An excerpt from story that I made. If you want the ending please let me know.
I am Jonah, I live in a Los Angeles, California. My family consists of my mom, dad, and little sister, Lucy. My mom stays at home with Lucy my 10 year old sister. My dad works at a law firm in downtown L.A.
I am a tall, relatively skinny 18 year old. I’m okay at sports but my coaches always tell me to harden up. I’ve always been the one that sits out of really dangerous and intense stuff when playing sports or just anytime in my life. This led me to invest more time in stuff like computers and books because they interest me and they don’t take any physical effort. My teacher said I’m a computer legend, that makes me feel important. I like that feeling.
I got a summer job a couple weeks ago thanks to the help of Lucy. She did a school project on the California Science Center and she got me an interview with the head director about working in IT.
Everything was going good in my life and I thought it couldn’t get better.
The next week my dad got a raise and I was finally able to get the newest game system, Realism HD. It had the top of the line in technological advancements. Yeah I’m kind of a nerd but that paid off when I learned that you can program your own experiences. Anyways enough of that.
Lucy really helped me with the IT job, I was happy to start saving up for my university fund. I’m hoping to go to Texas Tech University so I can become a computer engineer for Apple Inc.
My eyes snap open.
Cold, very, cold…
Panic spreads throughout my body as red blaring lights flash overhead. I jump up and realize where I actually am. I pull myself up to sit on the edge of a terribly kept bed, then I panic!
WHERE AM I!?!?
I calm down and try to remember all I can. Everything is going to be fine Jonah just relax. I furrow my brow as I pull together the scattered pieces of my memory. I look closer at my surroundings. A small room, not much bigger than my small bedroom at home. Rusty old bed, springs missing, mattress torn in the middle, stuffing on the floor from the hole. Lovely… I think as I look at the toilet that has water splashed all around it. Across the room a door with a large frame and wired glass about the size of my small hands. Looks like I’m meant to stay here for a while.
But how did I get here? I wrack my brain pondering about how this might have happened. I pace the small room. After ten or so minutes I get frustrated and quit thinking about that for now. I look around the room. There is a side table with one small drawer next to the bed. I sit on the bed and rummage through the contents of the messy drawer.
Paper clip, comb, lint, and a small bundle of rope? What’s all this doing here? I grab the rope and paper clip and shove them into the pocket of my old jeans. I leave the comb and paper behind as I gather whatever I think I can use of the various objects around the room. I grab a small piece of wire from the old bed and head towards the door with several large dents in it. Maybe if I’m lucky the door will open. To my surprise it does. It creaks open to a hallway and there are many more red flashing lights blaring brightly outside the room. I peek my head out and see that there are about twenty more doors down the corridor much like mine. Most of them slightly open. I peer out further from the safety of my room starting to feel uneasy as I see a body slumped down in the middle of the corridor against the wall.
I go back into my room as the panic starts to overflow my consciousness. I sit down on the bed and I take a deep breath. It’s okay Jonah, I’m going to get out of here and it’s going to be all good. I stand up and slow my breathing down. I walk towards the door and a scream sounds out in the distance. It is female and she sounds in trouble. I tense as I edge my way out into the hallway looking all around nervously. I move along the wall down to the next room and peek around the door.
There is another man! Maybe he will know what’s going on! I make a soft noise to get his attention. The man’s head turns around slowly at first but when he sees me he shakes his head in disbelief.
“W-Who ar-are you?” The man asks frightfully.
“I’m just trying to understand what’s going on here? I approach him slowly, trying to keep him calm. He looks tense. I open the door further and I see that he is sitting on a bed much like mine. In a room much like mine. His face softens a bit when he sees me open the door.
“Do you remember how you got here?” I ask carefully choosing my wording.
“No, I just woke up on this bed…” he responds quietly as he sits up straighter.
“I thought I was the only one.” He adds.
“I think we should work together to get out of this place. I think something bad happened here.” I say as I give him a foreboding look.
He stands up so I can get a better look at him. Brown hair, very tall, bold green eyes, strong jaw line, broad shoulders, a red sweater, black sweatpants, and some old sneakers. Looks like he will help to have along considering I am not the strongest person for my age. Most other 17 year olds could easily beat me up. I reach out to shake his hand as he walks toward to me. I extend my hand and he meets it with a wide smile. Not alone anymore Jonah.
“I’m Jonah.” I shake his hand warmly.
“Name’s Haden.” He replies with a slight smile. His voice sounds weathered and ancient. I like the feeling of this now.
“We should probably get going, get anything you think could help us get out of here.” I tell him.
