Nikki felt groggy. The sleep she had found herself in was so comfortable, she didn't want to wake up.
"...ikki? Nikki?" A voice called her name. No, no. It was too early...go away and come back later!
"Nikki?! Nikki, wake up!" Wait, the voice sounded familiar. Nikki strained to identify who the speaker was.
"Nikki, please!" Jenna?
Nikki's eyes snapped open. The room she was in was bright and reeked of hand sanitizer. She had been lying on the floor, which was cool and tiled. Jenna knelt beside her, her face overcome with tears and panic.
"Urggh...Jenna? Where are we? What happened? Who..." Nikki stopped the questions. Jenna's face told her enough. She shook her head and slowly descended into sobs. Nikki pulled her into a brief embrace, long enough for the jerking tears to fade into nothing more than hiccups.
"I'm so scared." Her entire body was shaking.
"So am I," Nikki whispered truthfully.
"You two are awake, too?" A soft voice edged closer to them. It was a boy Nikki had never met before. Jenna hid her face in her shoulder, not wanting the boy to see her tears.
"Yeah. Who are you?" Nikki answered.
"Call me Chett. Er, I'm in Mark's cabin, if that helps." Nikki nodded. "Did you guys end up at your cabin when you read the last note?" he asked. Nikki nodded again. "It was weird. We thought that it was just a really lame game until -" she gulped. "Until some sort of gas was released when we were inside. The door was locked...we couldn't break any of the windows." Nikki confirmed this to herself as well, her memory piecing itself together.
"The same thing happened with us," Chett continued. "Our cabin was exactly the same as we left it, mind, it was utterly filthy so I'm not that certain that something would change and we would know. But my point still stands! I was the first to pass out, so I don't know what else happened...now I'm separated from my cabin and can't find anyone else I know anywhere. I was about to give up when I saw you two."
"Just how big is this place?" Nikki wondered aloud, only now gazing around at the vast emptiness they were contained in.
"Dunno. I was able to walk around for a few minutes without much changing. It's just one gigantic room."
"There are more people," Jenna said quietly. "I saw them when they were taking us in here. I was already awake. It was scary. There were people in these lab-coats that had us piled on stretchers. I saw them drop people off in random places. Wendy, Mark, Kaedyn...all of them." Her body shook again as she pulled away from Nikki, finally able to hold her own. Kind of.
"Shit..." The boy swore, running a hand through his ivory hair that gently fell just above his sapphire eyes. He looked to Nikki. "Well, what do you suppose we should do?"
She stood up. "We're going to find everyone. Come on, I'm sure we'll spot someone with three of us looking." Jenna and Chett nodded in agreement, standing with her with looks of determination on their faces.
"Honestly, the apocalypse happens and of course I get stuck with the worst person on the planet!" Britney threw her hands in the air, shooting lasers at the redhead beside her.
"Calm your tits, princess. I'm about as enthusiastic about this as you are."Wendy walked alongside her, arms crossed and creating as much distance as she could between them.
"Ugh! I just can't bear this! Even monkey-boy would have been a better companion than you!"
"You mean Mark? Honestly, I think he would have made your life hell. God, I wish he was here." Britney cried out in frustration, fuming as she stomped across the sparkling, tiled floor, her boots clicking against it. "Besides, it's not the apocalypse. We were knocked out, remember?"
"Really? Explain the vast nothingness of this place! Tell me why there is nothing but white walls, white floors, white everything! White is the worst colour that the afterlife could have decided to show me...it totally ruins this outfit..." Wendy rolled her eyes.
"If we were dead I definitely wouldn't be here with you," she sighed. "I'm sure we'll find someone soon enough. We have each other - that has to mean that there's other people around."
"Ooh, I hope so." Britney clenched her fists together, grumbling.
Zoe blinked her emerald eyes open. Odd. She was in some sort of white room, with no sort of decoration. The entire situation had her puzzled. Was there anyone else around here? Was she dead? Zoe pinched herself. She didn't seem to be that dead. She heaved a sigh as she shakily stood up on her feet. It seemed to be a better idea to roam around and explore rather than just sitting there waiting to actually die.
It was quiet. Too quiet. Zoe shook the horrid cliche from her mind, suddenly aware of what her mind was up to.
No stereotyping for me today, she thought. No, sir.
Click, clap, click, clap. Her running shoes were the only sound that occupied the blank space. Zoe stared at them, her mind running elsewhere. This didn't seem much like how camp usually was, that was evident. And it didn't seem like the Madam was trying a super-cool-new-fun-game extravaganza. That reminded her of something. Why would the Madam do something like this? It didn't make much sense. She didn't know too much about the woman, but she knew enough to know that it was unlike her to change the rules or schedule in any way.
