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“It’s rather simple, really, we appear to be stuck here,” the shivering man with the brown-hair and adorable glasses spoke with an awkward yet fearful smile on his face.
“I checked the doors and windows; they’re bolted shut,” the lady with luscious hair and broad muscles said with a disappointed sigh, a hand finding its way to her hip.
“Checked the kitchen, nothing useful there besides this delicious food!” a rather jolly voice rang through the hallway, its point of travel starting in the kitchen.
Needless to say, the storm wasn’t stopping any time soon and there was no way of escaping the mansion they were trapped in. Of course half of them remembered why they were here, and the other half did not. Everything seemed to be as blurry as a windshield covered in snow, but wipers can always help with showing the path. In this case, showing the past.
“You can win a getaway package to this gorgeous mansion in Norway, which is owned by the Løvenskiold family, by calling (067) 54 347 right now! It’s just that easy! Who knows, maybe you’ll win or maybe you won’t! Needless to say, it’ll be the trip of a lifetime!” a cheesy commercial guy spoke on the warm TV set, multiple eyes glued onto the colorful background that made the old man on the screen stand out. Phones were picked up, numbers were dialed from all over the world, and eventually 10 participants were chosen for the getaway.
Instead of standing in their own unique homes, they now stood still and anxiously in this new location. After only being here for an hour, the snowstorm had already trapped them inside and there seemed to be no means of escape for the participants of the getaway package.
The mansion wasn’t exactly the biggest mansion, but it’s interior Victorian design made up for it. The walls were covered in dark oak and the floorboards creaked slightly everytime they were stepped on. The ceilings were high and covered in marvelous woodwork and the stairs were polished with a silver railing. Nordic, Swedish, and Finnish wood was used throughout the entire house and the soft sound of the wind whistling outside could be heard knocking on the windows.
“Someone did this on purpose, we’re being watched,” a richer tone spoke out of the group, and everyone turned to see who said such an outrageous statement. There stood a man who looked to be in his mid-40s, his skin dark and tough from what could be assumed as hard work. His charcoal black hair was greasy and his filthy clothing didn’t help decrease the creepy vibes he was giving off. An awkward chuckle escaped the mouth of a younger member of the group.
“Um, I signed up for a getaway package to Norway? Not to be stuck with some psycho creep?” the younger member spoke with her hands on her hips, trying to fight the awkward situation with sass and attitude. Her skin was fair and her hair was an obnoxious shade of bright blue. The jingling bells she had dangling from her ears and her punk sense of fashion gave off the impression that she definitely wasn’t one to slow down for everyone else.
“You may have signed up for a getaway package like the rest of us, but look where we are now. The doors are bolted shut, so are the windows, and any possibility to leave isn’t in our reach,” the darker man spoke again, his tone blunt and hard like an axe swinging against a tree.
“Yes, but you have to look at the fact that it’s snowing outside. Yes, it is snowing outside and that is why we are stuck in here!” a rather meak voice exclaimed from the group, causing everyone to look towards a rather timid man who seemed to be in his early 40s. His hair was a caramel brown and the way his glasses sat on the bridge of his nose clearly showed that they needed to be pushed up every few seconds. His skin was a peachish color, freckles splattered across every visible part of it, and his fashion sense was rather reformed as he wore a green vest, red bowtie, dark brown khakis, and white gloves.
“I have to agree with the peasant man, the snow is why we are stuck. Someone of your caliber should be able to understand the simple fact that it snows a lot in Norway,” an aristocratic woman spoke in a rather snarky way as she adjusted her fur scarf. The woman looked to be in her mid-70s, her hair as silver as a dime, and her face as mean as the raging seas.
“Whether the snow is a coincidence or not, the person who trapped us here is very knowledgeable of Norwegian weather patterns. I wouldn’t trust anyone in this room if I were you, we could be on camera or rather.. in the same room as whoever put us here,” the black-haired man spoke coldly as he took a step forward and sent a glare around to the group as they all grew more confused. It seemed impossible for them to be purposefully trapped somewhere.
