Love, Your Worst Enemy



Original poster
I swear that when i went to sleep, i was in my room. It had been Tuesday night, and i was dead tired after cramming for the Language Arts test. LA had always been my least favorite subject. I couldn't spell to save my life. And, now, right before Christmas, there was the biggest test of the entire year to worry about. My grade was already hanging by a thread. I could not afford to bomb this. That was my only worry before i went to sleep. Right now was a different matter. I had woken up to find myself on a cold concrete floor. Not even a blanket. I was shivering, as my PJ's were pink leopard-print and definitially not meant for the cold temperatures in here. Around me, a bunch of other kids were waking up. Some were as young as 8. Others were ten years older. I noticed that the majority of us were my age, 13. I sat up, putting my hand on my forehead. Already, i had a headache from the surprise. I ran my hand through my thick blonde hair, then opened one eye. I scanned around again. This time, it was worse. Not only was there a lot more humans than i had realised, but there was bars. We were in a giant jail-cell type thing. I immediatly ran through my head who i'd pissed off enough that they'd jail me up in my sleep. Then, i considered that this was a dream. But that idea seemed too.. easy. I didn't get headaches in my dreams. Nor were my dreams as specific as right down to what people's eyelash-length was. I've always known my mind was too short an attention span to come up with very specific details in dreams. I bit my lip, and soon, i was tasting blood in my mouth. Oops, i thought. Bit a bit too hard. At least now im awake. I stumbled to my feet, then travelled across the room, careful not to step on any fingers, and ended up at the jail cell doors. I wrapped my hands around the bars. The last thing i expected to see was displayed before me. A large, computer-moniter type setup, only the computer screens were all overflowing with popups, filled with words in a language i didn't understand. That was the first thing that caught my eye. The second was all the kind of creatures i've only read about in Greek mythology. Centaurs, cyclops, winged humans, and a variety of other things i was too shocked to recall the name for.
Carmine could hear sounds, the shuffling of movement, not too far from where she lay. The comforting darkness beneath her eyelids was heavy and secure, making her reluctant to lift her leaden lids. The only reason she eventually surrendered, her thick lashes fluttering against milky skin, was because of the biting cold. The skin on her legs felt as if it were freezing to the painfully hard floor, creating brilliantly red patches on her thighs and calves beneath the thin cotton shorts she wore to sleep.

Carmine pondered whether or not she had fallen from her bed onto the floor, but that wasn't right. Her floor was thick carpet, not this stony smooth surface. This final thought made her open her eyes wide and glance about the room curiously. Instantly, she was certain it was either a dream or a very sadistic joke. She searched her mind for someone who would have the means to do this, but there were too many people for a childish prank from one of her friends.

Shakily, Carmine took to her feet. The room was scattered with others, some young children and ranging up to even older than she was. Most, however, seemed to be two or three years her junior, perhaps twelve or thirteen by their babyish faces and budding pubescent statures. There were bars in front of her so with numb legs, she made her way over to glance out between them. There were other children beginning to wake up but her gaze was drawn towards computer screens as images flashes past with mythological creatures. She silently recited names in her head that she'd learned out of fascination: Campe, Echidna, Sybaris... but soon she lost count and the figures merely swirled before her eyes on the screen.

"What is this?" she asked of no one in particular.
Cold and hard, like ice on his back. The youth awoke in a room with a hard concrete floor.

Reality, harsh and unnerving, swam back into Jake's life. He felt as if all his strength, as well as fortitude, were gone. A mushy sort of feeling was all that remained, like jello, but not the good kind. It was more of a sickening, rotten sort of jello. He tried to recall the events leading up to…this? Where was he? Although it was dark he could make out that shapes of others, children and teens, such as himself. He had just turned 13 last week, and was quite excited about it at the time, but that seemed like ages ago. Right now everything seemed like ages ago.

He pushed himself up, using the palms of his hands for support, and managed to get to his feet. A sort of dull throb was coursing through his head, he squinted against it. Walking with his hands out, he tried to feel for a wall or better yet a door, but he succeeded only in tripping and falling, face first, onto the floor. Maybe he was better off staying down this time. As he tried to piece back his day, leading up to whatever this was, someone voiced his own question, and Jake answered.

