“Ready” Joey had whispered, feeling nothing but ready. But it was all the cue Linda needed. In a flash the room swallowed him up and the timer on the wall began to count down. He took a deep breath and walked towards his victims with a steely determination.
He couldn’t help but notice the red blotches on the walls of this room. A few had gone berserk in here, hurling the red angry flesh towards the wall and in the bloody mess had scrawled things like “Let me out of here!” and “I can’t take this any more”. He willed himself to stop looking at the walls which felt like they were closing in on him.
He picked up exactly 18 of the creatures, he didn’t intend to inflict any more pain than necessary. He systematically placed six each on each of the worktables. He placed a pot full of water to boil at the last workstation… he would need the water to be super hot so the things cooked in a flash. He tried to keep his emotions out of the room.
Before he knew it, the fifteen minutes were up and all three work tables had the required products ready. His gloves were red and angry, somewhat the way he felt inside. Linda walked in as soon as the door unlocked and examined his work. She took her time measuring, examining, toying…. with the red bits on each work table, Her body language gave nothing away. Joey resigned himself to waiting for her to pronounce her judgement.
After what felt like an eternity, Linda came back to stand next to him and said, “This has happened only once before in the history of this room. And that record belongs to me. You’ve executed all the tasks perfectly. The Hall of Tears awaits your next challenge. Shall we?”
Once more Linda turned and crooked her finger, something Joey was getting used to very fast. Linda donned a gas mask outside this room. He looked at her questioningly but received no response. Whatever this was, he would not have the protection of a mask.
“Shall we say 15 each? As you can see this particular nemesis has different hues and different intensities. You will start with the green ones, work your way up to the white and finally the red. I will require a half millimeter chop on each one. Nothing more, nothing less. At this point I will offer only one piece of advice Joey. The Hall of Tears has reduced many a grown man into a blubbering mess. Every attack you attempt on this particular family will result in a counter attack. Every slash of your blade will cost you your focus, your willpower, even your vision. I hope you pull off the same kind of stunt in here that you managed in The Red Room.
And yes, you have another fifteen minutes in here too. Ready?”
Joey sniffed the air, felt his eyes already smarting from the intense fumes. They were attacking before he had even laid a hand on them. But all he could do was say once more “Ready”. And hoped he was!