Calvin Wright (Jenny/Preston/Rita)
“Check the one on the right, Rita.”
Rita opened the lid of the clay pot.
“Nothing in this one either, Calvin.”
I let out a groan. This room was a nightmare.
The Greed Room started out simple enough and about what you would expect. A treasure trove of jewels, relics, and adornments were stacked as high as the eye could see. Preston, apparently losing all sense of caution, dove into the mountain like it were his own private pool the moment he saw it.
That’s when the giant net sprung, hauling him and the treasure several stories up into the air.
Which is honestly exactly what everyone else expected would happen.
So now, we had to figure out how to get him out. We could hear his yells from up in the net, but he was so far up there that we couldn’t make out any actual words. We also had to do it safely, since obviously a fall from such a height – not even thinking about all the very solid treasure that would fall with him – would kill him on impact. But we didn’t have any idea of what we could do to undo this situation.
All that was left behind for us where these clay pots. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of clay pots that were stacked around the room that the net did not pick up and carry away.
We painstakingly searched so many, trying to find any kind of clue. But so far, nothing came of our search. We were beginning to lose hope.
Our sense of time faded as we checked pot after pot after pot. We had no idea how long we had been in there for. Thirty minutes? Hours? Five minutes? Days? It was a strange sensation. Like we were stuck in an infinite loop of clay underneath the suspended mass of gold that – we all realized – could also fall and kill any one of us with ease.
Then, other people showed up.
Jenny rushed to Marie, grabbed her arms and shook her. “How long has it been? How long since we entered our rooms”
Marie tried to push Jenny off of her. “I don’t know, not long…. not long at all, really.”
Rita collapsed on the ground. “Thank goodness.”
“There’s no sense of time in here,” I said, hoping to explain what we had just been through. “And Preston got himself suspended in mid-air.”
“DAMN IT!” Skids yelled. “People all over the place are in grave danger and we can’t possibly save all of them!”
Jenny’s eyes grew wide. “Skids, what are you talking about? What do you mean?”
“Our group has already lost Mateo. And apparently, Norman perished in the Envy Room as well,” Skids said. He looked up at the net and gulped. “Looks like our good Master Fairmont is going to be next.”
I shook my head vigorously. “It’s not a joke, Skids! We don’t want anyone to die.”
“If he’s not in any immediate danger, you may have no other choice but to leave him up there.”
Rita, Jenny and I froze at Akachi’s suggestion. Leave him up there? What a cold, callous thing to say. But she said it without a second thought.
“What’s going on?” Rita asked.
“The doors to two of the other chambers are sealed shut,” Marie said. “There’s no way in or out of those chambers. Whoever is on the other side of those doors is in immediate peril. To make it worse, I speculate that the doors dropped as a result of a trap in the Envy Room. The trap already killed Norman, and Finn and Rex are in danger of dying to that same trap as we speak.”
Akachi took a step forward to Jenny. “We did manage to find this coin. We thought it might have some connection to your room, this being the Greed Room.”
Jenny analyzed it closely, then shook her head. “It’s unfamiliar to me. But if there are coins like it in our room, those coins are going to be way up there.” She pointed straight up at the net full of treasure.
“Well, all the more reason to rescue our dear Preston,” Skids said. “Once that net is safely down, we can look through the treasure more closely. Hopefully, without the net lifting up a second time.”
“Listen,” Marie said. “I know it sounds insane to leave Preston behind right now. But solving the trap in the Envy Room is our expedition’s most urgent need. If we have no other answers… no other ideas… then please, come with us.”
Jenny sighed. She looked at me and Rita. “Any objections?” I certainly didn’t have any. Not like I had any better ideas right now. I looked at Rita, expecting her to feel the same way.
“I’m staying here. I refuse to leave anyone behind.”
Akachi shook her head. “A foolish choice, but we have no way of stopping you. Everyone else, let’s go.” Akachi pointed her staff to the hallway.
Silas, holding the torch, led the way, followed by Marie. Then Akachi. Jenny and I followed right behind. I took one last look at Rita.
“Are you sure about this?” I asked. Rita nodded.
“If there’s an answer here, I’ll find it.”
I left it at that and followed the rest of the group to the Envy Room.
“You’re back! I’ve never been so glad to see anyone in my life!” Finn yelled from his pedestal. Finn and Rex looked absolutely exhausted, in spite of the fact that, based on what Marie told us on the way over, they had done nothing but stand in place.
“There’s six of us right here,” Marie said. “And there are six pedestals remaining! That means, if we want to risk it…. we can try putting one person on each pedestal and seeing what happens. It may cause something different to occur.”
Finn and Rex looked at each other. They seemed… puzzled by this plan.
“Marie, there’s not six of you,” Rex said.
“I know we left Rita behind, but still, there ought to be six of us,” Jenny said.
I looked around and counted on my fingers.
Me and Jenny. Then, Marie. And then of course, Silas. Akachi. And Skids.
Where was Skids?
Footsteps came behind us. The fastest footsteps I had heard in my life. That was probably Skids now.
We turned around to see what it was.
It was Rita. Her face was deathly pale, bearing a look of sheer terror.
“THE POTS!!” she screamed. “THE POTS!” She pulled me and Jenny back towards the hallway, then the three of us all found ourselves racing back to the Greed Room.
“Rita, what’s wrong?” I asked.
“THE POTS!!! LOOK IN THE POTS!”
“There are hundreds of pots, Rita. What are you talking about? Did you find a way to get Preston down?” Jenny asked. A brief glimmer of hope arose within me, but then I realized… if she had discovered a way to rescue Preston, surely she would not be as terrified as she was now.
Rita pointed to one pot in particular. Her finger shook uncontrollably and she shrunk down to her knees.
I walked up to the pot. It seemed I had no choice but to check it.
I lifted the lid to discover –
“HE’S IN THE POTS!! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!!”
– Skids’ decapitated head was inside.
June 7th: SKIDS, dismembered in the Greed Room
June 6th: JIM, possessed by Ambrose in the Lust Room
June 5th: DIANA, possessed in the Lust Room
June 4th: MATEO, drowned in the Sloth Room
June 3rd: DAISY, shot dead by Roland in the Gluttony Room
June 2nd: NORMAN, disintegrated in the Envy Room
June 1st: LOLA, abandoned in the Button Room
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