Maybe she was crazy. Maybe she was secretly young and had been disguising herself as an old lady all this time...no, that didn't seem right. The Madam couldn't have that much money to have a body suit as convincing as that. Hmm, maybe it was something else...
She could just hate them all. But that seemed rude. Besides, if she simply hated the campers, she would have resigned as camp director and gotten on with her life. That was the smart thing to do. Then again, there were many people in the world who thought they were doing the right thing but in reality were only hurting those around them. But the Madam couldn't be the kind of person to hurt another. Unless you count those times she had to discipline wrongdoers by not letting them participate in a game or two. Zoe didn't really think that counted, though.
She saw a figure in the distance. It seemed to be drifting in the air, silently floating as if waiting for her. As she stepped closer, she could see that the figure was that of a little girl. She couldn't have been any more than ten years old at best, and even then still looked younger. Her long, ebony hair made a curtain in front of her face, so her eyes and mouth were hidden. But the small tip of her nose peeked through. She wore a tattered pair of jeans and a pink shirt that said the word "Princess" on it in sparkly writing. Upon closer examination, the girl was soaking wet.
"Hey," Zoe decided to strike up a conversation. "Are you okay?" The girl said nothing. She remained motionless, standing before Zoe without uttering a sound. Zoe looked down at the girl's feet, and noticed that a shoe was missing. The bare foot wiggled its toes. Good thing this girl wasn't some hypo-realistic statue.
"You're missing a shoe," Zoe tried again. "Do you know where it went?"
"...er..." The girl mumbled the quietest of sounds. At least she was trying to talk.
"Sorry, what was that? I couldn't hear you." Instead of repeating herself, the girl motioned for Zoe to bring her ear closer. She listened intently, the girl's raspy voice whispering delicately. Once the girl finished, Zoe straightened up.
"Well," she said. "I'll help you find it. Can I take your hand?" She offered her palm. The girl raised a bruised, beaten-up hand and laced her fingers around Zoe's. Zoe smiled warmly at the child. "Come on, let's go."
Kaedyn sat across from Mark, squeezing his arm lightly.
"Ouch." He flinched.
"Stay still, I can get it out." Kaedyn focused on her work, edging the splinter out of Mark's arm. "Almost there..." The splinter fell to the floor with a soft tink. Kaedyn grinned. "There we go! Is that better?"
"Definitely. You're a lifesaver, Kaedyn." He rubbed the spot where his splinter was briefly before looking at her again. "Don't tell anyone about this, okay?" She stuck her tongue out. "No problem." Mark smiled, looking around at the endless room. "Hey, do you think we should walk around and try to find other people?"
"No," Kaedyn said simply. "I'm sure the others are walking around, too. They'll stumble across us one way or another." She pulled out a set of knitting needles and a pink yarn ball.
"Are you sure? Maybe we should - hey, what are you doing?"
"What does it look like?"
"I didn't know you could knit." Mark stated, watching as Kaedyn's hands worked impressively.
"It keeps my hands busy. Hey, can you hold this ball? I don't want it to roll across the room or anything, I may never get it back if it does." Mark grabbed the ball and held it lightly in his hands.
"This feels really weird,"
"Never thought you were the type to never have held a ball of yarn before,"
"No, I mean sitting here and waiting. I feel like we should be doing something, finding people..."
"And soon we'll be found." Kaedyn didn't look up from her work, her hands still working at a steady speed. "Do you think I should this European or continental?"
"But, I, what - what's the difference? What are you even making, by the way?"
"You'll see. Just pick a style."
"European sounds nice." He scratched the back of his head awkwardly.
"Interesting. European it is." She continued knitting. "Now, while we're waiting, you should tell me about yourself. There's nothing better to do." Mark laughed hollowly. "The problem is, I don't know the first thing about myself."
"Hmm, then let's start with something simple. What's your name?"
"Uh, Mark. You knew that alrea-"
"Your full name, dunderhead."
"Mark Hedgecock. I still don't really see the point in this. We're just sitting ducks..."
"How old are you? Tell me some of your hobbies," Mark sighed audibly. "I'm sixteen. I like cracking jokes and making people laugh."
"Why?" Kaedyn asked.
"What do you mean, why?"
"Why do you like to make people laugh?" Mark thought about this for a second. "I don't really know," he said. "I can try to explain, but it might take forever."
"We have all the time in the world." Kaedyn glanced up at him long enough to flash a small smile before averting her eyes back to her work.ns18.104.22.168da2