So I finally edited my story that I wrote for class and decided to share it with you guys. This is all about practice so I’m open to feedback. You can leave it in the comments or send me a message through the form on my “About” page. So here it is. Earth as We know it Chapter One: Let the Games Begin. I hope you guys enjoy it.
My body throbbed and ached through the aftershock of the fall and the pain gripped me as I rolled over on to my back. I knew I should be scared for what was coming, but I wasn’t. Anyone who was ever taken by The Collection never came back. Stories said that no one had ever survived wherever we were sent, but I wasn’t staying around to figure it out. I was leaving. I needed to get home. Mom and Noah needed me.
Of course there wouldn’t be a door marked “exit”, but regardless I looked for one. The fog walls climbed upward and beyond my line of sight and my feet were planted on something solid. People started to rain down from the dark ceiling and fell until they disappeared through the floor. I tried to dodge them as I ran toward the wall, but they fell through me and like a chill running down my spine, I felt them. Eventually, I made it to the wall that was devoid of any falling bodies. Fear crept up my back leaving tiny goosebumps in its wake. Where they were going didn’t really matter to me as long as I didn’t go with them.
Even though the walls seemed too be made of fog, I didn’t think leaving would be that easy. I slowly reached for the wall. Everything in my body was telling me not to touch it, but I couldn’t stop. My fingers inched closer and I tried to prepare myself for what would come. When they lightly reached for the fog, they were met with resistance. Solid smoke. Its surface swirled and shifted, but it was solid. I continued along the edges of the smoke, dragging my hand along its surface. I started to move away from the fog when I got slammed into the ground. The air flew out of my lungs and I was flattened to the floor. It took me a moment to realize that it was a person that bulldozed me, more specifically a guy. I’d been tossed around, dropped, and now flattened. He rolled off of me and started to stand.
“Who are you?” I wheezed. The air hadn’t quite returned to my lungs yet.
“Crap!” He said after he rolled away from me.
The nerve of this guy! I was finally able to sit up and take a good look at him. He was extremely tall and was built like a linebacker which surprised me since I hadn’t broken a rib.
“Listen, I don’t know-”
Two loud thuds cut me off. Groans mingled as our two new strangers picked themselves up off of the floor. Two boys and two girls was the score at the moment. This boy was thinner than the other. His slender build hunched forward and his spiky blond hair contrasted the other boy’s floppy brown hair. The girl on the other hand looked like she’d break if you touched her. Her raven dark hair fell closely over her hollow gray eyes and judging from her tiny stature she couldn’t have been more than 11 or 12.
We all looked between each other, waiting and wondering. The falling bodies faded until they eventually disappeared and it seemed that we were alone for the moment.
“Hey, are you okay?” The boy with the brown hair asked.
“I’m fine.” I said
I’m pretty sure my ribs are bruised, but he doesn’t need to know that. Another thing that I’m sure of is that I probably can’t get out of here without their help. Four strangers trapped by solid, fog walls. I’d never met any of these people before in my life so they couldn’t have grouped us by association.
“I’m Levi.” The blond boy says.
He isn’t looking at us. His blue stare is assessing his surroundings. He walked around the perimeter until he stopped at a wall and reached for the haze. His brows furrowed together the moment he saw the smoke for what it was. His lips began to move, but no sound came out. It looked more like he was thinking out loud than actually trying to have a conversation. The other two watched his movements and reached for the walls as well. The unnamed boy ran his hand up and down the wall then punched it. A visible shock vibrated through his body. Dark shades of blue and purple struck his skin like lightning. It wasn’t enough to kill him, but it was enough to lay him out.
“I’m Wes.” He muttered as he stood up.
“Why would you do that?”
“I was just trying to find a way out.”
“You could have died!” Anger pulsed through me, causing me to clench my fist. This guy was probably an idiot and I didn’t need him dying and making more work for me.
“At least I tried something! You all are just sitting around petting it like it’s a cute little puppy!”
“And guess what? We didn’t laid out by a damn wall!”
“Whatever! Just sit here and wait to die!”
“Says the idiot that just got struck by lightning!”
Levi took that moment to intervene.
“Yelling at each other won’t get us out of here. So chill out, both of you.”
Silence passed through the four of us. Something about this kid made my blood boil and I wasn’t sure what it was. I matched Wes’ heated glare until a small voice spoke up.
“I’m April.” The girl said. She spoke a bit above a whisper while rubbing her hand up and down her arm. It honestly looked like she wanted nothing more than to hide herself behind the dark smoke.
“Hi, April, it’s nice to meet you.” I chirped.
“Do you know what’s going to happen to us?” She asked.
“No, but we’re going to get out of here. Did your parents tell you about this?” I asked.
She shook her head so I took a moment to think. I didn’t want to scare her but she needed to know the truth.
“We were taken as part of The Collection”, I said, sitting down next to her. “People are being taken prisoner by beings from far away. I’m not sure why, but I am sure that we will find a way out.”
