My eyes immediately flick open. Where am I?
I gaze around and see the empty cage. It is dark and I feel lost in the blackness.
Then a loud, vicious roar rumbles and fear invades my body.
I cling tightly to the metal bars, afraid of the darkness and whatever hides in the shadows.
The box is ascending and I wonder what is waiting for me up there. Are there hideous creatures with blood and drool lacing their mouth?
Suddenly, the box stops and I cower in the corner of the cage.
The door to the cage is lifted open and light peeks in.
"It's a girl," a familiar voice says.
"This is the second girl," another voice pipes up. "Besides, Aileen..."
I glance up to see a crowd of boys surrounding me. There is grime on their face and clothes. Their hair disheveled and giant bags under their eyes.
"Aileen?" I twist my head to see who the voice belonged to.
A boy with blonde hair stares shocked at me. His eyes piercing through me.
Then panic slams into me. "Where am I? Who am I? Who are you?" I start to scream, trying to scramble away from them.
"Don't you remember us?" A boy with colourful hair looks at me sadly.
"Remember you?" I stare at him. "I've never seen you in my life, cause I would definitely remember."
"You don't?" A person with brown hair and a black bandana wrapped around his head.
I shake my head. "Of course not,"
The blonde boy frowns before racing off.
"I'll go check on Luke," Another person said who had black hair, before following the blonde.
"Even though she ain't a newbie, I'll still call her greenie." A person with hair, nearly silver, takes a glimpse at me before leaving.
"Greenie?" I raise my eyebrow.
"Don't worry," Bandana guy puts his arm around me. "I'll give you a tour," he seems nice but I should still be weary around this strange place.
"And I'm Ashton, by the way." He grinned at me, his deep dimples appearing.
"Well Ashton, I have a question. Why are there these walls surrounding us?" I asked, full of curiosity.
"They're just walls," he says. I can sense he's hiding something but I don't say anything. "Just stay away from them."
"Why is everyone calling me, Aileen?" I shoot Ashton another question.
"Umm," he nervously rubs his hand together. "You just look like someone we know."
"So let me tell you about the Glade." Ashton slowly talk. "This place is a mystery to all of us."
"A mystery?" I say. "Then why can't I remember anything at all?"
"Don't worry, it all happened to us." Ashton takes a glimpse at everyone. "You'll eventually remember your name though."
"So tell me more about the walls." I say and glance at them. Later, I see the black hair boy race in. "Hey! Why is he going in there?"
Ashton looks at me. "They're kind of doing some research on the maze."
"There's a maze behind these walls?" I ask, completely bewildered.
Ashton sighs. "Yes but don't go in there."
"Why?" I demand. "Tell me!"
"Inside are creatures no one has ever seen here in the glade, we call the grievers." Ashton says, with a frown on his face.
"Yes, they stay in the darkness of the maze." Ashton explains carefully. "When the gate closes, anyone still in the maze is dead."
I gasp. "Does this mean the guy from before will die?"
"No, Calum is a runner." Ashton smiles weakly at me but continues. "He knows he has to get out before the door closes."
Then the person with colour in his hair strolls up to us. "Hey greenie!"
"This is Michael," Ashton introduces me to Michael.
"Nice meeting you Ai-Greenie." Michael beams.
"Michael, get to work!" A man yells at Michael and gestures to all the wood.
"Looks like I got some wood that needs chopping." And he runs off.
"Now the leader of the Glade is Luke." Ashton says and nods his head to the person, exiting a shack. He's the blonde from before.
"Luke." His name rolls of my tongue smoothly. "Sounds familiar."
Ashton doesn't say anything and continues my tour, but Luke and the maze never left my mind.