I breathed in deeply, my best friend, May, standing beside me as we stared at the entrance to our new haven. A three week camp, surrounded by aspiring teen writers just like us! The company holding the camp were looking for the next best selling teenage writer to publish, though those that weren't were going to be featured in a magazine.
Slowly and cautiously, the two of us walked past the entrance, instantly greeted by an overly happy volunteer, handing us a schedule for the day with a vibrant smile.
"We hope you enjoy yourselves!"
We walked around the place, heading towards the amphithreatre to get the best spots we could for the orientation, accidentally bumping into a cute girl that was younger than the both of us. She had orange hair, freckles, and bright green eyes! For a second I thought they were contacts, but I quickly realised they were real.
"Ouch..." She whispered, rubbing her nose, before looking up at us. "OH MY GOD! I'M SO SORRY! I SPILT MY DRINK ON YOU!" She screamed in horror as she pointed at May, before freaking out even more... If that were possible...
May, being the mature one out of us, smiled and said, "It's fine, it's just water."
"Whew..." The girl replied, breathing a deep sigh of relief, her hand on her chest.
"What's your name?" I asked, curious.
"Patty!" She exclaimed, beaming with joy. Seems as though she's recovered quickly from our encounter.
"Well, I'm Bellanie, and the one you spilt your drink on is May." I introduced, smiling at her.
Patty blushed from embarrassment, "I'm really sorry about that... I was looking for the amphithreatre and wasn't paying attention at all..."
"Like I said, it's fine." May said in a soothing voice, mum friend mode activated from Patty's distressed expression.
I ship it...
"Um... I was wondering... Do you know where the amphitheatre is?" She asked, pulling out the schedule and flipping it over to the side with the map of the camp.
"Um... It should be somewhere next to the lake," I pointed to the general area the amphitheatre was, "How about we take you there since we're going there anyway?" I asked, to which she nodded her head enthusiastically at, her hair swishing with her head.
Heading towards an amphitheater where the sponsors gave out a speech, going on about how they were excited to see so many young and promising writers, we sat in baited silence, excitement consuming everyone. Everybody looked so interesting and unique, no one looked the same, which was awesome! Even the team leaders looked different to each other!
To get in, you had to write a short story, about anything, really. Since I had already written a story that I tried entering into a competition, I used that one. Since at the time, I didn't realise I had to be over eighteen to enter the previous competition.
The first day, we were split up into groups, doing different activities, mainly based on writing stories and playing around with ideas, it was nice to be around people who understood the struggles of being an author. The group I was put in had May, Patty, a punk looking girl with heavy eye makeup, two boys that were obviously loaded with money, a scene looking boy, and a guy that looked to be around seventeen-ish.
We all introduced ourselves, awkwardly, might I add. Yeah, it's just something about knowing you'll probably be turned into a character makes you wanna not mess up the first impression you'll have on another...
On the second day we met at the lake, with our "Senior Leader", a twentyone year old girl that seemed like a big sister that was also a cheerleader and popular, and were to do a trust exercise.
"Alright everyone! My name is Abby, and I was a writer here when I was eighteen!" She said, introducing herself with a bright smile. "Unfortunately I wasn't chosen as an author, but I'm now studying Literature at Uni and am studying to become a journalist!"
"Our exercise today is to line up our kayaks together and have the person at the end make it across to the other end, hop in the kayak!" She laughed, "It's pretty simple, but can end in disaster as well, and we'll need an extra kayak, too!"
We got in our kayaks and paddled around for a bit, until we got the hang of it, and then lined up. Unfortunately, I was first, and was dreading the fact that I had to run across to the other end, that was beginning to look longer with every second I stalled.
As I finally gulped my fear down, I stood on my kayak, before quickly bending my knees as I felt as though I was going to fall, then slowly turned to face the other kayaks, and ran for the other end! As I made it towards the end, I got cocky and over-estimated the step, and jumped straight into the water...
To say I was embarrassed was an understatement...
As I sunk to the bottom of the lake in my embarrassment and shame, I wanted nothing more than to drown... I could even hear everybody laughing at my epic fail... I sighed, which resulted in some bubbles forming and floating up to the surface, and I finally decided to face my embarrassment and swim up.
As I swam up though, something caught on my foot, making me blink in confusion and surprise, I swam down to try and untangle myself, only I'm incredibly weak and it was thick rope! I was confused as to exactly how I didn't notice my foot get stuck and tangled up in rope, when realisation struck me. I was under water, and I couldn't get up... not only that, but I stupidly sighed, which meant I had even less air than before!