“I was an engineer so I can use lots of things to our advantage. He gathers up some materials and piles them into a backpack. What could he use a broken spring for? I wonder as I glance at the various materials flying into the bag. He zips it up, hangs it over his shoulder, and starts towards the door. I feel much less scared now that I’m with Haden. I follow Haden to the door. I think we both are…
Haden and I walk out into the hallway. Our heads darting around the hallway as the lights overhead flicker on, off, on, off. The end of the hall comes into view and Haden starts to pick up some speed as a large grey door comes into view. There is a small window at the top of the door letting a fresh green glow through.
“We got it Haden!” I call as I race after him. Man he’s fast!
“What took you so long?” Haden jokes, as he stands expectantly in front of the door.
“I’ve been growing a beard over here!”
I was just about to protest when I look over at Haden and see he has actually grown a scruffy brown beard is on his perfect jawline.
“Holy! Haden look at you, you actually did grow a beard!” I reach over to touch it and I’m shocked to feel what appears to be a real beard.
“What do you mean? You’re such a joker man…” As he reaches up towards his face and touches what used to be his clean shaven face.
“Wha-?! This can’t be true, I was just joking with you. What is this place!?” He pounds on the door. I walk over to him and try to calm him down.
“Hey, Haden it’s okay. When we get out of here you can just shave it off. Let’s just try to get out of here.” He stands and inspects the lock on the door.
“Got anything in that backpack that can help us?”
He looks through his backpack as I search my pockets for the paper clip from earlier. I pull the paper clip out of my pocket.
“Haden? Think this could help?” I say smirking at him. He shoves the paper clip into the circle vault lock and jiggles it around like a madman. Click The lock sinks into the door like a puzzle piece. Haden shoves the door open with a creek.
“We’re in!” Haden cheers to himself.
“Well we don’t know how deep or high we are.” I claim. This is probably just the start… We walk cautiously into the bland green room and see a door on the other side of us. I pick up the backpack and walk into the middle of the room to a pedestal in the middle of the room with a button on the top.
“What do you think it does?” I ask turning to Haden who is standing behind me.
“What if it’s a trap?” Haden says walking to me. The door creaks close behind us.
“Well now I guess we have to push it, the other door won’t open.” Haden states as he makes his way back from the other door.
Haden scratches his head and looks at the button on the pedestal.
“Let’s push it.” He says giving me a steady look. I agree and press the button hesitantly.
Black smoke pours down from the ceiling and Haden flattens onto the ground. I follow his lead and flatten myself on the ground. Boom!!! Boom!!! The sound around us is deafening. I cover my ears and see Haden has already covered his own ears.
A vacuum sucks up all the smoke and the room has transformed into a blue lit room with nine doors. The pedestal still sitting in the middle.
“Haden, do you see nine doors too?” I ask as I look over at Haden who is slowly rising.
“Y-Yeah.” He replies walking towards one of the doors.
“Are they real?” I ask going to the opposite side of the box shaped room. He opens a door and creek he pokes his head in to look around.
“It’s just a black room” he says and walks in. He disappears from sight as soon as he enters the room. Did he just vanish!?
I walk over to the door and call out into the never ending blackness that lies in front of me.
“Hello?” I poke my head into the darkness. Beyond the black illusion a room much like the blue one I came from. I walk through the black illusion into the room. Haden turns around to see me and he opens another door.
“What are you doing Haden?” I ask impatiently as he opens three more doors around the room.
“I’m trying to solve this damn puzzle before I have three hands or something!” he says aggravated by our situation. I walk through another wall of black and enter the same room we were just in. I open all nine original doors. I walk through one to my left and close the door behind me. Haden is in the room. He has all the doors open so I close the one I came through.
“Haden help me, I have a plan. We need to through each door one at a time and close them behind us. Then we can see which ones connect these two rooms together. The remaining one will be our method of exit” I state feeling confident that I have conquered the test of our minds.
“Okay let’s do that!” As he walks into a door and closes it behind him. I walk into the next door and close it behind me. Uh oh this is different, I’m in a dark hallway… There is no other door in front of me. I reach my hand out to try and connect with the other door. I put the backpack onto the ground beside the door and stretch myself from the door feeling scared to release myself from the handle. I pick up the backpack and open the door I just came through. I am met with a brick wall. Big problem Jonah! I slam the door closed and open it again. No change. Guess Haden is lost for now. I pick up the backpack and start out into the darkness.
