“Alice, are you ready to go?” Ian turned back from scrabbling through trash.
“Yeah…” Alice seemed down, she was looking at the garbage, but she grabbed a food sack. She really didn’t want to see what’s inside.
“What’s wrong?” Ian now grabbed another food sack.
“How could this happen to us humans…” Alice sighed.
“What do you mean?” Ian went over to Alice.
“We used to be at the top of the food chain.. But now after these monsters came, we are stuck searching through trash eating remains of… huh… nevermind,” The thought of what they eat disgusted her.
“Ye – ” Ian was about to say.
“FIND HUMANS.” A robot walked into the alley way.
“Oh no, run!” Ian darted deeper in the alley way.
“I – uh.” Alice walked backwards before running after Ian. After a while of running they bumped into a wall with two boxes stacked on top of each other.
“Get onto the boxes and jump the wall!” Ian yelled at Alice.
“Got it.” Alice climbed the boxes then she jumped on top of the wall. Just as she jumped up the top box fell down.
“FIND THEM,” The robot said in a robotic voice. It was completely silver.
“No!” Alice just realized that the box fell.
“Grab this!” Ian grabbed something out of the pouch and held it out to Alice.
“No, I can pull you up!” Alice rejected the thing in Ian’s hand and grabbed his wrist.
“Listen, I’m the older one. Mom and Dad put me in charge, so take it.” Ian looked back at the robot, which had now grabbed a taser.
“Fine.” Alice grabbed the thing in Ian’s hand.
“Now, GO!” Ian turned around to face the robot. Zap! Ian fell down. Alice jumped off the other side of the wall, running away with tears rolling down her cheeks. She knew what was going to happen to her brother.
After a while of running, she found a safe spot to hide, which was a hole in a building. Alice then opened her fist to see that the thing Ian gave her was a pocket watch. After a while, she fell asleep.
“Huh?” Alice looked out of the hole she entered through and saw a robot walk by. It was carrying a sack that seemed to be squirming. Ian might be in there, Alice thought. She snuck out slowly, following the robot. Luckily, the thunking of its metal feet was too loud for it to hear Alice. It eventually stopped at a small dumpster and dropped the bag in. Alice quickly hid behind something as the robot turned around and walked away. She looked back before running for the dumpster-like thing and jumping in.
“WOAH!” she fell down into a pipe sliding. She fell down onto a table that was the size of four trucks next to each other and two trucks on top of each other. The bag that the robot threw down was next to her. “Hello?” she edged closer to the bag, untying it and then opening it. Two people got out.
“Thanks!” said a boy.
“Hmm.” Alice looked around, not seeing Ian. She looked around, trying to see if there were any more bags, but there weren’t. All of a sudden the door flung open, and a monster walked in. The monster was paper-white skinned and was kind of a much larger and much fatter human. Alice saw it, darting to a side of the table before jumping onto a stool and then onto the floor. The other people followed her. They were running towards a small vent when the monster noticed them and started wobbling towards them. Alice reached the vent, grabbing the bars of the vent door. She tugged at them, trying to rip it off.
“Quicker!” The boy, who was now behind Alice, yelped.
“Shut up, it’s harder than it looks,” Alice hissed, still trying to rip off the vent door.
“Jeez.” The boy turned back to look at the other person running towards the vent.
“Phew.” The other person who seemed to be an adult got up to them.
“Erg!” Alice kept tugging at the vent door.
“It’s getting closer!” The boy now looked at the monster, who was getting closer and closer.
“There!” Alice finally ripped the vent door off the wall, throwing it away and running in. The boy jumped in after her.
“Woah!” The adult tripped, and the monster grabbed her.
“NO, MOM!” The boy looked back to who was supposedly his mom being taken by the monster.
“God…” Alice looked back grabbing the boy and tossing him farther in the vent before the other monster’s hand could grab him.
“NOO!” The boy still seemed to be sad.
“Let’s keep going.” Alice pushed past him, continuing forward. They kept walking for a while and the boy seemed to be calming down.
“I’m Jell, by the way.” The boy was trotting behind Alice.
“I’m Alice,” she grunted, continuing forward. After a while, they reached an opening that had a bunch of trash bags and green murky water. “Finally, now we can separate.” Alice jumped down onto a trash bag, not daring to touch the disgusting water.
“But shouldn’t we stick together?” The boy jumped after her.
“No, just leave me alone.” Alice jumped to another trash bag.
“C’mon, I can help!” Jell almost tripped into the water but managed to get to the bag that Alice was on.
