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I wrote this based on The Maze Runner
A knock on the door, and a woman walked in.
¨Come with me.¨ Jake didn't move. ¨Come with me.¨ More forcefully. ¨Delilah,¨ judging by her nametag, reached for the tranquilizer on her waist.
Jake stood up. She led him out of the room, down an empty hallway. Left turn. Right turn. Another right. As they rounded the final corner, Jake heard the footsteps. A pitter patter, growing louder as they got closer, and the pitter patter turned into a shadow up ahead. Jake stared, unable to move himself as a 40-or-so year old man sprinted right by him, not even acknowledging his presence as his heart skipped a beat in his chest. But Delilah had not seemed to notice him, and was already opening the doors at the end of the hallway.
They walked into a room, and on the other side of the room were others around his age.
¨You have five minutes to meet your new friends, then the auction will commence.
Two girls and a boy sat at a table in the corner of the room. Jake hastily walked over to the group. The whole thing seemed so...out of place. As he approached the group, he took in the appearance of his “new friends.” On his left, a long haired kid - Cameron apparently - sat with bloodshot eyes, murmuring something to himself. He wore ripped jeans and a flannel. As Jake took a seat, Cam looked up. The girl directly across from him, Sophie, was snoring, but shot upright when he looked at her. She gazed at him, and laughed after a moment, her eyes seeming to tell Jake something he already knew. He wasn’t going to leave this place alive. She had brown hair, and brown eyes with a tilt to her jaw, almost c***y. To the right of her, sat Hailey. She was sitting with her legs crossed, looking at him rather pitifully, as if she saw something in him that she felt sorry for. She was blonde, and looked like someone he would've dated in high school, kind face, long legs and a scarf around her neck. However when she spoke, it hit Jake rather harshly.
¨Who are you, and how did you get here?¨ she hissed.
¨Jake,” he spat, leaning across the table. “And I suspect I have no better memory than you.¨
¨What I remember was driving down a really dark road late at night.¨ said Hailey. She ran her hand through her hair distantly.
¨Well no wonder stupid! Why were ya doing that?¨ Sophie laughed. ¨I was just...I was just...¨ she looked up. ¨Wait...Hailey what were you...¨
Delilah returned and cut them off. She gestured that they needed to follow her. They proceeded through a side door, and before the door could close, Hailey bolted.
¨She's never going to learn now is she,¨ Delilah sighed. Delilah reached into her back pocket, seemed to hit some sort of button, and Hailey collapsed to the floor, clutching her thigh. Jake looked down at his own thigh, from underneath his white nightgown, still red from the tranq she had pulled on him when he had first been captured, he expected. Or was it really a tranq? But once again Delilah had not stopped moving, and once again he had to catch up with the rest of them.
They entered a room that looked something like a classroom. Men and women, of all different backgrounds sat in the tiny desks, all with a hungry look in their eyes.
As they moved towards the front of the room, Delilah addressed her peers. ¨I am very sorry my friends, but there will be no more auctions following this one. He has come, and now is our chance to complete the plan. To come full circle.¨ Murmuring swept through the class, excited whispers. Jake noticed the his peers shrink into the corner.
Delilah continued. ¨Let us begin.¨ The crowd got out a stack of rather large cards, with numbers on them, and Delilah told Cam to step forward. She waited a couple seconds, as Cam stood, shuddering with fear on the stage that was the front of the classroom. Cam stared right at a certain old man, pleading with his eyes and shaking his head over and over. Delilah clapped her hands, and each student put up a card. Jake saw a lot of fours and fives, and yet the man that had been looking at Cam held up a 10. Cam collapsed to the ground shuddering. He screamed, he cried, he refused to move, and Delilah kept hitting her back pocket, sending him into a spree of pain, until he stopped. But now instead of refusing to get up, he couldn't. He was dead.
¨S***,¨ Delilah cursed.
The man, however, merely shrugged. Jake kept his eye on him. Sophie was up next, and was auctioned off to a lady who held up an eight, and Hailey was dragged unconscious to a man with a five.
