Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Floor is Lava




The heat has me by the throat. A white-knuckle grip, squeezing the life from my sweating body. It's hard to tell what is more intense, the lava that gurgles beneath my stone pillar or the competition. When the prize is your life, second place is never an option. The rules are simple: survive.

Ignoring the screams of my body I let my instincts take over; they're all I have now and I have to move. Leaping to a nearby column, I fall short. With one leg dangling, I heave myself up, feeling the blood already gushing down my leg. This will cost me. I look back to the platform I just left and see it crumble from the impact of my competitor's attack. They plummet into the flames with it. One less to worry about.

I check the time and see how little of it we have left. There must be a winner and, with five minutes left, people are going to get desperate. If you can even call us people anymore; we lack humanity, it's a weakness here.

Screaming. Shrill cries of pain erupt as more hopefuls plunge to their fiery demise. My last shreds of morality hope it is a quick death for them. The screams aren't just of pain, there's a war cry. I need to keep moving.

Leaping from surface to surface my tracks are marked with my blood and the wounds made by the ammunition of some mystery savage; I was next.

The heats grip tightens and my head and lungs throb as my heart pounds, fuelled only by adrenaline and a desire to live. I stop paying attention to my route, I need to get away, I wasn't ready to fry. Lunging myself onto a sliver of stone jutting out from the cave wall, I embrace for impact. I'm winded but I have to keep going, I have t-- the platform begins to quake and I cling on as it loosens and slides down the wall at breakneck speed. C r a s h ! Dazed, I find myself lying in the rubble and dust, between a rock and a hard place. This could work. I can wait out the time remaining here. My pursuer must think me dead. There's less than 3 minutes till the hour is done. Then I look up...

As the dust settles I see the shadow of the hunter that lead me here, cornering me in this trap. Through the mirage of heat the figure stands tall and menacing. It could only be Annabelle from Accounting. She's ruthless. She makes her way towards my prison of stone and I see she is not alone. She's teamed up with Henry from HR. I knew they'd had something going on, rumours have been going around the office for weeks! I guess that doesn't matter now, none of it does.

Heaving rocks from off my battered body, I manage to clamber to my feet. They gain momentum as they track me down through this hell-hole. Dodging the wads of paper that are flying all around me, I need to make it to the coffee machine. I can fashion my own peashooter there (I left a pen on top of it yesterday in anticipation).

Suddenly, I'm sideswiped. Annabelle has lurched onto the counter with me with a force that sends us toppling -- that bitch! My trouser leg dips into the lava but it's fine, my foot hasn't touched the ground. We land on an office chair and enter into a violent spin before slamming into the table.

--

At all this commotion Emma enters the break room. She sees Annabelle from Accounting and Gillian from Sales in a strange knot under the table. The rest of her staff is gathered on sofas and counters jeering and chanting; 'what on earth is going on in here!?' Silence falls. In a meek voice Gillian replies, 'err... team building...'

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