The first thing that I realise is that I hurt. All over. The second thing that strikes me, is the fact that I'm naked. My eyes are still closed, so I can't see that I am naked, but I can feel it. It feels like cement beneath me. It is cold, hard, and the texture varies. I am flat on my stomach. The substance feels rough and gravelly beneath my thighs, but it seems to smooth out toward the top of my body.
One, two, three, I silently count before I force open my eyes. They feel sticky, as if they have been closed for long. Too long. My eyelids cling to each other, and at first my vision is blurred, before the room I am in comes into focus. I can only see an old wall, littered with graffiti. I prop myself up on my elbows to get a better look. My arms are weak, and my chest has barely been lifted off the ground before my upper body collapses, and hits the floor, hard. Okay, so I'm not strong enough to lift myself this way, I think. Plan B. As slowly as I can, I begin to lift my body with one arm until my pelvis has been suspended off the ground. Slowly, gently, I begin to tilt my hips. I can feel my arm starting to shake, and I know that I am about to fall. So I go with it. I fall. Only this time, I pull my arm out from underneath my torso and use the momentum to twist my body completely, so that when I fall, I land on my back.
I am now met with basically the same view. The ceiling is also old and grey and covered in what seems to be senseless ramblings. I lift my head, bending my neck at an extremely painful angle. The opposite wall reveals more of the same. I lay my head back down and look left. Wall. Grey. Old. Graffiti. None of these walls seems to have a door, window, or any sort of escape. I briefly wonder how much oxygen there is left, before I remember that there is another wall; the wall to my right. My neck is stiff, so it hurts to turn it to the opposite side. The wall to my right doesn't have a door or window either. It's literally as if I'm in a seamless cement box. The absence of an exit isn't what hits me the most, though. No, it's the message painted across the other faded ones, the message that takes up the entire wall. Upon the sight of it, my lips part. They too feel as if they have been shut for way too long. I can hear them parting, hear them crack as they move for the first time in who knows how long.
The message reads: If you have made it this far, you have seen the Atrium. If you have seen the Atrium, you are Doomed.
It is then that I realise the full extent of my dilemma: I am naked in a room without any apparent exits. I don't know who I am or what is going on. Apparently I am doomed. All of that, however, seems irrelevant in light of the medium the message is written in. You see, it's written in blood. Not just any blood, my blood. Now, I think I know what you might be thinking: Woah there girly, stop overreacting. Maybe it's just something that looks like blood. Even if it is blood, it's not necessarily yours. That's where you're wrong. It's blood. I should know, since it is, after all, my blood. How do I know that it's mine? It's black, and it sparkles, as if it's been mixed with glitter. Then, suddenly, my brain puts the slightly sweet scent that's been bothering the back of my thoughts, into context. It's how my blood smells. Terrified, I tilt my head to the left, simultaneously lowering my shaking hands from my abdomen onto the floor. I see black glitter- blood - seeping from me, filling the area surrounding me. I feel the sticky substance soak my hands. I close my eyes. And then I scream.