They were everywhere. Each corner Leanne turned, her stomach lurched at the sight of another friend screaming in agony as hordes of the undead pulled and chewed at flesh and bathed in blood. For Leanne, it had stopped being about winning a long time ago. Now, all she wanted to do was survive long enough to see the light of day again. To see her family again. But as each second passed, salvation receded further and further out of reach. Soon enough, hope was a distant memory and the only thing left to keep her going was adrenaline, and it was running out, fast. As if sensing the end, Leann’s body started giving out, legs twanged and snapped with each step and every breath became more laboured than the last.
Finally, too bloody and bruised to carry on, Leanne slowed from a panicked sprint to a defeated stumbling. With almost all options exhausted, she gave into darkening dread and dropped to her knees at the mercy of one of the surrounding cameras and begged until she could cry no more. But all the camera did was look down at Leanne in pity, and the omniscient voice that once droned in the ear like a bee, was as quiet as a tomb. Leanne’s fate had been sealed. It was over. It was all over. Almost on que, waves of the undead began pouring in from both sides of the hallway, trapping Leanne in the middle like a sitting duck. Against the crescendo of Leanne’s beating heart, the undead inched closer and closer until all she could see was bared teeth and soulless eyes.
Her scream was like a gunshot.
As Leanne was torn limb from limb, Marcus and Ali clapped and cheered triumphally – the bitch was dead. As Marcus switched from camera to camera to ensure not a single spurt of blood went unseen in glorious high definition, Ali scrolled through and read each and every comment beneath the live stream on the website. Laughs and giggles laced his every word.
BiggWolf69: The bitch had it coming…
BritishBullDog11: Gutted. I had money on Leanne to make it out.
Long’n’Juicy: Best show on the internet!
BuggzBunne: That’s it, I’m applying for the next season. I could out survive these spoilt rich kids, easy…
DonaldTopTrumps: @BuggzBunne, No, you couldn’t. Leanne kicked ass!
I really think she could have made it out, she just gave up too early.
BuggzBunne: @DonaldTopTrumps, You don’t know what I’m capable of.
I’m ex-marine, bitch.
DonaldTopTrumps: @BuggzBunne, Ex-marine? Right… and I am the real Donald Trump.
JohnDoe88: I wish we still had dead heads in Britain! We killed the last of ours too quickly.
We could have had fun shit like this if we hadn’t. #BringBackTheDead
Biscuit00001: @JohnDoe88, Fun shit? Watching the undead get exploited and butchered for mere entertainment is ‘fun shit’? You are fucked up.
BiggWolf69: @Biscuit00001, Looks like we have a DeadLib p*ssy in our ranks, boys.
RealNi88er: @Bisucit0001, Get the F*ck out of here. They are dead, we can do
what we want to them. And the ‘human beings’ signed up for this…
As Ali continued to read through the comments section, Xanadu found himself increasingly feeling feint and lightheaded. He even had to close his eyes to help stop his head from spinning, which did not go unnoticed around the room.
Usually, it was Xanadu reading the comments aloud with macabre glee. However, in the last couple of weeks, he had been struggling to rustle up anything approaching enthusiasm for the bloodbaths. Some days, when it really got bad, Xanadu had to flee the room to avoid vomiting right there and then. Once in the hall, he would stay there until the survivors escaped or the last body had been devoured.
Because of his sudden, and stark, aversion to the violence of the game show, Xanadu had become a pariah in the control room and office. So much so that, unless it was absolutely necessary, no one spoke to him or even looked in his direction. And, when he wasn’t in the room, his colleagues often joked about knocking him out cold and locking him in the House of Horrors to fend for himself. But, as much as everyone had grown to hate him, there was nothing that could be done – Xanadu was the boss.