“Du ville ha rett i det utsagnet! Selvfølgelig fant du ut det ganske raskt, jeg er virkelig overrasket, ring meg sjokkert!” an older voice spoke in Norwegian as a new person entered the room. He was dressed from head to toe in dark blue with hair as white as the snow that fell outside. Everyone stared at the man in pure disorder.
“Does anybody understand the old guy?” another young voice asked out to the group, this voice belonging to that of a young man who looked to be in his mid-20s. His hair was fading from brown to darker brown, as if he worked in the sun all day, and his clothes were a tad bit plain with a white shirt with blistered jeans, along with dusty boots with mud stains that would stay there forever. His hands looked rough like leather and his eyes sang a sad tale.
“Oh, I can try! I’ve been studying Norwegian for about 4 and a half years!” a beautiful blonde exclaimed with excitement as she popped out from the crowd. Her ruby red glasses sat on the brink of her nose, and her puffy pink jacket made her stand out even more, not to mention her sun-kissed skin. She looked like Valentine’s Day had become a person. “You...would be right...about that...statement. Of course...you found out rather quickly, I’m really surprised! Call me shocked!” the blonde continued as her curious smile quickly turned into a frightened frown.
“Ah takk for oversettelsen, men jeg er redd for at han stemmer. Klokka er.. Ah, forget it, I don’t want to hear a repeat of my words. You’re all trapped here for a human experiment in which I shall be seeing how humans behave when given certain rules in captivity. You are not to leave this mansion, and if you wish to leave alive, you must kill the people around you. The last person standing gets to leave, along with a prize of 15 million Krone. Isn’t that lovely?” the older man continued with perfect english, besides his accent occurring throughout his tone. The participants stood dead silent, the air in the room growing stale with worry and suspicion.
“Oh and before I leave, you may address me as Quinque. Farvel.” Quinque, the older Norwegian, spoke before walking into another room and leaving the others behind in pure agonizing silence. He spoke of murder as if it was a regular occurance! Get the highest kill count, be the last man standing. The words echoed through the group’s mind as they all stood still, as if afraid to move a muscle in fear of joining the dead.
Sounds of hands moving slowly with ticks of a bomb going down i’s timer echoed throughout the lobby, clocks never seemed to be useful up until now. Everything felt as if it was spinning and they all were stuck in a messed-up-child-with-mommy-issues’ imagination. The idea of even being in a fever dream was the kindest suggestion, but it all was real; every last second of this was real. Would they really bite the bullet with this situation? Or rather be impaled? Or bleed out to death?
“Go ahead and call me Coal,” the dark-haired man who originally planted the seed of worry spoke out to the group, pointing a thumb towards himself. “I suggest you all think of nicknames for yourselves. Real names will make you too soft, pick something short,” Coal instructed the group, as if grabbing the sled by the reins and bringing it to a halt.
“Um… you can call me Sparky, I guess?” the blue-haired, young lady from before spoke as she twirled around with one of her earrings and put all her weight onto one leg. Sparky seemed to still be processing all the info given to her.
“Prism, similar to a diamond, which only shows a fraction of how much I’m worth!” the elderly lady spoke out with a flourish of the arms before returning them to her side.
“A-Are none of you concerned with what that nordic guy just said? We have to KILL eachother?!?” the brown-haired boy from earlier declared with a sense of confusion and rage in his tone. Everyone gave a mixed reaction to his comment, as it seemed everyone was still processing the information.
"Surely he's joking, I mean, he's an old man going by some name like Quintine or whatever! Let's just enjoy our vacation and ignore that dude. Code names sound fun and all, but you can just call me Mila," the athletic girl with luscious hair spoke out with her hands carefully placed on her hips as she wore a stern yet relaxed expression.