"I don't know, but I wish I wasn't here." He thought for a moment, trying to think. "Does anyone remember how they got here?" he was reminded of the movie "Saw" for a moment, but quickly removed the thought from his head.
The last thing Ryuko remembered is laying down on her bed in the orphanage. She shifted trying to get comfortable on the hard cold bed "Wait, my bed was never this hard..." She thought, sitting up and looked around. "This is so not my small cramped bedroom..." She saw other kids waking up and saw the weird computer. "Where am I? Who are these people?" She started to panic a bit and looked around for anyone, anything familiar.
Layla fidgeted on the cold concrete floor for a while, fighting the urge to wake up. She had just turned twelve and wanted to stay asleep for as long as she could before her mother came to wake her up for school. She liked school, but she hated the rules in her house, how she had to go to sleep before it was even dark still, and had to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn.

But this was ridiculous cold and hard, and she searched around for a pillow with one hand , but only found more of the cold surface. Slowly coming-to, she raised one eyelid and looked around, for a moment not registering the other children, or the room.

But she realized it soon enough and jolted awake. This was not her room! This wasn't her bed.... no... there wasn't even a bed! What happened here? How did she get here?!

In her black button-down, two-peice jammies and white socks with little bells on them (It had been close enough to Christmas and she had begged her mother to get them), Layla rose to her feet, thankfully she found that she was still holding onto a little stuffed animal lion. Even though some might have thought her a little too old for it, she loved it. It was a present from her parents on her fifth birthday and she still liked sleeping with it. So it brough her a small sense of comfort.

"What is going on?" Layla asked quietly as she walked around the room, trying to process everything that was going on.
I heard others rising from their sleep behind me. But i didn't turn to look. I was watching these odd creatures outside my prison. I looked back, watching every kid. Suddenly, my knees felt weak. They buckled, and i fell onto my palms. I sat back, slipping back against the barred walls. Looking back, i guess i could say reality hit. Oddly enough, i felt sad. Not for me, but for the others. My vision grew out-of-focus, and i blinked, clearing away the tears. I closed my eyes, sighed, and slowly got to my feet. I was shocked by my response. I typically never lose my composure. I ran a hand through my knotted, unsightly hair. I didn't know why i was here, how i got here, or who these people are. But, i personally felt that the biggest concern was the fact that we were all pretty helpless against these... weird mythical creature-people-things.
"Listen up!" I called out, trying not to feel akward. "I don't think anyone knows where we are, or how we got here. Sorry to say, but i doubt this is a dream. Just.. try not to panick. Everything's going to work out. In the meantime.. try to strike a friendly conversation." I concluded, waiting for that to sink in. As it did, i began to think up what to do next. "Um.. everyone around twelve and up, meeting over there!" I pointed to the par right corner. It seemed to be a bit empty. And that was my genius plan. Not my best ever, but at least im working towards orginization. Or plan to work toward orginization. Or... well, you know what i mean.

I walked over to the corner i pointed at, trying hard to not step on anyone. From outside the room, i felt the eyes of several monsters watching me.
Carmine shook her mane of blond hair, lips turning in a frown and her eyes narrowing as another of the children spoke. She stood to her full height, unimpressive to most but against those who had not yet received their teenage growth spurt, formidable. The icy cold of the floor seemed to penetrate with ease the thick pads of her feet, sending chills down her body as well as the cool air that rushed painfully through her nostrils as they flared.

"Friendly conversation? And you want everyone to gather there? Twelve and up is more than likely most of this room," she retorted, placing her hands on her hips and shooting glances at all of the assembled children, many of whom were looking cowed and stunned with wide, innocent eyes. A young girl of perhaps twelve was shivering as she crept around the room, arms clutching a stuffed animal tightly as though her life depended upon it. Carmine could understand and softened her demeanor a little.

Carefully, she picked her way over to the girl and ruffled lightly her soft hair, much to her seeming surprise. "We should have age groups, that way the eldest one can attempt to scope this out and the little ones are kept safe by the more median groups here," she asserted, feeling almost maternally protective while she watched a girl who couldn't be a day over eight tremble in the corner.
Jake stood again, this time he decided to stay in one place, not wanting to have a repeat of before. He was still cold, confused and more or less frustrated. However, even at 13 he was never one to resort to defeat, so he tried to think back on his day, trying to piece together anything that would be able to give him answers to as why he was here.

