I awoke to the feeling of hot water rushing down me, a feeling that I had never experienced right after waking. Because of this fact, and the fact that I remembered have a sizable cut on my forehead from falling, I jerked up.
"Stay down dear," a voice said from above me. "We're cleaning you up," It soothed. Blackness fading back.
I was semi-conscious, or from what I was told of the experience, I believe that I was sort of aware. I remember feeling pain running through my face and leg as the hair was plucked, and I remembered the tugging feeling a my scalp as it was pulled into submission. However I was also totally unaware of being stripped, totally unaware of being patted down with lotions and perfumes. I woke up right when the first bit of make-up hit my face.
I groaned awake.
"Well hello there sleep head, you've been out for 19 hours!" a female voice exclaimed.
"Where am I?" I asked groggily, looking about me and seeing four women standing around me, each holding their own beautification tool.
"You're being prepared dear," one of the women said, curling one of the more front parts of my hair. "Sir always has us prep the contestants. I must say, you're turning out to be lovely! You hair and eyes go perfectly together!" One of the other women crooned, she was currently pulling on some clothes on my naked body.
"Why are my clothes gone?" I asked stupidly, they were the least of my worries.
"We couldn't have you competing in them dear! To think, sending in a girl in that leotard, I don't think we'd live to see another day!" The last women exclaimed, brandishing a tube of currently unused (though that was about to change) lip gloss.
"What am I competing in?" I questioned, I was curious, and I also needing to buy time to figure how to get out of this mess.
"We can't tell you that deary, but it's an adrenaline rush, I'll tell ya that!" the first one chuckled. "And from what I've heard, you like adrenaline, Kari." A the sound of my name, my heart skipped a beat. They knew me. Come to think of it, they had everything perfect for me. The underclothes the second women had been placing on me fit like a glove, and the lip gloss was one of the only brands that didn't make my skin break out in rash.
I quickly sat up, punished by a blood rush, yet rewarded with a full view of the room. All over the walls were pictures of me, they were candid photos that were photo shopped- I was 'wearing' everything from bikinis to full length ball gowns. I blinked, unable to take all in the information in. I had never worn, or even tried on a bikini, and I'd never been to a ball. What was going on?!!?
"Sit back down dear," the third lady told me, pushing down on my shoulder. I laid back down, still dazed.
They finished out my hair, put it up beautifully in a pile on top of my head. They donned on jewelry, explaining how many different ways I could kill with it. They applied make-up carefully to my face, highlighting my beauty rather than slobbing it all over the place.
Finally, they moved on to dressing me. First, they put a slip over my head, lifting up my arms for me because I refused to do so. Next, they tied a corset around my waist. I had stood up at this point because it would only hurt me it I remained laying down. They pulled the strings tight, until I could hardly breathe much less actually walk. My waist, I could see, was now 'perfect' accentuating my form and making me appear to have some super model body. Yuck.
Eventually, they brought out a light blue dress, and told me to stick my arms up. Complying, I lifted them, and they let the satin slide into place, careful not to disturb my hair of make up. I must admit,t he dress felt good on the parts of the skin it touched (I was layered by two slips, one under and the other over my corset, so my entire middle couldn't feel the soft fabric.)The women oohed and aahed appropriately, touching the dress to fix the way it hung, and trying to fix the already-uncomfortable corset. Next, they gave my high heels, comfortable enough, but not made for running. I was complete.
"I believe she's ready." The eldest said, and the others echoed their yeses. Well duh I was!
"Honey, will you please take her?" she asked of one of the younger women.
"Of course madam," She quickly agreed,and tugged my hand to the door.
We wound our way through multiple passages, all of which I tried to remember, but there were too many.
"Here you are, enter and survive." she said curtly, placing me at a wooden door, and then hurrying off. I thought about turning and leaving, but figured I had the highest chance of survival by following their game rules.
Cautiously, I turned the handle and walked into the dark room.
"Welcome to the Labyrinth young one." an automated voice boomed. "The rules are simple, try to win. Bring me a dead body, and you win this round. Be weary of my tricks, I have made the playing field hard."
Once he finished speaking, door slid open on the opposite end of the room. I crossed and enter though them, my heart rate quickening and my body shaking. I was being asked to kill.