“I said no!” Alice turned around, glaring at Jell.
“Jeez.” Jell backed away.
“Now leave me alone.” Alice looked back. She jumped onto another bag and saw that there were no more bags ahead of her. Alice looked around, noticed a rope and jumped on it, and swung to another bag. She looked back, seeing Jell.
Alice let go of the rope and began walking away. “There,” she said, jumping onto a platform. She walked to a door, busting it open. The room she entered was filled with trash. There were also some monster-sized stairs leading up to another floor. Alice walked towards the stairs. A monster fell through the floor and started groaning like a dead animal before being still. “Yikes.” Alice went back to the stairs trying to get up.
“Woah, what happened to that monster?” Jell entered the room looking at the dead monster.
Alice ignored Jell and continued up the monster-sized stairs. “Whatever,” she said. Jell also went to the stairs. Alice was almost at the top when she heard a dead animal noise and thumping. When she got up to the second floor, a monster, who looked like all the other monsters except for the fact that he was wearing brown rags, entered the hallway, looking at Alice. All of a sudden, the dead animal noise got louder, and it started running towards her.
“Uh oh,” Alice backed away her foot, almost falling off the stairs.
“What’s wrong?” Jell looked up at Alice.
“MONSTER!” Alice jumped down the stairs.
“Monster? Another one!?” Jell seemed surprised.
“YEAH!” Alice shoved Jell to side running father into the room.
“HEY – !” Jell looked at Alice for a second before he heard a dead animal noise at the top of the stairs. The monster wobbled down the stairs getting ready to grab Jell.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? COME, RUN!” Alice looked back at Jell who was frozen a bit. Jell snapped back to reality, running after Alice. Right as he ran, the monster tripped slamming onto the ground where Jell just stood.
“Is it dead?” Jell, who had shorter legs, had a hard time catching up with Alice.
“Nope,” Alice looked up at a pipe jumping onto it trying to climb up.
“How do you know?” Jell jumped after Alice looking back at the monster who was getting up.
“Because I know a lot about monsters. That fall wouldn’t kill it.” Alice continued up.
“Ohhh.” Jell almost slipped off.
“C’mon, faster!” Alice was on a second pipe which was going right to left.
“I can’t!” Jell was almost there when the monster got up, running towards the pipe.
“It’s coming!” Alice pulled out her hand bending down. Bam! The monster ran head first into the pipe and made a large dent right where Jell was.
“Phew, that was close,” Jell said. He had pulled up before the monster hit the pipe, which now had steam shooting out of it.
“Yeah.” Alice watched as the monster walked backward and then fell to the floor. “Let’s go now,” Alice ran on the second pipe.
“Got it.” Jell started running after Alice.
“This way.” Alice skidded to a halt opening another vent door. The monster put his hand up before falling down again.
“Er…” Jell looked at the monster before following Alice. Jell and Alice semi-crouch-ran through the vents. Eventually, she ran into a vent door which broke off and fell down into an alleyway.
“Wait.” Alice noticed a dark green jacket farther down the alleyway. That was the color jacket Ian had.
“Let’s keep going,” Jell was about to go left, where the vent continued.
“Ian?” Alice jumped down, running through the alleyway filled with small puddles.
“Alice!” Jell jumped after her.
“No, no.” Alice now noticed there was blood on the jacket. She paused, then grabbed the jacket and saw Ian’s name on it.
“Alice?” Jell stretched his arms out.
“HUMANS DETECTED.” Robots entered the alleyway, blocking the exit.
“Oh no!” Jell walked backward.
“There’s no use, it’s a dead end.” Alice was looking down at the jacket that she now dropped. The robots took out tasers, shooting Alice and Jell.
“Err…” Jell woke up in a bag that was carrying a random person and Alice. The bag opened and a monster put its hand into the bag, grabbing Alice.
“Woah!” Alice was surprised, she didn’t know there was a monster there.
“Alic – !” The monster closed the bag before Jell could finish his sentence. The monster walked through the door into a monster-sized kitchen with a stone counter. It set Alice down and walked into a different room while making the dead animal noise. She got up, running across the counter. She looked around, saw a vent, busted it open, and ran through it. She ran into a room and saw a teddy with a key in its back.