¨And now, last but not least, our newcomer Jake,¨ as she pushed him up front so they could all get a good look at him. He could feel his heart in his chest, the crowd in front of him eyed him greedily, comfortable in their white gowns. Jake almost fell over. I am in a hospital. A mental hospital. A clap, and the cards were up. He glanced around. A ten, a fifteen, a thirty. He looked towards Bryan. He held up nothing. But a man in a wheelchair towards the back held up something that Jake knew couldn't have been good. He held up a zero with a dash through it.
¨Sold,¨ he heard.
He couldn't move. He had to move. He staggered towards the man in the wheelchair, unable to meet his greedy eyes.
¨A fine young boy for me!¨ he exclaimed, giggling. ¨Very nice, strong one yes?¨
He waited, expecting Jake to answer. ¨Yeah, I'm uh, a strong one.¨ He told him rather unconvincingly, still in shock.
¨Good that.¨ The man looked at him hard. He felt a presence behind him and he was suddenly in a paralyzed state. Unable to move. ¨Good bye now!¨
He was propped onto a cart, face up, and wheeled promptly for what felt like hours down long, well lit corridors. That is, until the corridors were no longer well lit. The ceiling became less definable, and he realized that they were in a whole other building, made up of bricks, not concrete. Jake got a sick feeling in his stomach, and before he knew it the lights were no longer lit at all.
Jake still couldn't figure out exactly what had happened the previous night. It was hazy. He had been driving down a lonely road along Lake Michigan with his best friend, Richard. It had been a new moon, no natural light was shed upon the road in the night. When he came up behind the lone other car on the road, Richard had groaned in frustration. The car in front paced along at around 30 miles per hour. Jake was not in a particularly calm mindset, so he honked, and the car pulled over to let them pass. Two gun shots and the headlights were out. Jake had stopped the car and turned his phone flashlight on. There was a figure in front of the car, clad in black, pistols smoking in his hands. A quick look around, and he was surrounded. Richard was gone. Fled.
After that, Jake remembered nothing. Was there a mafia in Michigan? If there was, Jake doubted that was where he was, for a hospital full of mental people were the last thing that came to mind when he thought mafia.
Jake was a believer of free will rather than fate, however if it was fate that had brought him here, what had he done to deserve this? Maybe, it's not what I did, but what I can do. He worked his mind in every direction, thinking of what he could be used for. But he couldn't. He had just seen a boy die. The image of him dropping to the floor dead burned in his mind.
He entered a room, the lights came back on. The figure who had pushed his cart here scooped him up and dropped him on the bed. Then he swung the door closed, and rolled up his sleeves. A syringe was inserted into his arm, and he felt his limbs again. Before he could sit up, however, the figure left the room, closed the door, and locked it.
Jake let his eyes adjust, and briefed his surroundings. He was definitely on a hospital bed, although he knew his health was fine. In the corner, a television played a children's cartoon, but without sound. Next to him was an unplugged heart rate monitor, and in front of him was a door with a suicide prevention poster on it.
Jake waited in that room, unable to move, for what seemed like days, although it could not have been more than a few hours. Finally, Delilah walked into the room. Unable to tell what she would do, Jake waited. That was all he could do. Delilah brushed her hand along his bed as she passed, and after showing him a rather large syringe, plunged it into his thigh. Then, she waited a few seconds, and drew a rather large sum of blue liquid from that same spot.
¨Won't be needing that anymore,¨ she placed the syringe onto a wheely bedside table. Jake, finally in control of his own body, rose and winced stiff-legged across the room. That shot had hurt. He looked back at Delilah.
¨Why am I here?¨ he looked at her with cold, tired eyes. She held his stare.
¨You are here because Chris, the man who bought you, needs your brain cells for his research,¨ she moved towards him. ¨I know it's hard, but you must understand that you were brought here for a reason.¨ She left the room with a slam of the door behind her.
He had to escape. Brain cells could not be taken without permanent damage to the brain. Jake sprinted towards the door. Cam. That's why he can't even speak. The realization of what he would become hit him hard. He yanked on the door. It was locked. He kicked it, he used every ounce of strength he had, and the door would not budge.
