The complete darkness sends chills down my spine, up my arms, and behind my ears like someone is whispering a little too close for comfort. I’ve never been a fan of the dark. I avoided the “are you afraid of the dark?” books as a kid, simply because I already knew the answer and didn’t need more reasons to be afraid. My favorite thing growing up was my rugrats night light. The day it stopped working and we couldn’t find a replacement good enough was easily top three worst days of my life. I now sleep with a salt lamp dimly glowing, because even as a 22 year old, I’m still afraid of the dark.
I didn’t know what I was signing up for when I agreed to these challenges. I’m a senior at my university, desperate for money and this felt like an easy way to get a pretty penny. The first challenge was easy – eat brain, tongue, liver, heart, eyeballs, from various farm animals. I don’t have much of a gag reflex, so I quickly climbed to the top of the leader board. I think this challenge will bring me right back down, though.
“Alright folks, we’re guessing your eyes haven’t adjusted yet. They won’t,” a voice overhead slyly remarked. “We’ve placed night vision goggles all around the room, with a few other items. There are six of you and three night vision goggles. If you don’t find any, good luck.”
Shit… I hear movement around me and jump when I feel someone bump into me.
“Sorry…” a deep, shaking voice says.
I don’t say anything. I take a deep breath and try moving. It feels like I’m learning to walk again, moving slowly, awkwardly, and hesitating with every step, unsure of what I’m going to come across. It’s been said when you lose one of your senses, all of your other senses kick it up a notch. I call BS.
“YES! SEE YA LATER SUCKERS!”
Great…now there’s only two sets of goggles left. I attempt to pick up the pace. Deciding it might be better for me to crawl instead of walk, I get down on all fours. The ground is grimy like a bar floor an hour before closing. I continue to crawl around, extending my hands carefully when I feel something…fuzzy? What the…what? I pull my hand away before the potential of biting.
“Oh thank god!” a soft voice exclaims. “Whoa, Lauren, move to your right and avoid your left at all costs.”
“Thanks, Gina…” I say as fear coats my entire body.
I hear frantic movement around the room. Four people left all vying for one set of goggles. I know I haven’t explored the room as much as other people, considering my speed has been that of an elderly tortoise.
“One pair left, who will it be? Lauren, Danny, Henry, or Lee?” a voice mocks, “ha, did you hear my rhyme? I’m pretty boss. Shit it’s still…” the microphone goes off.
“I need to get out of here…I don’t see the walls, but I really think everything is closing in. Anyone else feel this way? Anyone…?”
“Shut up, Lee. You’re fine, keep looking.”
I take Gina’s advice and move to my right. Slowly but surely making my way to who knows what.
“GOD…Shit…that hurt.” I hit my head into a wall. Great advice, Gina.
I decide to continue along the wall, keeping my hand stretched forward, so I wouldn’t bang my head again. I know my jeans are ruined from this ground, but I honestly don’t know what else to do. The goggles have to be on the ground. I hear a loud thud and try to look around, knowing all to well I can’t see anything. I bet someone else hit their head against the wall, too.
“That’s it, the last pair of goggles are spoken for! Congrats to Henry, Gina, and Thomas. You’re all at the top of the leader board. New standings: Henry, Thomas, Gina, Lauren, Danny, and in last place, Lee.”
Well…at least I’m not last.
Thanks for reading the first creative piece in my PROMPTED series! If you know what the prompt was, let me know in the comments below. I’m pretty rusty, but that’s why I’m doing this, to get back into the writing process. I’ll be back Thursday with another piece!