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Brown Eyed Prey

What Happens When You're Stuck Among the Hunted

Journal Entry

To anyone who finds this, call me dramatic, but I don't know how long this game of survival is going to last. I don't even know if I have long to last. It's only been a day, but a lot has happened that it feels like so much longer.

Here's how it began: I just wanted to get out of the house, so I figured reexploring my old college might be a good idea. Turned out, since I graduated, they changed a lot around the campus: more spaces for new classes, new cultural and mental accommodations, even a moat has been constructed for canoeing practice for anyone looking into that habit. Other than that, I connected with some old classmates and acquaintances at times when I wasn't just people-watching or wandering.

Eventually, one of the administrators called for everyone's attention and revealed that he organized a game for all of us. He thought it would be a good idea to test our stealth and stamina. He, then, pulled out a gun and flinched as he pulled the trigger. I heard someone fall and, though I didn't know who it was, I heard it was someone with brown eyes and had natural brown hair under green dye. Before we could all react, the administrator explained that all of us who had naturally brown hair and brown eyes were targets for everyone else that can access a gun, which included the people with brown hair and brown eyes that weren't scared to act on the fact that it's every person for themselves.

Those who didn't fit the prey criteria grabbed weapons from the administrators while the rest of us just scattered. Oh, and we were told that cafeteria was the safe space, but considering the circumstances, heading back without dying was obviously going to be tough.

Everything was overwhelming: the deafening shots and screams, the scent of blood, the constant need to look over my shoulder, even the uncertainty of whether or not I'd see certain friends or acquaintances again. I think the only thing that kept me from falling over in exhaustion was the adrenaline that kept pumping through my veins. I'd probably feel proud of myself for getting closer to weight loss if not for my circumstances.

One part of this experience stuck out to me: There's a bridge over the moat and it was packed with a bloody massacre of predator and prey. People kept trying to push through and I was worried that if bullets didn't kill me, being trampled might as if it were Black Friday. I looked at the railing on the side of the bridge and couldn't help but think of my struggle to balance, but, the next thing I knew, I was steadily walking on the railing like a tightrope walker. I looked at the crowd and then at the other side of the bridge when I heard a man's voice call my name. I thought the voice sounded familiar and when the man stumbled his way out of the crowd, I realized I was right: it was Thomas. He got along with everyone on the campus who wasn't a bigot and was actually the first person in one of my classes that I was able to talk to. He looked like he had gone through a lot and I figured I did as well. He wanted me to go with him to the safe space so that we could watch each other's backs. On one hand, I was worried he picked up on gun, but on the other hand, this was Thomas I was thinking about. I was about to walk on the rail in a way where I'd stay close to him, but I lost my footing and fell into the moat. I saw him try to reach for me before I plummeted, so I knew he wasn't planning anything sinister.

I emerged from the water and watched some of the fight for survival from another area. When I struggled out of the moat, I had two objectives in mind: making my way back to the cafeteria and seeing if Thomas is safe and still alive. I took a few steps before I heard a loud blast and felt intense pain on the side of my head. I placed my hand on it before putting it in front of my face to see blood and it dawned on me that I had been shot, but I was somehow still standing.

I thought it would be a good idea to use the wound as a way to keep anyone else from shooting me since most of the people wielding guns did one-shot kills. Going against my anxiety, I ran through the crowds screaming Thomas's name and showing the wound in my head to get people to leave me alone.

After who knows how long, I made it to the cafeteria and ducked under a table. I asked another familiar face if Thomas came by, but they hadn't seen him. Judging by the population of the campus and my guess of how many people are still in hiding, it was hard to tell how much longer this game will last. I felt more exhaustion and felt the blood dripping down, so I thought it would be best to MacGyver myself a bandage out of part of my shirt and write the happenings in this journal in case we're stuck here for too long and things get out of hand. I can smell or feel the blood seeping through the fabric of my shirt and I'm not good at estimating my current lifespan, so to anyone who reads this, just because I didn't pick up a gun doesn't mean I'm a coward. And Thomas, if you find this, I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. I'm so grateful for all you've done when we were college students and I hope you find a man who's lucky to have you in his life.

~M

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