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As a child, I always love stepping on ants or torturing them, I know some of you do, then one time all of it changed.

I was walking home when I saw an anthill, I smiled in delight, thinking I found other victims. I was about to step on it, just like an Attack on Titan thing when one of the ants bit me. It was not unlike a normal bite, but something different, it was like a bee injecting venom. As I was busy observing, my instincts suddenly kicked in. I slapped the ant with my hand and cussed.

I continued my way home, slightly pissed. That's when the hallucinations and the headache started. I could see human-sized ants before my eyes, saying "We shall have our revenge" or something like that. I began to tear up, then I ran. It was really hard, considering the hallucinations and my throbbing head.

Then I tripped, doubled up, and vomited. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another one of those humanoid ants, it came to me and spoke.

"Sleep well, Jonathan, we shall have fun later"

I woke up drenched in sweat, I looked around and saw I was in a room made up of... sand? I tried to move a hand, but it was bounded, I also tried to move my feet, but it was also bounded. I screamed for help, tearing my vocal cords off, then I stopped, and wept, saying

"Mom, dad where are you?"

Minutes later, I passed out of exhaustion.

I woke up again drenched in sweat, but instead of the room with sand, I woke up on a platform. I looked down and (again) saw my arms and feet bounded against my will.

Then I observed the platform I was currently tied on (yet again). It was made out of cold metal and have some glowing symbols on them. My quick observation was cut by a door opening.

I saw three humanoid ants walking towards me. As they came closer, I saw two of them holding long sticks, while the other one was taller and bigger than the first two.

After a few minutes, I finally saw what they were holding; spears. I screamed thinking they will pierce me with it, but one of the ants cut me out

"Hush! You are in the presence of the Queen! You murderer!"

"I... I don't know what you're talking about. I'm... I'm just a kid" I replied looking at the largest ant

"You killed tons of our people. Tons of my children! Now you will pay for it." said the Queen

I had little time to process what she said when the symbols started to glow brighter.

"Now"

The symbols started to beam light towards the ceiling, then when it reached the top, it bounced back... just like a mirror. A sudden feeling of dread came to me because I realized what will they do.

"Please! Please! Don't do this to me" I screamed

Then the beams hit me; in every part of my body, I could feel the heat, but it wasn't like burning, it was like I am being cooked in a pot... alive.

"Now you will feel what our brothers, endured." said an ant

It stayed like that for hours, then it stopped. I panted, I tried to scream, but I could feel no fluid in my throat. I felt like a sun-dried fish. I passed out.

I again woke up in an entirely different room. Here, it was cold, it was not like cool metal but ice. I saw a door leading to a hallway and another door that was closed. I noticed I wasn't restrained anymore. I tried to run, towards the door leading to the hallway when a group of ants appeared. I saw the Queen again, but instead of two guards, there were 10.

They raised their spears, then the door behind me opened, revealing a land full of ice.

Where do the ants get these technologies?  I thought

"Go in there or else we will stab you!" said one of the ants

"No!" I replied with all of the courage I have left

"I'm sorry, but you forced us too." said another one

Then in unison, they marched towards me, I was forced to back-up. When I was nearing the fridge I stopped and said

"Please! Please no!"

"Guards!" the Queen shouted

Then one of the guards stabbed me with its spear, I saw no blood, but I can feel the pain. The pain one would feel when they get pricked but was increased tenfold. I tumbled into the freezer, then the door shut, leaving me alone.

I screamed and cried for a minute or so, then I stopped myself and stood up. That's when I got to look around my surroundings. It was like a freezer, but it was extremely huge. As soon as I saw my icy prison, I felt cold, really cold.

I curled up into a ball and waited, conserving any body heat I have left. Then a thought hit me, I have to search this place for something I can use or wear for thermoregulation before I die of hypothermia.

I scrambled to my feet and started searching. After a few minutes, I started to feel hot, I took my clothes off one by one. And, for the fourth time, I passed out.

Again, I woke up in a different room. I was fitted in armor and a sword was lying beside me. Then a realization hit me.

This... This is what I do when torturing them... and they just repeated it with... me

I knew what will happen next - they will have me to fight against something. Then, the doors that held me in the room opened. I grabbed my sword and walked outside.

I gasped in awe – it was like the coliseum I read about, but instead of reading, I was the one who's gonna fight.  

Then I heard another door opening, then I prepared my battle stance – or just what a 12-year-old can manage.

When the door was fully opened, I finally saw who I was fighting against... Mark, my best friend.

“Jonathan? Wha... what are you doing here?” He said

“I... I don’t know” I replied

Then somewhere from the arena, a voice boomed

“You like our surprise, boys? You both tortured and killed my children, now it’s time to end this.” It said   

“You boys must fight against each other until one of you dies or gets killed.”

“How would you expect us to fight against each other, huh?” I said

“oh, what a good question! The winner gets to go... home” It said

Then I looked at Mark, who was readying his sword.

“Mark... Mark what are you doing?” I asked

“Sorry, bu... but I need... to go home” he said in tears

Then he charged me. He was swinging carelessly (as I told you we were just kids).

“Mark, stop, please. I don’t wanna fight you.” I said

“I’m sorry, Jonathan, I wanna go home” he said while swinging his sword towards me

I’m gonna fight, I told myself. I swung my sword towards his direction, somehow, the blow connected. My muscles twitched, as I saw my bleeding friend on the ground.

“I... I’m sorry... I’m sorry” I said between tears

“It’s okay... Jonathan...” he somehow managed to say “I forgive you... After... all... you’re my friend-“

“I’m sorry... I’m so sorry” I said

Then he touched my cheek and said

“It’s... no... one’s... fault”

He smiled then closed his eyes and said his final words

“Goodbye... Friend”

I curled into a ball then wept, and wept. Until an ant appeared in front of me again

“You have won, here’s your price”

I woke up screaming in my bed. My parents were looking at me worriedly.

“Hey, kiddo, what happened? A neighbor found you at the side-walk unconscious” my dad said

“I... I don’t know, can I talk to Mark?” I said

They exchanged worried glances

“I don’t know how to say this, Jonathan, but Mark’s-“

“Dead” I finished

“How... how did you knew?”

I hugged them both and wept

“I’m sorry”

Then I saw an ant scurrying past the window. That made me wept even more.

"Its gonna be alright sweetie, just tell us what happened" my mom said

I told them about what I experienced or the dream

"Uhu, stay there kiddo, I'll just make a quick call" my father said

I was sent to a psychologist after that. After a few days, they told me that a heart attack caused my friend's death, but I knew better.

It’s been three months now and I can’t live with the guilt knowing I was the one who caused my friend's death, so... Anyways, to who may find this, Let me tell you, don’t mess with ants.

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