Test Full Story
The fight was just around the corner, my feet pounding on the wet pavement below me created a subtle “splash”. I had to get off this trap, I knew it was, when your in the middle of no where with a bunch of strangers looking for you, any noise will alarm them. I came across a fork in the road one side said “Hide and Loud” the other said “Quiet and Open” both in black letters on an almost blinding sign. A red button sat below them and two steel doors blocked my way from seeing what it looked like, this was up to me. I didn’t have long to make a choice, they would be coming soon. Open is a blank space to me with nothing so in that case I would have to rely on my fighting skills which are not great. At least in the other place I would have a place to hide, but there could be some trick to this, I know the Masters like to play tricks. I would have thought this over longer but I heard the “splash” of someone coming to me. I ran to the “Quiet and Open” side and slammed my hand on the button hoping this would not be the mistake that cost me my life.
It seemed as though the door took ages to open but I finally ran through not looking back to see who it was. After running for about thirty minutes I knew it was safe to look at my surroundings, trees filled the arena up, some almost fifty feet up. This was a forest with plenty of places to hide and below me was dirt and a few pieces of thin grass. It was a test, to see who had the confidence to face off against everyone else, I passed. Behind me was another steel wall, full of rusty nails that would be perfect to slow someone down, hopefully that wasn’t me
I kept on running but this take at an angle, trying to get away from the wall full of rust. I eventually got to this big tree, it seemed almost out of place enough to have a secret, they have one every year. I searched the bottom part of the trunk hoping to see something but there was nothing, I saw some branches that looked like stairs climbing up and took that as a sign to climb up. I hesitated to do so because if I fell that was it, they weren’t going to try and save me but I needed supplies. I climbed up the branches that felt to wimpy to hold me but they stuck to the tree and didn’t even move. I grabbed the next branch I was almost twelve feet in the air when I heard a snap, the branch below me broke, all I had was the one branch above to hold on to and if that one broke this one wasn’t going to last much longer, I didn’t know what to do.
I could not sit there and dangle in one of the highest trees, someone was bound to see me. I summoned all of my strength and jumped with nothing but my arms; by some miracle, I had made it. I slammed my food down on the branch blow me and climbed up the tree. When I reached the top I had found the weapons. I didn’t know if this was a trick just to kill me and I didn’t care; I just wanted safety and to go back home. But of course this will never happen because once we leave this “Test” we will be put up with all of the other survivors. “Heaven” is what they call this place, but really it’s just land separated from everything else. The though of never seeing my mom or brother again killed me, but if it meant I could see my father, I will carry on. My father was in this “Test” you see and, well, hopefully survived. If not then this is just a way for me to go stay on land with no one; everyone I know who was in this “Test” is surely dead by now. I can’t imagine the beauty queen of our school staying in here for longer then a day.
Once I finally got back on the ground it had to have been almost midnight. I would have stayed here forever, but someone had to notice something off with this tree, like I did, and climb back up. I grabbed the bag with the weapons in them, and figured this was as good a time as ever. I opened the bag; hoping for some sort of sword or shield, when I saw what was in the bag a look of disappointment crawled up my face. The only thing in the bag was scissors, rope, glue, wire, one tiny little dagger, and a long chain.
What was I supposed to do with this! I get the wire and rope, but why would I need glue? The chain was just going to scream “hey look, here is a person running with something she didn’t come here with, kill her yay!” At least I got a dagger, it’s not a sword but it will do for now.
Shelter is what I am worried about, someone has to be out here looking for an easy target. I looked around for the fist time since I got to the tree. Trees were everywhere, roots were vanquishing the ground with their mighty force, the moss covered the rocks to make them look like an afro. I saw, about five feet away, a ditch. Big enough for a person, this was there on purpose I know it was, it is so perfect. But it was good enough for now, I hopped in and covered some of the leaves on me so I wouldn’t stand out too much. Then I had it, an idea. The glue could be used for many things, but for me it was shelter. I would glue the leaves onto my cloths to make camouflage, it was perfect.
As I slept I made a game plan for tomorrow, but for now all I could do was wait for the break of dawn.
From the slits of my eyes I could see the sun blaring from the horizon. I had survived one night with no interaction whatsoever in the hardest test ever. I then sat up with force, looking for my bag; if no one had taken my life they would have taken my bag. Thankfully I found it right where I left it, it wasn’t too late in the day but I knew people would come looking for there next kill.