My eyes widened when that little bit of information sunk in...
I tugged on the rope more, my heartbeat reverberating through my head and scaring me even more! My lungs burned with a need to breath as I started crying with fear. As I continued to tug, struggle, and thrash around, I kept letting bubbles of air escape accidently, making me all the more fearful. By then my vision was tunneling...
Finally I couldn't hold onto the air anymore as it became corbon, and as I watched the bubbles leave me, my world turned black and a sudden splash was all I heard next...
"Is she gonna be okay?"
"Someone get an adult! The-the nurse!"
My eyes suddenly flew open and I coughed up the water I'd swallowed the wrong way, breathing in the beautiful thing we humans called air. Everything came back to me and I sat up slowly, looking around, why wasn't I dead...?
"What-" I coughed, cutting myself off. My voice was scratchy and my throat was sore.
"You got some rope stuck around your ankle and blackout." The seventeen-ish guy said, and I instantly noticed he was dripping wet. "I'm the one that saved you."
I nodded, embarrassed that something like this happened to me, oh god, wait till my mum hears about this.
"Geez Bellanie, I didn't know you'd go to such drastic measures to get a guy to kiss you!" May giggled.
My face turned red when it sunk in, and I was horrified that my first kiss was stolen because I drowned... My red face only made May laugh even more...
When I'd finished my shower after dinner, I went to sit on my bed and grabbed a notepad and pacer, then started writing. We had homework each night, to write a short story on anything really, I wrote about the people I met, turning them into interesting characters, writing about funny adventures, horror, romance.
"Urgh!" Gabrielle, the girl that wore a lot of makeup, yelled, throwing her notepad at the wall with frustration. "I CAN'T DO THIS! MY MIND IS LITERALLY BLANK! I CAN'T EVEN WRITE ABOUT GAY SEX!"
"Wait... Are you a-"
"Fudoshi? Yes! Now what can I-" She stopped mid sentence and turned her head towards me, "How do you know what a fudoshi is? Are you a-"
"Fudoshi? Yes." I replied with her answer, smiling at Gabrielle, who, for the first time since meeting her, smiled back at me.
It was nearing the end of the camp, just a few more days now until we find out who gets published and who would be featured. Although the camp was fun, it had it's bad sides, too... Like no dishwasher, and the campers having to do all the chores... The group I was in were on dishwasher duty today, and seeing as there were a lot of us writers here, we had a serious amount of work to get through if we wanted to make it in time to get our homework done before lights out.
"Abby, Bellanie, May, Patty, Gabrielle, Thomas, Hunter, Wesley, and Zach, please proceed to the office immediately!"
All nine of us stood outside of the double doors leading to the office, where we were told to wait. The volunteer was the one to lead us here, though she seemed... Different. I didn't really dwell on that, nor did I dwell on the horrible feeling in my stomach, thinking it was just butterflies. A part of me, however, felt that it wasn't those pesky bugs.
It was like something bad was going to happen...
The feeling reminded me of churning waters, or the darkness within a cave, an unknown fear... Like you would drown and die within the unforgiving darkness. It was the evil we faced in our dreams.
The woman showed up again, a shrewd smile on her lips, her eyes reminded me of a sly and cunning fox, as she said politely, "Congratulations, authors, you will be published by our company! And your Senior Leader will get a job in our magazine once she's finished her studies! To celebrate, we'd like to interview you all! So please follow me!"
She lead us through the double doors, walking down a hallway, where nine doors awaited us, each had one of our names on them. "Please go through the door with your name, and once again, congratulations!"
For some reason, her smile seemed fake. It was like she was hiding something from us, and that something was a bad something...
We walked up to our doors, and after taking a deep breath of encouragement, walked into the rooms at the same time. A mixture of emotions surged through my body, excitement and happiness, but uncertainty and caution was present as well. This somehow didn't seem right, and I couldn't help but want to go back to my safe little cabin...
I looked around my surroundings, a chair behind a desk and laptop were before me. I walked up to the desk, my finger tips gliding over the dark wood, the smell was musky, it was like heaven to me. The room was slightly dark, almost like it was nighttime outside, which was perfect for me, that was when I got my ideas for characters and stories. A small smile graced the features on my face, and I sat in the seat, looking at the screen on the computer.
Several questions were on a Word Document, with instructions to answer each and every one of them. I found this weird, but decided to answer them. What was the harm in answering them? They were probably for the magazine the company published... I think...