“Woah…” She began to edge closer but saw a skinny hand with long fingers grab the toy and twist the key. She jumped back. Beautiful music started playing from the teddy bear. Alice peeked the corner and saw a very tall and skinny monster working on what looked like the robots that capture people. After a few minutes, the music stopped, and the monster turned and grabbed the teddy again, twisting the key before returning. Alice looked back at the monster to make sure it was looking away, then she dashed across to the edge of the wood desk and jumped to a large coffee table. She almost fell down but grabbed the coffee table, got up, and ran farther. As she was getting ready to jump to the next table, she was grabbed by the monster. The monster looked at her, tilting its head.
“LET ME GO!” Alice was shaking and kicking the monster, trying to get out of its grip. The music stopped, but the monster did not turn around to turn the key on the teddy bear. A few seconds passed with the monster looking at Alice. It finally put her down and went to the teddy bear. When the monster looked back at Alice she was already jumping to another table down a hallway. She ran as fast as she could, hearing the monster behind her. She saw a vent and a pile of books leading up to it. Alice was getting ready to turn toward that pile of books when she tripped on a monster-sized needle. She fell off the table into a bucket full of water which tipped over, splashing water everywhere. She got up, dashing away. She didn’t mind about the water, after all, the monster was chasing her.
Alice looked back. The monster was really agro now, throwing things off tables and whatnot. She noticed a kitchen up ahead. She knew there were vents in all of the monster kitchens. The monster was catching up to her as she entered the kitchen. She ran up a chair that was tilted onto the counter. Then, she jumped on a pepper thing, then jumped into a cupboard, and saw a vent. She climbed up a wooden kitchen knife holder to get to the vent. But when she went to the vent, it knocked over the kitchen knife holder and the knives fell into the monster in the face. The monster hit the floor. She went through the vent without looking back.
“Great! That monster’s dead, that’s one monster gone,” Alice whispered to herself. She continued forward as quickly as she could, hoping she’d find Jell. Alice stopped walking through the vents and sat down. She put her hand in her pocket and noticed something was missing… The pocket watch Ian gave her was gone. She frantically searched all her pockets but all of them were empty. She lost the last thing that Ian gave her. Alice curled up into a ball wondering why life had become like this. She got up in the morning, at least, what she thought was the morning, as Alice couldn’t see the sky. She continued to crawl through the vents for some time. All of a sudden, she heard heavy footsteps below her and music that sounded familiar, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. A can fell out of her jacket clanging on the metal vent. Alice paused, listening for the heavy footsteps, but she couldn’t hear them anymore. A dead animal noise came from below instead.
“Oh no,” Alice said. She sped up through the vent. She heard a scraping noise and realized that the place where she just was was gone. At this point, she was running through the vents but whatever was done there was faster, and eventually, the place in front of her was ripped off. The vent she was in started shaking when all of a sudden, the vent floor below her was ripped off. Alice grabbed the edges not wanting to fall off, but the sharp edges cut into Alice’s palms. She looked up, seeing a monster staring right back at her. The monster, which was holding the vent floor she was on, brought her closer. The lower half of its head started opening like a mouth but instead of teeth, it was monster flesh. It grabbed Alice off the piece of the vent with its other hand bringing her closer to its mouth. A noise came from behind the monster. It seemed that a can had fallen, but whatever fell made the monster let go of Alice and turn around. She fell down into a pile of trash. She got up and ran away from the monster as quickly as she could.
When she looked back she noticed that it was the same monster that she thought had died from the kitchen knives, it even had wounds from where the kitchen knives fell, yet no blood fell out of the wounds. It turned around, howling loudly, and began to chase Alice. She didn’t care about the fact that her hands were bleeding, she only cared that she ran fast enough to get away from the monster. Alice noticed a sewer grate and darted for it. She tried lifting the grate but it was too heavy. She ran back, grabbed a stick and ran back to the sewer grate lifting enough for her to put the stick below it and she slipped through the small gap. Alice grabbed the ladder, going down it and splashing into green water. “Ew!” She jumped to the side so she didn’t have to walk in the green water and shook her boots trying to get the water off. She noticed that the sewer she was in looked like a man-made one, as it was smaller than the monster-made ones and the bricks were more nicely placed. Alice ripped off a bit of her old jacket, tying the pieces to her hand to stop the bleeding.
She continued forward through the sewer, eventually reaching a stack of rocks that were obviously placed to stop people from going past it. She went to the nearest ladder, pushing a sewer grate up. Alice saw multiple uninhabited buildings with either wide-open or ripped-out-of-the-doorway doors. There were also a few old items lying around like an old backpack which was half decomposed. She looked around seeing a giant stone wall on the outskirts of where the buildings were fewer and fewer.
