A voice echoed down the dark, moist, lifeless corridor before me. Faint glistening reflections down the walls made me believe that they weren’t in fact walls, and that I wasn’t really alone. My eyes batted quickly as they strained to open in the darkness, and my mind rattled trying to search for the last memory I had.
“Where the hell am I?” I muttered in what I thought to be a whisper to myself.
“Exactly that! HAHA! Hell!” yelled a booming voice from every direction.
Startled, I leapt into motion and took off through the dungeon like hallways. Amidst the running, the faint cries for help began to ring louder and louder throughout my head. I continued to run... and run... and run… the hallways looped on forever. Weak with nerves and exhaustion, I crumbled to a halt in the cross section of two corridors. My body slowly heaved and shut down into an uneasy slumber.
I jolted awake in a sweat to her my little sister downstairs calling for my mother. My room. My bed. My blankets. My dog curled up at my feet. A tiny piece of crumpled paper lay peacefully at the edge of my nightstand. As I reached for the paper, my pajama sleeve rose to reveal a barcode embedded in my skin, much like the one you would find on a box of cereal or a can of soup. The note read,
“Everything comes with a price.
See you soon.”