The Race of Death Chapter 3 please comment :)
Posted February 19th, 2012 by DarfieldDudette
Katie Newton Wazhere |
in Kidpub obviously
I like this chapter! :) It's sorta suspensful ... my best attempt at suspence anyway :P Nobody need worry about their characters ... yet >:) We don't know enough about them for anyone to die yet. As usual let me know what you think and if I'm butchering your character :)
-Katie(the girl who's addicted to icons >:D)
Chapter 3 ... Raziel
The skinny blonde girl, Amandea, I supposed, gulped once then squared her shoulders and walked confidently through the wall that had just slid open. As she passed into the room beyond, the wall slid closed again concealing her from view. Everyone was silent, waiting for some indication of what was going on, but there was no sound from the room beyond.
“Jonah,” the intercom summoned a few seconds later as the wall slid open once more. Amandea didn't return and there was no sign of her in the room beyond, but no one could really see into it either.
The man in his twenties, the sorta preppy guy who didn't quite look soccer dad, walked silently past everyone and the wall once more slid closed. Again, no sound came from behind the wall.
“Chi,” crackled the intercom. The girl with the red fringe of hair stiffened, her fingers curling tightly around the arm of the guy beside her. He murmured a brief word of encouragement and that seemed to harden Chi's will. She narrowed her eyes and stalked forward.
“Haley.” The little girl beaten to a pulp in the corner, shuddered and stood up with difficulty. She scanned the room with wide green eyes, silently begging someone to save her. Almost everyone in the room looked away guiltily, unwilling to admit to themselves that they wouldn't help a little kid.
Haley shuddered again and stumbled forward disappearing behind the wall. This time there was not silence behind the wall. Perhaps because the older ... contestants were determined not to let their captors have the satisfaction of knowing they'd hurt them. Whatever the reason, it didn't make the shrill bloodcurdling scream any less chilling. Even I couldn't help shuddering a bit, Haley was young, if a kid in her preteens was screaming like that ...
The scream cut off abruptly, leaving an ominous silence behind.
“Noelle.” This was the girl with funny eyes ... the silvery – blue ones that could've been pretty if they didn't look so piercing. She was tiny, quite obviously older than Haley but barely any bigger. I expected the scream that came from her a moment later.
“Myna.” The girl in clashing colours and crocs ghosted forward, her face beet red, leaving just me and the last guy. He was probably my age but I couldn't tell much about him because of the grey hood.
No scream from Myna. “Rin,” the intercom called and the other guy slouched forward. He didn't acknowledge me and I didn't acknowledge him. He looked tough enough so I wasn't surprised that there was silence behind the wall.
“Raziel.” There was nothing they could do to me that I couldn't handle. Nothing. I walked forward confidently into the dark room and located the woman in the back easily. She was standing beside some sort of machine that was emitting a strange orange glow. That was the only light in the room.
“Might as well sit down, gorgeous,” the woman said indicating a chair in the corner.
“I'll stand,” I said shortly. Even if just to be aggravating.
The woman smirked. “Have it your way,” she said. She extricated a long thin pole from the machine, the end of which was glowing white with heat. “Left forearm,” she instructed coming towards me.
I knew what was coming now, the pole said it all. I jeered confidently and pushed my sleeve up my arm and stuck it out in front of me. Without warning, the woman brought the end of the pole down on my arm and used the wall to push hard on it.
The pain was blinding. You know when you accidentally pick up a hot poker? It was like that only worse. Much worse.
But I didn't give her the pleasure of letting it show. I stared her down, using my most intimidating stare and I didn't flinch away from the branding iron. Because of course that's what it was, when the woman finally dropped the iron and gave me back my arm a symbol was seared into my flesh. A knife and and a gun, crossed inside a star.
“I'm impressed,” the woman said smiling, to put it politely. “Even the stronger ones always grimace. At least”
I didn't respond.