Three hours later I’m still walking through the darkness of nothingness. Getting kinda hungry… I sit down and pull the backpack around to my front. I search blindly through the backpack. I can’t even see my own hand an inch from my face. I wonder where Haden is, I feel kind of responsible that we got separated from each other. The kind of regret that you can’t get rid of. I was thinking that we were starting to work like a real team. Now that we’re separated I feel the fear creeping in seeping into my thoughts. I have never been comfortable being alone and helpless. I find nothing in the backpack that seems eatable so I zip it back up and stand. Yay, more walking. Hungry walking…
“Jonah! There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Come here!” Haden screams from the direction of a white light in the darkness. I look over to the bright light, it really is Haden, he flickers for a millisecond but I think I just blinked. Being in the dark all that time was messing with me. I slow down as i near haden Haden. He screams “Jonah! There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Come here!”. I look in the direction of his voice which is on the opposite side of the darkness and there is another open door, suddenly there are nine Haden’s all screaming at me, “Jonah! There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Come here!” I look around frantically scared of what might happen if I choose the wrong Haden. I look at each one quickly and they all seem identical. I try calling out “Haden? Where are you?”
There’s no answer and I start to inspect the figures one by one, right down to the beard that he spontaneously grew.
I number the Haden’s. Number 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are not real. Number 3 had the wrong color hair, 4 has no nose, and 6 had a really high pitched voice, 7 had huge feet, 8 has a hat on, and 9 has the backpack on. It is down to Haden 1, Haden 2, and Haden 5.
I saw that number 5 had a gold chain necklace and I think I would have noticed that earlier so I guess it is Haden 1 or 2.
I can close the doors so that’s what I did with the false Haden’s. I trudge back to the first Haden and I inspect him again. He has a faint smile on his face, one foot out the door, fingers gripping the doorknob, his jaw clenched tight but there is a small stubby pencil protruding from his beard. I walk right up the second Haden for the third time.
“I’ve got you now Haden!” I say I walk through the door with Haden number 2 as I pull Haden through the door he bursts to life gasping huge breaths of air, eyes wide.
“Please! No!” He screams as he rolls around on the floor. I crouch down beside him and shake him roughly.
“Jonah? How did you get here!?” He asks his eyes wild.
“We have to get out of here! I saw what is deeper in the maze of this place and something almost killed me. I jumped through a door was frozen. Then I just appeared here. What happened to you?”
“Well I walked for what seemed like hours then I heard you scream “Jonah! There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Come here!” After that, eight more of you appeared all yelling the same thing. I had to listen to that for about two more hours as I tried to figured out which Haden was real. Pretty fun right?”
“Wow, we should get going I’ll explain the rest of my story while we walk wherever we’re going next.” Haden says. He’s breathing normally now. We look around our current room of doom, look at each other helplessly and open the only other door. It’s two stairwells the one on the right goes down the one on the left goes up.
“Well Jonah? Which way, up or down? I look up the stairs and see a bright shining light heading upwards.
“I say we go up.” I take the lead in our stair climbing mission and go up. I am getting a great workout from whoever these evil people are that put us in here.
“Well Haden I believe it's story time” I say with an edge of humor.
“Yes, yes, that is right.” He says in his best old man voice playing along with my joke.
“Okay.” He says in a more serious tone.
“So, yeah I was using your method when I entered a room that didn’t lead anywhere. I started to feel around and I felt a trapdoor on the ground. I lifted it up and lowered myself down into a room with columns of marble and gold lined decorations. There were paintings and beautiful green plants. At the front of the room there was a throne. I walked up to the throne and behind it were three more doors. Two leading out into other well decorated rooms with no significant purpose. I sat on the throne and pretended to be king of the dungeon we’re in. I ordered that you be brought to me immediately. That’s when it all happened. I heard a crack and a giant monster fell through the ceiling and into the middle of the room. I hid behind the throne. It scared me to hell. I made my run for it through the final door behind the throne but the monster saw me. It was really black and lumpy. Like it was a fusion of giant globs of pudding. I ran for my life, but damn, it was fast. That’s when I froze.” He said as we kept climbing the never ending stairs.
Then we both jump as we see men flooding into the stairwell below us. They’re screaming about a breach. Some men go up some go down. They haven’t spotted us yet. I whisper,
“Haden, these people sound dangerous. We should start running. He starts to pick up speed going up two steps at a time, flying up the stairs quietly, like a ninja. I follow at a slower pace, getting tired, the men continue to shout at each other as they run up the stairs.
