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The Game of Survival

Chapter Text

Gotta keep running

Gotta keep moving

I'm so tired.

It's dark

It's always dark.

You're alone here

I'm always alone.

You trip and careen face-first into the dirt

A loud crunch echoes in your head as warm liquid dribbles across your lips

It tastes like IRON.

You stand staring at the floor.

The floor is pulsing. Like it's alive.

It is alive.

Stained in all the colors of the rainbow, all around you.

The colors seem to rise.

The floor is bleeding.

The colors writhe on the floor, it beats like a heart, then you are surrounded by different colored eyes staring at you.

And you feel sick to your stomach. You want to move but you can't.

It pulses and shudders, and the blood is to your knees.

You catch a glimpse of an arm jutting out of the floor:

A flash of a leg. A foot. A mouth. A face. A face with the eyes gouged out and its mouth open in a final silent cry of death.

The blood is up to your waist now.

Hair. Another face. There's piercings. You recognize it as a female but you don't remember her name.

It's just her head though, green blood dripping from her neck.

It rolls from the mass stretching around you, splashing you with blood as it sinks into the surrounding pool.

You want to scream.

You want to move.

The blood is at your shoulders. You're going to drown in it.

That's when you feel it. Something brushes against your leg, and grabs it.

Gray hands are reaching out, swiping at you, trying to drag you under, not that they need to.

You can't swim. You can't see anything but red.

You choke on it as the warm and sticky liquid fills your mouth and nose, floods your lungs.

As you start to grow weak, you can hear a voice.

"JOCELIN, ASHLEY! WAKE UP OR YOU'RE GONNA MISS BREAKFAST!"

You jerk awake in a cold sweat and there are two things that should be known. One, your name is Jocelin Chanton. Two, you have never been more grateful to hear your brother's voice. Wait--make that three things. Three, that food smells really REALLY good.

As you sit up, rubbing your head, you can hear the clatter of Mère cooking downstairs. You get up and look around your small room. It's a mess, but you blame your big sister, Ashley, for throwing her dirty clothes on the floor instead of into the hamper outside your shared room. Your drawings, tacked onto the walls, some dark and disturbing others bright and colorful, are all visible in the dim sunlight shining through your curtain-less window. Some of your clothes are lain out on the small bench, neatly folded fresh from the dryer. You smile, slipping out of your butterfly-and-flower PJ's, and slide into the yellow T-shirt with buzzing bees and a pair of blue jeans. Now to wake your sister.

You creep over to Ashley's bedside and poke her face. "Ash Ash, time to get up," you whisper. "Mère's making breakfast." You whisper, Ashley mumbles, smacking your hand away, but you persist, shaking Ashley and whining. "Come ooooooooooooooooooon Ashley. I'm hungry."

"Go away, Jocelin," she mumbles, rolling onto her side.

You huff. Well, if Ash is going to be like that, then let's see what Mr. Cuddles has to say about it. You retrieve the large pink and purple crochet cuttlefish plush from your bed and bump your sister's back repeatedly. "Ashley, Mr. Cuddles wants you to wake up," you say, causing Ashley to cover her head with the pillow. You hold Mr. Cuddles over Ashley's head so she can hear him better. "Yes, Miss Ashley," Mr. Cuddles tuts, his tentacles waving back and forth. "It is very rude to stay in bed all day while your family is dinning downstairs without you."

"I'm up, I'm up!" she groans, sitting up, almost knocking Mr. Cuddles out of your hands.

You smile and leave the room with Mr. Cuddles. It's rude to watch someone get dressed and Ashley doesn't like being watched. As you walk down the stairs the smell of breakfast becomes stronger and stronger, making your mouth water, mmmmmmm crepes. You peer around the wall separating the stairs from the kitchen. You smile, seeing Mère at the stove, flipping the thin crepes, humming a tune, as your brother, Jabori, and Mama sit at the table eating. "Good morning Mon chéri," Mère says, giving you a kind smile, her '69' necklace sparkling in the light. "Ready for breakfast?"

"YES!" you cheer, climbing into your booster seat. "CREPES! CREPES! CREPES! CREPES!"

"Well aren't you full of beans," Mama chuckles, tussling your bright red hair. "Sleep well?" You shrug, picking up a fork and digging in.

"Whoa, slow down sister," Jabori says, powdered sugar on his cheeks like white freckles on his pitch colored skin. "The food isn't going to just disappear." You nod and return to eating, but a bit slower. Half-listening to the breakfast time chatter, mostly happy to get something into your grumbling belly. Once Ashley comes downstairs, it's time to go. Mama, Jabori, and Ashley all pile into the big blue car to go to school while you, Mère, and Mr. Cuddles get in the small red car to go to Mère's Bakery, 'Crabby Delights,' since you're not old enough to go to school like Jabori and Ashley. You are four years old. The age to start school is six.

You and Mr. Cuddles look out the window of the car playing 'I-spy'. You point to the Eiffel Tower for Mr. Cuddles to see as it passes by and wave to the many tourists walking. Some of them wave back. You and Mr. Cuddles watch the scenery drag by until a loud beeping turns your attention to the radio. Mère turns up the volume as a robotic voice begins to speak.

----'This a Worldwide emergency broadcast Issued by the members of NATO. This is not a drill. Repeat. This is not a drill. An unknown entity has breached the airspace over the US, China, Russia, and Europe. The entity has been labeled as hostile and is considered extremely dangerous. If you or someone you know lives near or in the said area seek shelter in a nearby building immediately and wait for further instructions. This is not a drill. Repeat. This is not a drill.'----

Mère's face turns white as baking flour and you don't like it when that happens. It scares you and Mr. Cuddles.

"Mère?" you ask, squeezing Mr. Cuddles. "Is something wrong?"

"Oh n-non pas du tout mon cher," she says, her hands clutching the wheel in a death grip. "Sache simplement que votre Maman et moi vous aimons beaucoup, peu importe ce qui se passe. Donc, quoi qu'il arrive à l'avenir, il suffit de savoir que ce que nous faisons peut sembler mauvais, mais nous le faisons parce que nous vous aimons tellement. Mon petit oiseau chanson."

Mère is speaking in French, you know that Mère only speaks French when she is angry or really really scared. You don't like it when she is scared. But you nod, sniffling, as Mère returns to looking at the road and you look outside, clutching Mr. Cuddles tightly as a dark shadow descends over the landscape and you feel like your heart is struggling to beat. "M-Mère?" She doesn't respond, but you don't look at her to see if she heard you as you watch the sky go dark and a ship land in the large park next to the car.

"Jocelin, Ma chérie," you turn around to see Mère turned around in her seat, her '69' necklace in her shaking hand. "S'il vous plaît, promettez-moi de ne jamais l'enlever. S'il vous plaît ma chère promettez-moi cela."

You take the necklace and she helps you put it on, placing a kiss to your forehead soon after. Mère mutters, 'Je vous aime maintenant et pour toujours jusqu'à la fin des temps. Mon cheri,' and pushes you out of the car door. You scream, hitting the ground, and hear a loud crash, your head hurts, everything goes black.