Maria's heart thrashed against her rib cage looking for some kind of escape.
"This is just a game" she whispered to herself. "Just a game, they can't hurt us." she slowly navigated through the maze, the faint glow from her skin being her only source of light. Her heart slowed as it registered the soothing words. Her hands were out stretched in front of her as she followed her instincts towards what she hoped was the end of the maze. She was never good at finding her way through mazes and as the unnerving feeling of someone behind her crawled through her skin, the panic swam through her body like a virus. She spun around, but couldn't see anyone behind her, not that she'd be able to see anyone, because beyond the two metre radius of light she had, the darkness swamped around her, thick like oil. She could feel the darkness somehow closing in on her, and she didn't look back as she ran off in one direction. The maze tweisted and turned and she didn't take the time to consider where she was going, she just let her fear lead her, and corner her to a dead end. She hadn't seen a different path for a while, and she didn't want to turn back, not when she could feel it keeping up behind her, not far away.
She leant back on the wall she was trapped behind and peered back into the darkness, willing her eyes to see further than they could. She sat there for quite some time, her chest heaving, unsuccessfully trying to bring the right amount of air into her body. She had lost her sense of time, but she knew she had been there for too long. Once again a sense of security sank into her, but she knew it wouldn’t be too long before the game challenged it.
“Hello?” she called, desperate for a human response. But there was only an eerie silence and the weak sound of her grasping breath.
“Hel-“she called again, but was cut off by a horrible high scream coming from her far right. It was high and familiar, too much like Jade’s sing-song voice. The noise made Maria jump up right, and her heart rate sky rocket, drumming on her insides, threatening to jump from her mouth.
“Jade!” she screamed, hoping she could hear her friend. She clawed at the walls, hoping that she could possibly reach the top and get away. But her short structure made escape futile. She sank back to the floor, wrapped her arms around her knees and wept. She felt so alone in the murky, black world that had swallowed her whole, but her loneliness turned to full panic when she could feel the mysterious presents creep back.
“Who’s there?” she whispered into the blackness. As always, she was met with no answer. The light poured silently and evenly from her skin, but for a moment it flickered. Not like a candle, but like a shadow had come across it. A grey, sickly shadow that lingered above her legs like long skinny fingers. Her fear held her down like lead shoes and gloves. The shadows came from the darkness, and they extended out in a never ending shadow, as far as Maria could see. They touched her skin, tracing delicately down her shin bone, but they were colder than ice, even with their fragile touch, and slimy. The touch jolted her out of her fear, and she wanted nothing more that to get away from whatever it was. She tried to jump to her feet, but the shadows wrapped around her legs and dragged her down again. A face with no apparent body appeared from the darkness. Though it was more like a mask than a face. It was the face of a woman. Her eyes were closed and she held no expression on her face. She looked like she was sleeping. But she had absolutely no colour in her face. Her skin was chalk white, and her lips and eyes matched that.
“Were you going to leave me?” she shadows asked her. The voice sounded like it belonged to the woman’s face, but she did not move her lips. Maria opened her mouth to answer, but no words were formed, only a choking noise. Her mind was more registered with escape than to answer the monster in front of her. Two hands wrapped around her leg as the face disappeared, and other than the slimy feeling crawling up her leg, you wouldn’t know of the invisible being; a creature that was four times the size of Maria, not that she would be able to tell, that the heat vision cameras could pick up, looming over Maria.
The viewers, sitting in their homes for one moment sat in complete silence, watching the screen in anticipation, as they watched the giant red blob that stood tall, gazing over the smaller red dot that was Maria.
"They wouldn't let her die...would they?" asked one particular viewer, to her mother, who couldn't draw her eyes from the small flickering screen to her child, who was left with silence.
Back in the games room, in the complete darkness, maria watched as the shadows moved to consume her, and her tears melted with the sweat that fell from her brow.
From the clouds grew long, dark, sharp figures, like yellowing, cracked bone. They had materialized from the darkness and broke deep into maria's skin before she could release the breath of her scream. Instead of fear, her scream was laced with pain as the teeth of the monster bit deeper into her bone, pulling at the loose, bloody flesh. Her screamed echoed throughout the entire room, one that was too large for the player to contemplate. Every other player shuddered with some form of fear or anxiety, wondering what they might have to fear.
The gruesome act happening to the poor girl was broad casted all over the world, and while many looked away or covered the eyes of their young ones, they would always come back to the television, waiting for the next episode...