"I-I suppose Miss Mila is right, yes! We are simply being played for fools by that.. rude man, a-and it was just a joke! If we do continue to go by code-names though, my name shall be..well golly, I'm not sure," the timid man spoke out as he hugged himself with a sense of dread and panic, trying to convince himself it was all just a lie.
"You should go with Peach Cobbler or something like that! You got the personality of one! Oh, and call me Carrot!" a new fellow said as he appeared from the kitchen, a box of cookies in hand and his outfit covered in crumbs. No matter how much he had eaten in the kitchen before, he still appeared hungry.
"So we have Coal, Sparky, Prism, Mila, Peach, and Carrot. You other four, what're your names?" Coal asked with a slightly bitter tone, all the attention in the room falling upon the last four participants.
“Oh! You can just call meeeeee...Valentine! It’s my favorite holiday!” The blonde from before spoke with a cheery tone, as if completely ignoring the obvious despair crawling through the room from the news.
“That’s easy to see. Call me Buck,” the ginger-haired boy from before spoke with a harsh glare thrown at Valentine. She immediately threw another glare back at him, although it was softer and not as brash.
“I’ll go by Fir. What about you, miss purple haired delinquent?” a colder looking woman with long, blonde hair and skin as pale as a snow leopard’s fur spoke out of the blue. She had an accent that seemed to originate from Central Russia, and her eyes were as cold as ice. Her chilly eyes landed onto the last remaining participant.
“My name is Glitch, buenos dias idiotas. And I’m not a miss, queen of ice, I go by they/them pronouns.” a rather stylish teenager spoke as they crossed their arms and leaned against the wall. Their skin was chocolatey and their hair had been dyed a bright purple, making them stand out from the others besides Sparky. Their eyes were a dark green and their outfit was fitted in all colors of purple and black.
An excited squeak escaped Sparky at the mention of pronouns and she quickly ran up to the nonbinary participant. Grabbing their hands, she bounced up and down gently, her spiky hair bouncing slightly with her. “You go by they/them? That’s so cool! My name’s Gu- I mean, Sparky!” The blue-haired young adult spoke with pure excitement in her tone, the other looking slightly amused at her energy before bringing their hands away from the bouncing ball of life.
“Yes, it’s nice to meet you, Sparky,” Glitch spoke with a small smile before looking back at everyone else and shrugging. “I highly doubt that the anciano was serious, he was probably just making some sort of joke,” The purple-haired person spoke with a roll of the eyes before they stretched their arms upwards and pointed to a corner of the room. “Although, these cameras are rather suspicious,” they spoke with a slightly amused tone, which was rather unsettling for the room’s energy.
“They’re there to keep an eye on us, probably,” Mila spoke with a bit of a yawn before staring up at the cameras. At this point, all of the participants were staring up at the shiny black camera, their little red lights blinking to show they were on. Well, that’s what they all assumed.
“I suggest we all form into groups and explore this mansion, maybe find where we’ll be sleeping for the night. I shall go off on my own to explore the west wing, feel free to do whatever you feel is necessary. I shall take my leave now,” Fir spoke in a very dignified tone before giving everyone a small smile and walking off towards the west wing, leaving everyone else in the grand entrance room. Her aura was quite intimidating, so no one dared to challenge her. It’s almost as if a mysterious mist was left behind her wherever she went.
“I’ll go with Glitch! We’ll head upstairs. Come on!” Sparky spoke with more energy in her tone than she had before as she dragged her new nonbinary pal upstairs. Glitch, of course, had barely any say in the matter and before they could even protest, the two were already gone and upstairs. An amused chuckle escaped Carrot’s lips as he watched the two.
“No wonder her name is Sparky!” Carrot spoke with pure amusement before looking around and landing his eyes on Valentine. “Hey, um.. What was it? Valentine? Valentine! Do you wanna help me explore the kitchen some more?” The ginger-haired boy asked with a goofy smile which made Valentine chuckle softly.