When I stood up, I was looking for a good place to “hide” so I could put together my camouflage for this event. In the distance, just where my vision went fuzzy, I saw a big huge shadow. The thickest wood you could find; I just knew someone or something would be waiting for me, but it was better then standing in the plain of day. I took off, but not running. I didn’t want to waste my energy for what I knew was to come.
The center of the thick wood was like a maze; one way this way, another way that way, but it was good enough for me. I found a random tree to climb and gather leaves while I did this, and this was was a good one. Dead leaves hung from the branches like a baby tooth does when it wants to come out. While the live leaves were feeling deaths icy grip, waiting for the suffering to be over. One by one I carefully and quietly pulled one leave after another off the tree and glued it onto my clothing. When I had finished I looked like some creep hiding in the bushes wait to scare you.
I climbed down from the tree and went walking on. I had too, this was not the only place we had to live through; there is always a secret way to get out of this death trap. Low and behold, here it was.
I could see nothing but dirt, trees, and old stone buildings that could be torn down with the breath of the wind, and yet there were people. Not people from these…what-ever-you-call-it, but people from the real world. Out side of this made up fantasy world that I now live in. Did I find a way out? Is this a trap? Will they kill me with one glance? Who knows. I took my little pocket knife out, but it was hidden in my cloak of leaves.
“Hello? Can someone help me?” I screech. I hadn’t had water in forever, and I hadn’t talked in forever. My voice was nothing but a whisper. “Please, someone? Get me out of here!”
“Stop talking, you sound like a beggar,” someone snapped.
“Excuse me? How dare you!” my voice started to come back to life.
“Why do you look like a tree’s trash bag?” someone else passed me.
“This is what I’m trying to tell you! If you would just shut your mouth and listen…” I know the test: the first one was to see what I could do with the worst bag ever. This one was to stay calm when everyone around me was judging me.
“Um…hello earth to ugly.” he laughed then left
My fists started to clench, but I had to pass this. I want going to lose just because I can’t keep my cool.
I walked. Trying to hum to a song that wasn’t playing to keep out the horrible things that were around me. Monsters you could say. I had to get out, I had to find a way out. The last test I spent 3 days on. This one had to be one day or I would fail. I knew this test, my father had to take this test before he left. He failed, and I couldn’t.
“Why are you trying so hard?” An old woman with a came told me.
What is this test? To see how long I could last? To see my response? What is the point of this? I will never understand, but I was starting to go insane. People looking, judging, screaming at me and telling me where I should go when I die. They called me names. Horrible names that even I, a 16 year old girl who went to the worst school, didn’t even know.
I walked for what seemed like hours: only to come across a building. Not the ones from before that were falling apart, but a clean, new, glass building. There were people inside that weren’t like the ones on the street. They wore normal people clothes, fancy ones, but normal clothes. Everyone was either at a computer or pacing back and fourth like there was something to worry about. There was still something off. The more I looked at the building everything else around me: flickered. This one shiny glass building was sturdy and still, but the more I looked at it then looked around the more the people, buildings, even the sidewalks flickered.
I stood there and stared. The people around me were skipping when they spoke like a broken CD. I gathered up the courage to see the hundreds of people waiting to judge. Hundreds of eyes staring at me like I was a freak. Hundreds of eyes wanting to kill me with one glance. I had to do it. There was a reason this was here, and that reason was for me and me alone.
I circled the building about 20 times before realizing there was no door, but there was a way in. A small slit in the corner of the building was the only way in. I made sure the glass wasn’t sharp, and that I could actually fit without getting stuck or breaking anything which I could. I slipped in the crack and everyone in the building turned to face me. They were staring like I was a freak. Then everything went black.
Dark, dark, and more dark. It was everywhere. What now? I walk around with my hands at my head looking for a light switch or…God forbid…something else. I walked and walked and walk for hours in the same direction without hitting a wall, or a switch for that matter. I squat down and touch the floor. Glass. Why is the floor glass? How is it black? Is this my way out? What do I break the glass with? Then I hear it. “Help.”
I walk around towards the voice. My feet are echoing every step I take. “Help.” I hear again. The more this girl or woman says it the more distressed it sounds. After, what seemed like, hours I found her. And of course the sneaky jerks controlling this thing gave her a rock. A rock to kill me with.
