Author’s Note: Sorry for the huge delay! I had almost no time for writing as I had to move and was dealing with some personal issues. I hope you like the next chapter of The Underground!
Things had become so quiet. I barely even knew where I was going, I just knew that I needed to leave. The person I had killed had stopped moving completely as I gripped my knife and fled the scene. I thought like I was going to get in trouble for killing this person.
I didn’t even know who it was. They might’ve had a life with friends, and I had taken that away from them. What kind of monster was I?
I found myself under a rock of some sort. It was just small enough for me to crawl in. I could see what was happening around the arena. It was horrifying.
My mouth dropped as I watched people being cut down, right and left, being slaughtered like livestock. There was one in particular who seemed to be killing simply for fun. A huge, bruting person, shaved like us, was chasing after people who were easy to catch, and…
Bashing their heads in with a hammer. He would chase them down and crack their skulls open with a simple hammer, smiling with glee each time. After the victim stopped moving, he leaned over and ripped a tooth out of their mouth. He would then put the tooth in a pocket on his shirt.
It was all too much. What had I done to deserve this? Why am I here, in this hellish world?
I stayed hidden until an alarm blared.
“Arena time is over. Please move to the center of the arena.” Said the same voice that asked me for eye identification.
I squirmed out of my spot and got up. I started to move to the center in a daze. I didn’t even realize until I looked at my hands that my knife was disappearing, turning to dust in my hands. It slipped through my fingers as I walked on. I stumbled over to where the rest of us were gathered.
“Congrats, Cut. You made it out alive.” said Block, who happened to be standing next to me.
“I killed someone…” I said, without looking at him.
“Cut…” he started to try and comfort me, when I looked up and cut him off.
“Why do we have to do this? I don’t need to kill them, do I?”
His eyes became sad as he replied. “Yes, you do. If you want to get food every night, you have to kill at least one person monthly. The more you kill, the better you get fed, and the stronger you get. The machines that give us food scan your eyes, so they know how many people you killed and how much food you get.”
I nodded and stayed silent as everyone else came to the center. When everyone was here, it began to lift up, and the ceiling opened up. When we reached the top, we found ourselves in a big room with one door. Everyone shuffled over to the door, so I followed. As we left, I realized that it led back to the sleeping cubicle area. I caught up to Block as he went back to his cubicle.
“Block, I have some questions…”
“Sure thing, buddy. What’s up?” He stopped so I could talk to him.
“Who exactly was Burr?” It still pained me to talk after Burr strangled me.
Block looked away. “He… He was an old friend. He was here for a long time until he got burned to death in the arena… I don’t know how he’s back.” He looked up and made eye contact. “Anything else?”
“Who was the one who bashed people’s heads in with a hammer?” I asked.
Block seemed relieved that it wasn’t about Burr. “Well, that’s Hammer. He always kills the most, and he… Steals his victim’s teeth, one for each victim, and adds them to his necklace. He has over a hundred teeth on that necklace.” He looked nervous. “He doesn’t like to be talked about.” His eyes darted around and he turned away quickly. “Goodnight…” He muttered. He walked away to his cubicle.
I walked to mine, even more confused than before. How did Burr come back? The question burned into my mind.
As I lay down on my bed, the thoughts began to disappear. Cut’s thoughts began to disappear…
“Jason! Get over here, now!” My father yelled. I scampered over to him, keeping my eyes down. I approached him cautiously.
“Yes?” I asked, in a quiet voice.
“Go make me some dinner.” He demanded.
“Yessir.” I replied, leaving quickly to make him some food.
If I did everything he asked, I could avoid a beating. If I could make this dinner right, I would be safe.
That’s what I repeated to myself as I made my father his dinner. That’s what I repeated to myself as I cried into my arm when I heard him yelling at my mother.
That’s what I repeated every day. Every day, for as long as I could remember. And I wanted it to end.
Only I could bring this to an end.