Day 36 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Let the pictures inspire you.
Shannon: When the ambassadors sent out a request for volunteers to participate in the Adora Competition, my parents immediately entered my name. It wasn’t a prestigious honor, unless you won, because that was the only way out. If you lost then you died in the game, and they left you there. To understand why parents would risk their child’s life to give her a chance to complete, you’d have to understand what our world is like today. It’s not a good place. We’re breathing, but we’re not living. No one is happy, and we’re trying to fix that with this game.
However, my parents didn’t have the same motive. They tell me the world was good once, and that everyone didn’t always live in fear. That’s what they wanted for me. It would take me away from them forever, but at least I’d have a chance at something better. “Go to the water, and stay in the light when you can. Be invisible, and don’t start fights. Find the world we used to know, or maybe something even better. Don’t give up,” they advised before giving me goodbye hugs.
That’s how I ended up standing over the ambassadors’ game board. They were placing and moving around game pieces that represented new players, trying to strategically decide where they’d be most effective. I was holding my own game piece, waiting for them to pick me.
When it was my turn an employee lead me to a container and explained how to stand inside. I copied his instruction and laid back, keeping my feat against the tube. “The computer will run through the rules again, and then you will hear a countdown once they decide where to place you. Good luck, and remember, you success could save the world. We applaud your bravery,” he shut the tube and locked it.
As the computer voice took over I couldn’t push away my feelings any longer. I was no stranger to fear, but I would be in new turf soon. There was a good chance I might not survive past the first location, and I didn’t want to die. Not with the new promise of finding something better.
The countdown started and moments later the platform holding me up dropped, releasing me into darkness. I felt like I was falling, but suddenly I was sitting in a room that looked like an abandoned Laundromat. There was graffiti covering every wall, and the floor was coated with dirt and garbage. I stood up as soon I was able to take it all in. I felt a little dizzy, so I grabbed onto the sink and took a few deep breaths.
I let my adrenaline take over, and snuck my way to the window. There was no movement outside. It seemed as though they’d placed me in an abandoned town, but that didn’t mean I was alone. “Always carry a weapon. The strongest one you can take with you at the time. Keep looking, never get too comfortable until you reach the ocean,” my dad’s instructions replayed in my head.
I felt sick again, this time out of fear. I can’t do this,” I whispered, shaking my head. I wanted to curl up in a ball and stay here. How was I supposed to find the ocean? I didn’t even know how to find out where I was, let alone where to go.
“If you really want it, you’ll find a way. Anytime you’re scared picture it in your head, endless water,” his voice resurfaced and I imagined myself running in the sand. “Find a boat. Sail away.” My feat had reached the water and I’d gone in deep enough to soak the bottom of my white dress. I felt the sun on my skin and took a deep breath. “You’re safe,” the memory of his voice comforted me. Even if it was just in my mind, I felt a relief I had never experienced before. I wanted it.
I opened my eyes to see the abandoned room again, and it looked different. I was ready for this.
Erin: “I don’t think it is a good idea to keep playing this game,” Rachel worried out loud.
“Nonsense,” I insisted. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
“Have you read the box? We can end the world,” she screamed.
“Calm down babe,” Lucas got behind her and started massaging her shoulders.
“How about you get your nearly single hands the fuck off of me,” she did the exact opposite.
“Sorry,” he obeyed and sat down on the upside-down garbage bin.
“This is all just myth and lore,” I argued rolling for my first turn.
“How do you think this place got so trashed. We are not going to fare any better than this store,” she started to visibly shake and I could tell it pained Lucas to stay away.
“What does the water droplet mean I asked and it didn’t take long to get some clarification,” the cleaning tub faucet started to run the second the sink started to overflow a woman in an off-white dress started to float out as if she were just taking a stroll through a garden.
“What is everyone looking at,” Rachel asked before turning just as petrified as the rest of us once she was facing the correct direction.
Watching football and writing stories.