Competitor: Charlotte Emerson
Opponents: Eleanor Monroe and Alex Kiriyama-Pendleton
Charlotte was preparing to leave the Art Gallery when she heard the soft sound of music. The noise was coming from Tom's front pocket and she stared at his bloody pants in disbelief. Afraid that she was loosing her mind, she knelt beside him, careful to avoid the puddle of blood pooling around him. She answered the cell phone and spoke as hushed but urgent as she could.
"Hello? I need your help! I've been kidnapped and there are people trying to kill me. I'm at some sort of high school but I don't know where exactly. If I had a name of the school I'd tell you."
Calm down. Take deep breaths." A masculine voice consoled on the other end of the line. "Can you describe what's around you?"
Charlotte felt tears streak down her cheek as her lips curved into a smiled. She was going to be saved! She may even be able to save the other kids. Her voice cracked with excitement. "I'm in an art gallery in the school. That's all I can really say. Argh. There's nothing really here to differentiate it from the other high schools. Uh. Is there a way you could track the cell phone?"
The man's voice hinted to a smile. "Ah Charlotte
For someone so smart you are surprisingly naÔve. Did you really think there would be reception to the real world?"
Charlotte's heart plummeted. Her face flushed at the realization that she was asking the same man responsible for kidnapping her to save her. She began to sob uncontrollably at her stupidity. This was all just a game to him and she was feeding his amusement.
"Come now," The man responded. "I've called to congratulate you on your first kill. Did you enjoy it? I know I did it."
She felt the anger building up inside of her and fought back her tears. Instead of giving him the satisfaction of her suffering, she shouted vehemently into the phone. "I hate you! I hate each and every one of you!"
The man tsked at her. "Hate is such a strong word. Now, if you want to keep playing I recommend you leave the gallery. It won't be a safe zone in a few minutes. The Concert Hall looks promising, why don't you try there."
With his last words spoken, the line went dead and Charlotte was tempted to throw the cell in her rage. However, she decided against it, and after taking a few deep breaths, she placed the cell in her pocket, tucked the shoebox under her left arm, and gripped the scythe in her right hand.
Finding the Concert Hall was not a simple task, but somehow she managed. Now, she stood at the entrance of the door, peering into the room surprised by the complete darkness. She was afraid to call out so instead she stayed silent and crouched behind the rows of chairs in the third to the last row of chairs. Exhausted she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Alex Kiriyama-Pendleton woke and heard a door opening in the distance. He could see the silhouette of a girl and the scythe blade that she had tightly grasped. It appeared she didn't know he was in the room, which gave him the advantage. Unfortunately, his rifle was missing and so was the previous girl in glasses. Had she robbed him blind?
Making the decision whether or not to approach this new girl was bothersome. He weighed his options and decided it best to approach the girl cautiously. If he had the chance of making a friend, he would take it. Using his cell phone light to guide his steps, he cautiously approached the general area he saw her move.††
"Excuse me?" He asked softly.
She didn't answer.
"I'm proposing a truce. See? I'm unarmed."
Again no response.
Alex was starting to doubt his plan. What if she was waiting to strike at him? He shifted nervously when he reached the third to the last row. He couldn't see anything until he pointed his cell down to the floor. There he found her asleep still tightly gripping her belongings.
The girl was about average height, dark haired and resembled an athletic build. As she slept, he could see her face cringe as if she were having a nightmare. He should have been at ease by this. The fact that he had full control of the situation would have made anyone confident, but instead the power unnerved him. He could kill her in her sleep or wake her up. Decisions, decisions
"Excuse me?" He kicked her leg lightly.
Charlotte jolted awake by the light tap and defensively slashed at him. Luckily, Alex had quick reflexes and he moved his legs in time.
"Careful with that." Alex scolded her. He backed away from her in case she tried to strike again, his cell phone still stretched far enough to illuminate her location.
Charlotte climbed to her feet squinting at him, as the only light was faint. She looked at him trying to assess what to do. He didn't attack her and he wasn't armed. Could she trust him? "Sorry." She apologized, surprising herself more then him. "It
It's hard to trust anybody at the moment."
