Leah sits on a bed in her room. She thinks alone, in silence. In the room beside her, Hama sits slumped against the back wall, lost to a deep sleep. Together they hear a loud, shrill sound pierce the air: a loud scream. Hama slams her head against the wall as she is snapped to attention, swearing "FUCK" as pain erupts through her skull. Leah topples off her bed, and at the same time yells yet another "FUCK". As if acting as one, they both rush to their doors and pull them open violently. Leah turns to her right and sees Hama; Hama turns to her left and sees Leah. They share a confused look for a moment before anger crosses Hama's face. "What the fuck was that?"
Downstairs, three people - the closest to the origin of the scream - converge on a single spot. Taylor rushes through the dark corridors, frantically searching for the screamer. Jon coolly hops through the corridors and rooms. Ella also runs out of the room she had been searching, rushing towards the source. Together they meet at a large wooden door. Taylor, sweat beating his forehead, looks to Ella. "You heard the scream too, huh?" Ella replies with a short nod.
Jon, his silent demeanour keeping him calm, slowly cracks the door open. The door opens to darkness, a single light emanating from the room's centre. Slowly, Ella, Jon and Taylor step into the room, and stumble towards the candle resting down on the floor. When they reach the edge of the candle's light, they each see something. Water dripping from the ceiling. Their gazes turn upwards as they follow the slow dripping of the water that falls from above them.
First, the three of them see a black shoe. Their gazes slowly draw upwards as the follow the body that hangs above them. Ella gasps in fear and shock as she sees the victim's face. Taylor's face pales as he sees the noose tied tight around their neck. It is Jon who stays calm and leaves the room, returning minutes later with a wooden chair. Standing atop the chair, he gently lowers the body to the ground, feeling for a pulse in the wrist. He slowly nods his head as the results materialize in his brain.
He is dead.
Sitting on the ground, illuminated only by a single candle, the corpse. The population of the castle falling from twelve, to eleven.
"It's okay Koloro. Everything's okay now." Ethan and Koloro sit together in the dining hall where they introduced themselves. He found Koloro huddled in a corner, bawling her eyes out. She wouldn't say what happened to make her so scared, and Ethan didn't want to push it out of her. Koloro, tears still streaming from her red eyes, looks down at the plate in front of her.
"This isn't me..." Koloro finally manages to croak out after what seemed to Ethan as an hour of silence. "I'm usually so..." Koloro wipes her eyes with the sleeve of her long, multicoloured shirt. "Upbeat..."
Ethan looks at her in pity, before he hears a sound and turns around. Entering through the doorway is the blond-haired Taylor. His face dropping as he walks in. "First Ko over here and now Taylor." Ethan mutters to himself, once more absently patting Koloro on the back in the only way he knows to cheer her up.
Taylor pulls up a chair across from Ethan and slams his head against the table. "Someone's dead." he says, muffled by the arms that encircle his head. "The others..." he says, slowly fading off as he points to the door he just entered through.
Ethan gasps, and looks to Koloro, who just nods slowly. "Yeah. I-I..." she starts before a fresh stream of tears fall from her eyes. He gives her a look of pity before his gaze is drawn to Taylor. He slowly nods and Ethan turns his back on the two.
He slowly walks towards the door and peers through it. What he sees makes him go cold.
Sitting against the wall, blood dripping from a wound in his chest, sits a boy he had met only hours ago. A boy with brown hair and a grey hoodie. A boy named Jake.