I started to run, but I couldn’t see her, but she couldn’t see me either. I ran and ran and ran until I tripped on something. A rock. I wasn’t killing anyone. I wasn’t that type of person. I picked up the rock and ran. I ran for another 20 minutes with miss kill kill kill behind me. Then I realized. A rock (that I had to find). Glass floors. Danger.
Shatter the floor.
That’s all I know right now. My mind is blank. I can’t open my eyes, yet I am as calm as I have ever been. Where am I? I don’t care. It’s peaceful, quiet, just what I want. To be left alone. Then I see it. An old memory of me and my dad.
“Come on you can do it.” he says pushing me on my bike.
“No I can’t. It’s on two wheels. I’m gonna fall…again.” I say being my snarky self.
“Don’t say that,” he says ignoring my comment, “just try. I know you can do this.”
“Fine.” and there I go. Pushing myself forward thinking “Make him proud” “You’ve got this” and I did. I made it to the end of the hill. My dad is running toward me, and I’m running toward him. Then, this beautiful memory, was snatched away from me. My dad falls through a hold in the sidewalk that wasn’t there before. It closes. The once bright, happy, and sunny park became something of a nightmare. My dad was gone. The sun was gone. It was a dark, depressing place.
I then saw my mom. Standing in front of me. She reached out to me, but something made me stop from doing the same to her. Her arm went down. Mine went up. She turned away. And fell through the same door as my dad. I was alone. Then I started to float.
Back to the same thing I knew before. My mind is blank. I can’t open my eyes, but this time I’m not calm. I forgot the reason I was here, and that was to win, find my dad, call my mom, and make everything as normal as possible.
I open my eyes and see a room. I have not been falling. I’m in a bed. A hospital bed, and again I feel peaceful.
I woke up in a room. A white room. With a bed. But I couldn’t see. Everything around me was white and blurry. I could see the outline of other beds and people and…I don’t even want to know what that could be. Where am I? That’s a question that keeps coming up. A person…or thing…comes up to me. Whom ever this is, is wearing a blue suit like thing. Something cold pricks my arm, and everything fades to black.
I wake up, yet again, but this time the once bright white room is now a dark grey room. The beds are there. My vision is back…ish, and there are curtains surrounding my bed. They are the same color that the mysterious arm pricker was wearing. I don’t know how long I sat there. Waiting. Waiting for someone to, I don’t know, prick my arm again, carry me home, tell me everything’s going to be okay? Standing wasn’t an option. I tried to sit up and pain shot through…well…everywhere up to my head and made me lie back down. What to do, what to do? What do you do when you can’t move, and can barely see? Scream.
I screamed so loud I’m sure Pluto could hear me, but I got results. Ten men, thank god they were men and not things, ran up to me asking a million questions.
“Are you hurt?” One asked
“What’s going on?” The other said
This went on for about five minutes until they finally shut up.
“Listen,” I said between gritted teeth, “I just want you to tell me where I am, what happened to me, and where I’m going. The last thing I remember is being in the test and seeing old memories, so tell me what is going on!”
They sat there for a long time exchanging glances. Did I say something wrong? I don’t even know anymore.
“Um…that whole memory thing…yeah they never happened. You’ve been in a coma for several days. The last thing that actually happened to you was breaking the glass in the test. You weren’t supposed to do that. You were supposed to kill the girl and move on, but instead you had to go and break the rules.”
I was in shock. A COMA ARE YOU KIDDING ME HOW! I took that anger and bit my cheeks. I don’t need another shot.
“So what now? Are you going to kill me?” I asked knowing that if you don’t “pass” the test–you die.
“Why would we do that? You passed” said a man with blood still shiny on his uniform. I guess surgery had to wait.
How could I win!? I was at a loss for words. I just sat there stuttering until I could finally get some words out. “How could I have won? I broke the rules?”
“Well I’m guessing the Masters thought what you did was smart enough to win without even finishing the test. Congratulations.”
I was completely dumbfounded. “But wait what happened to me? How did I get in the hospital?” I asked realizing that was the question I should have asked a long time ago.
“Well…when you broke the glass floor you landed in a pile…of glass. There are still shards in you. You are scheduled for your 5th surgery tomorrow morning.”
5th! 5 surgeries. My lord. Then I actually looked at myself for the first time in–days–weeks–months! I don’t even know anymore, but I saw two casts. One on my leg and one on my arm. I guess I didn’t have a smooth landing.
