A red hot burning pain coursed through my body, through my limbs, my veins. It seemed to be the worst at the nape of my neck, as though I'd been bitten or cut. I struggled to move, but everything was dark and my limbs felt like dead weights beside my motionless body.
'Tyler!' A female seemed to shout somewhere in the distance.
Tyler? Where have I heard that name before?
'What happened to him?' A deeper, huskier voice sounded.
'I don't know! The black fuzz ball seemed to bite him or something, I couldn't see!' the female was growing hysterical and I had this overwhelming desire to move and help her. Help them both. Instead I was stuck, trapped in my own body like a prisoner unable to do anything but hear and think.
'Get him over here.' The male instructed. 'His leg looks pretty nasty, that thing was probably poisonous.' Considering the supposed situation at hand, the male seemed calm and in control.
And then it all flooded back to me.
The house. The rooms. Tyler, Madelyn and Robbie. The massive dog like creature that had attacked us all.
My eyes fluttered open and I groaned softly, my hand flying straight to my neck. Relief swept through me at the realization that I wasn't paralyzed, I was okay.
'Zoey?' Robbie rushed over. 'Are you okay?'
'I'm fine,' I croaked. My throat felt so dry, like sandpaper. What on earth had happened to us all? 'How's Tyler?'
'He's been bitten,' Robbie replied. 'It looks like poison.'
'Poison?' I repeated, my head reeling. 'We need to find an antidote, quickly.'
'We will but where the hell do we start looking?'
'This isn't fair!' Madelyn suddenly screamed. Robbie and I jumped and turned to face her. She was stood up next to Tyler's still figure and her face had turned a dark shade of red. She looked absolutely furious. Tears were streaming down her blotted cheeks and her hands were balled up into fists. 'What the hell have we done to deserve this?!'
'Hey!' Robbie rushed over to her. 'Hey Madelyn, calm down, it's okay.'
'Don't tell me it's okay!' she pushed at him. He stumbled back a few steps, surprised. It was even stranger for me as I had known her longer, not much longer albeit but I still knew she had never acted like this before.
Why not though? I thought to myself. Why hadn't any of us? This was completely unfair. We had done absolutely nothing to deserve this, we were just regular kids and now we have to fight for our lives.
'This isn't okay! This is FAR from okay!' She continued yelling, wiping tears furiously from her eyes. 'We are trapped in this stupid house with NO way of getting out except to kill somebody! Do we LOOK like murderers? No! What do they expect from us, huh? And now, now Tyler is hurt and we don't have a clue how to save him. He could be dying for all we know! How on EARTH do we get out of this?!'
We stared at her, gobsmacked. I was the first to recover.
I got shakily to my feet and joined her.
'Madelyn,' I began in a soft voice. 'You know we all completely agree with you. We have no idea why we're here, but we are here. And we have to just concentrate on making it out alive okay? We have to just deal with the hand we're dealt. Right now, Tyler is hurt and shouting isn't going to help him. We have to find an antidote for him and fast, okay?'
She had already calmed down even before I had finished speaking. She sniffed and nodded.
'Okay,' she whispered.
'Great,' Robbie murmured. 'So where do we start?'
'We should probably start checking rooms,' I frowned doubtfully.
Madelyn shook her head.
'I don't think that'll help, we'll just find ourselves lured into another trap.'
A few moments of silence passed before Robbie clicked and his face lit up.
'I've got it! Well, I mean, I think I might have it.'
'Go on,' I urged.
'Well, I saw this film ages ago about this man who was attacked by this creature and he was poisoned. I know it's not the same thing but what if...what if the antidote is the creature? In the film, the antidote was the creature's blood. The man had some and he was fine. He lived. What if that's the same?'
'I don't know...' I started to say dubiously.
'Do it!' Madelyn exclaimed. 'It's worth a shot! What have we got to lose?'
'Okay,' I agreed. 'Grab that thing.'
Robbie ducked behind the door, seconds later bringing back the dead body of the thing that had attacked Tyler.
'I'm squeamish, just to let you know,' Madelyn warned.
'That's okay. I'm not,' Robbie grinned.
He grabbed one of the knives from his belt and brought it up to the creatures neck.
'Wait!' I held my hand up. 'Shouldn't we pour it into a container?'
'Good idea,' Robbie agreed.
'Here!' Madelyn handed him a small plastic cup. Robbie placed it on the floor and crouched down, dangling the dead body above the container. In one swift motion, he had dragged the blade across the delicate flesh of the creature and it began to bleed. The blood wasn't red though, instead it was a murky grey colour.
I swallowed back bile.
Madelyn had turned green and looked away.
'This is disgusting,' she whispered.
When Robbie was satisfied we had enough, he crossed over to Tyler and held the cup to his lips, tilting his head. The liquid began to pour down Tyler's throat and Robbie closed his mouth so he could accept it. Sure enough, Tyler swallowed and moaned slightly.
'I don't sympathize with you, mate,' Robbie grimaced.
'Is it working?' Madelyn asked, still turned the other way.
'I don't know,' he frowned.
Was it going to work?