“I wouldn’t mind! Let’s go, Carrot!” Valentine spoke with her usually warm tone before linking arms with the larger man and setting their course for the kitchen. Before anyone could say another thing, Prism had already set off for the East wing. Her attitude towards the others was quite rude, as she didn’t even offer a smile to the group.
“Mila, right? You look decently strong, you wanna go try to make an exit? Two people with muscles and skills might be enough!” Buck stated with a grin to Mila, who humored him with a nod and thumbs up.
“Gute Wahl!” Mila replied before heading off with the brown-haired man down the hallway and past the kitchen.
With a sudden change in pace, it seemed as if everyone had gotten a calm look over the situation and were now exploring. The atmosphere was still quite frightening, but this was all a joke to them, just a sick prank, that’s all. This just left Coal and..
“Peach Cobbler, would you join me in my exploration?” the darker lad asked the timid lad with glasses. The caramel-haired lad seemed to be shaking slightly at the sight of being left alone with Coal.
“N-No, I wouldn’t mind, good sir.” Peach Cobbler managed to speak with a small smile, although he obviously seemed afraid.
“Are you alright? You seem nervous. You can sit down if you would like, I could give you some space or-” Coal began to speak, but he was cut off before he could finish by his shaky companion.
“NO! I mean, I-I’m fine, I’m just worried.. What if that man was being honest? What if we can’t leave here without killing someone? I’m a doctor, not a murderer!” the timid man spoke as he rubbed his arms up and down in a comforting way before dark and cold hands met his shoulders.
“I highly doubt that an old man in a huge mansion all by himself was able to set up anything of the nonsense he was spewing. I really do think we’ll be fine, just take some deep breaths. No one’s going to kill anyone,” Coal’s deep voice spoke out to the doctor, his rough hands holding onto the man’s shoulder with a tight yet somewhat comforting grip. He hadn't talked to the doctor much before, but he needed to calm him down before he started panicking. The caramel-haired man before him seemed to tense up more, but his eyes weren’t as full of fear as they were before.
The two of them stood there for a long while, the doctor trying to take deep breaths and calm himself. “T-Thank you, Coal. That’s very kind of you to say,” Peach Cobbler spoke with his tone growing vulnerable and his eyes growing a tiny bit watery. Shaking his head lightly, the lad looked back up into Coal’s eyes and gave him a confident head nod. “Right then! I’ll be your doctor! L-Let’s go!” he spoke with a newfound confidence as he formed his hands into fists and had a look of determination painted across his face. Coal only nodded with an expression of annoyance. Comforting wasn’t his business, hard work was, but he was glad that it turned the doctor around.
After a small bonding moment, the two men turned to face their backs to the door they all entered in. It was also the door that someone would leave out of, someone with the highest amount of kills. Of course, our participants hadn’t realized just how serious this experiment was just yet. The cold outside world banged against the door, the noises begging to be heard and let it. Snow was not a friend, however, it would just leave you once the sun came up and you would be left shivering and alone.
The mansion held many secrets that the participants didn’t understand, but one thing for sure was that they were being watched like lab rats. They had no knowledge of who this ‘Quinque’ man was or why he was pulling such a sick prank on them, but they all took a mental note to watch out for him. The landscape of this mansion was a mystery, just like everyone’s true identities, but they all tried to work together in this dire situation. Even when a blood curdling scream was released throughout the mansion.
In a hurried fashion, Coal and Peach-Cobbler rushed forward towards the eerie screech. Feet stomped against the floorboards, huffs escaping cracked lips, before they finally halted at the open door to the kitchen. Everything seemed as if it had been slowed down, similar to a slow-motion scene in a movie, as the different expressions portrayed a peculiar story. There stood a terrified Valentine, an alarmed Carrot, and a rather poker faced Fir all gathered in the rather spacious kitchen. The only flaw through this riveting painting was the long, sharp object Fir had in her cold, pale hands; a spear.