Nikki woke up groggily, rolling around in the covers and adjusting her eyes to the bright sun that hovered above. Her stomach growled as she stretched herself out, and she instantly shrunk up when her stomach yelled at her. She didn't think she would be this hungry come morning, but when recalling the last time she ate, she realized it was the previous morning.
Nikki sighed, sitting up and rubbing her eyes. On the bunk across from her lay Wendy, who's back was to her. Below Wendy was Mark, and across from him Chett. It was weird, sharing a room with guys. In the Madam's eyes - it was a travesty! Something so indecent that her world would collapse on itself.
As Nikki made to jump out of her bed, a beckoning, horribly familiar voice sent a chill through her body.
"Attention, attention, campers. As you have all noticed, you are in our specially designed ward." The Madam spoke to them, clear as day. This puzzled Nikki, for there was no intercom or speakers that her voice could be coming from. Those who were asleep jolted awake, at first confused but then a look of recognition spreading across their faces, usually followed by anger.
"It should be duly noted that you are all now part of an experiment. A little test, if you will. The white room you were all in before was simply a beginning point. Now that you've all made it here, we can commence with further experimentation! Campers will come through the metal door located at the end of the ward as a cabin when they are called." There was a loud chorus of boos and yelling, even though it was so early in the morning.
"And what makes you think we'll come quietly?!" A boy Nikki didn't recognize yelled at the ceiling.
"Those who are foolish enough to not abide by these rules will perish. It's as simple as that! First up, cabin Jumping Jaguar - come into the doors, please." A scared looking group of kids hesitantly walked through the barely open door, which had lifted itself up high enough for them to enter. Their faces were terrified, their eyes wide. The door slammed shut behind them.
"I had a feeling it was her," Wendy said gravelly, wiping the sleep out of her eyes.
"What makes you say that?" Nikki asked, stretching again.
"Well, a woman like that, working at a high maintenance camp like this for years longer than I've stayed here...maybe it got to her. Maybe she snapped."
"That still doesn't seem like a good enough reason to imprison us," Nikki pointed out.
"You're right. And I'm not really saying it is. Point is, it's the Madam who's running this entire thing. So, obviously, we're going to have to create a resistance."
A couple heads turned in their direction.
"A resistance?" Mark repeated. "Against her? I'd be all for it, but this time we don't know what we're up against." Wendy jumped down from her bed. "So then don't join. Stay here and take what comes to you."574Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡBQRI2KUwet
"Guys, hold on," Nikki intervened. "Don't you think that we're getting a little ahead of ourselves?" Her eyes were wide and nervous as she felt Wendy's green orbs bore into her.
"No," she said simply. "and we can find out a hell of a lot of info from the cabin that comes back."
"If they come back," said Chett. Wendy's confident grin twitched. "She isn't going to kill them, Chett. Come on. The witch's crazy, but not a psychopath."
"What happens when we go in?" Chett squeezed his arm. "What will she do to us?"
Wendy grasped his shoulder firmly. "Look, we're going to be fine. Once we get an insider's view of what she does, we can devise a plan, okay? Until then, let's theorize a bit." Chett nodded, not looking comforted in the least.
Nikki was a part of the circle, discussing ideas and possible ways to counter against the Madam, but didn't feel like she was really a part of it in the least. In a sense, she was more distant in this situation. She felt things were escalating too fast. Yes, the Madam was definitely a part of this, she basically confirmed it herself, but she couldn't fathom the idea of already starting a resistance against her. They didn't even have the foggiest notion of what was truly going on!
And yet, here she was. In a circle of theories and uncertainties. She didn't like it. She tried looking around to soothe her nerves, as she always did, but was disappointed to realize that there wasn't anything serene for her gaze to rest on. No gentle grass, breeze, or even the sky could comfort her. She wanted out, or at least a change in scenery.
As if on cue, a familiar figure stood a little ways away, perhaps taunting her. It was close enough for Nikki to know it was the little girl from before. How had she gotten here without anyone making a ruckus? Nikki stood, excusing herself from the group and walking to the girl.
They stood in front of each other for a while, the girl's eyes remaining to be unseen. Nikki was about to open her mouth to say something, but as soon as she did, the girl turned around and walked away. Not willing to let her go, Nikki followed suit, not letting the girl out of her sights.
They came to the end of the bunker, where the chute was, but the girl didn't seem lost at all. Nikki watched in amazement as she touched the wall - and fell in! Disappearing from sight, the girl literally fell into the wall. Nikki gulped. There was only one way to try and follow her. Slowly, she lay her sweaty palm across the wall, and like magic, it started to sink through. Nikki looked behind her, surprised to see that no one paid her any mind. She stuck her arm in further. Now all that was left...was the rest of her. Taking a deep breath, Nikki broke into a run as the rest of her body went through the wall.
And then she was falling. At first, this was a big shock to her, since falling into an abyss didn't seem like the best idea. But the fall was a lot shorter than she thought, and she just fell flat on her face, as if she had simply tripped over a single stair.
She got up, rubbing her face where the impact had hurt the most, and saw the girl standing directly in front of her, giggling. The girl extended her hand, and reluctantly, Nikki took it. In an instant, the dark abyss she had thought she was in transformed into a beautiful garden, complete with a gazebo and creek.
It was astounding. The grass was greener than any other grass she had seen before, and along it were flowers of all kinds such as the following: tulips, daisies, lilies, and even the occasional rose. They all shimmered in colours of crimson, butterscotch, baby blue, and more. The smell of the fresh air filled her lungs with joy, the breeze like a blessing from the heavens. The creek water was music to her ears as it glistened and streamed along. The gazebo was painted a heavenly white, and oddly enough a small child's bed rested in the center. It was all so serene that Nikki could hardly believe it was real.
"This is my home," the girl said, her voice clear as a bell. Nikki was taken aback. She had finally said something!
"So you can speak!" 574Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡgebhoWfUNb
The girl rolled her eyes. "Of course I can." 574Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ3FYy2lIaEU
"But why wouldn't you say something before?" The thought rattled in her mind.
"I get nervous when there's more people. And it's a bit harder to speak when I'm not here." Nikki glanced again at their beautiful surroundings. "Where is here?" she asked softly. The girl smiled, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. Her blue eyes were now visible, sticking out from the rest of her face, full of life. "This is my heaven. I suppose I should explain some of this, huh?" Nikki nodded, sinking into a sitting position on the ground. It was surprisingly warm.
"I guess the first thing to get out of the way is this - I'm dead."
"Come again?" Nikki wasn't sure if she had heard that right.
"Er, I thought it was a pretty simple concept. I am dead. I don't have a heartbeat."
"But -" Nikki started.
"Meaning I'm a ghost. Don't worry, I've already come to terms with that, I've had a lot of time. So this place is quite literally my heaven, my home." She finished her statement, also sitting down with Nikki. Nikki was at least a little perplexed.574Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡT0rIK2UfI5
"But I thought that ghosts were spirits with unfinished business or something." Nikki tried to make sense of it all. The girl looked at her, tears forming in her eyes.
"Oh, we are." The tears began to fall from her cheeks onto the grass below her, and each tear that fell discoloured a section of grass. "But there's just some of us that can't complete our business." Nikki watched as the girl continued to cry. She felt bad, but couldn't really find the words. How do you comfort a ghost? She cleared her throat.574Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡKLLP0jsZuR
"Why don't you tell me what happened? From the beginning."ns 126.96.36.199da2