The night before they turn sixteen, people are being taken from their homes. Haidee Blacksby turns sixteen tomorrow. Taken by mysterious people in the middle of the night, she awakes to find herself in a strange place with other teens who had been taken. Split into teams they must fight in order to stay alive.


7. Loneliness

"Hey wake up" someone squeals above my face.

"Leave her alone" another, much lower voice says.

That's when I open my eyes.

"Shes awake" The first voice squeals again.

Three sets of eyes stare down at me.

I know now the first voice belongs to the girl practically sat on me. She has blue eyes and straight blond hair, her sharp features make her look almost elfish and she has a wide arching grin on her face as she stares back at me.

"I'm Addy, I was number 19, who are you?" But before I had the chance to answer the boy to my right interrupted.

"I'm Xander," he told me, winking at me in the process causing a blush to run up my cheeks, "number 7". He had gorgeous chocolate brown eyes and dark brown hair that fell over his eyes and his mouth sat perfectly in a smirk, as if his whole face had been designed around that one simple gesture.

"Xander can you stop flirting for once" the final voice said, "I'm Gabe, I was number 15". Gabe had Green eyes and raven black hair that had been tied up in a pony tail to prevent it from falling in his face, When I looked at him he had this huge grin on his face and the dimples in his cheeks became obvious, freckles covered his face and a small stretcher was positioned in his left ear. "Go on then who are you?" he asked me

"Haidee Blacksby, they said I was number 25" I replied

"They?" a voice from outside the group around my bed questioned

"Yeah, when the people who took me were on the phone in the car they were talking to someone and said they had picked up number 25"

"Wait you woke up before just now?" Gabe asked 

"Yeah, in the car I just woke up, but I couldn't move"

"No one normally wakes up" The voice stated

The voice moved across the room  and soon drew close to where I was still laid.

"I'm Will, I was the first to be taken if you didn't already know" He peered at me through his thick eyelashes and an expression I can only describe as contempt crossed his face. He had sandy blonde hair and hazel eyes. Scars were visible on his face and neck and his jaw was clenched tight. With that he turned and walked away back to the end of the room.

"He's always like that" Xander whispered in my ear

"I'm so happy there's is finally another girl in our dorm" Addy said "Come on I'll show you around"

She got off my bed and helped me up as I was still unsteady on my feet. I noticed I had been changed out of my old clothes and into a pair of black cargo pants and black vest top with the word loneliness written on the vest, I looked around at my companions and they were all dressed in similar attire. "This is your bed and your trunk, with all your clothes in is located at the end of the bed" she said pointing to where I had been laid. "That's mine" she said pointing to the bed opposite.

The room we were in was about the size of a tennis court, and three beds were lined up against one wall and two on the other wall. She walked me to the other end of the room and pointed out a small door leading off of the room, "that's our bathroom and the boys is on the opposite side" she told me. 

Apart from that, the only other defining thing about the room was a ratty old sofa perched against the far wall which the boys now sat on looking at us.

The room itself was fairly nondescript, except for the word loneliness written on the wall in big white letters. "What does it mean?" I asked 

They all looked at each other and Addy replied "I don't know". I looked at it as if there was some clue in its location or the way it had been written, but there was nothing, so I just ignored it and looked back at them.

"There's only five of us, where is everyone else?" I questioned

Addy again replied that they didn't know, she had now joined the others on the sofa and they were all just looking at me. So I turned round and went to sit back down on my bed, it wasn't that I didn't like them, it was just that I needed to think this through. 

I looked back down at myself and noticed that the chain still dangled from my neck with the pendant knocking against my throat. They had taken everything else yet they left this. Why?

I turned to the others and saw that they were now talking to each other in hushed voices, I just ignored them and carried on playing with the chain hung from my throat.


I don't know how much time had passed, but I heard someone approach and I looked up to see Addy. 

"Do you want to come and sit with us you look kind of lonely?"

For a start I wasn't lonely, I was just out of it thinking about what had happened today, but I was not about to refuse this offer, it's bad enough that I am here, never mind not having any friends.

"Sure" I said. I got up from my bed and walked with Addy towards the others who immediately turned towards us. The sofa was already full with just the three of them so Addy and I sat on the floor in front of them.

"So Haidee," Xander started, "wait what's that around your neck" he finished, uncertainty filling his voice.

"My pendant" I asked with a questioning look he nodded as to confirm that that was what he was referring to "my dad gave it to me before I was taken

"Why do you still have it?" Gabe asked "No one else got to keep anything"

"I don't know" I muttered "they probably didn't see it"  

"Yeah" Gabe replied, disbelief in his voice "that might be it"

I couldn't help but feel that I was somehow the enemy here. I didn't think about it long before Xander said what I assumed was his original statement "Tell us about yourself Haidee"

I didn't know how to answer.

Gabe cut in " Yeah, what was your life like in Greywald?"

I could see Will visibly tense at the mention of Greywald. "My dad was the surgeon in Greywald and we lived on the edge of town, it was comfortable I guess"

"Hey your Dad stitched my arm up when I broke it" Xander says grinning at me.

I can't help but grin back.

That's when the lights flick off.

I can sense everyone still around me and I shuffle backwards towards the sofa and I can feel Addy doing the same next to me. Then a projection lights up on the wall opposite, it seemed to be coming straight out of the wall behind us, but I hadn't noticed anything there before. On the projection words started to form.

'Loneliness, fear, despair, agony and death. All the result of human hatred. You may be wondering why you were brought here, you are here so we can identify the best of you. Only the smartest and strongest of you will survive. Your teams have been chosen so that each of you offers a vital skill to your team, these skills are the only thing that will keep your teams alive. Your first challenge begins tomorrow. Spend your night wisely.'

With that the projection switches off and the lights are raised. Only now do I realise that I am nearly sat on Gabe's feet. I turn to look at the others and they all wear similar expressions to that which is currently on my own face.

"That's new, you must have been the last one they were going to take" Xander says, he looks slightly bemused as if he didn't know what to do next.

"Go to bed" Will orders "We will need to be ready in the morning" As if on cue the lights start dimming and I see the others start making their way to their beds. Unlike me they don't seem self conscious about getting changed in front of each other not even Addy, each of them swapping their black cargo pants and vest for a pair of grey flannel pajamas. I decide I should just do the same and I quickly change into my own pajamas, but the thing is I can feel their eyes on me. I just ignore them and hop into bed. 

Sleep quickly overpowers me.




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