The mind trap craze is sweeping the nation, the virtual reality game on sale at every store. But when Pim tries it out, she realises something more sinister behind the addiction.

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8. Closer

Both Pim's Romeo and Maria's started moving towards them, their bodies blending together as they slowly advanced forwards. Their bodies danced a  shifting, mesmerising pattern as Pim lifted Maria as firmly as she could and began to run, sprinting towards the dark corners, the many charred-black spaces in the little hovel. If someone looked at her from a distance, they'd think she was completely focused, concentrating entirely on fleeing, on escaping the wonder game that was so quickly becoming a nightmare. But no. Inside, Pim's heart was a frenzy, beating frantically, a tsunami of adrenalin flooding through her veins. The Romeos continued to move closer.




Pim found herself with her back pressed up against the wall all too soon, her limbs stiffening in pure fear. Her feet rooted to the spot she could only look on in agonising terror as they drew so near Pim could touch them, could smell their saccharine sweet scent as they leered down at her. Maria dropped from Pim's arms to the floor with a resounding thud but didn't appear to realise she was hurt, despite the cracking sound that made her younger friend wince in pain for Maria.

Pim screamed then, a shrill high pitched shriek that only made both Romeos move faster and Maria even more annoyingly complacent. It was at that moment that she finally found the strength to move again, and ducked under one of the monster's arms to scramble to the other side of the cavern.  She gasped for breath, clutching one silk clad side as she realised with dismay that she'd left Maria behind, next to the Romeos who had addled and distorted her to behave so unlike her usual self. She screamed again, hoping to ward the two advancing men away - to no avail.

Her pursuers were unstoppable, foiled by nothing.

Feeling their cool breath once again on her tear stained face, the first snatched ahold of her aching slender arm and twisted - a satisfying CRACK hung still in the air. It was a warning; how could Pim hope to fight these beasts? If she kept fighting, stayed strong, there would only be more pain, more hurt.

"Wh-what do you want from me?"

Her voice was but a feeble croak now, and it was wasted.

Her questioned earned no reply, no response whatsoever. The moment when Pim no longer cared had arrived. Let them do as they wished. Then she slumped, effortless, all the fight having seeped out of her in a single minute. She wanted to die, to be careless, to be set free.

Now, her wish was going to be granted.


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