“I open my door and try to kick him, but my foot goes through him and he pulls me toward the underworld. I thrash and scream and kick but there is no way that he will let go of me. I just relax, realizing there is no hope, and let him yank me to the underworld. I see his facial features: dark, cold, and mysterious. I feel his body, which feels icy. “
I know this is in big font, but THERE IS DEATH AT MY DOOR, LITERA-LLYDeath, the person Death is here to take my soul into the underworld, and I WILL do anything to stop it.
I open my door and try to kick him, but my foot goes through him and he pulls me toward the underworld. I thrash and scream and kick but there is no way that he will let go of me. I just relax, realizing there is no hope, and let him yank me to the underworld. I see his facial features: dark, cold, and mysterious. I feel his body, which feels icy.
Suddenly, my vision goes dark. I see a stage, barely visible until the lights go on and I’m on stage!
The host says, “Welcome to the underworld show! We have a new Death in training! Our new death of Hazel Lemonstein shall play on this video!”
How could he know how I died, I wonder, if I don’t even know my name? I must have forgotten everything about my life.
“Now Hazel, you may be wondering how I know how you died, and your name, but I keep records of EVERYONE ON EARTH! Now let’s PRESS PLAY.”
On screen shows a very accurate description of me drawing my sword, summoning fire, and hacking and slashing while throwing fireballs until I kill the dragon. Unfortunately, I was killed by the dragon’s last breath of poison.
While everyone ooh’s and aahh’s about my death, I study how powerful I was. I need to get back to life, no matter what.
“I, the Witherer, grant Hazel access to level 200 in the underworld! We have not seen this level for the past millennium!” Everyone cheers. “This means she only has 25 floors to complete to get back to life. Hazel, one last request though, would you please show us your skills by defeating this giant?”
The ugly giant that smells terrible roars and corners me. I summon a firewall and a huge fireball. I look and see his deformed face, almost feeling sorry for him, but I continue. I go out of my firewall and burn the giant alive, no more, no less than 10 seconds.
“Amazing! Go on to floor 200 now!”
I am transported to a solid brick room. Ugh, it smells terrible, like rotten eggs. All I have is a mirror and a table.
A robot says, “Welcome to part 2, floor 200, how do you get out?”
I look around. Nothing. I look in the mirror, thinking I would be here for the rest of my life. But in the mirror, I saw a saw! I reach in front of me, nothing. I look at the mirror, keep my eyes on the mirror, and reach in front of me. I am surprised when I feel a saw!
I grabbed the saw thinking, this place wants puns huh, well then they will get puns.
I remember this riddle: You look in the mirror, you see what you saw, you grab the saw and cut the table in half, put them together, two halves make a hole, you climb through the hole and you escape! So I do just that.
The same robotic voice says, “Floor 201.”
I look around. I’m in the desert, and to keep the puns up, “I scream until my voice is hoarse,” and I get on the horse and ride away to the next room.
The computer voice says, “Floor 20-”
“So, you already completed two floors, huh?” says the host, “in less than a minute? Amazing! You’ll be living in no time!”
“I have to get back to life! I must save my people from the monsters!”
“That’s why I must stop you by making it harder. The epic floor, if you lose, you go back to level one, if you win, you become alive again!”
“Ok,” I say. He teleports me to the room. I guess I have to kill the monster. Huh. I move up the monster and BOOM! I blank out and I wake up back at room 203, looking at Death and the giant signing to each other. The robot says roll. I tuck my knees into my chest, that’s just how I roll, so roll to the next room, but I see the beautiful host and Death still. I try to get it out of my head but I can’t. I feel like I’m confined. I clutch my head trying to get to the other room. I collapse. I forget what I came here for. It stopped. Man I feel so good. I see a light switch. I walk over to the light and turn it off and it is like magic! I run around and slam! I crash into the door an…
I’m getting close to the saw now. I know that I will eventually die here, but I didn’t think it would be this soon. I don’t fight. I…
“Wake up Hazel!” Hazel’s replica says. I wake up and nearly bump into my replica. Wait, my rep-lic-a? No. No! No!! I calculate what would happen, fractions of my memories come back. I was the best protector, everyone loved me. Piece by piece, I realize that they are going to replace me and get myself a bad reputation. I summon small fireballs and throw them at my replica until it melts. I collect the metal with a bucket nearby.
“Let’s go now,” I say.
“Who dares try to escape the epic room?” the host says.
“Me.” I say.
“Well then take these, brave one.” He produces a box of tubes, and I accept. I eat one and another and then I run out. My arms stiffen. My legs can’t move. I realize I took drugs that reduced my dopamine. I can’t escape… from drugs.
12 years later
I shouldn’t have listened to the host…
He tricked me and now I’ll be stuck here forever. My arms feel like they aren’t attached to me, but I can still feel they are cold. It is dark. I can’t move. In the underworld, you can’t die. I am skinny and pale, and my stomach is groaning f-f-for fffooodd. Endless pain.I saw the door to floor 204, but I couldn’t move. I longed to move…
1,000 years later
I can move smoothly now. I walk, step by step and it felt like heaven (noting that I’m in the underworld). I go to the next room, knowing that everyone forgot about me. They didn’t have anything set up in the other levels, so I walked through all of them. The door to life was blocked, so I gathered some wood, and worked my way through the soil until I got to the door. I opened the door, hoping to come to life, but instead I got to the host’s lab, and I took some things that may be useful, potions and such. Then I reached up, grabbing ahold to a trapdoor and ready to get out of the stinky room. I opened the latch and came alive to earth.
Now I am one of the immortal ones helping mortals and killing monsters. I have learned to never be too overconfident.