By MAX MOBLEY
Am I dreaming? thought Mason. He was sure of only a few things in his life, and this was one of them. This isn’t possible. Mason Riley lay on the ground of the gigantic room he was in. No windows, no light, and worst of all, no way out. It almost seemed he was in an unusually large cylinder. There were circular walls, a ceiling that seemed to be made out of some sort of metal, and nothing was very abnormal about the place other than the floor. It was in the shape of a whirlpool, a never-ending hole in the center of it. The flat ground that Mason lay on gradually dipped into the center.
“What a dream. I hope,” Mason said to himself aloud.
“Yeah. Me too,” a voice on the right side of Mason said.
Mason turned to see who it was. The light was so dim, only the contour of the
body could be seen. But Mason knew this body from anywhere. Mason sat up immediately.
“Zac! What are you doing here?” Mason shouted.
Zac Strumming had been his best friend for as long as he could remember. From preschool to high school–they’d been through everything together. Even the time Mason had his tonsils taken out when he was eight, Zac was there. The time Zac learned to ride his bike long after everyone else had, Mason was there for him.
Zac had red hair with lots of freckles, and always had a more mellow personality. That was before high school. Before girls became important, and he needed to show off and impress them. Mason was the same way. He didn’t care until things got complicated in high school with the girls.
Even though Mason couldn’t see him, he could tell Zac was confused about what Mason had said. “I’ve been here the whole time,” he said.
“Okay then,” Mason said, “Do you know how to get out of here?” “No clue.”
“Well we need to figure something out. Any ideas?”
Mason heard a faint noise from above, like the very sound of peace coming to their doom.
“What was that?” Mason asked, obviously panicked.
“What was what?” Zac countered.
Suddenly, a raging splash of water burst through a hole in the ceiling. Both of
their heads looked up to see what was coming. “That,” Mason said, “Run!”
Zac and Mason shot up to their feet and scrambled for the walls. Mason ran for it and hugged it with his life, but soon realized something–Zac wasn’t there.
“Help! Help! Help!” Zac constantly screamed as he slid closer and closer to the center hole. Mason would never do anything to compromise his own life, but this time he would. For his friend.
Mason cautiously ran down to the center. Zac continued to shout, “Help! Help! Help!” After Zac got too close to the edge of the whirlpool-like floor, it started to shut. Little by little, the floor twisted into a flattened position. It would soon be completely sealed. It was shutting slowly enough that Zac could fall in, but quickly enough that Mason couldn’t grab him. He dove for him, but he was too far out of his reach, even with the water pushing Mason towards him. Zac fell into the hole, grabbing onto the edge of the floor for dear life. But it shut on his fingers, and Zac was no longer in sight. Mason began to cry. He’s gone. I can’t believe he’s gone, he thought, starting to get angry. This place took him, but I won’t let it take me. This is not the end of Mason Riley!
Mason kept closing his eyes, hoping it was all a bad dream. My friend is dead, I’m near death, and I’m going to die of one of the worst ways possible–drowning. I’ve always been afraid of the water. If I swim out to somewhere I can’t stand, even if it’s just in a swimming pool, I start to freak out. This has to be a dream. It has to! Mason pinched himself. Ow! I can’t give up. I have to wake up! He pinched himself again. And again. And again. Finally, he quit it.
The hole in the middle of the floor was completely closed, so that place was like a clogged bathtub. Meaning that the water would rise. Higher and higher, up to the ceiling. It was a death trap. The water was already at Mason’s waist. It was hopeless. He couldn’t do it. But when he put’s his mind to something, it always gets done. Always. And right now, the thing on his mind was getting out of this nightmare.
Mason tried to climb the wall, and succeeded. He slipped multiple times, but somehow got a grip on it. There were few ledges to grab–one every three or so feet–so it was extremely difficult to climb. What Mason wanted most was to live (not unusual for most normal people). And for a second, he thought he could get his wish. He struggled at it, but managed to gain about ten feet. He lifted himself again, and started to get in a rhythm. Mason gained another 25 feet, but the water continued to rise, and it pushed him up faster than he could climb.
He couldn’t breath well anymore. He struggled for breath, as his tiny pocket of air slowly disappeared. The water was three fourths of the way full. Mason was near suffocation. He hoped for a miracle, but knew he wouldn’t get one. The water rose faster as it neared the top. Mason was down to his last breath. He extended his lungs, filling them with air, and brought his head down under the water. He desperately searched for a way out, but there was none. He swam down, wasting his available air. After he had nothing left, and couldn’t move any longer, he gave up. Mason had drowned. The water had swallowed him alive.