Run Martins, run.
Run Martins, run.
Run Martins, r…
I felt a pump of extra adrenaline as I jumped over a tree which had blocked my way. How was that even possible? I thought, not slowing down as I kept forcing my way through vines and puddles with the strong stench of rotting leaves stinging my nose. What was I running from? Where was I running to? There was no time for answers-I couldn’t even understand the questions at this point. I had gotten to the end of the road, not except I was meaning to dive 20 feet deep into the waters that waited ahead of me.
With as much strength as I could muster, I bent low to the ground, trying to get a hold of whatever could stop me from going further. Finally, I crashed to the floor, just at the edge of the waterfall. I looked behind me in amazement of what I had caused; I had split the earth in two with steam, red hot steam oozing out from within. “What have I done?” I asked myself as I gazed at my unhurt hands which had been soiled with earth, up to my elbow. My chest leapt very rapidly now as I looked around me, only then did I realize that my surrounding seemed strange. How did I get here? Where am… The earth beneath me shook. I looked below to see the earth rumbling and critters of rock falling off the edge of the waterfall where I stood. There was a loud scream from Lord-knows-where which caused the earth to give way even faster. I braced myself as the cliff shattered; a quick rush of wind blasted my face as I descended lower which made it hard for me to breathe. My heartbeat increased with every beat getting harder and harder and…
“Ughh” I moaned in pain, I could’ve sworn I had broken something.
“Martins Lewisky” a female voice said, making me jerk in shock. The darkness around me was terrifying to say the least, how did I get here? Just a moment ago I was falling off a cliff and now I was… where? What is going on? And for pete’s sake, my name wasn’t Lewisky “You have reached your destination.”
Before I could even say another word, I heard the cranking noise of metal. It was loud, deafening loud and it made me retreat further into the darkness which seemed endless. The louder the cranking noise was, the brighter the room became but I still couldn’t see anything. Needless to say, my heart now wrestled behind my ribs like a caged bird trying to break free. Moments later, the noise stopped, but it was only for a split second.
“Martins!!! Martins!!! Martins!!! Martins!!!” The loud cheer of people around me made my heart jump in fear. My eyes shone brighter at the sight of the crowd that stood above me in a somewhat enclosed glass chamber. Why are they cheering? Who are they and what do they expect me to do?
“FIGHT!!!” came a reply from my head-or was it really from my head?
“Fight what?” I whimpered, my eyes stung with tears that would never break free.
“Look!” The voice said again and as if compelled, I turned to see my doom which awaited me. Creatures, the ones you only heard of in myths and legends, they stood in their numbers, hundreds, thousands, millions of them watched patiently from the other end of the field as if awaiting orders. I swallowed hard. “Now fight!” These creatures leapt towards me once the words were spoken.
I turned away from them and ran, again, my swift foot went into action. One leap after the other, away from my devourers which had no problem catching up with me. Their growling sounds drew closer making my heart pump faster, like it was going to explode. Slowly, everywhere started getting filled with a cloud of dust. My hands swung faster than I could imagine as the earth shook tremendously below me with every thump of these creature. I gave a quick look behind me, only to meet the fist of a Minotaur which made me loose my balance, causing me to stumble and fall.
I had expected parts of my body to be flying in the air as soon I touched the floor but the case was different, I had just fallen into a silver metal chair in an overly bright room with just one silver table in front of me. Slowly, I placed my hands away from my face.
“Hello? Is anyone here?” I asked, almost stuttering as soon as I found out my feet had been cuffed to the chair by some mechanism I wasn’t aware of. A screen appeared on the wall, it showed scattered broadcast for a while before going blank. I couldn’t decipher where I was, or what had been happening for the past one hour. The dots weren’t just connecting-that’s if there were any dots to start with. A lady walked in from nowhere, I couldn’t understand how she had gotten into the room when there were no doors. She was dressed in an all-black leather suit with white hand gloves and a briefcase in one hand.
“Hello Martins” she started, I could tell the smile on her pale face was fake, like something that had been well practiced and for some reason, she seemed familiar.
“Hey” I found myself replying even when I didn’t want to. “Where am-”
“You’ve been through hell and I know. Let me help you” she interrupted, reaching for the briefcase. I watched as she slowly reached for the briefcase and pulled out a syringe and a transparent bottle with yellow fluid. She turned to me after sucking out the content of the bottle into the syringe. “It’s just one shot you know.”
“What happens after that?” I asked, unsure if I could trust the only human I had come across in as long as I could remember.
“There’s only one way to find out” she replied, pulling my left arm over the table and sticking the needle in. There was no effect for a moment, and then I felt the tingle in my stomach. It started lightly, and then it got fiercer by the second.
“What did you…” I asked, pausing to control the burn in my stomach “…do to me?” The sensation was unpleasant, my skin had turned red and it felt like I was being gutted out. The only sounds I could hear were the ones from the last one hour. Slowly and painfully, the world went dim to me, my heart had stopped beating and I was struggling to survive for the next second. The air went stale, my throat tightened and the sharp pain in my head was unbearable, life-threatening unbearable.
Amidst my misgivings, I could hear voices…voices of unseen people. Wailing, crying, begs for mercy, wicked laughter, screams. They were my only companion in the moments that followed.
“Let’s just hope he gets it right this time. If not, we’re pulling the plug on this one.” That was the last thing I heard before I gave a loud cry of unimaginable pain.
My eyes opened to meet the peering look of strange faces, all of which were gruesome in appearance. I sat on the floor to get a better look at these people. It looked like a waste land around me with more than a handful of tattered looking people, of which I was one.
“Where am I?” I asked one of the people around me.
“Welcome back to Karma and you sure are one lucky bastard. How much did you pay these guys before you died?”
“What? What are you talking about?” I asked puzzled. Who was dead? Definitely not me because I sure could…wait one second, am I dead?
“For the umpteenth time Martins” he spat out something black from his mouth. “This is Karma, your Afterlife. You are dead in the real sense but before you died, you paid The Routers Company on earth to bring you back to life, just like all of us here. Those fools never told us we would be experiencing what we did to others while we were alive and we would have to face our very own selves on our way back to life.”
“Only a few ever get out of here” another fellow added.
“That explains everything” I muttered to myself in fear. I had always threatened to make people run for their own lives, claiming I was The Beast of beasts and the chance to play smart on people never passed me by. The more terrifying part, however, was that those were just at the bottom of the list of things I had done in life. I turned around to see even more people than I had seen earlier, Karma sure was a B*tch.
The New Writer On The Block,