“You really are gorgeous,” she murmured. “Like a god.” She was so close that I could smell her breath. An unpleasant mix of cigarette smoke and stale booze. She stroked one of my cheeks with her thumb, as if mapping the bone structure beneath.
I stepped back. “Don't,” I warned her.
She grinned. “What? You're not single?” she asked.
“No,” I said shortly.
“Who cares?” she asked grinning wider.
“What happens next?” I demanded.
She sighed. “Through the back wall and into the common room. You'll have last choice on a room because you were the last one branded. Find clean clothes if you need them and wait 'till someone comes for you.”
I moved towards the back wall but she didn't let me go that easily. “My name's Candy,” she said winking.
I smirked at her. “Who cares?”
I lounged on the couch and examined the skin of my left forearm, the symbol standing out raw and red against my white skin. I touched it gingerly, wincing as it stung down my arm.
I looked up as the wall slid open for the last time and Raziel sauntered in. I knew that was his name because there was a board on the wall with everyone's name accompanied by a picture. At least his would be easy to remember because he was the only black person in the race.
He didn't even look bothered! Not even slightly affected by the 'branding', it was so unfair! Why did he have to make me feel insignificant and weak? Was it wrong to feel pain or something?
I wished Alder were there. At least there would have been some one to talk to, but if Alder were in the race I'd have to kill him. I guess it was a good thing he wasn't there.
I sucked in another breath, so far I'd been able to hide how close to breaking point I was to breaking point. A trick dad had taught me.
Why did I have to hurt him? First his fiance, and now I was almost surely going to die. I vowed to myself right then that if I somehow miraculously won the Death Race, I'd tell dad I was one that orchestrated the car accident. I wouldn't ever do anything bad ever again, just please let me go home!
I sucked back another breath. I was trying to ignore Haley's crying behind me but it was hard. All I wanted to do was help her some how, but I could not afford to make friends here.
“I'm hungry!” Chi announced. She was incredibly stand offish, sticking close to Rin whom she seemed to be close friends with. That wasn't going to help either of them.
“You'd think they'd feed us,” she continued.
You'd think she'd know to check for a fridge. Unlikely that there'd be one but still, she was starting to annoy me, particularly by the way she seemed to hate members of her own gender. I stood up woodenly and made a circuit of the common room. No fridge, not that I'd expected there to be one.
Okay, the food was starting to become an issue. As if on cue, little boxes opened along the walls one by one with little snapping sounds. Eight to be exact.
At first, no one moved. But of course it had to be Raziel who stepped forward to investigate. I stepped after him quickly, for some reason standing back seemed like I was being weak.
“Dumbwaiters,” Raziel muttered snorting. “Cute.” He took a plate that was overflowing with food and a jug of water out of one of the boxes and sat down on one of the couches.
I took a meal from another box, they were all identical, hamburgers, fries and water. Not bad as far as meals go ... kind of like a last meal.
Oh stop it! I shouted to myself. You aren't dead yet. Instead, I dug into the food eagerly and barely stopped for a breath. I must not have eaten for a while because I was still hungry when the plate was empty. I looked back at the dumbwaiters hopefully, but by they they were all firmly closed.
Not much left to do. I'd already found a clean shirt and cleaned my other one up. If I were smart, I would've tried to get some sleep but I doubted I'd be able to. There was no clock so I didn't know what time it was. I couldn't do anything.
So I sat.
And after a minute Raziel seemed to realize there was nothing to do either so he sat beside me. It was not a companionable gesture. Every time he caught me staring at him, which was often, he scowled at me so profusely I thought the force of his glare might actually stop my heart. You know the expression, if looks could kill ...
Everyone else wandered around aimlessly, even Haley who seemed to have regained some strength after dinner, reminding me very much of ducks in a pond. After a while I got sick of watching them and went back to staring at Raziel. I still didn't know why he fascinated me, but he did not like it. I was lucky he seemed determined not to talk to anyone.