The world turns into slow motion as we tackle yet another flight running straight into a group of four men. I reach out my fist to hit one of them and Haden does the same. He punches one of them in the nose. The man reels back holding his face. My hit went to the right side of the second man’s face. The second man swings back with a gloved fist. I whip my hand up but I’m too slow, his fist hits me in the left jaw. I step back on the small landing of the stairwell as Haden grabs the third man and throws him down the stairs along with guy number two, who lunged after me when I staggered from the hit. The heap of the two men was still. Haden turns his rage on man number four. He grabs the man and lifts him up by the collar. I punch the first guy like a five year old throwing a tantrum, barraging my hits into his stomach. The man doubles over and stops fighting, he pleads for us to stop. Haden throws the fourth man down onto his buddies. We spare the last one only to get information. We walk him up a couple of flights so that he can’t pull any funny business. I think Haden broke the guy’s his nose with the nasty face palm. He sits down on the stairs with us behind him.
“Where are we?” He yells at the man, who flinches at his strong voice.
“C-calm down man, we heard that someone released the experiment in the throne room. We were sent out to find it in this god damn maze.” He replies.
Haden sneers at the man. Haden is good under pressure, pretty damn good fighter too.
“Do you know how to get out of here?” Haden asks as he lets the man stand up again.
“No. My buddy down a couple floors resting knew how to get out” the man replies coldly. I walk down the few floors and look at the heap of men, they don’t look like they’ll be awake any time soon. I walk back up. We decide to let the man go, he is of no use to us.
“If we see you again we won’t go easy, okay?” Haden says sternly.
“O-okay, y-you got it.” The man shivers and starts down the stairs. Me and Haden continue up because if we could find where they came from we might figure out this mysteriously crazy maze. I speak quietly as we continue up the stairs. Getting tired, I wonder if it’s safe to sleep here.
“What do you think we should do about sleep?” I ask him as we continue to climb.
“We should probably sleep in turns so that we can make sure nothing happens to either of us.” I agree and we stop at the next landing, setting down the backpack I stretch and get a cramp in my leg.
“Ouch! Ouch!” I squeal as I grab my leg in pain. I sit down on the steps work out the cramp with my fingers.
“Hey, you got any food?” I ask Haden motioning over to the backpack.
“No, but I’m getting pretty hungry too.”
Haden falls asleep I sit beside him and try to stay awake but the silence is too overwhelming, and then I am gone.
The dream started with a bright green flash! I was walking. I was walking in place not moving anywhere, just walking. I was watching myself walk. I had the backpack on, it was attached to me like a deflated balloon. I think of what is all around me and then a light floods the scene. I am now walking in never ending light with a blip about three miles off in the distance. I wished I was closer to it. Whoosh! I was three feet away from the door. The figure of me stopped moving and looked at the door. Just waiting. I can control this dream! Wait, where is Haden? I control myself to open the door and continue walking through. Crash! I walked right into a cage that closed behind me. I look behind me for a moment as a voice rings out. “Jonah… I know what you are trying to do… You must give up… You will never escape…” It echoes all around me as I spin around to see a giant monitor glaring at me in the gigantic room as big as a warehouse. I turn around to look at the door and see the knob turning and opening out into the light. A creature with a giant claw and robot body walk through. My memory goes blank. Here I am just walking in the darkness of nothing…
I wake up and stretch as my brain tries to wake up. “Haden? Haden?” I look around and realize that he is gone. I sit up and look at the place where he fell asleep. I look around the landing that we called home for the night. Do I go up or down? I wonder as I stare at the green light above me. I decide to continue up because if Haden woke up and left he would have tried to get out not backtrack. I pick up the backpack and continue to climb. It’s just like having a job. A really boring job… I walk and walk and walk as the day passes with no sign of Haden.
“Oh man” I grumble to myself.
I’m so hungry, it’s been two days since I woke up in this maze of never ending loneliness.
“Why?” i ask
“Why did I have to fall asleep? I was feeling safe with Haden.
I stop to take another break. I listen carefully and take a rest from at least another two hours of non-stop climbing. I hear a loud creak, it sounds like a big vault door being opened. It’s above me! Really close too! I think as I start to move up again.
Day Five, 5:38 P.M.
I haven’t seen anyone in about a two days. Still no food to be found. I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this. I’ve started to keep this log in case I die in here. Haden is gone, I don’t know where he went. It’s getting colder the longer I stay in this stairwell. I’ve got to get out of here before the worst comes to light. Another door! Maybe it will lead me out. I’ll see where it goes. Wish me luck. I’ll need it…
Well this is it Jonah. I open the door with a large screech I close my eyes and cover my ears. A bat flies out of the door. I jump back almost falling down the stairs. It flies down the stairwell back to where I came from. Good luck buddy… I think. I look back to the door. A closet. A freaking closet… I’ve wasted so much time for a closet!?
I search through the boxes that are filling the space.