The doctor guys gave me another shot so I could sleep. I had to get my rest. According to another doctor tomorrow, after surgery, I was going to The House.
Coming out of surgery was hard, but harder than the PTSD? Nope. I haven’t been able to sleep, properly, since I came out of my–it’s still hard to say–coma. Dreams of the other contestants dying either a slow or very fast death hurt my chest. It’s been a few days since my 5th and FINAL surgery which means it’s time to see the house.
They had to:
A: put me in a wheel chair
B: blindfold me
C: get me in the car
And trust me that was no easy task. They told me they had to blindfold me so I “couldn’t tell anyone where I was” I don’t even know how I would get there. What seemed like an eight hour drive with no AC or music or anything. Was taking me to a place I’d never been. I wouldn’t know anyone unless the hope that my dad had somehow won wasn’t just hope.
When we got there an overwhelming sent of wood covered me. There were birds chirping, and that’s something I haven’t heard in a while. It was nice to hear a bit of normal in the chaos going on around me. The lady who drove me took off my blindfold which I now see is a dirty old rag.
The house wasn’t even a house: it was a mansion. So many different windows to so many different rooms. Different building being swallowed by the trees–trees–we were in a forest completely excluded from society. I see ten different people on the front porch to what looks like the main house. Yeah that’s right, the MAIN house.
An old woman in a wheelchair who has silvery-blue hair was spaced out. She looked like she was listening to an amazing song, but only she could hear it. Behind her was a man who couldn’t have been older than thirty with short, curly blonde hair. The other people didn’t look important. People between the age of 30-60 either looking like they wanted to kill me, or looking like they wanted to run up and hug me, but one man caught my eye. He looked about the age of 45, the same as my mom, and he was praying in the corner. He wouldn’t look at me.
The lady left in the rusty old pickup-truck with me standing there like a deer in headlights. I walked right pass the people on the porch, they lady in the wheel chair, the man behind her, and walked up to the praying man.
“Why are you praying” I asked as I sat down next to him. The man never responded, but he started to cry, and he still wouldn’t look at me.
“My daughter was there, with you,” he finally said through gritted teeth, “well…honestly she could be you, but I don’t want to know. I don’t want to face the facts that she could be dead, or that you killed her.”
“Mine or her’s” he chuckled
“Lilly.” Was all he said.
“Well, I met Lilly in the arena. She said she was hoping to win so she could see her father if he was still alive. It kept her going.”
“And then you killed her. Like most people would do.” He still didn’t look at me.
“No, I never killed her, and actually I think she won.” I said smiling. He looked at me with tears streaming down his face.
“Lilly?” He said starting to look up. I smiled and hugged him. We both sat there crying with what once was sadness, but was now the most wonderful feeling in the world.
Everyone started to pile back into the main house while my dad gave me the tour. We talked about the arena, the other people with me, the tasks, yet we were both quiet. The Test wasn’t something people talked about later, and if I had talked for another minute about it I would have started to cry.
“Um…where am I going to sleep. I’m exhausted and just want to go to bed and forget the day.” I said looking down. A feeling of guilt came over me because I wasn’t staying with my newly found father, but I don’t want to remember the pain I felt.
“Oh…uh…yeah. You’re going to be living in that house over there.” He said pointing to a red brick house with a brown wooden roof.
“Thank you…I’ll…see you soon.” I said practically running to the house.
It started to rain on my way, so I had to start running. I got into the dark house and I smell of dust and bleach washed over me. The living area had a couch, TV, coffee table. There was a door on the wall that led to a small office area with a computer, a fairly new one too. Then I got into the kitchen. The fridge was stocked with food of all kinds. Everything you can imagine was packed into the large sterling silver fridge. I was walking around on the tile when my mind slipped.
Running. Running from a little girl. A rock in hand. Glass beneath my feet. Panick. The glass broke out from under me.
Now I’m back in the kitchen crying. I knew the PTSD was bad, but I never thought it would be like this. Something told me to look down. I saw where the black smell came in. This house used to belong to someone else, but they couldn’t handle the PTSD. A blood stain laid on the floor. I got more bleach out from under the sink and set it next to the stain. I would clean it, but not now.
I ran up to the bedroom and got into bed. I sat there crying for a good 20 minutes. The rain seemed in sync with my tears falling from my face. I started to fall asleep.
Then the nightmares began.