Alex noticed her jaw clenched and sensed her uneasiness. He held his hands up in hopes of putting her mind at ease. "Well, I'm not like everybody else. You don't seem to be like them either, seeing as you haven't tried to kill me."
Charlotte was debating her options. She didn't trust Tom and it resulted in her murdering an innocent boy. What if this new guy just wanted to talk? He wasn't armed so incase he tried to do something she could defend herself. He seemed likable and sensible. They could be friends maybe? But who would want to befriend a murder? She lowered her weapon and sighed. "I've killed someone before. I'm just like the others."
Alex lowered his hands and shook his head in disagreement. "I'm sure you did what you had to do."
Charlotte tried to keep her gaze hard and unreadable. Her emotions betrayed her though as a tear escaped her eye and trailed down her cheek. How could he act so calm when she just admitting to taking someone's life? Why was she crying? Was it remorse for what she had done?
Alex looked at her awkwardly. He didn't know if he should try to comfort her or say something nice. Ultimately, he decided silence was best and just watched her until she relaxed.
Breaking the silence looming between them, the boy stretched out his hand in friendship. "What's your name? My name is Alex Kiriyama-Pendleton."
"Charlotte Emerson." She responded not lifting her hand to shake his. She was afraid to go near him or to let her guard down incase he used that moment to strike.
He returned his hand to his side and his cell phone screen dimmed. The room was engulfed in darkness, and although their eyes had adjusted,††they could only see the dark shadows of the other's silhouette. "Charlotte, I know you're upset but we need to keep a level head about our situation. I've been through a lot and I've learned a thing or two about survival. We need to maintain our composure and cooperate with one another. That means we need to trust each other."
"Trust each other." Charlotte repeated trying to convince herself that it was the right thing to do.
The door creaked open and Charlotte and Alex instinctively ducked beneath the row of seats knocking each other in the head as Alex inched closer to her to avoid hiding by the entrance of the aisle. Standing at the entrance was a girl with long fiery red hair. She staggered into the room, stilettos slung over her shoulder and a gun poised in her right hand.
She giggled lightheartedly as she entered the room. "I shoulda known not to drink the water. Oh when father gets my message this place 'll be sorry. Real sorry..."
Charlotte whispered to Alex. "Great, she's drunk and she's got a gun."
The redhead turned her gaze in their direction. "Who's there? Show yourself or I'll shoot!"
Charlotte and Alex stayed still, hoping she would go away. She didn't.
Eleanor Monroe was a mess. She was seeing doubles and a splitting headache wasn't helping any. The last group of kids that crossed her path met their untimely demise and their blood had stained her outfit. Repulsed by the smell and sight she had used a nearby water fountain to clean herself off and took a sip or two to hydrate herself. It turned out the water was drugged and she was suffering the consequences.
It was a struggle just for her to keep her eyes open let alone walk around and point a gun. She had made her way to the Concert Hall in hopes of waiting for the drug affects to subside, but it seemed like she had company and that plan was on hold. Now, she knew she had to deal with something or someone, which only added to her irritation.
Intimidating the person didn't seem to work in revealing the stranger, so she decided to play to his or her sympathetic side. "Please come out." She said, manipulating her voice to make it sound like she was pleading. "I'm scared and I just want to go home."
"Lower your weapon and I'll come out." She heard a male voice command from one of the rows of chairs.
"How do I know you won't hurt me when I do?" Eleanor asked him in a quivering voice. She was relishing at the idea of putting her acting skills to good use, when she got out of the program she planned on asking for a raise in her salary, because surely someone with as much acting talent as her deserved to be paid like the very best of stars.
She watched as a figure began to stand in front of her, his arms up in the air. "I'm unarmed." The boy reassured her. "Can you lower your weapon now?"
She smiled at him, realizing her vision was starting to return to normal. "Sure." She remarked as she squeezed the trigger on her flare gun.