At that moment, Alice had an idea. She remembered that the monster that made robots seemed to be angrier when the music wasn’t playing and wondered if breaking or stealing the toy would cause the engineer robot to get mad. Would it kill the other monsters? Alice knew what to do immediately. She would have to go back and find the long, tall monster base. She turned back, hopping through the open sewer manhole. When Alice splashed into the dirty water she looked around trying to remember which way she came from. Eventually, she ran to her left, and when she reached a ladder, she climbed up. Alice stopped for a second, wondering where the tall monster’s place could be. “If the monster was here before it must be near here right?” Alice said out loud while running through the large hallway.
CRASH. “What was that?” Alice looked around, noticing that a vase had fallen and crashed. A few things smaller than Alice which kinda looked like dirty brown cones ran past the vase. “What the hell is that?!” The cones turned and looked at Alice, and all of the cone people ran away except one. It stared at Alice and slowly walked to Alice.
The cone said something like “Alice,” but it was muffled and also slightly echoed.
“Who are you?” Alice backed away running trying to get as much distance from the cone thing. It looked after her for a little then ran after its friends. “Man, that was weird.” Alice kept running then turned a corner seeing a large terribly made wooden door with gears and pipes on it.
“Oh, hey!” A voice came from beside Alice.
“AH!” Alice turned her head quickly seeing Jell was right next to Alice staring at the door. “Wha – Ho – How did you even ge – I’m so confused.”
“Eh, I had a piece of glass and I cut the bag open… I was scared you were dead,” Jell said.
“Listen, I’m some sort of bad luck. I mean, I ran into a single monster twice, thinking I killed it the first time! Just…. Just go.” Alice turned her head away and ran towards the door.
“Bu – I mean…” Jell just stood there thinking what to say next.
“Nope, just go,” Alice, who was not at the door, looked for a way to open it.
“Hey! Try climbing into that pipe sticking out of the door!” Jell called to Alice.
“Sur – Wait, you should be gone by now! I said I’m bad luck!” Alice jumped to the pipe that Jell was talking about and walked through it. She walked through the pipe until she reached an open area and jumped out to the other side of the door. Alice looked around. She was in a room with one large desk and a stool in front of it and an elevator on the other side of the room. BEEP. The elevator doors opened revealing the tall and skinny monster. It walked into the room without noticing Alice, sat down at the desk, and turned the key to the teddy bear Alice remembered. The monster grabbed a few pieces, screwed them together, and took a metal rod with wires coming out of a ton of holes. The monster placed the rod in a metal box, connecting the wires to the metal. Alice looked around, trying to find a way to distract the monster and get the teddy bear and hide it. She found a tin can on the ground behind the monster then Alice saw a wood twig she ran over grabbed the twig and with all her might threw it at the can. Clank.
The monster turned around, looking for what made the noise. It spotted the can and grabbed it with its long, skinny fingers. Alice looked around seeing that the wooden peg holding the table was scratched deeply. She darted for the wooden peg and climbed it by putting her feet in the holes and using her hands to pull herself up. When she was three-quarters up the monster turned around, didn’t notice Alice, and returned to his stool. Once Alice got up, she ran for cover, hiding behind fully made robots that were not turned on or toys, like a toy doll or elephant. As she passed a broken monkey with cymbals it randomly turned on, making the cymbals clash, alerting the engineer monster.
“AH!” Alice jumped back, hitting a wall. The monster pushed the toy monkey aside upon hearing Alice get jump-scared. She got up, looking at the monster, trying to think where she could run. The monster neared Alice, its hand getting closer. Right before it could get Alice she jumped to the side, pushing an unfinished robot, and ran for the teddy bear that was playing the music. It moved its hand away to try grabbing Alice again she just got to the teddy bear when its hand was trying to get her again. CRACK! The hand grabbed the teddy bear and accidentally crushed it, missing Alice. The monster’s other hand came up and went for Alice. “Oh sh – ” Alice jumped back from the hand and quickly ran away. Alice jumped off the table, landed on a stack of books, and slowly climbed down. When she was nearly down the book that she was on – “OOF!” Alice hit the floor, trying to push the book that was now on her but it was too late. The monster grabbed Alice, its long fingers almost touching below its wrist. “Let me go!” Alice tried grabbing something sharp from her pockets, but they were completely empty. Alice could see that the monster was getting angrier and angrier.
