“We have to go. He can’t catch us here,” I said.
I grabbed Jameson’s hand and led her back into the artery of the maze from which she had come.
“That’s not going to be easy,” Jameson announced as we galloped at a steady pace into the dark path. “He can do whatever he wants here.”
Just as Jameson finished, an intense itch radiated on my neck. I clawed just above my collarbone and felt a collection of tiny legs clasp onto my index finger. I looked down and saw a gumball-sized black spider wrapped around my finger. I saw its little fangs plunging towards my flesh.
I stopped and rung out my hand as hard as I could, but not before the spider was able to dig those fangs deep and hard into my flesh and I felt a shocking pain. I slapped at the hand with my free hand was able to jar the spider loose.
I stared at the spider crawling across the dark black of the ground for a few moments. Jameson grabbed my arm.
“Keep moving,” she yelled into my ear.
I saw the spider triple in size before we took off again. Saw it contort into the frame and face of Jeremy out of the corner of my eye before we disappeared down a dark path.
“Do you know where we are going?” I yelled at Jameson while we ran.
“No. I’ve been trapped in this for days,” Jameson yelled back.
As soon as she finished, lightning crackled above us and the blankets around us fell to the ground and turned to black. Our world was a dark canvass of nothing.
We kept running until a row of movie theater chairs rose out of the ground in front of us. We stopped and a bright light flashed above us. A movie screen spread out across the horizon. We tried to run around the row of seats in front of us, but we quickly found ourselves completely surrounded by movie theater seats.
A video began to play on the screen above us. A scene we both knew well. It was Jameson and I sitting on the computer in my parents’ home office. I clicked out of a screen and she stuck her phone in her purse before we said bye and she walked out of the room.
On the screen, the video panned into my computer screen. I pulled up Jameson’s Instagram account.
“Are you fucking kidding me,” I yelled at the screen.
On the screen, the video showed me staring at the various pictures on Jameson’s Instagram account and then panned to me unzipping my pants.
I looked over to see Jameson with a disgusted look on her face.
“Oh fuck this.”
My plea was interrupted by the cackle of thick laughter. Suddenly, the theater was filled with a laughing audience. One of the moviegoers pushed Jameson and I to the ground as we struggled to climb over a chair.
I looked down the aisle and saw a familiar face gorging himself on a huge tub of popcorn – Jeremy. He shot a gluttonous look our way, but I didn’t care. I was more focused on making sure Jameson wasn’t too affected by the video. She didn’t look irate, but she also didn’t look unaffected.
“That’s fake,” I pleaded with her.
The screen went black. Our entire world went black for a few moments and then slowly came back to light.
James and I were in the graveyard of the water park at sunset on top of the platform Jesse pushed me off of. The entire desert world around us took a reddish hue when I scanned the horizon.
Jesse’s voice cut off my examination. I turned around to see a frantic Jesse climb the last of the stairs onto the platform. The entire thing swayed like a pile of Jenga blocks. I stumbled and caught my footing, almost fell off before grabbing ahold of Jameson and engaging Jesse.
“Shit went wrong man,” Jesse went on with wide eyes. “We gotta go back.”
Jesse took a step towards Jameson and I. I put my arm around her and checked the timer on my watch. We had 25 minutes left. Jesse took another step towards us to where he was about an arm’s length away. I took a step back with her then looked back at Jesse again.
I didn’t like Jesse’s posture. His usual slacker/stoner dead fish stance had been replaced by that of what looked like a velociraptor about to strike. I flexed my arms out in front of me, ready for a struggle.
“We gotta jump again and reset it,” Jesse insisted.