The day had started off normal enough. He remembered waking up, getting dressed and having his morning pop-tart. His morning pop-tart had been a ritual since he was 11. He loved the blueberry frosted, but the plain strawberry were also very good. As of late, the pop-tart brand had starting making some…odd flavors. Ones like 'cookies and cream' and 's'more'. Jake tried each one, but thought they were equally disgusting. The filling tasted....recycled, the best way to describe the marshmallows in the 's'more' flavor would be 'pre-chewed' and.....

All at once, Jake realized the last thing he remembered he was walking home from school and then……..

Just as a realization came to Jake he heard one of the other girls speaking. It seemed that they wanted the kids to separate by age. Jake was suspicious, he decided to stay where he was for the time being, not to be rebellious, but just to be cautious. After all, how could he trust anyone?
Ryuko shook her to clear it a bit. This was weird. The computer, the monsters all of it. She couldn't make sense of anything. She looked at the struggling boy and walked to him. "You alright?" She knew it was a stupid question to ask but she wanted to have someone to talk to around here.

Suddenly, she heard some girl talking .She looked at the girl who had spoken. "I gotta question! Why should we? I mean, why should we trust you? How can you prove yourself to us? Cause something weird's going on and I get the feeling those things out there are good..." She asked a question she was sure a few other's wanted to ask, but were too scared. She had the right to be cautious. After all, where she was from, you couldn't trust no one... Not even your own brother...
Layla trembled as she clutched the little lion in her arms, traveling by small, pattering footsteps across the cold floor, accompanied by a small jingling sound from the bells on her ankles. She didn't know what she was trying to accomplish by walking all around this confined room. But she didn't know what to do and it was scaring her immensely as she looked around at all theses other children. Suddenly she just got a glimpse of the creatures outside of the cage and nearly screamed, now more frightened than ever.

She barely noticed the talking, but jolted and recoiled in surprise when someone ruffled her hair, though it was calming and she settled down in a moment. She listened to what was being said by the girl that touched her, and then as another girl spoke up and Layla cranked her head to the side to look at this girl. She was questioning the previous girl, the first one that had spoken. She was questioning everything.

"We can't just sit here and be afraid of each other, too! I just want to go home! Isn't that what everyone wants?!" She blubbered before trembling more, her tiny knees turned inwards towards each other, her body shaking so hard that the bells on her ankles started to sound off. "I just.... I just want to get out of here.... I want to go home!" Layla shouted, the tears that had been boiling up in her eyes finally spilled over, sliding down her cheeks.

"Please... this is confusing enough as it is.... we shouldn't be so worried about each other.... I mean.... aren't we ALL in this cage.... And what is that computer?! What are those creatures..... where ARE we!?" She yowled finally, crying. Holding her stuffed animal tightly to her chest, burring her face in the worn fuzzy mane.
I sent a glare towards the first girl to respond. "Ok. Fine, then. Sixteen and up can meet here. Happy?" The only way i could work under stress is if no one gave me any attitude. I've been kicked out of a few schools from violence on my part. And, right now, i was probably under more stress than any other time. I balled my fists until the whites of my knuckles showed, and trudged over to the bars again. Already i was in a bad mood. I slid down onto the floor up against the bars, glaring outside the cage at nothing in particular. I continued my naturally unsocial sulking for a few minutes. At last, i murmured, "I don't know why anyone should trust anyone. You'r right, though," I glanced at the girl with the lion. "We're all trapped in here together, wether you like it or not." I continued to glare out between the bars. I doubted anyone else would try to take control. Its the only reasonable answer. And i had been rejected. I continued thinking about all the pointless flaws kids my age had. Anything to distract me from my family, or the horrible stench in the air. I gave off a soured aura, and it was evident i wasn't going to listen to anyone for a long time yet.

Two creatures outside the cage murmured back and forth. One had one eye, and the other looked somewhat like a lion with a human head. The cyclops held a clipboard and pen, his meaty hand scrawling something down. The lionness had her eyes on the kids in the cage, narrowed and deadly as poison. She murmured to the one-eye every now and then, never missing a thing. The rest of the other creatures had forgotten the humans, and resumed work. Some analyzed the computers, others were rushing in and out of view.