“Food! I’ve found food!” I jump for joy and cheer, filling the stairwell with noise. I pick up a box filled to the top with bread. And another box filled with granola bars. “There’s gotta be like 100 of these things!” I move the boxes out onto the landing and search through the rest of the closet. “Apples, pickles, fish and beans. Baked beans… MmmmmmmmM…” I exclaim to myself. Finally caught a lucky break Jonah. I think as I start to feast on one of everything but the fish and beans. “I’m going to cook those… I deserve it.” I stock my backpack filled with all of the 140 granola bars, about 10 apples, three cans of beans, four fish fillets, and a jar of pickles.
I close up the backpack and put it onto my shoulders. Pretty heavy now. Might have to lighten it up later tonight. It's 6:30 by the time I start up the stairs again.
I’m done for the night and I ate almost a quarter of the food I found today. If only Haden were here… I wonder how he’s doing alone or if he’s been captured. I start to think of how I could have done things differently so that this never would have happened. The reason me and Haden aren’t together at the moment is because of that night that I fell asleep on watch.
I hadn’t given the dream too much thought but it was definitely weird. I lay down on yet another landing in the stairwell, finally fed. It’s going to get better…
I wake feeling the same cold that I felt almost a week ago when I woke up here. I rise from where I made my “camp” for the night.
After I pack up my gear I start up the stairs for another day. Hopefully I can get some more supplies for my journey today. Who knows how long I’ll be here. I pick up the backpack, setting it onto my aching shoulders. Tough work, I’m going to be ready for a marathon after this shit. I trudge up the flights and flights of stairs when all of a sudden the end is standing right in front of me. I can’t believe it, I’m here. The door is large with a tiny window above the lock. Weird how they would make it above the lock… I think as I bend over to look through the window. I see the giant flat screen from my dream. It’s coming true! I pick the lock using the paperclip from my room. I fling open the door and it slams against the wall behind it.
Through the door is the wide open room from my dream but there isn’t a cage to capture me. I enter the room, uneasy by the memory of my dream. Up on the flat screen is a 3D map. There are three green flashing blips on the map. One seems to be located in this room. I think that one stands for me…
The second blip is at the bottom of the stairwell in a room that connects to the staircase. Wonder who that is? The last green flashing blip shows at the very top of the map in a room connecting to a very long hallway and a series of small rooms. I take out my sketchpad and start to draw my route from this big room to the exit, which is the only room above ground. Based on the size of the map I estimate that the journey will take a week. With the map drawn and notable turns identified I pick up the backpack and head towards the only other door in the room. Crash! The map fades in and out of view and I stare at the screen. The stairwell splits in half lengthwise and heightwise. The pieces switch around quickly and the closet that I found is now at the bottom of the stairwell. The long black hallway that I walked through also split into four chunks and rotated around. It was amazing…
That must be the reason all these trips took so long, they keep splitting and changing. I start to walk away slowly as I comprehend what just happened.
I’ve got it! When Haden and I went to sleep I was on one side of the staircase and he was the next landing down. It must have switched when we were sleeping so that Haden was put above me. Haden would’ve missed the closet. He must be so hungry. If alive at all.
I start walking and approached the door. The door is smaller than any I’ve seen before. It is just about my size. I open the door and walk through…
I’m plunged into a dark room, quite a bit smaller than the one I came out of moments before according to the map. I knew where the exit was so I walked calmly to the left side of the room when Crash!
“Ouch!” I groan. I walked into a table…
Good one Jonah… I think as I regain my balance. I almost had a freakin heart attack. I start to feel around the table to find out what exactly I hit. There are small stacks of paper on the table. It’s dark so I don’t know what they say, I just ignore them and continue to feel around. A paper clip, could use that. I shove it into my pocket. Then I start to feel my way around the table of uselessness (as I’ve named it) to get to the next room. Why that was table the only one in the room? I wonder as I reach for the wall to feel for the door. I find the door that I was “looking for” and open it up to reveal a room like a library. Rows upon rows of books line the large room, at the front there are tables and chairs, looks like they’ve never been used ever.
The books all seem to be the size of my head wide and the size of my arm tall. I pick one up and it reads “Games of the Mind” on the front, Wow that’s dumb. I think as I shove it back onto the giant bookshelf. I resume my way following the map through rooms upon rooms.
6:00 P.M. I’ve gone through about six rooms, still the same floor as the top of the staircase. I’ve made a camp for the night in a small room. It’s nicely lit with a ceiling lamp. The map is still working, everything going as expected. Still no sign of anyone or anything. I’m calling it a night so that I can get a good day in tomorrow and hopefully make it to the top floor tomorrow. It’s going faster than I thought, there are a couple big, big rooms ahead though, wonder what will be in them…