So, do you remember me mentioning Melanie’s Writing Games? Well, here is the result. The first game consisted of this: a character of yours being abducted by the guys from survival program “Dude, You’re Screwed.” Unfortunately I’ve never seen the program and had no way of seeing it, so I’ve pretty much guessed. I can probably safely say that Michael, from my Twyned Earth novels, has GOT to be the fastest to lose the game.
I present to you:
Michael, You’re Screwed!
When the hood was pulled from his head, Michael wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. ‘Lighten up,’ they said. ‘It’ll be a laugh,’ they said. As the light filled his eyes and the landscape before him was revealed, he wasn’t so sure. The air that filled his lungs was so hot and thick it was chewy, and it tasted like compost.
When he was abducted by these over excitable survivalists, he’d expected they would dump him in the middle of a forest somewhere. Which, to be fair, they had done. He just wasn’t expecting this forest. The trees in front of him were enormous, hulking things with bark black as night and heavy drooping branches that reached to the uneven, marshy ground. Through them could be seen the thick gnarled trunks. He stared at them and they stared back. One of them blinked, looked mildly puzzled, rolled its eyes and then took to ignoring him. The rest of the trees followed suit very quickly.
To his side, Michael spotted a rather bulky man with a crew cut and a camera who gave him a rather sheepish smile. “Did that tree just wink at me?”
“Just how much research did you guys do on this place?” Michael asked.
“Well, I’m not supposed to help you,” the guy answered.
Michael’s shoulders dropped. “We’re going to die.”
The man with the camera glanced at his watch, a thick chunky thing that looked as though it had about a thousand functions. “Only ninety nine hours and fifty five minutes to go. Better get shifting.”
A little whine escaped Michael’s throat and he started to take a step forward. As he put his foot down though, the tree directly in front of him began to growl. He lifted his foot again and the low rumble fell silent. He sighed.
“How am I supposed to get out of here?” he asked to the cameraman.
“I really can’t help you,” he replied. “It’s against the rules.”
Michael’s eyes narrowed. “Is killing you against the rules?”
The large man looked at Michael’s dumpy shape, then at his own barrel chest. “Can give it a go if you like.” He grinned.
Michael exhaled, looking back to the trees, trying to decide who he had less of a chance with. Eventually, he decided to give the trees another shot. The threatening growl sounded again as Michael’s foot came close to the ground, but he took a deep breath and placed it firmly in front of him.
The tree’s trunk split into a horizontal slit, a horrifying and ragged maw filled with uneven barky teeth. It swung its heavy branches at Michael, smacking him off his feet like a he’d been hit by a lorry. As he travelled through the air and darkness enclosed him, his last fleeting thought was:
Can I go home yet?