When I woke, I was sitting in rigid, cold, metal chair. The room around me was cold, cramped, and dark. My head throbbed and my ears were ringing. Whatever that drink was, it had done a number on me. For the first few moments, it felt like the room was spinning. Then, I heard static noise.
“Can you hear me, Madison?” a voice said. To my right, there was a round, wooden table, just large enough for a lamp, with a small, rectangular speaker sitting next to a thin candle. “Hello? Can you hear me?” the speaker asked impatiently. I recognized the voice right away: it was Obasi.
“Y-yes,” I stuttered over my words, partially because I was still recovering from my rude awakening. “I can hear you.” I rubbed my forehead trying to remember what had happened to me, but, at the time, my mind was still too clouded.
“Good,” Obasi said through the speaker. “You haven’t been asleep for terribly long. I’d say no more than an hour.” It was at that moment I remembered the drinks we had all toasted. Oh my God! He poisoned me! Did he poison anyone else? I thought to myself. As though he had the ability to read my mind, Obasi said, “You don’t have to worry about the drink I gave to you. All I did was give you a hint of anesthesia, just enough so I could put you exactly where I want you."
“Which is where, exactly?” I asked, terrified of the answer to that question.
“I’ll get to that in a minute. However, there’s a more pressing matter that needs to be discussed,” Obasi responded. I rolled my eyes, frustrated with his stubbornness. “Reach into your purse on the floor and see if you can find anything peculiar.” I wasn’t sure how he, a man speaking through a microphone, was able to know that my purse was sitting next to the left leg of my chair, but there it was. To my pleasant surprise, all of my personal were still exactly where I had left them: my keys, my assortment of makeup and powders, my lipstick, even my stained, rectangular mirror. Although, I did find one thing that had been added to my collection: a rusted key. As I removed it from the bag, Obasi said, “That key will unlock the front door of the mansion, should you make it that far.”
“It can’t be that simple. Surely, there must be some sort of catch.”
"Not at all, my dear," Obasi asserted. "Your job is quite simple, to be perfectly honest. Get to the front door, and you're free to go. The other guests are the ones with the more daunting task."
"The others?" I asked.
"Yes, the five other guests," Obasi reminded me. "They were given the same drink as you, and they've all woken from their slumber. While your job is to leave the mansion, their job is to make you stay."
This 'game' was starting to get ridiculous. My body was sore, my eyes were heavy, and my head was still spinning from the drugs that had been snuck into my body. Then, I had a realization. "You've already given me the key, so what's stopping all of us from leaving this dreadful place?"
"A valid point," Obasi admitted. I felt so proud of myself for outsmarting an older man, or so I thought I did. "That's why I've attached patches filled with poison to each of the other guests. Now, if you'll look at the bow of the key you've just found, you'll notice a sensor." Just as he said, a tiny bulb was glued onto the key, emanating an occasional red light. "If you remove that sensor, all the patches will release their poison, and all the guests will die, save for you, of course. The guests will meet their same, painful fate if you manage to unlock the front door, which is why its so important for them to find, and kill you." Horror paralyzed my body as I sat motionless in the terribly uncomfortable chair. I had never even been in a fight, and now I was supposed to escape from five people who were desperately trying to kill me to save their own lives.
"Why are you doing this?" I asked. A cold tear ran down my cheek. It wasn't a tear of sadness or depression, but of fear.
"You're just full of questions, aren't you?" Obasi asked with a chuckle. "There will be plenty of time for you feed your curiosity, but for now, I think you should explore my elegant mansion. The other guests sure are." The speaker went quiet and the room was silent until a shrill creak filled the room. From the darkness in front of me, I saw a thick, wooden door swing open and I knew there was only one choice for me: I needed to escape the mansion.