What is your blood type?
"Huh?" I mumbled out, my eyes squinting at the computer, looking at the question with confusion. Why would they need to know my blood type? I mean, I'm not Japanese, so it couldn't be the fortune/date thing... With a sigh, I answered the question.
How long have you been writing for?
Sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and drama
First character you created?
I giggled to myself, finding it funny I named a character after a song I heard. I was such a weeb.
I continued answering the questions, and eventually got to the last one. They were mainly about characters and writing, though some were weird like the first one. It disturbed me that people wanted to know such personal information on me, but I guessed, since this magazine was published world wide, those questions were culturally okay to ask, and thought nothing of it... Fuck... God, why did I think like that?
What eight (8) fictional worlds would you want to visit the most?
I blinked a few times, trying to sum it down to nine, though finding it rather difficult. I mainly read on fanfiction.net and Wattpad, and really only wanted to visit anime world's, a few books were exceptions, they didn't specify though... I started typing...
I saved the document, and leaned back into the chair, relaxing slightly. I looked at the Anime and books I wanted to go into, well... two books. I chuckled to myself, wondering what fictional worlds the others would want to visit. Patty always talked about The Hunger Games, so maybe she'd want to be in that world? No, as much as we'd think we could take on others, us pampered kids would die instantly!
A pop up on the laptop appeared, informing me that designers were going to get me ready for a TV interview. They got me in a beautiful outfit with a red jacket, the skirt a light grey and the rest of the outfit a mixture of light blues and white. I felt like a modern day princess, maybe even a magical school girl? Like Sailor Moon! Either way, I felt beautiful. They did my makeup and hair, styling it so that it had a slight curl to it, and took me into another room, pushing me in. I heard the door click as their left, them mumbling something I couldn't hear...
A man pushed me into a seat, strapping me in by my wrists and ankles, before leaving as well. The feeling came back, only much, much worse, and I started to hyperventilate as I looked around, trying to find a way out. I needed to calm down, or I'd never get out of here. As I started to calm a bit, a women in a lab coat walked into the room, holding a tray with a needle, what I presumed was different medicines, and a tablet. She placed the tray on a table next to me, smiling with pride.
The woman looked at whatever information was on the tablet, a shrewd smile on her lips. "Don't worry! We're not going to hurt you." The women chuckled, "I just need you to turn into your character."
"My what..." I choked out, trying to get away from the woman.
I watched in horror as she filled the needle up with a white substance, then, grab my arm, around my elbow, and put what ever it was in my blood system! I screamed, from both pain and fear, trashing around in my seat. I called out, for my parents and friends, and then I realised that the others were probably going through the same pain! I cried, my tears hot and almost burnt my skin, and it finally sunk in that no one was going to help me...
"Let me go! Please! I'll do anything!" My crying was obnoxious and loud, but I didn't care.
"Stop thrashing around, you're just making it hurt even more!"
She pulled the needle out, making me gasp before panting for my breath. My hair fell before my eyes, and my eyes widened when I saw its colour! White... It was white, like it had aged years and years. The woman injected another substance, this time it hurt my eyes... I screamed once more, and the process of her slowly changing my body with whatever chemicals she used continued five more times, all painful and frightening in some way or another. By the end of it, I gave up...
The man from before untied me, handed me my bag, and guided me to another room. I saw the others, and quickly recognised that they were the other authors... Their eyes looked glazed over, lifeless. It looked like they gave up, just like I did... I began crying again, clutching my bag with whatever was left of me, I just broke down, I couldn't take it!
A thought crossed my mind, making my crying even louder! May... I was the one that convinced her to come, and now look at what's happened! We were probably never going to see our friends or families again, we probably weren't going to even live to tell the tale. I'm such an idiot!
The room we were taken to had machinery everywhere, and in the centre, was what looked like a portal. They lined us up, and put a bracelet on our arms, though, like in The 100, they pierced our flesh, and we weren't able to take them off.
They shoved us towards the portal, laughing at our misery and fear. The others went first, and as their bodies disappeared, I heard them all scream, as if they were falling. Finally, it was my turn, and as I was shoved to the portal, I let one last tear slip, then, I was falling.
As I fell, I saw a city, but to me, it looked like a parasite, it seemed to be sucking all the life from everything around it. It was full of life and happiness, but everywhere else looked depressed and lifeless. It had beautiful gardens, whereas the land around it was full of trash and had no grass.
And it was at that moment I realised I was inside a book...