What seemed like a very, very, very long time later, a collection of people walked into the room. They seemed different from Jake or his stripper women or even the woman who did the branding. They seemed ... kinder, more sympathetic.
One by one, they each called one of our names, each man paired up to a girl and each woman paired to a guy. The woman who called Jonah's name might actually have been younger than him.
When we all just looked at them in confusion one of the women seemed to sense that we needed prompting. “This is it,” she explained softly, pity in her eyes.
Still, no one moved. This is it. The words seemed to echo in my head, reverberating against the walls of my skull. This is it.
Then, with shock, we all watched little Haley calmly pull her hair into a pigtail, take a deep breath and walk to stand beside the thick, burly man that had called her name. She answered his encouraging smile tentatively.
If a an eleven, possibly twelve year old girl could do it, then so could I. I stepped towards the slight, attractive man in his late twenties that had called me. Raziel wasn't far behind me and the others weren't far behind him.
More deep breaths. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale, I chanted to myself as I followed the man.
“My name's Joseph,” he explained quietly. “To call me your coach would be a bit of a stretch, but I'll be the person who collects and explains what's happening to you before every obstacle course.”
“Who – who are you Joseph?” I stuttered nervously. “You and the others don't seem ... bad.”
Joseph smiled sadly. “I'm desperate,” he explained. “I'm not aloud to give you the name, but this cult can't be bothered to send one of their own to explain to the contestants. I've been doing this job for nearly three years because that's how long they've had my family imprisoned.”
“What!” I gasped. “That's how they get you to do it?”
“I've watched three contestants I grew close to die,” he said calmly. “The only way I can tolerate it is the thought of watching them shoot my wife and daughter. Do me a favour Amandea and win this for me, I don't want to watch another friend die.”
Everyone was being led in completely different directions. The middle aged woman, Cindy, was leading me to the left of the way Amandea was going. I was only keeping track of her because she seemed a lot smarter than everyone else. My biggest concern.
“Are you scared Raziel?” Cindy asked softly. Why was she so freaking sympathetic?
“Should I be?” I asked cooly. “Why should you even care? You're a part of this cult!”
“You're wrong there,” Cindy said quietly. “My husband used to do this job, but he was executed last year and it was placed on me. My oldest son hasn't ever woken up a free man.”
“Please, excuse me while I go wipe my eyes,” I said sarcastically. “My family's probably suffering because of me too!”
“I hope you have a good reason to survive this Raziel,” Cindy said grimly. “You're going to need it.” We came to the end of the hall and walked through a door, yes a plain old door, into a small dimly lit room. Not unlike the one I'd woken up in, but the one I'd woken up in hadn't had my battle suit, weapons and jacket in it. Hell yeah, it was an unfair advantage against the others, that's why they were re arming me.
I stripped to my chest and started to pull my gear on as Cindy explained. “The course isn't easy,” she warned. “Mostly because I'm not aloud to tell you what the first one will be. The objective is easy, collect one of the eight golden arrows hidden on the course and make your way back here. Don't get killed.”
“Don't worry,” I said smiling confidently. “That's the least of my worries.”
I had no idea how my father's AK 47 had ended up in the little room but I was strangely comforted by it. I still couldn't visualize myself using it on someone, but I was still glad to have it. It was almost like a part of him was there with me. I held the gun at waist level as I listened to Joseph explain the challenge to me.
“Just one arrow?” I confirmed. Joseph nodded once. I can do this, I thought. I can do this. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.
Another intercom crackled to life. What was it with these people and intercoms. “Course begins in ten, nine, eight ...” a recorded voice told us.
Joseph moved me into position in front of the blast door. Inhale, exhale.
“... seven, six, five ...”
“Courage Amandea,” Joseph said quietly behind me. Inhale, exhale.
“Four, three ...”
“One.” With a grinding noise, the blast doors flew open and I ran forward blindly, not daring to look back.
See more stories by Katie Newton Wazhere