Jake was about to smash the handle with part of the bed frame when the tv began to flicker in and out. Jake sat down on the bed. Finally, the current program was overridden by something very familiar looking. It was the auction hall, the classroom. In front, Delilah was presenting what seemed to be a written report to her staff.
¨Annnd to wrap up today's meeting we have Jake Slander.¨ Jake felt his hair stand up. He knew he was about to find out what had happened in the blank space of his arrival. ¨Oh and there's a note attached,¨ she continued. ¨Jake will be the last shipment ever. We hope he is enough to complete your research, and that you finally find what you're looking for.¨ The room went deathly silent. What could they possibly be looking for. Jake couldn't sit still. ¨Jake Slander, here we go. Jake Slander, 17, has been sent to your asylum for the act of slaughtering his brother and friend, Richard Emet.¨ He gasped. ¨...Captured on route 11 while disposing of body...¨ Jake shook, he dropped to the ground. Nausea. Black spots. ¨...Mother found holes and blood flooding eldest sons bedcloth....¨ Nothing.
Jake sat up. There was no way. There couldn't be. And yet...There was. Jake looked at his hands. There was still one thing he didn't understand. Why was he here, and not in jail? Asylum. Jake had loved richard… why would he kill him? Jake knew he wasn't insane.
A knock on the door and Delilah walked in.
¨Hello Jake, sorry for the short delay. I was just fetching a surgeon for you.¨ A figure in a blue surgeons suit entered behind her. Jake noticed that the television was flickering again. ¨However, before we can get started I am obliged to show you a short film. This will explain to you all of your questions.¨ Both she and the surgeon faded into the corner.
Then, the screen came into focus.
A young man was seen in a lab coat. ¨Hello. I am Robert Hughes, and you are here to make a difference. I set out on my quest to cure the insane, sick acts many like yourself have been meddling with back in 2016. My brother was murdered by his friend, and his friend was sent to an asylum. But that didn't bring my brother back. So I made it my lifes goal to come up with a vaccine for insanity. You, my friend, are just a step in the right direction, and I thank you for that. What you are about to go through is one of the most harsh treatments still legal, so we all think of you as brave, and courageous for doing this.
The screen flickered off. Jake felt his heart in his throat, and watched as the surgeon moved over his bed, and grabbed a syringe. Jake cried out, but it was too late. Jake let out a long breath and let the unknown world of the unconscious take over.
¨Good night, Jake.¨
8 years ago
¨Hey Jake! Better not show up to school tomorrow.¨ They laughed. They laughed at him. Richard and his friends. Oh how he would show them. One day.
¨Yeah, see you guys. Sixth grade here we come!¨ Richard jogged over to Jake and punched him in the shoulder.
¨Why do you hate me?¨ Richard did not answer, he didn't even hear him.
¨Ready for a little game?¨ Richard teased.
¨No, not again. I don't want to.¨ Jake felt tears in his eyes.
¨Ok cool.¨ laughed Richard. ¨I will be Cain, and you can be Abel. The eyes of Jake grew in fear.
¨Please no!¨ He shrunk away from Richard.
¨You ruined me! My crops aren't good enough? You want to see good enough!¨ Richard charged towards Jake, rage in his eyes.
¨Ow, ow, stop it! You're hurting me STOP!¨ But Richard didn't hear. He never did.
Two days ago
It was quiet in the house. Not a soul was awake, but it wouldn't stay that way. For Jake was out of bed, opening his door. His eyes were open and yet he did not see. His body was moving and yet he did not command it to do so. As he entered the kitchen, he reached into a drawer. After a couple seconds, he returned to his brother, Richard's room. A knife went up, and then down like a pendulum, tick tock. Up and down, up and down until Jake woke up. But as Jake realized what he was doing he did not stop, he had wanted revenge and he was getting it. He scooped up the now limp body, and headed out to the car. The trunk hatch went up, and down. The clock never stops ticking.