NOTE: This was for an outside wiki writing competition.

I groggily woke up, to find myself in a great, cavern of flesh. A waterfall of memories rinsed my dried psyche. I remembered the scaly beast that consumed me, its jagged teeth, its wide jaw and its ghastly, luminescent eyes. If I knew marine biology would bring me to this moment, I would have never considered the career. Suddenly, the walls of flesh that encompassed me glowed yellow, as dark marks began to paint the walls. A pipe fell into my hands as a hole began to tear into the centre of the room. From that hole an immense scaly, fleshy praying mantis crawled out, screeching trepidation into the cavern. The marks began to disappear. The timer had started. The first trial had begun. 

I tried to climb upon a pillar of flesh, as the mantis marched towards me. Refuge was upon that pillar for so long, as the mantis tore the pillar from the ground. Eventually cornered, I realised my only option. Fight back. The second I brought up the pipe, the mantis flinched in fear. I was in control. I swung down and crushed its head into pulp. The marks decreased into nothing and the walls flashed green. I had completed the first trial. Out of the walls, two skeletons emerged. Looking down on them, I realised what they meant. They were the ones who failed. The marks set back into place, as the walls glowed orange. The second trial.

Snakes with fish scales and needle teeth, viewed my fear through their goat eyes as they emerged from the hole. Guns, knives and bats showered from the tendon ceiling. The marks evaporated into orange as I pushed my mental and physical boundaries to purge the creatures. The opportunity of refuge soon hung by a thread, as the pillars were overrun by the sea of snakes. I launched myself onto one of the tendon tendrils of the ceiling, attempting to evade the great pit. The protection the tendril provided me snapped with the tendril itself, feeding me to peril. Yet instead of scales, I felt mush. The timer had finished. The walls flashed green. This time, four skeletons emerged. The walls turned red as I prepared for the worst.

A whimper gently swam through my ears. I looked to the hole to catch sight of a small boy, shakily crawling from the pit. Weapons hailed from the ceiling, as I looked to the pipe in my grasp. Did I have to kill him? I slowly approached the boy, raising the pipe in my hand as I did so. Yet, something held me back. My instinct of empathy pushed against my arm. I couldn’t kill him. I released my weapon before taking a seat by the boy. As the timer ticked down, I comforted the boy, sealed my eyelids and embraced fate.

My eyes opened to be flooded with the hazy green colour of the walls. I won? The boy turned to me, giving me a warm smile before melting into mush. As he did so, hundreds of skeletons, waves of bones surfaced from the walls. The failures.

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