Ready or Not by Makayla Snow

“1”

I ran as fast as I could through the old warehouse, tears running down my face as I turned a corner and ran down an old creaky flight of stairs. 

“2”

I tripped over my feet and scraped my knee on an old rusty nail and let out a small cry as I watched the blood drip down my knee.

“20”

‘How did he get to 20 already?’ I quickly got to my feet and ran as fast as I could to find a hiding spot. I found an old couch that looked like it hasn’t been washed in years. I moved the couch and got behind it. 

“50. Ready or not.”

Those words. They sent chills down my spine and made my stomach turn. I hated those words. I heard his laughter as he walked around upstairs. Looking for me. I used to love this game, when I was little I used to play it with my older brother in our backyard with our friends but now. I hate it. I zoned back in when I heard his footsteps get closer. I covered my mouth and closed my eyes shut, trying not to make any sound. God knows what happens if I get caught. I heard his footsteps come to a slow stop. I started to shake and tears filled in my eyes.

“Come out, come out wherever you are!” 

I froze as I heard his voice. He was so close to me. Like he was right in front of me. I slowly opened my eyes and looked up.

“Found you.’’ He said smiling. 

I screamed as his smile grew wider. I tried to run away, but he was way faster than me and my knee was still messed up. He grabbed my arm and pulled me down the long hallway. I will forever hate long hallways. We made it to the room that he calls “The Shadow Room.” He threw me on the table and chained me to it. He circled me and he tapped his finger on his chin, pretending to think.

  “What should I do my little Ally?”

I started to cry, knowing what he was going to do, he knew how much I hated it. He was gonna waterboard me. He laughed as he saw my face. He got the rag that I hated so much, got his gasoline tank and started to fill it with water. I started to scream and pulled on the chains. 

“Shhhh. Calm down. I win. I get to pick, and this is what I want. NOW SHUT THE FUCK UP!” 

I flinched when he yelled in my face and started to cry again. He turned the water off and put the tank full of water beside me. He grabbed the rag and looked at me with a very creepy smile, a smile that only haunts me in my dream, a smile that no one can forget. His teeth were on full display, they were yellow, like he hasn’t brushed them in months, some of them were crooked, and he was missing his two top and bottom teeth. I started to cry as he put the rag over my face. I heard him pick the tank up, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t breath. It felt like my whole head was underwater, and I couldn’t do anything but lay there, hoping and praying it will all be over soon. He pulled the rag off of my face, and I quickly gasped for air, I started to cough up the water, trying to get air in my lungs. He unchained me, and I sat up, spitting the water out of my mouth. He just laughed and took me to my “Bedroom” and locked the door. I just sat in the corner, crying, rethinking everything. 

“I miss you guys. I wish I could see you guys one more time.”

I layed down on the cold concrete floor and cried myself to sleep.

“Rise and shine! It’s 2 in the morning. Get up.”

I felt a kick to my stomach. I opened my eyes, and there he was, standing over me with a look I couldn’t place my finger on. 

“Let’s play a game.”

My face paled and my heart started to beat so loud. I thought he could hear it. 

“This time, in the woods. You have 50 seconds to hide.”

He took me to the front door, and opened it. It was dark, but the porch light made it so I could see a little bit of the forest. 

“1”

I looked at him and he turned around, looking at the wall. I ran, I ran as fast as I could, not looking back. I saw a light up ahead, and I heard cars. My eyes light up and my heart filled with hope.

“Ready or not.”

I looked behind me. The warehouse is close to the road.

“I need to hurry.”

I ran to the street and looked around. I saw nothing but cars and some buildings that were closed because it was late. I started to walk down the sidewalk quickly, wanting to get as far away from him as possible. I was so tired, beaten, bleeding, starving, and worn out. I just wanted to go home and be with my family again. I miss them so much. 

“Where am I?”

I tried to look for something telling me where I was but I couldn’t find anything, that was until I saw a police station.

“New York Police Department. I’m in New York?”

I’m so far away from home. I ran to the station and ran in.

“Ma’am? Are you okay?”

I just started to cry and I hugged the police woman. She took me by my shoulders and just started into my eyes as tears fell from them.

“Is there anyone I can call.”

I just nodded and she took me to a chair in the front room and left. 

“Okay. Someone is coming to get you. They said it will be a few minutes. Is there anything I can get you?”

“No.” My voice came out raspy, like I haven’t drank anything in days. 

She just looked at me, trying to figure out what happened through my eyes. 

“Do you want to talk about what happened?”

“I don’t know.”

“Take your time, you look like it was bad.”

I just nodded. I never was open about things, I was a very shy kid, I never talked to people unless they talked to me first and I never talked about my feelings to anyone but my brother. He knows everything. He was the only one I could talk to. Another police officer walked in. He looked at me, disgusted. It made me feel unwanted and embarrassed that I looked like this in public, I felt like everyone was looking at me now. I put my head down now wanting to see anyone.

“Her husband called. He said he was going to be a few more minutes ‘cause of traffic.”

“Okay, thanks Jones.”

I looked up in confusion. I don’t have a husband. Then I froze. It all makes sense now. The officer said someone was coming to pick me up soon. My family lives in Utah. It would be hours before someone would be here.

“She’s right in here Sir.”

I looked up and froze.

‘’Ready or not.”

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