be… familiar with this place,” he grins maliciously. The others look at me, confused. The tall walls, the subway station… graffiti everywhere… there’s no way… “Well. Let’s get to it. We have some bored people waiting,” he laughs. “You’ll notice a square with your name. We ask that you stand there until one of you is selected,” I shiver, my eyes boring into the security guard. He smiles pleasantly, his eyes filled with malice. “Any questions?” I shoot my hand in the air. “Yes? Er, Frank, was it?” he asks. I nod.
“How is this legal? When it was stopped before it was for good reason, you can’t just-” The security guard interrupts.
“Oh, it’s not me. Your parents did this,” he says darkly. I shake my head.
“No. No way, my mother would never have-”
“Silence! Speak no more, you may ruin the surprise for your friends,” The security guard glares at me scathingly. I try to speak, but I’m snapped into my square. My limbs move around me. I try to yell, but my mouth is glued in place. A loud announcer’s voice rings above us.
“Frank has been selected! Good luck!” My feet move of their own accord. The security guard follows. I start to spray paint a train, when the security guard shouts. The three train rails in front of me have coins and trains on them. I’m moved from side to side, the security guard far behind me. I flip over a red and white striped barrier, landing harshly on the ground. I’m quickly whipped from side to side, narrowly missing a train speeding toward me. I’m slammed into a magnet, and coins pound into me. I’m turned into a lane, and a train comes toward me. The player isn’t quick enough, and I slam into the train. My vision fades and spots crowd my vision. A lightness overtakes me, and the world is gone.
The security guard turns toward us, Frank’s body in his arms. “Now, you see, when the player fails... you die,” He chuckles, and places the body in a black duffel bag. I stand there, terrified. Frank knew… he knew what was happening…
“Why is this happening?” I ask.
“Your parents suggested you. Didn’t they tell you?” He looks pointedly at us, knowing we were not informed of this decision. “Now. Someone will be chosen any minute now…” as he speaks, we’re all snapped into position. Tasha has been chosen! Good luck! Not me… There has to be someone else named Tasha... No, I can’t… I try to run, and I do… straight onto the train tracks. The same thing that happened to Frank occurs, and before I know it I’m dragged from side to side. My sneakers suddenly seem like a good choice of shoe for the day.
I roughly hit coins before I run into a pogo stick which shoots me into the air. I hit a magnet before falling to the ground. Seconds later I’m hit by a train. I get stuck under it before the wheels hit my arm. I scream out, but my head is suddenly crushed.