The Illusionist (Part 1)

It was a sunny day, the type of day where kids are swimming and people are taking walks to the park. There was a carnival in town not to far from my house so I decided to go explore and find if there was anything interesting to see.
As I was walking down the block, I see an alleyway. I figured that it must have been what some construction workers had been working on for the past few days. I’m surprised that they had finished it so early. But it was still a shortcut so I decided to walk through it.

I took a few steps into it before I saw some movement in the shadows. It must have just been an ally cat. As I stop to look around, I realize that this ally couldn’t have just been finished. It looked like no one had cleaned it in centuries. But I couldn’t see anything but an alleyway filled with shadows from outside.

I quickly turn around to walk out, but there’s only a brick wall. I look back to the other exit, my only chance. But when I turn around, it too is a wall. I try to shout out, call someone to come and help me, only to find that I cannot speak.

Beside me, I hear the sound of brick crumbling. I turn to find a hole in one of the walls, about twice my hight and even wider than it is tall. Through the hole, was a cave.

Suddenly, there was a puff of smoke. I jumped back, startled by the vapour’s sudden appearance. Now in front of me, right in front of the cave, was a tall man. He looked around 6 feet tall, and wore the outfit of a magician. He looked professional, like a high pay carnival actor that has committed his life to his job.

“Welcome to my game. To win, you must make it out of this labyrinth alive and in one single piece. There are many dangers, such as monsters and traps. No one has ever succeeded.”

“The prize for making it out is one wish, and no matter what it might be, it shall be yours. If you have any more questions about the rules, ask now.” His voice was like that of an average magician, but with an extra hint of something that unsettled me.

“W-who are you?” I ask, still shaken from how sudden everything was happening.

“Why, I am the Illusionist.” he said in an almost sing-song voice. “Now, are you ready or not?”

“Not yet. I have another question.”

“Well then get on with it.”

“Will anyone else be in the cave with me?” I ask, pointing to the mouth of the death maze in front of me.

“Actually, yes. There will be 2 other people in my game with you, and 1 spy that works for me and will be in there to trick and lead you into traps.” He looked like he was going to add more, so I waited.

“You will get to pick three items to bring in with you along with a timer that will count how long you’ve been in the maze, a month’s worth of dried food, a small pillow with a thin blanket, and a weapon of your choice.”

I decided to think long and hard about my weapon of choice first, because what I pick will be what I’m stuck with for who knows how long. Before I make my decision, I ask another question.

“Am I allowed to choose an additional weapon as one of my three items of choice?”

“Yes.”

And then I heard him mumble under his voice “I should really start putting a limit on questions.” I’m more relieved now, knowing that I can choose more weapons.

I instantly decide what I want to bring. A bow as my weapon of choice. As my 3 items, I will choose 50 arrows because if I just say a bow and arrow, I have a feeling I’ll only get 1 arrow, a quiver to hold all of my arrows, and a pocket knife so I can make extra weapons that I might need out of monster remains.

“I’ve decided my items and weapon of choice” I announce.

“Finally” he says, obvious that he’s growing impatient.

“For my weapon, I would like a bow. As for my items of choice, I would like 50 arrows, a quiver, and a pocket knife.”

“Very smart. For most of the others, if they would ask for a gun or bow, they would always forget to ask for ammo. You didn’t forget. I think you have a slightly higher chance of survival than them. You will find your supplies and weapons in this pack.” He tossed a pack at me with almost everything in it. Then he added the bow, arrows, and quiver next to it.

“Now, are you finally ready?”

“Yes.”

“Then in you go.”

As I start walking in, I hear him say ‘goodbye’. But I know that this isn’t the last I will see of him. This is only the beginning.