CLANG! CLANG! All of a sudden a Jolly Chimp, a toy monkey with cymbals, turned on. The monster turned its hand, loosening its grip on Alice. It placed down Alice striding to the monkey grabbing it and ripping it to pieces, the cymbals hitting the floor. Alice took the chance and jumped off the table again heading towards the elevator that was still open. She noticed that there was a lever. Thinking that’s how the elevator turned on, she tried to push a box into the elevator. The monster turned around and saw Alice and rushed towards the elevator. Just in time, Alice pushed the box under the lever and grabbed the handle, pushing the lever down.
“Phew, that was close – ” The monster had grabbed the elevator doors before they had fully closed. SCREECH! The doors slowly slid open. “Why isn’t the elevator going up?” Then, as if the elevator was listening, it started going up. The monster let go, and the doors slammed shut.
The doors opened, revealing another room. It had trash bags and a very rotten blue wallpaper. As she walked farther in, she noticed a drawing of a door on one of the walls and a dusty desk with what looked like an old teddy bear. Alice examined the trash bags and noticed more old toys.
“Must’ve been the monster’s old working place,” Alice muttered. She walked over to the drawing of a door as if she expected it to swing open. “Worth a try. I mean if monsters exist, so can magic.” She looked around, trying to see if she didn’t miss anything. She noticed a doorway next to the elevator with wood planks nailed into the wall, covering up most of the doorway. “Wonder why that’s there… I mean it could be that it’s trying to keep me in… Or of course, trying to keep something out!” She shuddered at the thought that something would have scared the monster so much that they had to block it. Alice swung around because she heard something behind her and noticed a doll had fallen down. She started hearing footsteps and turned around back to the doorway. She could barely see a humanoid-like thing that was the size of a monster. It even looked more human than the monster’s shadows that were covering most of it. It was just standing there, lifeless with its right arm stretched out towards the door.
“I don’t think that was there before… Or was it?” Alice backed away and turned around, searching the room again. Then, there were the footsteps again. Alice twirled around, swearing that the footsteps came from the door. Then she noticed something… the humanoid monster thing was closer to the door. “…M-must be my imagination, right?” Alice was actually starting to get slightly frightened at the fact that something had caught sight of her and that she couldn’t get out. “I can just leave in the elevator.” She turned her head towards the elevator ready to walk towards it then noticed the doors were closed and the button to open it was too high for her. How did I not even notice?! Alice thought. She quickly turned back to the nailed door seeing that the thing had moved a bit closer. “Is it moving when I’m not looking?” She twirled around then turned back to the doorway, noticing it moved again.
Alice could now see the monster full. It looked much like a mannequin except for a few key factors. Its face was deformed in a horrifying way, the face was smushed, its nose was bent, and its left hand was missing. Alice slowly backed up, hitting a melted teddy bear. She gulped, turned around, and ripped off the teddy bear’s head then quickly turned back and saw that the monster’s right hand was gripped over one of the wood planks, blocking the door. Alice slowly walked towards the elevator, making sure to keep her eyes on the monster. She looked at the elevator and threw the teddy bear’s head towards the button but the sudden noise of wood starting to break scared her, and instead of it hitting the button, it hit the elevator door and fell back. She ran for the head trying not to listen to the wood cracking. Alice once again grabbed the teddy bear’s head and threw it again towards the button, the head hit the button giving a BEEP, and the elevator doors slowly started to open. Alice could see in the corner of her eye that the wood went flying, and she could hear the running of the monster behind her. She ran for the elevator door and once in, quickly turned around and saw that the monster’s hand was extended into the elevator. She slowly backed away and then turned around, jumping onto the box she left under the lever. She pulled the lever down which had apparently moved up after she left the elevator.
SCREECH. She turned back, noticing that half the monster’s body was already in the elevator. The sound of plastic being crushed came in as the elevator doors crashed into the monster, slowly breaking it. Wait… if I go down, that tall monster will be there, Alice quickly remembered. She jumped off the box running towards the doors. CRUNCH! Alice ran under the monster’s legs before they crashed together and the doors crushed the monster. She looked around, trying to find another way out, then remembered the hallway where the monster came from. Alice turned to look at it. The only light was coming from the room she was in. She turned around, searching through the pile of toys when she found a cat-shaped nightlight that ran on batteries. The glass-shaped cat was cracked and missing pieces. She flicked the small switch at the bottom of it so the light would turn on then she walked towards the hallway. “Why is it so dark down there? I hate the dark.” Alice strode into the hallway, holding the night light in front of her.
To be continued…