She looked at me with wide, sad eyes. I could tell she still didn’t grasp the severity of the situation, but she was getting there.
She started to speak when four dull, long beeps grabbed our attention.
“Welcome to Planet Warfare!” A flat voice said, “Over the years, species from all over have competed in teams of four in our tournament style battles. This year we have a very special treat for our viewers. We have our first Earthinan team in the history of the games. If you haven’t heard, the Xeben Alliance is in the process of completely converting the human race and will try to integrate them into our society. Now let’s meet our brand new team!”
“What’s Planet Warfare?” April asked.
3 shrill beeps preceded the same monotone voice while footage came up of raging green fire and bodies writhing in orange liquid.
“Planet Warfare is a free for all, to the death tournament .” The voice said.
Levi looked back and forth between April and the screen. He rubbed his hand through his hair, and began to speak.
“What type of games do they compete in?” He asked.
Pictures appeared of an arena teeming with vicious looking creatures.
“A traditional tournament” The voice answered.
“How is the winner decided?” I asked
“…the battles are to the death. The only way to survive is to win the tournament.” The voice answered.
Knots formed in my stomach as I connected the dots. We weren’t in a prison, we were in These scum don’t particularly like handing out information like that so they don’t.
The face reappeared in the smoke.
“Let’s welcome our new team from Earth!” The female announced.
“Our first team member is April Anderson!”
“Next up is Levi Shane!
“Our third team member is Wes Lockley!”
No no no no no no…
“And finally, their team captain, Remi Ellis!”
The reality of the situation slammed me in the chest; We could die and I may never get home. A section of the smoke parted and light shined through. The smoke began to crackle and close in. My lungs burned and my eyes watered. My choices were to stay in here and die or go out there and die. My feet began to carry me forward before I could even make a decision. We ran down the path and followed the light until we were let out into dirt. I looked around and everything all I could see was dirt, rocks, and a strange violet sky.
Laid out a few feet away were four identical bags. As we got closer, I noticed that each of them had each of our names on them. I dropped down to my knees and began fiddling with the case that was in my bag. Once I got it open, I sifted through the contents and found a strange piece of metal. It was shaped like an octagon with lines of intertwined gold and silver. I pulled out what seemed to be a dagger and under it there was a tiny metal case. In it, there were other knives all different lengths. Next, there was a small box. As soon as I got the lid off the box expanded. In it were pieces of armor. Everyone else opened their cases and found similar items inside. The only difference was that we each had a different weapon. While I had knives, Levi handled a long piece of metal. From the apparent barrel and trigger, I assumed it was a gun.. April examined her metallic whip while Wes played with his laser sword.
“So Light-sabers do exist.” He joked.
I took inventory on the collection of knives and all of the other contents of the case. I wasn’t sure what everything did, but I knew I would soon find out. Levi looked around and worked his fingers through his hair.
“Okay, we definitely aren’t in Kansas anymore.” He said.
A large screen appeared in the sky.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just dropped our finally team off at their starting point.
Each participant has been given a tracker to locate all of the other contestants.”
The metal octagon appeared on the the screen. Apparently, you just pressed the top and a map popped up. I dug mine out of my bag and followed the gestures on the screen. An expansive map appeared in front of me, speckled with bright red dots. Four blue dots stood out among the crowd and I could only assumed that those dots were us.
“They were also given weapons and some provisions. They will have two minutes to grab their gear, weapons, and trackers before the games start.” The announcer chirped.
Games, how ironic.
“I can’t do this…I can’t” April sobbed. She collapsed on the ground and pulled her knees up to her chin.
I bent down next to April and rubbed her head.
“It’s going to be okay. Just think of your strengths. Is there anything you can do?” I asked.
“I was the fastest runner at my school. ” she sniffled.
“That’s good. They’re going to have to catch you first, girl. Plus you’re small so definitely take advantage of that.” I said. “What about you two?”
“I used to go hunting with my dad. Shot a buck from 60 yards back.” Levi said.
“That’s great. Wes?”
“Boxing, wrestling, weight training.” He said
“That’s good, we’ll need that.”
“What can you do?” Wes asked.
I didn’t really know how to tell them that I’ve had to fight every day of my life. Whether it was my father, the kids at school, or some random thug standing in my way, I fought and won. I’m pretty sure it’s a self-preservation thing.
“Before the world went to hell, I was sitting in prison for theft and assault.”
I busied myself with contents of my bag so I wouldn’t have to look at their faces. I did what I had to; for Noah and for Mom.
“30 seconds!” The female voice announced.
“Everyone get you your gear on!” I demanded
Seconds later, everyone was in their gear. I looked at those three strangers and hoped that we can become some semblance of a team. If not, we’d die.
“We have to stick together here. We don’t have the luxury of arguing. We watch each other’s backs and we make it out alive.” I said.
They all nodded in agreement.
A portal opens and we prepare ourselves.